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Old 07-21-2012, 09:13 PM
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Matching numbers

I have a conundrum. I would like to see what the popular take on a numbers matching car is. My father-in-law, an ol' skool hotrodder, once explained to me that a numbers matching car was a car built in the very late sixties to present and represented the start of automobile automation. Matching numbers is the product of preplanned automated vehicle production and the muscle cars of the late sixties and all cars through present fall under this category. I believed this for a long time and I am finding out that this is not a popular theory, although there others who also believe this to be true.
So lets lay it to rest once and for all and give me the scoop on what matching numbers really is. I know this generally starts a few disagreements, but this is to find the most popular definition for my own knowledge.
Thanks guys for bearing with me on this matter.

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Old 07-21-2012, 10:20 PM
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Matching numbers means JUST THAT ...
All the numbers on the vehicle match. It still has the original motor, transmission rear end ECT. Nothing changed except ordinary maintence items.

This is not a MUSCLE CAR ... but it is a matching numbers convertible that is 45 years old.

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Old 07-22-2012, 12:22 AM
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Your dad is probably correct as to the original meaning when it was first used in the 60's. The government made the auto makers start marking their major components(block,trans, body, frame,...) with a partial vin so as to control car theft and chop shops easier.

By the 80's, the term had come to mean an original or restored car that still retained its original stamped major components, and car buyers were willing to pay a premium for a "matching numbers car"). Concourse type restorations even take the :numbers matching) to the next level, by making sure they use the correct part numbered intakes, carbs, distributors, etc., with a correct build date stamping

Unfortunately, when something drives the price of something upwards, there are people who will represent things to be what they are not. Lots of restamped carbs and distributors on the Internet.

If someone is selling a numbers matching car, they should be able to visually prove it to the buyer, and the buyer should confirm it.
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:39 AM
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Matching numbers is the most mis-used term in the hobby. Literally, there are VIN-derivative numbers stamped on the block and trans. If these numbers match the VIN, the car is numbers matching. Period.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt RedMan View Post
I have a conundrum. I would like to see what the popular take on a numbers matching car is. My father-in-law, an ol' skool hotrodder, once explained to me that a numbers matching car was a car built in the very late sixties to present and represented the start of automobile automation. Matching numbers is the product of preplanned automated vehicle production and the muscle cars of the late sixties and all cars through present fall under this category. I believed this for a long time and I am finding out that this is not a popular theory, although there others who also believe this to be true.
So lets lay it to rest once and for all and give me the scoop on what matching numbers really is. I know this generally starts a few disagreements, but this is to find the most popular definition for my own knowledge.
Thanks guys for bearing with me on this matter.
I believe your FIL has it right as far as the federally mandated vehicle VIN that is used to track ownership of a vehicle. The VIN also has other uses, it can tell a number of things about the originally installed equipment like the drivetrain, etc. This first came along in the '50s-'60s and consisted of 14 numbers and letters, later (in the '80s) it got 17 places instead of 14.

But when car enthusiasts talk about a vehicle being "numbers matching" (NM), they are basically saying the car is as it was originally produced, that the originally installed equipment is still intact.

There are shades of gray in all this, too, namely "correct vs. original". Many parts do not carry a partial VIN on them, only a casting number (c/n) and date code in most cases. To be NM, the parts have to have the correct c/n as well as a date code that precedes the build date of the vehicle by the appropriate length of time. So obviously this leaves open the possibility that the "correct" parts (right date and c/n) might not be the "original" parts that actually originated w/that particular vehicle.
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