Provided by T.J. Higgins and Chris McGovern.

Earlier Chassis Numbering System

(Not applicable to Avenger Range)

The chassis numbering in use before the introduction of the new format described later consists of a numerical sequence of seven or more digits with a prefix letter, together with letter and/or letter and number suffix combinations. The suffixes are not detailed in the reference pages, as these indicate production variations not necessarily associated with all vehicles of one particular type.

Exception – Hillman Minx 111 has no prefix letter.

Prefix Letters

Other than in the case of the 1949 Sunbeam Talbot 90 Mk.11 and early Mk. 11A, which are prefixed ‘A’, no prefix letter denotes model period prior to 1950.

Prefix letter ‘A’ denotes model period 1950 – 1959

Prefix letter ‘B’ denotes model period 1960 onwards

(Note) Late production Hunter Range vehicles incorporated within this period carry prefix letters ‘LB’ to indicate Linwood manufacture.

For many years it has been practice to build into the chassis number an indication of model and year of manufacture,

e.g. A 1300001

A = 1950 – 1959
1 = Hillman Minx
3 = Minx Mk. V1, 1953

However, owing to the many changes to the original coding it is necessary for the whole to be treated as a manufacturing serial number as the original method of identification cannot always be applied.

Suffix Letters

These fall into two main headings, one of a combination of three letters, or two letters and one numerical digit, in certain instances preceded by another of one to six letters.

When two combinations are present the first indicates:-

B.W. – Borg-Warner Automatic Transmission
P.O.S. – Power Operated Steering
E – Easidrive Automatic Transmission
O.D. – Overdrive Transmission
L – Low Compression Engine
M – Medium Compression Engine
H – High Compression Engine

The final combination indicates:

First letter

H – Home
R – R.H.D. Export
L – L.H.D. Export
E – C.K.D. Export Home Specification
W – C.K.D. R.H.D. Export
X – C.K.D. L.H.D. Export

Second Letter

C – Convertible
H – Hardtop
L – Limousine
R – Roadster
S – Saloon
P – Pick-up
U – Estate Car
V – Van
X – Chassis only

Third letter or Number

M – Ministry of Supply
O – Standard
X – Non-Standard
P – Police Specification
3 – Small bore engine for Bermuda (reduced capacity)


B084600001 H/OD/POS HSM
Series V Super Snipe, High Compression Engine, Overdrive, Power Steering, Home Specification, Saloon Body, Ministry of Supply.

Avenger Range

(Original chassis numbering system)

Vehicles of the Avenger Range produced before the introduction of the new format must be considered seperately from the earlier numbering system, owing to prefix and suffix differences. Later production conforms to the new format which is described later.

Example – If a Chassis Plate shows this:-

No. R F 211 000115 R – 5 – 2
Colour Code 108 – 701 – H

The letters and numbers of the Chassis number refer to:

1st letter R = Plant (1)
2nd letter F = Series Year (2)
1st 3 numbers 211 = Product Code (3)
Next 6 numbers 000115 = Serial Number (4)
Next letter R = Indicates Right or Left Hand Drive (in this case R.H.D.) (5)
Next letter (or number) 5 = Engine Code (6)
Next number 2 = Gearbox Code (7)

The letters and numbers of the Colour Code number refer to:

1st 3 numbers 108 = Paint Code [8]
2nd 3 numbers 701 = Trim Code (9)

Last letter H = Market Indicator (10)


(1) Plant Indicator – R = Ryton

(2) Series Year – (Internal model year indicator code)

(3) Product Code (Three digits)
211 = De Luxe (Export, Sunbeam 1250/1500)
221 = Super (Export, Sunbeam 1250/1500 De Luxe)
231 = G.L. (Export, Sunbeam 1250/1500 Super)

(4) Serial Number (six digits)
000,001 onwards

(5) Right or Left hand Drive
R = Right hand Drive
L = Left Hand Drive

(6) Engine Code
B = 1250cc. High Compression
5 = 1500cc. High Compression
6 = 1500cc. Low Compression

(7) Gearbox Code
2 = Manual Transmission
4 = Automatic Transmission

(8)Paint Code – See Paint and Trim Codes under New format chassis numbering.

(9) Trim Code – See Paint and Trim Codes under New format chassis numbering.

(10) Market Indicator
H = Home
E = Export

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