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Discussion Starter #1
Second post - I think I am going to like it here....

I am sure that has been covered here before, so administrator - feel free to redirect me....

I would love to get a few opinions on what "Numbers Matching" means to you?

Here are the three definitions that I have heard and would love some clarification on this (tweak, add-to, delete, disagree/agree with these three).

Defintion #1 = All parts and peices on the car are original to the day the car rolled off the line. Nothing has been replaced or upgraded. The car can be a restored vehicle, but the engine, trans., rear end, intake, heads, carbs, guages, coloring (anything that makes the car unique) must be original to the car. Paint, interior, glass, chrome, etc can be replacements, but they need to be accurate to the nth degree.

Definition #2 = The car is "factory correct", but some of the original "core" (outside of what is VIN specific) equipment has been replaced with factory-made components that are date coded earlier (how much earlier is acceptable?) than the production date of the car. All options on the car are present and none have been added/removed/replaced. A 4bbl car is a 4 bbl car, a 4 speed is a 4 speed, etc. The engine could have been replaced (or trans, or rear end, etc), but the replacement component cooresponds to a part that could have been "grabbed" during the production of the vehicle. This gets gray when you are talking about certain components being VIN specific and others (like pre-VIN blocks not being). This definition would state that VIN specific parts need to obviously be present in order to be "numbers matching". In addition to VIN other codes are required to be present (such as an engine code being present that matches the car in is residing in).

Definition #3 = The car has been rebuilt over time (either through maintenance or restoration or both) with components that are of the correct model year (date codes could be slightly behind/after production date), components used could add/delete options that were not present on the original build sheet. An example of this would be a factory in-dash tach on the build sheet and a clock on the restored ride. Or a tri-power convert car that has a date coded intake that matches up with the car (either pre or post production, but within reason). Obviously under this definition there is some freedom in "what dealers migh thave done back in the day".

There are obviously differing views on what is meant by "numbers matching", "factory correct", and "original". And there are obvously a whole host of individual defintitions out there.

I would love to hear some of them.

JR
 

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It depends on the vehicle, some didnt have the VIN stamped on anything other than the body, such as early Mustangs and Cougars, so there is no way to tell what block was the original like we can with Pontiacs.

For the most part I am only interested if the number on the block is right, and to a lesser extent if the trans has the VIN stamped on the tag. Then again I am not the type of guy who worries about it unless its a rare vehicle, like the 72 455 HO Formula I have sitting here(1 of 276 and its a factory freak with no paint code and strange options). The guy I got it from did a lot of 'custom' work and tried to make it faster and now some HO specific parts are long gone. It would be nice to have the right intake, carb, distributor etc, but people seem to want way too much money for them. As long as the block is the one it came with from the factory, its good enough for me.

Going with all correct date coded tiny items is a bit too far unless you never want to actually use the car and it is just garage art/trailer queen.
 

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As far as a legal view , #s. matching means that the #s. on the parts match the original #s. that does not mean they are the original parts . Original #s. matching means original parts & #s. Be careful as i have seen people spend some big dollars & they are not original #s parts .
 

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To me, it used to mean that the car had the original engine, trans, and rear end in place. Later, I added that it also had to have the original distributor, manifolds, carb, etc.... Now, poeple consider numbers matching to be "correct for the car" parts, even if they're repro parts. So, what's more authentic? A '65 GTO with a set of Cragars that have been on it since 1968, or a '65 GTO with a set of repop RallyI's that were made in 2004? I agree, though. The "all parts must match" has never been a big deal for me. I lucked out with my '67, as it was an original car when I got it in 1983. My '65, not so lucky. I've had a lot of GTO's over the years, 6 four speeds and 3 automatics, and while ALL of the automatic cars had their born-with engines, NONE of the 4 speed cars did.
 

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To me, it used to mean that the car had the original engine, trans, and rear end in place. Later, I added that it also had to have the original distributor, manifolds, carb, etc.... Now, poeple consider numbers matching to be "correct for the car" parts, even if they're repro parts. So, what's more authentic? A '65 GTO with a set of Cragars that have been on it since 1968, or a '65 GTO with a set of repop RallyI's that were made in 2004? I agree, though. The "all parts must match" has never been a big deal for me. I lucked out with my '67, as it was an original car when I got it in 1983. My '65, not so lucky. I've had a lot of GTO's over the years, 6 four speeds and 3 automatics, and while ALL of the automatic cars had their born-with engines, NONE of the 4 speed cars did.
I think the wrong auto block in a early 4-speed GTO can be considered correct.
In the early days the dealers encouraged their customers to go out there and race. The 4-speed cars were harder on the engines then the auto cars and did blow up frequently. When the blocks were replaced under warranty at the dealer they installed auto blocks and transferred the components to that new replacement block. So for that reason alone, I think a properly date coded auto block in a 4-speed could be considered #s matching.
 

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The thing is, my protect-o-plate actually has my original engine number, and it is (was) a WS block. I put in a 1965 WT block out of a wrecked 4 speed '65 waay back when, and it is correct date-wise, but even if I were to get a WS block, the number would never match the original number on my protect-o-plate. How correct is correct? I think the 100,000 dollar GTO's would have to have the "born with" block, and have it verifiable. I COULD get a WS block and throw away my protect-o-plate, and nobody wouold be the wiser. No way I'll do that though!!! Many of the early stick cars blew their engines under warranty and the block was replaced with any available same-displacement short block. Engine codes meant nothing at the time. These were merely cars, and not expected to be collected 40 years later. My original WS engine supposedly went south at Baylands Raceway in the mid-late '70's....well out of warranty!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This is great stuff guys.

I agree that there is a level of reason that should be considered when nit-picking the originality of any car in question.

I have a 64 ragtop (yes, I promise to have pictures posted soon) that has a replacement engine - plain and simple, but it is a "3155" block (cast 2 months prior to my car's born-on-date). And since 64 thru a portion of 67 blocks came "VIN free", so it could be argued that the block matches the car. As we all know "facing" the front of the block and re-stamping it to the desired engine code is really tempting on a rebuild (and honestly I don't think it makes you a bad guy as long as you come clean when asked). But even if you didn't machine the face and left the wrong code on the block - it wouldn't make the car any less desirable to me. And as was mentioned it could be totally legit if the orig. engine was blown.

My car is a 4-speed that popped the motor at some point in its life. Fact is the car was fixed and kept a life on the road until I got hold of it - it was restored once (by me) and is "numbers matching" by casted date codes (block, head, intake, etc) - tranny and rear end are all original. And to be honest I just got lucky (I wouldn't have been surprised or upset if the codes didn't match up - they just happened to). I go round and round with my "uni-body" buddy that is ate up on hugger orange and racing stripes. It's a whole other world on planet camaro, but what I have learned is that they are rather loose on the term "numbers matching".

I feel that if you have a car that has restored "factory-built" core components (engine, heads, intake, carbs, etc that date code correctly for the born on date of the car) you have a numbers matching car. Even if those "core" components don't match the original build sheet - for things like tri-power or the transmission (3 speed to 4 speed for example). Seriously, how many goats got the "three-duce" steroid shot back in the day? More than a few I have been told. And if you scrambled your three speed, wouldn't you be tempted to replace it with a four speed? I don't think you bomb your numbers by doing so.

This is where you guys might disagree with me, but that's why I started this thread....

Great stuff.

JR
 

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It's discussions like this that help the hobby and help us all learn more about what we're doing. It's a good thing. Planet Camaro. I used to hate Camaros, I don't know why.....I always blew their doors off. I guess it's because they were so COMMON. We used to say "Camaro's are like a$$holes: everybody's got one!". I like Camaros now, 25 years later. I think if you pull a three speed out of a car and replace with a correct dated 4 speed, the car is not mumbers matching. It didn't come with a 4 speed. Same with tripower. Real tripower cars are worth 30 to 50% more than the base 4 speed, for a good reason: they were rare then, and they (real tripower cars) are even rarer now. Every '64-'66 GTO I see at a show has a "dealer installed" tripower. Hogwash. I think there are more tripower GTO's on the road now than were ever produced. Just like Fuelie '57 Chevys, SS El Camino's, and '69 Z-28's. I think enjoying these cars is what it's all about, and I know that a tripower is way more fun than a 4 barrel. It is what it is. I DO have a problem with milling blocks to restamp a bogus 'authentic" code. YOU may disclose that it's a fake on your selling the vehicle, but the next owner(s) probably will not. It's simply fraud. If you leave it alone, you're being honest, and enjoying it for what it is: a great running engine. Pontiac engines don't care what code is stamped onto them! They all can be built to run any way you want them to run. Also, if the owner has the protecto-plate (like I do for my '65), it's proof positive that the car does or does not have the original block. On mine, the VIN and the engine number are plainly visible. Bottom line is, "numbers matching" is about as general a term as "restored" is. Let the buyer/collector be wise, get educated, and know what the risks are, so that he can make a sound decision as to what kind of car HE (or she) wants.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great comments Geeteeohguy - I feel that good debate/discussion among friends makes for a better informed population of enthusiasts (as you said).

It also might help those that are looking to spend real money on a car of their dreams to actually conduct better dillingence by asking the right questions. It also helps those of us that own a car know what we have and what we don't, so that we use the correct vernacular when describing our rides. Like I said when I started this thread - Numbers Matching is used very loosely, and terms like Factory Original, Correct, and others are gray too. I guess the term 100%, Entirely, or All - followed by Original is pretty black and white.

My thoughts are if you face the block with the code you are after, that's your perogative. If you sell it as anything but a redo - it's fraud. But the fact that you did it doesn't make you a bad person. If you sell your motor as original when it obviously isn't, that's what makes you a bad person.

I deal with some military aircraft resto freaks on occasion and they have no issue taking tail sections and emblazoning them with the "correct" markings (then scuffing them a bit to get the "look" they are after). I guess the tail sections that contained the lettering were the first things to be picked (or blasted off and painted over) when these planes were mothballed.

These are museum resto's and they need them to match the grainy black and white photos in the display. They are only after a show peice that when described matches what they are describing. I see faced blocks in the same light. But it's a different ball game when you sell the block as "original" when it's not. As you said, protecto-plates and build codes from PHS should erase all doubts, which is a very, very good thing.

I am coming around to you on what is "Nuimbers Matching" when it comes to options that are on the car that aren't on the build sheet. I think you could have "Model Year Correct" (another term?) components such as Tri-power added (or a four speed), but you're right it would not be a numbers matching car. I wonder if you had Tri-power on the car, but had the original four barrel ready to install if you could still claim the term....or would you have to come up with another one...WHERE DOES IT END?

No doubt that there are more tri-powers now compared to then...

Anyway, it's fun to chat about. How 'bout this scenario...you add something like a console or power steering to the car (no replacing occurs - just adding) - do you still qualify as numbers matching? Again, where does it end....

Thank goodness for PHS - on planet Camaro they don't have such a fantastic resource and have to rely on owner-retained documentation (good luck with that staying ethical....)

I lump Camaro's and Mustangs into the a**hole analogy. With Corvettes not too far behind....especially the newer ones (you know the type)...they think they are super cool until they have to share an intersection stop with a guy like you.....in a ride like yours....

Ah, the power of nostalgia.

JR
 

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There is a larger percentage of GTO's with Tripower than the factory built--not total cars with Tripower, but percentages of those that survived. At least 1/4 of '64-'66 GTO's had factory Tripower.

"Numbers matching" only means someone took the trouble to find parts with the right date codes on them. Hardly any GTO's have the original alternator, starter, water pump, spark plug wires, belts, or heater blower motors on them. Most of them have had the original engine replaced and in many cases restamped to the "correct" code. Yes, there is a handful of cars that were almost never driven that retained the original parts mentioned above. These very low mileage cars are beyond what most of us can afford and it's completely out of the question to drive one.

If you could compare two GTO's in identical condition and colors that were built with the AFB four barrel carb, but one was fitted with Tripower, the Tripower one would fetch more money in any kind of a sale.

It's great for some of us, including me, to keep our GTO's like the factory built them, but that's not everyone's cup of tea. The quality of work done in the restoration is what makes some cars so desireable and valuable. If you can do some of this work yourself, it makes the car very personal to you regardless of whether the numbers match.
 

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Fun conversation, I kinda go with Richard, numbers matching (to my understanding) just means the parts are date correct, there are other terms to describe cars that have the original equipment to include "survivors" and "all original". However, all of them have shades of grey.

My car is not original and I'm 100% okay with it. When I was a kid we "souped up" our cars and that's what I like doing and will continue to do. I do not want a museum car. I don't begrudge those that do but as Richard states, "...that's not my cup of tea". I have my own set of rules for what's important on my car. For example, even though I have a great running motor, I hate that it's a 400 (don't ask me why). And, I get even more whacked in my thinking because I don't want a 389, I want a 421. As for transmission, I have a Super T10 and that doesn't bother me one little bit. However, I would not consider altering the body but I would love to have modern suspension components. Yaddy, yaddy, yaddy. That's the way I see the GTO world and I'm okey dokey fine with it.

Rickster
 

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Numbers matching USED to mean all major components were original to the car. As the "hobby" evolved, these cars became harder to find and expensive so the term has also evolved into many mutations. It seems now an original car has it's "born with" drivetrain and a numbers matching is what a "code correct" car once was. Code correct being casting and assembly dates pre-dating a build by a reasonable time period. What all this means to any particular person is just as fluid as the terms until someone is offering a "Numbers Matching" car for sale at a high end, or investment grade, level. In that instance, at least to me, the entire drivetrain needs to be the original, born with, components and not just date correct to be worthy of the price. And no, I don't see re-stamping as "legit". It only leads to doubt and most often deceit, if not by the current owner but somewhere further down the line and in high end restorations with big price tags can constitute fraud.
 

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Numbers matching USED to mean all major components were original to the car. As the "hobby" evolved, these cars became harder to find and expensive so the term has also evolved into many mutations. It seems now an original car has it's "born with" drivetrain and a numbers matching is what a "code correct" car once was. Code correct being casting and assembly dates pre-dating a build by a reasonable time period. What all this means to any particular person is just as fluid as the terms until someone is offering a "Numbers Matching" car for sale at a high end, or investment grade, level. In that instance, at least to me, the entire drivetrain needs to be the original, born with, components and not just date correct to be worthy of the price. And no, I don't see re-stamping as "legit". It only leads to doubt and most often deceit, if not by the current owner but somewhere further down the line and in high end restorations with big price tags can constitute fraud.
I couldn't agree more. Period correct is not numbers matching. Restamping is done for 1 reason, deception.
 

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Over the course of my GTO Life, ie. 68 to present I have owned both. My 1st in 68 was a 66 Tri-power, 4-speed, conv., with rally-1s, Platinum Poly. Hey that's the only car that I never considered putting after market wheels on, It was the color just felt the rally ones looked like a custom wheel already. Back then original numbers wasn't even in the vocabulary. Only car on my list I would buy back at all costs. Hope it's out there somewhere but doubtful it made it. Uncle Sam didn't think I needed it for a few years Dang him.

Since the 80's when we started thinking more in original numbers terminology I have owned both. When I owned my original #s car I found I didn't drive it as much as I really wanted too!! After finding my current 64 with no engine or tranny & decideing to save her. And build to my specifications. ie. 455, tubo 400, Front disc brakes anyway you get have picture. In fact by Nationals hope to have a Barry Grant on her. It wasn't long after getting her done that I sold the original #s GTO. Last I heard of it. It was in San Diego. I drive this one twice as much for double the GTO FUN.. LES
 

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Mitch, you said it better than I did. Succinct and right to the point. Excellent summary, and I have to say, I share your views pretty much exactly. Now that real money is involved, this hobby has no place for deceit and fraud. There is one reason and one reason only to restamp an engine: to deceive someone. If these cars were worth what they should be worth in a real world (probably $4k as a used car) none of this would be an issue. But a buyer of a "pedigreed" high-point car ought to get the real thing, not a forged version. Re-stamping, in my mind is borderline if not outright criminal behavior.
 

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Since the 80's when we started thinking more in original numbers terminology I have owned both. When I owned my original #s car I found I didn't drive it as much as I really wanted too!! After finding my current 64 with no engine or tranny & decideing to save her. And build to my specifications. ie. 455, tubo 400, Front disc brakes anyway you get have picture. In fact by Nationals hope to have a Barry Grant on her. It wasn't long after getting her done that I sold the original #s GTO. Last I heard of it. It was in San Diego. I drive this one twice as much for double the GTO FUN.. LES

Les....you hit the bottom line, driving is the most fun! BTW, saw the picture of your car you posted the other day, freakin' gorgeous! :eek:

Rick
 

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Les....you hit the bottom line, driving is the most fun! BTW, saw the picture of your car you posted the other day, freakin' gorgeous! :eek:

Rick
Half of the reason all my cars are basket cases. 1) I can't afford a done or "correct" car and 2) I intend to drive the livin' snot outta them if/when they are road worthy.
How many original purchasers even dreamt these cars would be sought after, expensive collector items when they were new ?? Probably very few and the rest drove the snot out of them then...:D
 

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My 66 has just about everything numbers matching. The tranny was replaced with a 4 speed year correct though but I do have the original tranny. Still has the original alt, starter, and water pump. Was not an original tripower, but will be. Fuel pump will be changed out as well to be electronic.

I've always been told that a numbers matching would be the original block, tranny and major components of the car.
 
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