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what does "matching numbers" really mean?


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#1 OFFLINE   sherpa

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 03:11 PM

a little confuse on the term "matching numbers".

for the longest time i thought it meant that the car's main parts like engine and transmission are original to the car as it came off the assembly line.

however, john kramen, host of hd theater mecum said, matching numbers means the parts are "period correct" not necessarily the original part that came with the car rolling off the assembly line.

so in the present day when reading an ad describing a car with "matching numbers", what does it really mean? did the auto collector's market stretched the meaning "matching numbers" or ??

#2 OFFLINE   tekheavy

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 03:21 PM

a little confuse on the term "matching numbers".

for the longest time i thought it meant that the car's main parts like engine and transmission are original to the car as it came off the assembly line.

however, john kramen, host of hd theater mecum said, matching numbers means the parts are "period correct" not necessarily the original part that came with the car rolling off the assembly line.

so in the present day when reading an ad describing a car with "matching numbers", what does it really mean? did the auto collector's market stretched the meaning "matching numbers" or ??


I consider my GTO a "numbers matching" car because the VIN matches the number stamped on the engine block and the rest of the drivetrain matches the original build sheet. If someone would have take out the original 400 motor, and put another 400 motor in from another GTO, I would not consider it "numbers matching".

I've had many arguments on this subject at car shows.

Edited by tekheavy, 19 May 2011 - 04:15 AM.

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#3 OFFLINE   JeffJ

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 04:27 PM

It's a bit different based on the car you are talking about. In true terms, you would like to believe that matching numbers, means the actual motor, tranny, etc. exists in the car. Many cars, more so in the 60's GM models, the engine and transmission will actually be stamped with the actual VIN number from the car. But let's say you are looking at a 65 C code 289 Mustang. The engine will be stamped with codes that match the engine to a 65 C code 289, but there is no VIN stamp. So all you can know is that this motor is a 1965 C code 289. So is it original to the car? You can't know. So number matching to that car would be also a correct term. So you would need to know your history on the car you are looking at to know what numbers matching really means.
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#4 OFFLINE   springer

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 04:36 PM

He is mistaken because matching numbers means matching VIN number to the engine number and sometimes the transmission. I have never heard this definition of period correct engine/VIN numbers being called matching numbers. This sounds like it is probably being hyped by dealers and auction houses to market vintage cars that do not have matching numbers while inflating the prices to the less informed buyer. Further, nobody really cared about matching numbers until auctioneers started hyping matching number cars back in the late 1970's to early 1980's. A purist will want matching numbers while others will settle for a period correct drive train. Prices are reflected by how much matches on the car - the more original the steeper the price! The true collector knows the difference between matching numbers and "period correct."

JeffJ was correct in his post concerning most Mustangs not having matching VIN stamped engine numbers, but some of the Mustangs were stamped with matching serial numbers and VIN numbers. The 289 hipo and some of the other high performance Mustangs had matching numbers engine and VIN numbers.

Edited by springer, 18 May 2011 - 04:41 PM.

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#5 OFFLINE   JeffJ

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 05:09 PM

He is mistaken because matching numbers means matching VIN number to the engine number and sometimes the transmission. I have never heard this definition of period correct engine/VIN numbers being called matching numbers. This sounds like it is probably being hyped by dealers and auction houses to market vintage cars that do not have matching numbers while inflating the prices to the less informed buyer. Further, nobody really cared about matching numbers until auctioneers started hyping matching number cars back in the late 1970's to early 1980's. A purist will want matching numbers while others will settle for a period correct drive train. Prices are reflected by how much matches on the car - the more original the steeper the price! The true collector knows the difference between matching numbers and "period correct."

JeffJ was correct in his post concerning most Mustangs not having matching VIN stamped engine numbers, but some of the Mustangs were stamped with matching serial numbers and VIN numbers. The 289 hipo and some of the other high performance Mustangs had matching numbers engine and VIN numbers.


Yep, totally agree. I didn't explain clearly what I meant or tried to mean! I agree that John K is not correct. That term should not be used on a car that doesn't have VIN matching numbers. They can have correct date coded items, but you can't have matching numbers on a car that didn't have VIN matched items. The term is certainly being used much more frequently where it shouldn't really be used. "Period correct" would be a better term, but buyers get scared by when they hear that and don't understand and wonder what they mean by that, so the term "Matching numbers" seems to be accepted by some when that is not the proper term.
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1990 7-Up LX 5.0 Convert - Auto (current basket case, building for my daughter's first car)
1969 Datsun 2000 Roadster 5.0 supercharged Ford V-8
1953 Ford Customline 4dr w/ 1998 4.6 Crown Vic Running gear
1973 Datsun 610 302 Ford V8 power, drift and road race car.
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#6 OFFLINE   stngfever

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 06:30 PM

My 68 I-6 with C-4 has VIN stamping on motor and tranny, this is what I call numbers matching :D

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#7 OFFLINE   Cdvision

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 09:54 PM

He is mistaken because matching numbers means matching VIN number to the engine number and sometimes the transmission. I have never heard this definition of period correct engine/VIN numbers being called matching numbers. This sounds like it is probably being hyped by dealers and auction houses to market vintage cars that do not have matching numbers while inflating the prices to the less informed buyer. Further, nobody really cared about matching numbers until auctioneers started hyping matching number cars back in the late 1970's to early 1980's. A purist will want matching numbers while others will settle for a period correct drive train. Prices are reflected by how much matches on the car - the more original the steeper the price! The true collector knows the difference between matching numbers and "period correct."

JeffJ was correct in his post concerning most Mustangs not having matching VIN stamped engine numbers, but some of the Mustangs were stamped with matching serial numbers and VIN numbers. The 289 hipo and some of the other high performance Mustangs had matching numbers engine and VIN numbers.

My 1969 Q-code 428 CJ 4spd Mach I had the VIN stamped on the rear of the block and on the case of the 4 spd toploader. #'s matching car.

Edited by Cdvision, 18 May 2011 - 09:55 PM.

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#8 OFFLINE   sherpa

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 01:38 AM

thanks every1




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