Do matching numbers matter?

I'd like to acquire an older 'Vette but the prices are high and going higher each year. That is a good thing. But if I were to buy a Split window coupe
with a base engine and Powerglide, to keep the price under control, would a Split window be worth more left stock or would a tasteful updated engine/trans combination (350 crate engine and THM) help make it an attractive alternative? My thought is that a base engine is not very appealing to me and I'd rather not buy/drive it that way. Powerglide? Forget about it. Ideally, it would be nice to find one that is a non-matching numbers car and never look back. It will never have matching numbers. Just rebuild/restore and GO DRIVE. Bill K.
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It sounds like you have already answered your own question...
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On or about Thu, 14 Jun 2007 21:26:28 -0500, "bill kolofa"

If you don't mind that the numbers don't match (or even prefer it) then why should you care what others think? You can buy a garage queen with perfect paint and matching numbers or you can buy a cool car to drive. Each to his own.
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It's your car. Do whatever you want. I like to drive mine, not sit around and look at it.
I have a friend just about to start on a fuel-injected '63 split window he's had on a lift for years. He thinks he's going for NCRS on this one (he has a finished '62 he's been offered $60K for). I can't blame him, it's a pretty rare car, but all that work and then to be afraid to actually drive it...not me.
AJM '93 Ruby coupe, 6 sp (both tops)
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Matching numbers are important to many people including the magazines that list the values of Corvettes. However, there are some folks who dont really care too much about matching numbers and would forego that in order to get far greater performance out of the car. Its really a matter of individual preference ; personally...i think the ideal is to find a matching numbers engine that has been built-up to be bulletproof ; but that is my preference. My 1970 BB from the factory is rated at 390 h.p and 500 tq ; I opted to have it built up to 540 h.p and 600 tq (according to Edelbrocks Dyno Chart). Its a bit insane for the street but oh..what a thrill to be slammed back in the seat.
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Matching numbers matter in places where judging matters, like NCRS and Bloomington Gold. So if you go for that, then it matters.
HOWEVER, be aware that matching numbers does not mean original. This is very important. Original usually means it is worth more. Matching numbers means that the overall of the car, the quality, and authenticity must all be weighed in to determine its value.
IMHO, taking an original car, or even a numbers matching car, unless you know the numbers have been faked, and turning it into a non-matching car with a non original engine, extra performance, modern parts, and so on is foolish. If you want to build a performance car (racer or tourer) out of an old Sting Ray, find one missing the engine, with an NOM, one that someone has customized, and so on and build from there. You lose less money that way.
In terms of value (based on cars of equal condition), the original is worth the most, the numbers matching second, and the customized (whether body or mechanically) is last. The exception is if you go full hog with a Pro Street type build where you drop $100,000 into the car. In that case, it will be worth more than the original usually, but at what cost? Often while they may sell higher than an original, they still sell at a loss compared to what you spent to build it.
I.e., Original '63 fuellie - $80,000, numbers-matching - $65,000, NOM performance - $50,000, body customized - $40,000, Pro Street - $100,000 (but took $150,000 to build).
Now don't look at those as true values of all '63 FI cars, this is just an example of how the prices can vary. Actual car prices will vary all over the place, depending on the condition, the quality of work or restoration, options, etc.
So my advice would be instead of finding an original base engine, PG car for $50,000, find a semi custom (slight fender flares) with NOM for $35,000 or less, and build it. Even the work to return stock body lines will be less than the $15,000 difference.
My motto: Save the originals, restore the important ones, preserve those that survived, and enjoy the rest however you want.
BTW, the TH400 is going to require cutting the tunnel and the crossmember. The TH350 will fit in the same space as the PG. The current thinking is to use a well-built THM200R4 as it pretty much fits the same as the PG and gives you overdrive on the highway.
If you look around, you can find one built that way for much less than you can build it for.

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';The exception is if you go full hog with a Pro Street type build where you drop $100,000 into the car. In that case, it will be worth more than the original usually, but at what cost? Often while they may sell higher than an original, they still sell at a loss compared to what you spent to build it.'
REPLY: Tom, Ive never seen a ProStreet for sale that was higher than a good original ; its true that these owners take a beating for the amount of money they put into it to make it indestructible (at least theoretically) and go into the 9's . They are the worse thing from an investment standpoint as the car is literally butchered , bastardized, and beaten to a pulp as a rule. Ive read countless magazine storys on how guys turn a car into a ProStreet Monster for the thrill , but seldom back to a daily driver. That said...ive always wanted a cheap ProStreet something to bang on and hope to have one someday.
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Been a little over two years soince I sold my 68 SS 396 Chevelle Not really a pro street car full roll cage,fuel cell /Batterey in trunk, fibetrglass hood and front end, very worked over engine with 2 big 4 barrels sitting on the top... Plus much more...Car could manage close to 50 miles on the street before it ran out of gas..Top speed on the street was maybe 55-65 as it was screaming at me
Sure I took a loss when I sold it (but not much) But I also had a ball at the strip running it even if both my sons ran quicker and faster then the old man.. It was a hoot competing againt myself ...
Life is short take a crusie ...7-19 days with your wife...get home tired and 4-5 grand poorer...drive 20 miles a 1/4 mile at a time, work on the car almost daily, drop another few hundred buck to go a little faster it never ends BUT YOU ..or at least I got what I paid for...
Absolutely no regrets (except loosoing to the boys...that was hard lol)
Bob G. 64 72 & 98 Convertibles 76 & 79 Coupes
On Mon, 18 Jun 2007 17:29:56 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (dave) wrote:

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