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Old 03-16-2011, 06:40 PM   #1
drewk86
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Default How to check if a Vette has Matching Numbers?

I'm goin tomorrow to look at a 78 pace car that has been sitting in a garage for sometime. I have my black book ready to check the vin# to see if it is a true pace car, l48 or l82, etc. My question is what do I need to look for and where do I need to look at to see if it is a numbers matching car? Any and all info is greatly appreciated!!! One more thing...according to the owner it has 18k original miles!
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:35 PM   #2
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it depends on what your definition of matching numbers is?

believe me, your definition of matching numbers will change from now until you bring the car home, and then months later as you go in greater detail of what the parts are on the car.

the simplest definition ( and a novice definition ) is that the last 6 characters of the car's VIN will match the last 6 characters of the number stamped on the block pad in the front next to the right side head. it does not mean original and does not mean other parts on the car are original, if that is important to you

There are many other definitions.. if you are paying extra money for a car with 'matching numbers' then know what this means.
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:42 PM   #3
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The engine number should also match a number stamped on the transmission (at last early C3 manuals). Also the same number is stamped on the frame (remove the body to have a quick look ). In some worlds, matching numbers means that the part numbers of all the components match the part numbers being installed on the car at the time your car was made:i.e. the carb part number, the windshield washer part number, the starter part number, the MC part number, etc....

I think the most important "matching number" is that the engine number matches the VIN. Getting the other numbers to match gets important in the NCRS world.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joewill View Post
it depends on what your definition of matching numbers is?

There are many other definitions.. if you are paying extra money for a car with 'matching numbers' then know what this means.
Jokes aside, how can he know what it means if there's no agreed upon meaning?

I agree, the most common definition, very basic, is the last 6 digits of the VIN are found on the stamp pad, engine block in front of the right cylinder head.

There was an article posted about 12 years ago, updated maybe 8 years ago which stated the full definition of matching numbers goes well beyond the engine block, frame, transmission, and ID tag. It can be construed to mean proper casting numbers and dates on other components as well. A more complete measure of originality.

It seems the bulk of the premium paid for matching numbers goes to the partial VIN on the block matching the VIN on the windshield pillar?

Then there's the issue of restamping. If the numbers match, is it a restamp or genuine... and on and on... the higher the value, more risk of forgery...
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:20 PM   #5
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Go look at the car. Check the engine stamp pad as Joe said. If the VIN derivative there matches the VIN on the driver's windshield post, then you have probably identified what you are looking at. Now is when you need to get it up on a rack somewhere and have a good look. If you don't know what to look for, then come back with someone who does. I cannot stress this enough. This will determine whether or not you should even consider buying the car. The asking price is a starting point and has obviously drawn your attention. You need to determine what is a fair purchase price, based upon the condition of the car and how much money you will need to spend fixing whatever you (or your expert) find wrong. Any 33 year old car will have something wrong with it. Cars that have been in storage for a long time can have real serious problems, even low mileage cars. Nothing is harder on any car than just sitting without being driven. Ask me how I know this.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:28 PM   #6
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Can be hard to see the block pad. Have to look down under the AC bracket just in front of and down below the valve cover. Bring a flash light and a plastic puddy knife to scrape any grease away. The engine suffixes in the Black Book will also show if L82 or L48 with auto or manual. "CMR" indicates 220 hp L82 manual
Click the image to open in full size.
My 20K mile # matching Pace Car is missing some original components. Stuff just turns to crap from sitting and not being used.

Last edited by Sebago Shark; 03-16-2011 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:04 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the info guys I really appreciate it. Just spoke with the owner, he says it has a rebuilt title....back on the hunt I guess...
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebago Shark View Post
Can be hard to see the block pad. Have to look down under the AC bracket just in front of and down below the valve cover. Bring a flash light and a plastic puddy knife to scrape any grease away. The engine suffixes in the Black Book will also show if L82 or L48 with auto or manual. "CMR" indicates 220 hp L82 manual. My 20K mile # matching Pace Car is missing some original components. Stuff just turns to crap from sitting and not being used.
My 56k mile PC was missing the master cylinder, mufflers (date-coded), starter. But carb was original and I've rebuilt (replated) since.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBCorv70 View Post
Jokes aside, how can he know what it means if there's no agreed upon meaning?
I'm not sure what you mean..........
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joewill View Post
it depends on what your definition of matching numbers is?

believe me, your definition of matching numbers will change from now until you bring the car home, and then months later as you go in greater detail of what the parts are on the car.

the simplest definition ( and a novice definition ) is that the last 6 characters of the car's VIN will match the last 6 characters of the number stamped on the block pad in the front next to the right side head. it does not mean original and does not mean other parts on the car are original, if that is important to you

There are many other definitions.. if you are paying extra money for a car with 'matching numbers' then know what this means.
to most it means that all the parts of the drivetrain (and all the sub parts like exhaust manifolds/ intake manifold, etc) are original and correct matches to the VIN number identifying numbers on each piece. the engine and the trans have ID numbers on them that match the VIN in part. the majority of corvette parts have date codes on them and obviously a part with a number indicating the part was made 6 months after the car was made would indicate it wasn't an original (part that came on the car from the factory) piece. you can drive yourself nuts because there are enough parts with date codes that should be correct to be "numbers matching". the more original "matching" parts, the higher the price will become.

good luck
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Ward View Post
I'm not sure what you mean..........
I'm not sure what you mean either.... joke or lack of defintion...

I was referring to the definition of 'numbers matching'. This term has no agreed upon definition that I know of. Some use the term to indicate the partial VIN on the block matches the VIN on the windshield pillar. Others say it means all parts appear to be original, correct casting numbers and date codes as well as matching partial VIN on the frame, transmission, and block. Not likely to be very many which fit this description entirely, a matter of degree. Some fall in between with the defintion, considering only the partial VINs where stamped.

Best the OP may do is to understand there is no real definition other than to say a 'numbers match' at minimum indicates a block with a matching partial VIN. VIN matching the title doesn't count...

The term is often used when marketting Corvettes to seperate into two price groups, those with original blocks and NOMs.

The last post, price goes up with greater matching numbers, makes sense if the price is tied to the measure of originality though I tend to doubt many buyers go to such extremes when evaluating for purchase. I suspect only a few numbers are often checked prior to purchase.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:47 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=BBCorv70;1577082277]
Best the OP may do is to understand there is no real definition other than to say a 'numbers match' at minimum indicates a block with a matching partial VIN.

So does that mean 'they match' or 'it's the original' or neither or both?
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:54 PM   #13
BBCorv70
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[QUOTE=Mike Ward;1577082573]
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBCorv70 View Post
Best the OP may do is to understand there is no real definition other than to say a 'numbers match' at minimum indicates a block with a matching partial VIN.

So does that mean 'they match' or 'it's the original' or neither or both?
Partial VIN on the block matches the last six digits of the VIN on the pillar. Saying nothing about whether it's original to the car. Could be, or may be a restamp. Seems it was a good indicator of originality before restamping became more common...
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:54 PM
 
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