OK, the color coding of the data on this page is the same as found on previous pages with one exception.
THE YELLOW HIGHLIGHTED NUMBERS are the VIN numbers that would fall just before
the beginning of a run and just after the conclusion of a run. These runs are still the number sequences that appear
when the NASCAR serial number list is sorted consecutively by VIN. I have no evidence that any of the yellow highlighted
VINs represent real Superbirds. I have only included them because it is possible that one of them could represent a
missing car from a run but we would not be able to discern this from the NASCAR list. When a VIN is missing from inside
a run it is very obvious. If the NASCAR list accidentally mis-recorded the beginning or ending VIN, we would have no
evidence for it.
THE NUMBERS IN RED still have a ? for a car number and
are still those VINs that; 1) are not found in the NASCAR list but, 2) logically one would expect to be Superbirds as they
fall inside a run of Superbird VINs.
THE NUMBERS IN VIOLET still represent
duplicated VIN numbers found in the NASCAR list.
THE NUMBERS IN GREEN still
represent confirmation of an actual car not found on the NASCAR list. Some of these fall perfectly inside a run and
others fall between runs.
THE NUMBERS IN BLACK are non-problematic numbers. Most are
included just to show the beginning or ending of runs.
THE BLUE COMMENTS are
speculation on the resolution of the VINs in question.
I prefer to start from the premise that Plymouth, initially, intended
to build 1925 Superbirds. I base this on the fact that the NASCAR list, when sorted by VIN, appears to describe 29 "runs"
of numbers. The total number of VINs in these apparent runs is 1925. Also, we know that NASCAR required 1920 cars
be built to satisfy their definition of a 'production' vehicle. We know from previous examples of similar vehicles,
that when Chrysler was required to build a street version of a specialty race car, they sometimes built an extra 5 cars.
With these ideas in mind, I choose to believe that the originally intended number of cars was 1925. I suspect that,
like anything in the real world, circumstances arose that required the building of more than were originally intended.
The "mistakes" in the NASCAR list, if they are mistakes, are often easily explained. Anyone who has
tried to type the NASCAR list into a spreadsheet, or tried to work with someone else to verbally announce and record long
numbers will nod their head in recognition when I say that it is very easy to get the numbers wrong. 517 becomes 571
or 617 or ??? This is especially true after about 45 minutes of working with these numbers. At some point, one's
brain just becomes mush and the numbers blur into 091956529348603625blahblahblah...
Keep in mind
that the NASCAR list was compiled in 1969. There were, for practical purposes, no personal computers back then.
The NASCAR list looks like it was manually typed into a preprinted form/page. Well I am reasonably certain that someone
wasn't outside during a Midwestern winter with a typewriter recording these numbers. Someone had to be recording them
by writing them on paper. And that someone had to be at the Clairpointe Sub-assembly plant. We know this because
the NASCAR list includes the date of arrival at Clairpointe and the date of departure from the Clairpointe plant.
Whomever recorded the arrival of the car at Clairpointe may have done so in the comfort of the plant while the car
was receiving final assembly. But whomever recorded the departure would have had to do so in conjunction with the loading
of the cars.
If, as I suspect, the VIN recording process included at least one transfer of the
data from the car to paper by an individual using a pen/pencil, then many of the mistakes are easily explained. Just
for fun, try reading your own VIN tag through the windshield and writing it down. See how long and how much effort it
takes to get it right. Even worse are the door tag VINs. You practically have to stand on your head to read them.
When you add in the possibility of mis-reading the VIN and the tendency to transpose digits when writing them down, it is
ASTONISHING that the list is even vaguely accurate. I am amazed that it is not 50% mistakes. Especially when
you consider that this had to only be half of the recording process. Now, a clerical worker would have to try to read
someone else's handwriting of the VINs and type it into the forms. Well, that clerical worker faces the same recognition/comprehension
and transposition error potentials that the original recorder of the VIN faces. Now we have twice as many chances for
errors. Again, I am amazed that we have as few apparent errors as we do.
MISTAKES DUE TO LEGIBILITY
you have ever tried to read VIN numbers on the dash tag, door tag or fender tag, you know how easy it is to get the numbers
wrong. The fonts make many numbers look very similar to other numbers. The dash and fender tag numbers don't have
a different colored background to distinguish them. 3s look like 8s. 5s look like 6s. In fact, almost any
number can be mistaken for any other if you are in a hurry.
For example: 160637
is a VIN number from the NASCAR list that falls between runs. Right below it is the missing number 160687 in the middle
of a run. The obvious, but potentially erroneous, explanation is that the 8 was mistaken to be a 3 when the number was
recorded. This could have happened when someone was recording the number off the car, OR, it could have happened when
someone was trying to read someone else's handwriting and typing the number into the pre-printed form.
Many of the potential errors in the list can be easily explained when one thinks about how similar one
number looks to another.
ERRORS DUE TO TRANSPOSITION OF DIGITS
I have not found many REALLY obvious
examples of this such as a 527 being recorded as 572. 161558 is recorded twice. Right below it is the missing
VIN 161585. It seems pretty obvious that the duplicate offsets the missing number. When reading these numbers,
they have the same effect on the brain as 'tongue twisters'. "The Sheik's sixth sheep is sick" becomes
a mess of vowel and consonant sounds if one gets in a hurry. The same thing is true of long runs of numbers.
As I look through the data further, something may come up that is less obvious. The easy examples to find would be if
two of the last three digits were swapped. Then the correct VIN would be nearby and obvious. If the second and
third digits were swapped such as 167 and 176, however, the answer would not be as easy to find.
MISTAKES DUE TO BRAIN-LOCK
these are potentially everywhere. All you have to do is look at a car from the NASCAR list that falls between runs and
look for a similar duplicate or missing VIN in the runs. There are any number of posibilities where someone could have
put in 588 for 585 or 855 or 558 or ???
The real stumpers here are the known cars
that fall between runs AND are not on the NASCAR list. Those are the most problematic as they are cars that have been
confirmed to exist from sources other than the NASCAR list. We know these cars are real (unless a mistake was made in
recording the VIN).
MISTAKES DUE TO LOT STORAGE OR SHIPPING
I have done some assembly line retrofitting work on a large number of vehicles. It is very easy to lose track
of whether you have inspected any specific vehicle when you are looking at a field of 50 of them. It would not surprise
me if a few of the mistakes were simply due to overlooking a vehicle or checking the same vehicle twice. Recording a
VIN twice by accidentally re-checking a vehicle already checked is certainly a plausible error. Missing a vehicle altogether
seems a bit more odd. Especially since there is an in date and out date. The vehicle would have to have been missed
twice. Unless of course the in date was just written on the windshield or something like that. And then later
the data was recorded only when the vehicle was shipped.
hopes that the side notes on the list might clear up some questions. Several dozen cars have a note mentioning it either
being returned to Lynch Road or to Clairpointe. I thought that these cars may have been some that were recorded twice
by accident. No such luck, however. None of the multiple trip cars had VINs that matched the problem VINs.