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VIN number oddity

Cuda U Code

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After purchasing and closely examining a 1970 Cuda U Code car, everything looks correct, all body numbers match; it has been completely restored to original specifications, the date stamp on transmission and motor coincide with build date of car (car was built in March 1970, Transmission Dec 1969 and Motor Nov 1969) the motor is the correct 440 RB HP 375HP motor. The VIN Numbers stamped on transmission and engine matches my VIN except the last character is the letter C rather than the number 0. Has anyone ever heard of or seen this before? The car wasn’t sold or advertised as a numbers matching car.
 

MoparCarGuy

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Are you sure the "C" is not a partially-stamped "0"?
Below are examples of this.
Questionable Numeral.jpg


Partially stamped Zero.jpg
 

Cuda U Code

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MoparCarGuy,
thank you for the reply and the pictures. I have attached a picture of the VIN stamp on the transmission. Interested in getting everybody’s opinion on this one. could this be a dealer replacement or the builders attempt to indicate correct motor and trans without faking the original VIN stamp? My vin is 279210

44734A9C-28D3-4B6E-B3D9-E5C889293D73.jpeg


7D594559-620C-4550-B5C6-2747E5ACFAAB.jpeg
 

Cuda Hunter

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Good question.
That last stamp does indeed look like it is a C instead of a mis-stamped zero.
Is there a smaller stamp behind the 9?
If there are no other numbers hidden under the stamping I think this is a factory "mistake".
 

MoparCarGuy

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I have to agree with Cuda Hunter. Does it look like the transmission has been painted with cast-iron gray paint?
If so, I would suggest taking some paint remover and carefully remove the paint from the VIN pad. You may want to tape off the surrounding area to keep it looking good after removing the paint.
Doing this will reveal any lighter impressions that may exist but are obscured by the paint. This will also remove any doubts about there being an earlier stamping. 🤞
 

Cuda U Code

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Good question.
That last stamp does indeed look like it is a C instead of a mis-stamped zero.
Is there a smaller stamp behind the 9?
If there are no other numbers hidden under the stamping I think this is a factory "mistake".
Thanks Cuda Hunter. I don’t see any numbers after the 9
 

Cuda U Code

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I have to agree with Cuda Hunter. Does it look like the transmission has been painted with cast-iron gray paint?
If so, I would suggest taking some paint remover and carefully remove the paint from the VIN pad. You may want to tape off the surrounding area to keep it looking good after removing the paint.
Doing this will reveal any lighter impressions that may exist but are obscured by the paint. This will also remove any doubts about there being an earlier stamping. 🤞
Thanks MoparCarGuy. The transmission and engine have been painted and the mill markings still show through when viewed closely. I will take your advice and strip back the paint and see if it reveals any additional markings.
 

Challenger RTA

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The shift that ended on Friday miss placed the 0 or O and C. Monday came along and the magic happens. Wonder when it was caught? The C shape is close to O.If lost reverse the C stamp and stamp again.
 

MoparCarGuy

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The transmission stamp appears to be the correct font.
The engine stamp has several issues that cast doubt on its being original. The engine stamp has two different fonts for the numeral "2". The first "2" is not the correct font; The second "2" is the correct font. The "7" is not the correct font.
1682458356592.png
BS23U0B279210 Transmission & Engine VIN stamp comparison to Original Fonts.jpg
 
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Cuda U Code

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The transmission stamp appears to be the correct font.
The engine stamp has several issues that cast doubt on its being original. The engine stamp has two different fonts for the numeral "2". The first "2" is not the correct font; The second "2" is the correct font. The "7" is not the correct font.
View attachment 105560
View attachment 105561
MoparCarGuy, thanks for providing the font examples, I have been researching for 3 days and never found this. The other oddity is how high it is positioned on the pad, to the point of overlapping the riser lip. Could this have possibly been a repair stamp at the factory using different punches for the 2 and 7? I am perplexed as to why someone would go to the length of reproducing the milling marks and re-stamping so poorly, especially since they would have used two different 2 stamps.
 

MoparCarGuy

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No matter what the truth is, you will always have a questionable engine stamp due to the discrepancies. This is atypical so it is automatically suspect.
 

Cuda U Code

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No matter what the truth is, you will always have a questionable engine stamp due to the discrepancies. This is atypical so it is automatically suspect.
Thanks again for your valuable insight, I am learning more every day.
 

MoparCarGuy

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This mystery kept nagging me so I decided to look through a lot of my saved engine VIN stamp pictures. My goal was to see if I could find any with a similar set of indentations, like yours, along the angled portion at the top of the VIN pad. I found a T/A Challenger 340 engine VIN pad showing these indentations although they are rather faint in comparison to yours.

It is my belief that the factory's Gang Stamp Holder may be responsible for these indentations when they "strike" the die with a dead-blow hammer. I have included pictures of gang stamp holders used for non-Mopar engines at the Brand-X Tonawanda engine plant. I believe that Chrysler engine assembly plants used a similar device to stamp our engine blocks. The T/A stamp below looks like the stamp holder skimmed the angled portion leaving the faint marks.

If the holder is not held in the right place and perpendicular to the surface, it would result in these indentations. This would have been the first strike on your VIN pad and would require a second strike to get the VIN properly stamped. I believe this would also create a "divot" in the lower part of the pad as the corner of one or more individual dies unintentionally struck it. This may explain some of the additional marks seen at the base of your numerals.
Your VIN stamping is the most pronounced I have seen but you can see the same VIN in the indentations above along the angled surface.
Not saying it explains the odd "2" or "7" but you definitely have a mystery here.
EDIT: Barry Washington of the Hamtramck Historical site and of T/A fame said in another forum thread that the stamp holders had roller dies versus individual stamps.
That would speed up the process but the indentations would still be possible as the edge of each die in the roller would create the squared portions and/or divots.

JH23J0B292796 Engine Block Stamp with factory die holder indentations.jpg


Gang Stamp Holder for Die Stamps_NOT MOPAR.jpg
Gang Stamp Holder Example for Die Stamps_NOT MOPAR.jpg


And a modern version still available.
Metal Stamp Holder for Stamping Dies.jpg
 
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Cuda U Code

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This mystery kept nagging me so I decided to look through a lot of my saved engine VIN stamp pictures. My goal was to see if I could find any with a similar set of indentations, like yours, along the angled portion at the top of the VIN pad. I found a T/A Challenger 340 engine VIN pad showing these indentations although they are rather faint in comparison to yours.

It is my belief that the factory's Gang Stamp Holder may be responsible for these indentations when they "strike" the die with a dead-blow hammer. I have included pictures of gang stamp holders used for non-Mopar engines at the Brand-X Tonawanda engine plant. I believe that Chrysler engine assembly plants used a similar device to stamp our engine blocks. The T/A stamp below looks like the stamp holder skimmed the angled portion leaving the faint marks.

If the holder is not held in the right place and perpendicular to the surface, it would result in these indentations. This would have been the first strike on your VIN pad and would require a second strike to get the VIN properly stamped. I believe this would also create a "divot" in the lower part of the pad as the corner of one or more individual dies unintentionally struck it. This may explain some of the additional marks seen at the base of your numerals.
Your VIN stamping is the most pronounced I have seen but you can see the same VIN in the indentations above along the angled surface.
Not saying it explains the odd "2" or "7" but you definitely have a mystery here.
EDIT: Barry Washington of the Hamtramck Historical site and of T/A fame said in another forum thread that the stamp holders had roller dies versus individual stamps.
That would speed up the process but the indentations would still be possible as the edge of each die in the roller would create the squared portions and/or divots.

View attachment 105564

View attachment 105565 View attachment 105566

And a modern version still available.
View attachment 105567
MoparCarGuy, thank you for researching this, the wealth of knowledge is the reason I joined this forum and I appreciate your help
 
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