Over the past two months, we've shared with you methods for decoding VINs on '72-'96 Corvettes, and briefed you on the background and history of the original car-ID system that was introduced in the U.S. in 1954.

GM keeps VIN Data cards from model years '72-'11 in a database, as a way of helping dealers' service departments decode VIN-plate data. (Our research shows that '72 is the first year of the VIN Data cards.)

This month, we'll jump right into the action and show you how to decode VINs on '97-'04 Vettes. And check back next month, when we'll conclude this series with VIN-decoding methods used for '05-'11 Corvettes.

Note: Corvette owners who are interested in decoding'53-'71 Corvette VINs may find decoders on the Internet or in myriad books dedicated to the subject.

1997
Example: 1G1YY22G1V5123456
1 - Country of Origin (1=U.S.)
2 - Manufacturer (G=General Motors)
3 - Make (1=Chevrolet)
4/5 - Carline/Series (YY=Corvette)
6 - Body Style (2=Two-door)
7 - Restraint Code (2=Active [manual] belts with Driver and Passenger Inflatable Restraint System [frontal])
8 - Engine Type (G=346 ci/345 hp)
9 - Check Digit (Varies by VIN)
10 - Model Year (V=1997)
11 - Plant (5=Bowling Green, Kentucky)
12-17 - Production Sequence Number (100001 through 109707)

1998
Example: 1G1YY22G2W5123456
1 - Country of Origin (1=U.S.)
2 - Manufacturer (G=General Motors)
3 - Make (1=Chevrolet)
4/5 - Carline/Series (YY=Corvette)
6 - Body Style (2=Two-door, 3=Two-door convertible)
7 - Restraint Code (2=Active [manual] belts with Driver and Passenger Inflatable Restraint System [frontal])
8 - Engine Type (G=346 ci/345 hp)
9 - Check Digit (Varies by VIN)
10 - Model Year (W=1998)
11 - Plant (5=Bowling Green, Kentucky)
12-17 - Production Sequence Number (100001 through 131069)

1999
Example: 1G1YY12G5X5123456
1 - Country of Origin (1=U.S.)
2 - Manufacturer (G=General Motors)
3 - Make (1=Chevrolet)
4/5 - Carline/Series (YY=Corvette)
6 - Body Style (1=Two-door coupe, 2=Two-door, 3=Two-door convertible)
7 - Restraint Code (2=Active [manual] belts with Driver and Passenger Inflatable Restraint System [frontal])
8 - Engine Type (G=346 ci/345 hp)
9 - Check Digit (Varies by VIN)
10 - Model Year (X=1999)
11 - Plant (5=Bowling Green, Kentucky)
12-17 - Production Sequence Number (100001 through 133283)

2000
Example: 1G1YY22G6Y5123456
1 - Country of Origin (1=U.S.)
2 - Manufacturer (G=General Motors)
3 - Make (1=Chevrolet)
4/5 - Carline/Series (YY=Corvette)
6 - Body Style (1=Two-door coupe, 2=Two-door, 3=Two-door convertible)
7 - Restraint Code (2=Active [manual] belts with Driver and Passenger Inflatable Restraint System [frontal])
8 - Engine Type (G=346 ci/345 hp)
9 - Check Digit (Varies by VIN)
10 - Model Year (Y=2000)
11 - Plant (5=Bowling Green, Kentucky)
12-17 - Production Sequence Number (100001 through 133610)