Bob J.: Great summary for the G’s.
Repeating what most 300 folks know, the hemi’s in the 1955-58 letter cars had individual/unique serial numbers stamped on them and this engine S/N was hand-written on the IBM CAR RECORD CARD for that car. (Perhaps also on the track sheet or elsewhere??). The VIN format for a ’55 C-300 was 3N55-ABCD and the engine S/N format was 3NE55-WXYZ, where the last four letters signify digits which are highly unlikely to be identical (other than the first digit which would span 1,000 vehicles and would often be the same). The 1955 correlation of VIN & S/N is quite random—still, “matching” in our case would be that the engine S/N “matched” the original entry—now documented in the club records thanks to Gil Cunningham. The last four digits of the S/N on the engine in our C300 ( https://www.volocars.com/auto-sales/vehicles/14055/1955-chrysler-300 -no longer ours) were/are 100 higher than the VIN but still “matching”, as per microfilm image of the IBM card (1198 VIN, 1098 S/N). There are more orderly correlations of VIN & S/N for 1956-58 300’s. After 1958, the only indication of the engine being original (“matching”) would be the date stamp in conjunction with the ID indicating the engine is a letter-car engine and that date being the same or less than the SO date.
I recall being told that non-“matching” VIN & S/N would not be penalized in club concours judging so long as the replacement engine was year and model-correct and properly trimmed and equipped. Don’t take my memory as gospel. Rules can change.
It would be interesting to know whether short-ram and long-ram engines in the same model year had different block ID’s. In 1964, the engine block ID is different for the standard single four-barrel FirePower 360 engine and the short-ram, dual carb FirePower 390 engine.
Brentwood, CA (Overcast and 58F @ 2:30 PM—Wind & rain a-comin’. Spring has sprung here)
Numbers matching is a relative term to the age of the vehicle. 1968, I believe, but maybe ’67, is the year that required VIN #s to be stamped on various components to deter theft, thereby reflecting that “Numbers Matching” means original to that car components.
When it comes to Letter Cars, different numbering patterns occurred over the years to identify original components. For instance, a correct 1961 300G engine will have a date code stamped on the machined boss near the distributor that shows a month and date built that would be prior to the scheduled build date of the car. In addition it would have the letter R (designates 1961 model year) and 41HP (short for 413 High Performance) stamped on the same boss. The trim code (SO) plate will have additional information about scheduled build date, colors, and options etc, the VIN will start with 8413 indicating a 300G. So, there you have it, that gives you an idea what “numbers matching” means for a 300G, if you were to use that term.
There are additional ways to verify original components like casting numbers and body number stampings, but the above are the most important. I would also state that that having a correct engine in a Letter Car does make a difference in the value of the car as perceived by potential buyers.
Let me ask a possibly dumb question. I was told “Numbers Matching” didn’t begin until 1967 or thereabouts. Hence, unless it was say a 383,how would you know ?
Posted by: "Rich Barber" <c300@xxxxxxx>
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