The Adviser

Matching numbers with low miles: Is that what you want?

by Dave Kinney
25 May 2023 3 min read
Andy Wakeman Photography

“I’m searching for a low-miles collector car, and it has to have an original, numbers-matching motor.” So says nearly everyone when looking for their next car. But why?

Part of it is undoubtedly groupthink. We have aged into this hobby believing that these are the best cars. But is that true?

In the case of low miles, it ain’t necessarily so. A 20-year-old car showing 2500 original miles, be it a Ferrari, a Porsche, or a Honda, is a collector’s dream come true, right? Well, possibly—it depends how long the car has sat without attention. If it’s been a while, “waking up” that car might be a complicated (read: expensive) undertaking. The tires have aged out. The fuel tank might be filled with a smelly gelatinous version of gasoline. And any internal combustion engine, sitting without the benefit of lubrication, will likely need serious attention.

Maybe those 2500 miles were collected at just about 100 per year. Are the belts and hoses the original, age-cracked rubber? Was the exhaust system ever warmed up enough to heat and vaporize the moisture trapped inside, or is the system now full of rust?

Let’s look at it from another angle: Is it worth it to you to pay a 30, 40, or 50 percent premium to get a 2500-mile car over a 25,000-mile example? This is a question only you can answer, but it’s something worth thinking hard about, especially if your plan is to drive the car instead of placing it in bubble wrap for most of your life. In doing the math for most cars, putting an additional 25,000 miles on a car that already has 25,000 miles on it will cost much less in depreciation than starting with a 2500-miler and adding your own 25,000 miles.

Mike Drilling

On the note of “numbers matching,” almost no one knows what that term actually means. That’s because it is interpreted many different ways by many different people. In the very broadest of broad strokes, one could reasonably interpret it as a car with all the original parts that contained serial-style numbers, which were placed on the vehicle when manufactured. Now, does that mean if one tire was replaced after a blowout, the car is no longer numbers-matching? Tires have numbers, right? You might think I’m exaggerating, but we’ve all seen an ad that details “originality” to an extreme.

Newsflash: Before matching numbers were a thing, when your engine blew up under warranty, you actually wanted a new one, not some rebuild done by the guys in the shop. But somewhere along the line people started believing their cars were as pure as the driven snow—that surely Zora, Enzo, Henry, or Butzi had built the thing themselves.

I had a client 20 years ago ask for advice on buying a C2 Corvette. Among his must-haves was matching numbers, which he interpreted as the serial number of the engine matching that of the chassis. His intent was to have fun with the car, to drive it, to wrench on it, and to bond over it with his preteen son (who loved Corvettes). Eventually, he said, he wanted to give his son the car, possibly as a college graduation present. He was stretching his budget to find the right example, so I pointed he could get a car with a replacement engine (in Corvette-speak known as a NOM, for non-original motor) for perhaps $15,000 less. Intrigued, he did the math. He wasn’t buying the car as an investment; he was buying for fun. He didn’t care about ever showing it or having it judged. So he bought a great car that was everything he and his son wanted. The NOM was a later crate motor that proved to be a reliable powerplant from day one. Today, his son enjoys the car every bit as much, perhaps even more, than if it had come with the original motor.

Andy Wakeman Photography

If you’re shopping for a car to drive and enjoy—which I suppose most of us actually do—buying against the grain can save money in the long run. If you can afford the best, with low miles and matching numbers, feel free. I’m just saying that often there is no reason to not consider a “lesser” car with higher miles or a replacement engine. The old-timers will tell you that someone else worked out the bugs for you.

I’m not here to tell you how to spend your money. But I am here to give you complete permission to buy what YOU want, not what your friends want. Besides, unless you’re selling, no one has to know.


  • John R Marchiando says:

    Great read with lots of common sense!

  • AEZ says:

    A tasteful (to me) restomod is often much more desirable to me than a numbers-matching time capsule. The only thing I like about the most modern cars is the increased performance/reliability…modern infotainment and most driver aids tech is nearly-worthless to me. I’ve already started daydreaming of several ‘80s-90’s exotics with a ‘23 Z06 engine swap and modern suspension upgrades.

    • Mert Monroe says:

      Yes and No. last line says it all. Till you sell it. No cars are cheap anymore. I have very low mileage cars. They pull a premium when I let them go. Today’s market is crazy. A car is worth ten grand. A guy buying it wants to pay seven grand. The guy selling same car wants thirteen grand. Everyone thinks their car is Mecum quality. It’s a joke. But the good thing is that there’s a ass for every seat. Best wishes guys. Don’t buy with emotion!

      • Steve Spatola says:

        I own two cars that are numbers matching. They’re not high demand cars but in very good shape. Both are 78 Oldsmobiles. A Cutlass Salon coupe and a Delta 88 Holiday coupe. Very reliable cars with no pretenses of my car is better than your over priced desired collector. I saved tons of money. The Cutlass had 41k on it 12 yeas ago, now 48k. I paid $2500 for it. No issues ever but I did paint it, and replace faded carpet. The Delta 88 was an online auction for $9200. I spent nearly 2 grand getting it snog legal. Otherwise, this car from a second owner that found it in a garage, paid for the engine and tranny rebuild plus other idle sitting expenses. He lost money on this deal I am sure but I benefited. Do your diligence, as one man said, don’t get emotional.

      • Steve Spatola says:

        Mert Monroe, you’re giviing a lot of folkd credit for good sende when you allude to Mecum auctions. I think it is worse than that! The rust bomb on the front lawn with jack stands holding it off the weeds is in the mindset of a Barrett-Jackson auction, no reserve price range. That gives those with minimum knowledge of market prices a real false sense of perceived assets, just sitting in his yard wasting away.

  • Paul says:

    They are cars. Cars were meant to be driven end of story.

  • Piers Gormly says:

    Quite right, I couldn’t agree more about ‘low mileage’. Your point about deferred maintenance is spot on, you may think your car in storage is ok as you’ve plugged your battery tender in, but you have to cycle through all the mechanical systems, so why not just go ahead and drive it. After all cars are meant to be driven, not fawned over like they untouchable objects.
    I’ve had a couple of Ferraris, and the more I drove them the more reliable they became, not forgetting it was so much fun, and surely that’s the whole point.
    Numbers matching: In my opinion nice to have, but really????

    I sold a Lotus 7 a few years ago on BaT and the most common question were : ‘Is it numbers matching and is the mileage correct’.
    My reply was: ‘It was a race car at some point in its life, so probably had several engines, transmissions, etc and it’s a $30k car. Who cares it’s just there for fun’.
    A guy in California bought it who was an ex racer and couldn’t care less, not the whiners and doomsayers who just loved to be negative.
    My philosophy is: Get out and drive them, as often as possible, you’ll love it and your car will thank you.

  • wheel wonk says:

    For me the importance of original cars, is that they haven’t been taken apart, they are original. When you buy it , it is as it was and will be until you change it. Pulling a car apart and putting it back to factory is much harder than many believe. A fresh restoration is a collection of things that didn’t quite go back together as they came apart. A few miles down the road and a good mechanic and it might work as well as it did before you started. Concours shiney and usability are two different animals.

  • Tom says:

    Thank you! I looked at a 40 year old low mileage car with a mechanic friend and he pointed out all the rubber parts that needed replacement to make the car safely drive-able, then there is the question of the internals in the engine as you point out. I bought a 20 year old car with over 213,000 miles and enjoy it immensely. It was always maintained as the 18 page car fax shows and has no leaks, drips, etc. and everything functions like it should. As you say, why are we buying the car – to look at or to drive 😉

  • Jay Fedigan says:

    My answer is to have both. I have a 1980 TR8 with 8k miles. The car is very original. Only consumables, belts, hoses tires etc. have been replaced and with NOS when possible. It’s a beautiful car for shows. I also have a 1980 TR8 with 44k miles. It’s been slightly modded for drivability. Larger tires and wheels, performance springs and shocks, urethane bushings, larger cross-drilled brakes. aluminum radiator with an electric fan, Holley four-barrel conversion, de-plaided interior, bluetooth stereo and more. It’s a really fast, fun car for driving. Almost all TR 8s have undergone similar mods. That’s why I keep the low mileage car original. They are getting very hard to find because the original setup is slower and fussier to set up. I enjoy both cars but for different reasons.

  • Edward C. Greenberg says:

    I would prefer a used car of virtually any make with 100,000 highway miles over the same model and year with 40,000 miles on the odometer all of which were earned on the pot holed, stop and go streets of Brooklyn.

  • Rick L. says:

    Most of the number matching, low mileage cars are not driven. Are they worth more? probably not if you are going to drive them as everything has to be replaced, fluids, seals, etc. Sitting is no good for our bodies or cars. Remember, “Motion is Lotion, Rest is Rust”, unless you want the vehicle as Garage art or be at the Doctor all the time for the latest drug to “help” your body.

  • Peter Beren says:

    This brings up another question. Does original color affect value? Many cars from the 60s on can be documented as to the original color. Does a color change affect value? On one hand one wants originality, on the other, color tastes change.

    • James says:

      Like “matching numbers”, original colours are must-haves with some buyers, particularly those who have resale potential in mind (ie. those who look on their collector cars also or solely as investments). I have two classic Jaguar roadsters, one in its original livery but with a replacement dealer engine (no number) and the other with all four original numbers (engine, gearbox, body and chassis) but with non-original body and interior colour. That was my choice. I couldn’t abide its original ‘50s-bathroom-fixure-pastel colour combo so painted it and upholstered it with a combo I really, really like. So, some will opine both of my Jags are “compromised”. Yeah, well, tough cookies. They’re both solid Hagerty #2s and a blast to drive. They’re *my* toys, and I’m happy with them just the way they are. Whatever I get for them when the time comes will be fine with me (but don’t expect me to give them away, either).

  • Dennis Hager says:

    I think the key is buying the car you want for how you will get the most enjoyment. For some, it’s finding that Corvette with all the serial numbers and date codes in sync and perhaps chasing down a few parts that were replaced over the years that are out of sync. For others, it’s taking their vintage Porsche on a 400 mile rally and giving it a good thrashing without a care in the world for anything other than that glorious feeling of a gentle drift in and out of a canyon turn. And yet for others, a solitary walk in the garage, favorite beverage in hand, savoring the pristine original paint adorning their low mileage treasure found after years of the chase. I empathize with them all … I love hearing their stories (and their car story) at the shows. There is no wrong reason for buying the car you want (unless you buy it for somebody else’s reason).

  • Paul D says:

    I have a very broad based knowledge of Corvettes and is a result, over years many people have asked me my opinion on numbers vs non numbers. My first question is always “what are you going to do with the car”. If you want a good driver and don’t plan to have the car judged for originality, non numbers will save you money, tho I also usually advise to look for a car with factory spec parts… if the car came with a 327, it should have a 327 in it. In other words, as factory if not nom. This makes sense for most other cars as well. If numbers matter, then be prepared to pay more for that choice.

    • James Gilstrap says:

      I do have little issue with the term MOD because a kit car is not what I really wanted. Purchased a beautiful all numbers matching 1959 Corvette at auction. I was so anxious to get it home and drive and show off. I did not work out that way. I had forgotten how difficult old numbers matching would drive. My wife could not drive it steering wheel right in your face and would challenge anyone without power steering. I took it back to next auction and bought a 1958 Corvette rebuilt by Doug Graf with Carbon Fiber body and 1958 chassis and C7 engine and modern interiors and this car drives more like a new 2017 Vet. This way I have both a fun car, a modern car and absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I get thumbs up everytime I take it out.

  • Jason Wallace says:

    I have a 75 Toyota FJ40. Odometer is broken and the best guess is about 150k miles on it. The guy before me bought it from the son of the original owner. The guy rebuilt or replaced: knuckles, axels, tie rods, leaf springs, differentials, wheel bearings, radiator, manifolds, and much more. I chose it over FJ’s with well under 100K. A 50 year old truck, regardless of mileage, is gonna need work. Saved me numerous hours of wrenching and schlepping to the mechanic. I am happy someone else did all the work. All I have to do is drive it!

  • James Gilstrap says:

    Great to read of the different reasons for owning a car that you enjoy both driving and admiring. I always wanted both so tried to buy a car that satisfied my desire. Of course, I had to control the cost of wanting both at the early years. I am 87 now and sort of retired, but now I really love shopping for the next car that fits my wants. I have several cars, yes I let my passion get the best of me and have too many. But I really appreciate and enjoy reading of proper car care for both reasons, from those of you that pass it on to others like me. Thank you all.

  • Robert W says:

    I’ve posted on this topic before, but here is my best example for new buyers: I owned a 1965 Corvette Coupe 327/365hp numbers match, low miles (<50k), docs, blah blah blah. I maybe put 100 miles on that car. Sold it – wasn't enjoying it, felt guilty putting miles on it. Bought a 1964 Corvette with not a single number matching anything, '67 hood, rear flares, etc. I drove the living snot out of that car!! Took it everywhere. Walmart, work, kids school, didn't matter – it got driven! Same story with another '65 Corvette Convertible I owned – ex-fuelie car with replacement motor – I even drove that one in the snow once. I learned my lesson about which type was more enjoyable. And the bonus? I could buy parts at the local auto parts store and not have to pay 5X the price for the exact correct part from a catalog or online seller. I still have one low-mile classic in my garage but it’s going bye-bye this year to make room for more “fun” cars.

  • Ken Sousa says:

    I bought a 69K mile ’69 Corvette 427/390hp coupe in 2004. I bought it because it was a completely stock example with matching numbers and documented mileage. It was a fairly low optioned example but it was in a very popular color (LeMans Blue), had an M21 4 speed and a black interior. I kept it for seven years but it always felt like I was the car’s care taker rather than its owner. I drove it occasionally and never dared take it to the local drag strip to “see what it would turn”. It won many first place trophies in C3 Stock class in regional Corvette shows. In 2011 I sold it at auction in Monterey. I miss it to some degree because it was beautiful, but I wouldn’t buy a car that I didn’t feel comfortable driving because of mileage concerns. They’re made to be driven.

  • Woodrow says:

    Here is the epitome of this discussion:

  • Rodney says:

    I too bought my 1965 Chevy C10 Pickup to drive and have fun. It more than likely has 125k miles, but the engine has been replaced (I don’t know when). There is a tag on the side of the block that says “Rebuilt Engine Power-Pak” with a stock number. I was wondering if you or other readers could tell me anything of the tag or engine. I haven’t been able to find much info about it, if it’s just a crate engine, from the dealer or if it’s possibly a performance package and if it is what makes it so. I have a picture of the tag if you’d like to see it, send me an email address where I can send to you. Thanks!

  • Will C says:

    Well written! I totally agree. I see sales of cars with crazy low miles and think, they only belong in a museum. I’d be afraid to try to drive one home, because something is going to fail. My lowest mile car is a numbers matching Triumph TR7 that had 23k documented miles and garage kept it’s entire life. I’ve managed to put about 3k in the last 5 years, and I have spent more time and money on that one car than all the rest combined. The best cars have been driven and maintained. I love to drive and enjoy all of my cars. I can’t drive all of them at the same time, so that keeps the miles low.

  • Tim Kuehl says:

    It humors me when people say their Ford has a numbers matching engine. The only numbers I’ve ever seen stamped in a Ford engine were numbers stamped in a machined area at the front of the block in my 70 Boss 302 that I foolishly sold 20 years ago. I would assume the Boss 429 also had stamped numbers but I don’t know. And the numbers on my block did not match the VIN. For the other engines casting numbers do sometimes mean things such as the performance level of the heads such as GT40 or GT40P or maybe a special block and they also designate the year they were cast which has meaning as some years had a better port design. At least that’s how it was up to the turn of the century, don’t know about the newer ones. But those numbers are not unique to any single Ford that I’ve ever seen.

  • JIM HARPER says:

    You could not be more correct with the point of this article. In my experience of buying over 80 collector cars in my life, I can attest that not only is a low mile OLDER car not worth a premium…it might not be worth buying at all, unless you’re determined to bring it back to life and have set aside a large budget to do that. If not…if you think you’re gonna hop in a drive and enjoy a car that’s “like new”, you are in for some real disappointments.

  • SJM1 says:

    I prefer to just buy them new, then keep the thing forever, or 34 years or so, whichever comes first. The trick is to find an original car, that has had exceptional care, and was regularly enjoyed. Maintenance could be strict by the book, or IRAN (Inspect and Replace As Necessary). No rust or damage history.

    Of course, this may be impossible for some cars. I purchased a classic that I wanted for most of my life, and found my options limited. I found a “fully restored” one that met the requirements (early model, complete, driving, with what appeared to be “good bones” and a lot of documentation). One of my first rules is to “Never purchase a fully restored car”, as it is just about never as it was when it left the factory, and is just about NEVER properly sorted. This car I purchased was precisely that, and I have spend the last few years sorting it out, making it as it should be. It did have an excellently finished engine compartment, though. This meant that I didn’t have to take the entire car apart… However, the documentation was mostly for sub standard work, probably from a shop that discovered that they were no longer making any money on the restoration job.
    My day job is to straighten low mile cars that have spent decades in storage, and the work is almost never as simple as one might think. With the make that I specialize in (currently experiencing a magnitude increase in value), they were often parked due to a mechanical problem that no one wanted fo fix. Sometimes, the engine is fine, but the rest of the systems are completely gunned up, and rust from poor storage is always a problem when restoring the chassis and alloy bits like the transmission case. Tires, bushings, hydraulics and the fuel system, from the pumps to the fuel level sending units maybe severely corroded. In the end, we end up with a nice, low mile car which has been driven and sorted. It is entirely likely that the sorting may take around 1000 miles, and some owners are thinking about the odometer rather than the brakes, fuel system, drive train, and the suspension. The driving pleasure is completely ignored.
    My re restoration of my own machine has been nearly as comprehensive as a complete restoration (but without the complete disassembly of the machine, and done while I was enjoying it on the road). I am waiting for engine parts to complete the mechanical portion, prior to the cosmetic improvement in the bodywork and paint. It will be nice, but cost an extra $10,000. While I w ender if I will get it back, I am in no hurry to sell, as I will finally have the car I was dreaming about.
    If you are looking for a classic to drive, don’t worry about matching numbers. Worry about whether it has been driven and enjoyed. Find something that you can afford to maintain. Budget for a clutch unless there is evidence that the work was done recently. Maybe you will need one, maybe not. Then, enjoy the car. The longer you keep it the better off you will be with its value. Make sure that you keep it clean, aligned and lubricated with all the systems working. Your efforts will be rewarded with many miles of enjoyment, and perhaps a good payoff at the end of the relationship.

  • MJ says:

    Pretty simple. If you’re a purist, your philosophy is: it’s only original once.
    That’s why barn finds, and unrestored cars bring top $$$$……they’re generally unmolested. Who knows what’s under that pretty new paint job? Right or wrong, these thoughts are part of the equation.

    • DAL says:

      I see restomods doing as well as some “barn-finds” at B-J every year of late…

      • MJ says:

        Some of the scariest cars to buy are from museums. In many cases all fluids are drained so as not to drip on the floors. Leaving a cooling system or braking system dry or a crankcase empty will create catastrophic conditions mechanically over time. No matter the miles, these need very special care before ever firing them up.

        • Steve Spatola says:

          I was at the California Auto Museum this morning and I took in the awesome show of Woodies. One, a 1941 Chrysler 4 door sedan with the barrel rear doors, a beautiful piece of work, had oil seeping on the floor behind the left front tire. These are temporary displays of a given time. Many others in the museum have never moved since I first saw them many years ago. Those would be an extreme challenge to make them road worthy again.

  • MJ says:

    The build sheet and manuf. plates are where you find the original numbers, and they are not “matching numbers”, they are based on the original stamped numbers found on the various components, ie, block, heads, chassis, transmission casing, differential, etc. on my ‘67 Ferrari, there is a plate on the firewall calling out certain original mated components originally attributed to that car.
    That’s numbers matching as used by those concerned with that. In the case of Ferrari, that’s top of the heap. For substituted parts, period correct is the next level for authenticity.

  • Tom says:

    I have had that same dilemma. Have passed on several “low” mileage muscle cars for that very reason. “Why” haven’t they been driven? Have they been sitting or getting driven enough to keep things going? Belts, tires, steering, etc.

    For example: 2002 Chevrolet Camaro SS/Z28 Convertible 35th Anniversary Edition. One with 1500 miles, or one with 28K? Well, I’ve been buying my Corvettes for a long time with 25-30K, 1 owner, 10yo & have never had a problem. I drive all my cars & unless your just going to want a trailer queen, I’d pass!

  • Rick says:

    I have been restoring my 72 vette for some time. No the engine is not serial numbers matching but it is interesting enough a Goodwrench made in USA period correct replacement. I have replaced everything else to as close to original as possible. That being said, some replacements are better than original, such as the brake calipers with o rings vs original seals which end up leaking. I could go on and on but at this point, I have a reliable driver while not perfect in the eyes of the purists but again a fun driver that I actually drive.
    Why own such a car that you don’t drive and enjoy?

  • Terry says:

    There’s a guy in town who has a 2006 heritage edition Ford GT. Story is it has a salvage title. He drives it everywhere and all the time. He doesn’t have to worry about mileage and is getting more enjoyment out of it than the guys who have ultra low mile cars who spaz if they add 20 mi.

  • Charles Kemp says:

    The first collectible car I bought to restore was a 1958 Corvette in 1972 when I was 24. It cost $700 and had been bumped in the front. I couldn’t afford to have someone restore it for me so I decided to do it myself with the aid of some friends. After a year and a half I had a very nice street car with mags, button and tuffed interior and a new crate motor. It was great fun cruising, going to the beach and continuing to improve the car. I loved it for about 3 years and then decided to put it back in it’s original condition with the help of a factory assembly manual except for the motor( it was a 350 hp 327 engine) which looked original. This was a time before may reproductions were available but I found every part needed including a hardtop which I had to buy another Corvette to get. My goal was to have as near perfect car as I could build. I showed the car, received lots of trophies but due to the increase in it’s value I could no longer leave it in a parking lot to go to a movie, take it to the beach and generally enjoy it like I did when it was a street car. After a few years I realized I had restored the fun out of my car. In 1990 I sold it for $32,000 and swore that I would never have a car I could not comfortably enjoy again.. Since then I have owned numerous cars and motorcycles that have been very nice but never too nice to enjoy! I like to look at beautiful restorations but I have no desire to own one.

  • Craig says:

    I recently helped a friend get his dad’s 1983 Monte Carlo SS running. Purchased new, it had only 13.000 original miles on it, and had been sitting in an unheated garage, and hadn’t been run, since 2000. After 23 years, we drained the gas, about 4 gallons in the tank, changed the oil & filter, changed the transmission fluid & cleaned the screen, flushed the brake fluid, changed the front disc brake pads, changed the air & fuel filters, and the battery. We also put new tires on it, in an abundance of caution, but, the tires had tons of tread, and no dry rotting or cracked sidewalls. It took 3 Sunday afternoons. We then proceeded to start it, then put it on the road, and got it insured, registered, and NY state safety inspected. We did not encounter any problems or issues. We may have been very lucky, but, it was never properly prepared for storage, and other than being covered, no precautions were taken.

  • Stilwell Jim says:

    Two thoughts: Condition is everything and it’s all about what you want. Because you drive your old heap doesn’t mean you are having more fun than the fellow who drools over his low mileage all original or fully restored to high concours standards car or truck. It what YOU like. Lighten up and stop the “ my old car experience is better than yours” stuff. Recognize that there are lots of people in this hobby with different interests, expectations, and goals. There is room for everyone and no one is better than the other.

  • Gary Bechtold says:

    Personally I don’t a car that averages to barely anything per year. I see lots of trouble or at a minimum lots of rubber parts, etc. to replace and who knows what else.

  • Don DiMonda says:

    I agree that everyone’s entitled to their opinion and respect what they determine is best for themselves in the world of “special interest cars”. Having had experience with both sides of the argument, I am at a time in my life when my philosophy is “do I own the car, or does the car own me?” No further explanation needed. We’re lucky to have the chance to make these choices!

  • don cox says:

    It strikes me as Funny that folks want an old car to drive just like the new ones (unless it’s your daily driver) rather than “Learning “how to drive an older car which is half the fun– with proper maintenance they are also Reliable– things like drum brakes are Not unsafe unless your racing or otherwise driving like a nutcase– Most of us drive but don’t Abuse our classics-

  • Chris Boone says:

    My wife and I are helping some Afghan refugee guys resettle in Louisville. When they describe their lives back home, I cringe at discussions like this (although I’ve been a part of this all my adult life…76 years). These guys need wheels to get to work. What do they want (from this land of great blessings)? They want Toyota Carollas, the older and cheaper, the better. You should see them fix whatever is wrong with the cars we’ve found for them. They have repair skills that would astound you.
    On this Memorial Day, I salute our vets, and the fighters for democracy the world over. Our discussion is certainly a “first world” discussion!!
    I hope I don’t spoil the conversation with my thoughts…Don’t want to sound sappy!!

  • Tim says:

    I have purchased my share of low mileage cars, my rule of thumb is get them low enough mileage that you can get some good careful driving time with them. I always see something else I want, works for me!! And I lightly over detail them, tastefull careful thought out upgrades, so they sell quickly. I Love this Hobby….

  • John Neuenburg says:

    I have a couple of World War 2 jeeps. Ford’s GPW engines had stamped SNs and when that went onto a frame, the frame was hand-stamped with that number as was the data plate on the glove box. “Numbers matching” GPWs are prized by many collectors. The typical jeeps out there have mismatched parts. The military rebuilt jeeps and didn’t care what Ford or Willys engine and parts went back in what vehicle. They all interchanged. Same goes for most civilians post-war who needed a new engine. Many wartime jeeps carry CJ-2A civilian engines. By the 1970s when ex-military vehicles started becoming more “collectible,” the numbers started mattering. For the Willys MB jeeps, Willys didn’t match engine and frame tag SNs. Only frame and data plate should match. So there is less angst among the Willys collectors.

    As for little used vehicles, even if old gas is drained before starting an engine, the alcohol in today’s gasoline can be the devil for old parts. Fuel pump diaphragms for example. A vehicle that has been driven regularly will probably have received upgraded parts over time in keeping with the fuel changes.

  • paul s murray says:

    I don’t know how many people that I’ve known who a car sitting in their garage for a couple years or so that would decide to bring them back to life. ” You’re gonna have problems” I always say. Then, “We put a new battery in it, just did this and that and it fired right up!” -” Uh- huh ” It usually takes about two weeks. , Fuel pump, then water pump, master cylinder, calipers,and then and then and then. Engines and motors like to be run. I even turn on the house thermostat during the summer a few times a year to let the circulating pump run. Had the problem once, haven’t had it again. Besides we used to swap out engines like candy. The 302 in your 68 Mustang is getting tired. I’ve got a nice running 351-W ready to go. Like using using vintage appropriate speed parts sometimes. I wouldn’t say no just because. The thing I don’t understand is people who buy some high dollar car and then think they can just up the boost as though that won’t affect longevity. “So you want to void the warranty ” as they say. Those are the cars I’d watch out for. The swap it back to original before sale, let the buyer beware. To cut the difference, if I was looking for a I might sell it up the road ride, I’d probably look for something somewhat worn. Pull the original engine/trans and shelve it. Buy the appropriate socket for the crank pulley and leave it there . Crank it over by hand every once and a while. For Sale… new updated…comes with original…needs rebuild but running when stored.

  • paul s murray says:

    (and ps) Tim Kuel is correct about casting numbers in a way. If you’re going crazy looking for a matching date code it doesn’t work that way. A 68 ( C for sixty, 8 year, in Ford speak ) might have a C 7 number or earlier. It was the date the raw casting was made which were then warehoused until machined/installed. I’ve seen D 4 on 76 intake manifolds that I know for a fact are original. So the I must use a matching part number is not only incorrect, it’s just being overly anal.

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