A VIN code is a vehicle identification number and is a unique serial number used by the automotive industry to identify individual motor vehicles. VINs were first used in 1954. From 1954 to 1981, there was no accepted standard for these numbers, so different manufacturers used different formats. In 1981, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States standardized the format. It required all over-the-road-vehicles sold to contain a 17-character VIN, which do not include the letters I (i), O (o), or Q (q) (to avoid confusion with numerals 1 and 0. The VIN is made up from different components which include different pieces of information regarding the vehicle. This begins with the world manufacturer identifier, the vehicle attributes, the check digit, the model year, the plant code and the sequential number. The prefix for a 1951 Ford truck will depend on the series and the amount of cylinders. For a half-ton 6 cylinder the the VIN number begins with 97HC. For a three-quarter-ton 6 cylinder it would be 97HY, a 1 ton 6 cylinder would be 97HT, for a half-ton 8 cylinder would be 98RC, three-quarter-ton 8 cylinder is 98RY and for a 1 ton 8 cylinder the prefix for the VIN number would be 98RT. The prefix is followed by either F1, F2, F3, F4 or F5 depending on the weight. F1= 4,700 lb, F2 = 5,700lb, F3= 6,800lb, F4= 7,500lb or 10,000lb. The following codes and numbers can be found at www.classictruckshop.com/id_1949-51_f1.php as other details depend on whether or not it is an F1 or F2 series, the model number, the number of cylinders, if it is a pickup, and express pickup, a chassis cab, a closed cab and you will find the body code and the rear axle code too.