Author Topic: Where are the "matching numbers" on the car?  (Read 965 times)

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Offline 1976Custom

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Where are the "matching numbers" on the car?
« on: June 04, 2011, 01:44:14 PM »
Hi all! I'm new here and I've been looking at VIN numbers and trying to figure out what numbers constitute a matching numbers car.
I found the plate under the hood cowling on the driver's side door of the old body but I'm not sure how many numbers should match
and what they should match. I know that numbers matching cars are worth more but I'm pretty sure mine isn't.

My current situation:
I have a v8 455 T/A with the M-40 Turbo Hydramatic transmission but the supposedly original 1976 black body was neglected (with T-Tops!) and it
was rusted beyond saving by the previous owner.

I ended up getting the red body of a 77 - 78 against my will (Dad won I lost) that's a hard top. The front
fenders, front end clip and hood are in good condition but I'm concerned that the engine and the original body aren't numbers matching.
The back end of the red body obviously doesn't match the back end of the 1976 body. Is there any way to mount the rear on that body
because my arguement against that body was precisely that. That bumper won't fit and the lights are different too. Dad said it would work
and I still say he's wrong. I hope he's right to save me more custom work but if the car can be prepped to save someone else time I'll do it
for the '76 look.

The man I bought it from was at least the third owner and purchased said Trans Am from - I kid you not - a place called "Bob's Fairly Reliable Cars" somewhere up north.
I can't find this dealership and it was decades ago when he bought it. He saw the car out on display and had to have it.
Unfortunately he drove it up north and it's eaten alive with rust. The body can't be salvaged, but I'd like to take the t-tops
and put them on the new body (insane I know).

The shaker hood had 400 on it and not 455. Switching out an engine wouldn't have been all that difficult, a pain in the butt but doable.
My goal is to see exactly what matches and what doesn't. Right now I'm trying to fix the car up to a point to sell it for a decent sum. If I don't
get any realistic offers I'll put it in storage. If the car is sold I don't want it to be a corner-cut mess, I want it to meet or exceed the standards
for the legendary cars of that time period. If someone else is going to finish what I started I want them to work with a quality car! My Dad just
wants to get it done but I want it done right the first time since I'm sweating my butt off outside working on it.

The guy that sold it to me was really sad to see me go and I promised him I'd make it a road beast again. He didn't want kids who'd just hot rod it until
they totaled it or someone who would just let it keep rusting. He grilled me on the knowledge of the car and was surprised I hadn't seen the Smokey and the
Bandit movie. I've been working on it bit by bit and people keep trying to rip me off left and right. I guess they think women are stupid. By the way -
I'm a woman who just turned 29 so please don't call me "dude", "kid" or "girl". I love these cars and fell in love with the one I'm working
on long before I saw that awful Smokey and the Bandit garbage. I want to see if it's worth restoring or if it would be better off
as a custom road beast. If the numbers don't match I'll have that much more information to discuss with a prospective buyer. What the
buyer does with the car though it ultimately up to them. If I don't sell it it's going to be customized and I'm going to paint it. Any suggestions
for body work on this car is also welcome but I'm concerned with which numbers are supposed to match right now. I started it up today to move
it and it still sounds amazing!  Why don't today's cars sound like this? They sound like dinky little dirt bikes to me.

Sorry for the long-winded post but I love this car quite a lot and I want it to be taken care of even if someone else ends up finishing
the work on it.
It's not failure if you learn from it and don't repeat it.

Offline RENOVATIONS

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Re: Where are the "matching numbers" on the car?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2011, 01:50:50 PM »
In short, numbers matching typically means the car has it's original engine and transmission
Jeff

Projects:
_____________
1978 Trans Am
1970 Camaro
1970 'Cuda

Offline eroc022

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Re: Where are the "matching numbers" on the car?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2011, 04:50:18 PM »
In long, for a full numbers matching it means all the parts on the car came with that car from the factory, frame, fenders, pretty much anything that bolts onto the car with a stamp on it...  whereas Pontiac did a horrible job of keeping records and documenting various things.... the main items for a numbers matching car is what Renovations said, engine and transmission.... the frame is stamped as well but in order to see the stamp I believe you have to have the frame off the car....

 Seems like you are doing things right, as finishing it right the first way may take longer but you know its done right. I am doing the same thing on my car, and want it done right. Its been 6 years and its finally coming to a close! post up some pictures of what your car... EVERYONE here would love to see it.... and never be hesitant to ask any questions or look for advice. Lots of greats people on here....
Eroc
Fixing the car that Restore A Muscle Car jacked up....

Offline Tin Indians Rule

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Re: Where are the "matching numbers" on the car?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2011, 05:20:30 PM »
Welcome to the board and we look forward to seeing pictures.
What's she wearing now? Come on!
1976 Black 455 4 speed (current project)
1976 White 400 Auto (original)
F-body stuff stashed everywhere.
Always buying/selling/trading  just ask!

Offline Hitman

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Brett Campbell
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1978 Trans Am

Offline 1976Custom

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Re: Where are the "matching numbers" on the car? Thanks for the reply.
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2011, 08:21:51 PM »



Ha! I win! Nevermind...Tomorrow morning I'm going to check the numbers on the transmission and the engine. I'll get
a photo of the old body that I still have and the newer body the engine and everything else is attached to. I warn you
though... it's not a pretty sight. The T-Tops never leaked on me but the top of that car is bad.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2011, 08:50:16 PM by 1976Custom »
It's not failure if you learn from it and don't repeat it.

Offline 1976Custom

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Re: Where are the "matching numbers" on the car?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2011, 08:52:22 PM »
I'm cleaning the engine too! Here's the 455 I love.

It's not failure if you learn from it and don't repeat it.

Offline IdahoDirtFarmer

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Re: Where are the "matching numbers" on the car?
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2011, 05:03:16 AM »
I think this might be the dealership you were talking about.

http://www.fairlys.com/

Pretty well known around these parts for having piles of vettes for sale.
'74 T/A project
'79 T/A Y84 (really rough project)
'79 esprit (making T/A clone)
'79 T/A Solar Gold daily driver
'91 Formula