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Ford moved the "vin tag" around a lot in the 50-60s from door posts, door edge and glove box doors. I'm am not sure exactly when but by the late 50' and 60's ford also stamped the vin number on the frame. They were located on the passenger side about mid engine on the top of the frame rail and also on top of the frame on the same side underneath the cab. This was the secret vin that police and insurance companies looked for on stolen cars as they were not listed in the owners manual or common repair manuals. The one under the cab can be seen with a mirror but is not where it could be filled off or rest amped without removing the cab from the frame. I have restored a 58, 61,65 and 66 ford pickups and all of them had the vin on the frames. I have run across lots of trucks where they simply moves the glove box door or swapped doors to change the vin on a Ford truck or moved the metal I'd tag but it is seldom they remember the frame stamping of the vin. They also all had a star at the beginning and end of the stamping.
The "vin number" for consumer use is located in front of the driver under the windshield viewable through the glass.The other consumer locations are on a sticker on the drivers door and on the vehicle option list on the sticker on one of the removable plastic panels in the rear of the van.Your van also has 3 hidden locations used for vehicle recovery in cases of theft etc.Hint,want to find those numbers? Start scraping off sound deadener and seam sealer and look deep into all frame openings.
If you have the VIN number, all you would need to do is call your local Pontiac or General Motors dealership, give them the last 8 characters of the VIN number and they can look up the vehicle build for you which will include the transmission. You can read this article Dealer Service Secrets for more info on how to deal with Car Dealers.