Q: How can I tell if a S&H Torino
is a "real" S&H unit from the factory?
A: By the DSO number.
Q: Can't you tell just by looking at
A: NO. The VIN can only tell you if the car
is NOT original.
The "Starsky & Hutch" units built
by Ford were all 1976 Gran Torinos built in Chicago, so ALL of them have a VIN that starts with
"6G30." 6 means it's a 1976, G
means it was built in Chicago, and 30 means it's a Gran Torino (not a Torino or Gran Torino Brougham).
So if the VIN does not
start with 6G30, the car can't be an
original S&H unit.
However, the VIN alone is NOT enough
to prove the car's authenticity! Many Gran Torinos were built in Chicago in 1976 that were NOT S&H units!
You must have the right VIN AND
the right DSO number (see below), or the right VIN AND some other proof, such as a build sheet or other document
As far as I know, the car MUST have a DSO
that ends with "0022." The DSO number is located on the Data Sticker inside the
driver's door opening, under the door striker. The DSO is in the bottom right-hand corner of the sticker. It is
a six-digit number. The first two digits are different on different cars, but the last 4 digits MUST be 0022.
** Important Note! This applies ONLY
to S&H Torinos originally sold in the USA. As far as I know, the Canadian units all had a DSO that ended in
Roughly actual size. Note the VIN starts with
and the DSO ends with 0022. The first 2 digits of the DSO are
not important, at least not in telling whether the car is "real."
MANY cars have lost this sticker over the years,
sometimes it's been painted over and sometimes it's been removed entirely. So look for a metal tag riveted
to the firewall, near the hood hinge on the passenger side, that has the serial number (last 6 digits of the VIN)
and DSO number on it, and sometimes (but not always) "PS-122" (a number that means
the same as 0022 - that this car is a S&H unit). IF the VIN and the DSO number match my description (above)
then the car is a factory S&H unit. Be sure the VIN matches the car, so you know someone didn't remove the
tag from a junked S&H unit and put it on a replica!
Note the 0022 DSO number by the rivet.
Actual size is about as big as a credit card with 1/3
of the credit card having been cut off lengthwise.
If the tag and sticker are both missing, then you
hope you have other documents, such as a build sheet (see below) or this Window Sticker that has the DSO number
on it, in this case, "460022." Again, be sure the VIN on the document matches the one on the car.
Original Window sticker with 0022 DSO
number on it.
Many cars still have their build sheet
hidden in them somewhere, sometimes in the springs under the seats, under the carpet,
or behind the glove box or door panels. If you have a build sheet that says "Starsky
& Hutch Unit" and/or "PS 122"
on it, and the VIN on that sheet matches the car's VIN, then the car is a factory original S&H Unit.
Build Sheet. Actual size is roughly 8.5"x11"
Printed on old style tractor-feed computer paper.
Blown-up bottom of a build sheet. Be sure the
VIN on the sheet
matches the VIN on the car. The DSO should also match.
If all you've got is a VIN and no DSO number anywhere,
no sticker, no tag, no build sheet, nothing, then all you can do is guess. There are some hints I can give you,
some clues to look for, but without the DSO you'll never know for sure. You'll have to make your best guess based
on the car's features and whatever previous owners have told you about the car.