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I just bought a Panhead engine with the following number and need to know yoear and model

"DR116147" the guy said it was 1949, but title says 1939 maybe typo on title ? But then why the 47 in VIN ? Confused !!
 

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Hmm.. According to this website: Harley-Davidson VIN Numbers Explained
That vin is really confusing. As the first two numbers should be the year, fallowed by model then s/n. The year designation is in the first, not the last digits?
The info that I'm posting is just what i learned from reading other post on this forum by searching "VIN CODES".

I'm sure many on this forum are much more educated with the early numbers than I am..
 

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Wayward Son
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Early model tracking is rough. From the above website.

Prior to 1930:

Prior to 1930 H-D VIN numbers were a bit erratic and model number designations changed frequently. Unfortunately there is very little information out there for these numbers and what information is available is not always very accurate.

From 1930 to 1962 the VIN number was the engine number and was only located on the left case. The VIN was between 8 and 10 digits with the first 2 digits being the production year, the next 2 – 4 letters being the model designation and the last 4 digits being the production number
 

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The Panhead engine was introduced in 1948 (61 cu.in.. Engine/vin # is stamped on the left side case between cylinder bases. There were 2 engine id prefixes "F" for medium compression and "FL" for high compression. These numbers were hand stamped, beginning with year of mfg., ex, 48FL12345. The stamping boss is quite thick, and blends into cases. In addition, there were belly numbers stamped into the lower front of each side of the cases. These are distinct to the year and displacement of engine, but generally do not match the VIN. Harley Davidson can trace these to the correct VIN, but not commonly availabe to the public. Your numbers suggest it is an aftermarket manufacturer of the cases. This info. was obtained from the Law Enforcement data book my son in law gave me when he worked in vehicle theft of a Florida Sheriff dept. I hope this is helpful to you.
 
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