Period Correct vs. numbers matching

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KELLY SCHERR
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Period Correct vs. numbers matching

#1 Post by KELLY SCHERR » Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:29 pm

Hello everyone.

I'm new to the site and trying to learn as much as I can about the history of the 356. I just bought my 1st 356 and had a question about engines. My car's original engine number was: # 812310 which makes it an "SC". It currently has engine: 742054 in it.

I found a "Period correct" engine #: 812449 and wondered how important it is for me to try and get the correct engine for the car. I have the means to buy the engine, I just want to make sure it's a wise investment.

Thanks very much for any thoughts & suggestions that might come in.

Kind Regards,

Kelly

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Re: Period Correct vs. numbers matching

#2 Post by Dick Roth » Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:38 pm

The closer the better. Of course there's the cost/benefit equation to be considered. How much will the near replacement cost vs. long term (??) appreciation in value of a standard car like an SC. Since it is period correct, but not the original engine (which would be a whole different calculus), it would certainly help, but just how much I would be hard-pressed to say.
Spoken as a long time 356 owner who sadly swapped out many engines when NO ONE CARED!

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Re: Period Correct vs. numbers matching

#3 Post by C J Murray » Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:54 pm

If the engine in your car runs well just drive it and don't worry about the engine number. Once you have gone to some club events and experienced your car for some time you will be able to answer the question on your own. If you are showing the car seriously the number matters but otherwise, not too much. If you could buy the exact original engine for your exact car then it would make sense to do so but a close number, to me, is like close in hand grenades and horseshoes.
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Re: Period Correct vs. numbers matching

#4 Post by KELLY SCHERR » Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:52 pm

Thanks very much for the insight guys. I truly do appreciate it. The engine is for sale for $9500.00. I assume the prices for these engines have skyrocketed in recent years, and guys are looking to make a big buck on engines they have been sitting on for awhile. Something to ponder.

Happy holidays to you & your family.

Kind Regards,

Kelly

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Re: Period Correct vs. numbers matching

#5 Post by Edwin Ek » Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:53 pm

Kelly,

I think it is wise to use the correct type of engine. It is important in terms of valuation. I myself am working on returning my '62 Super to the road after two decades of storage. I don't have the original case, but did find a correct 616/12 case to build a stock motor.

If you were outlawing the car, it would be less important or completely unimportant. In fact you would probably want to use a 912 case because they are the most desirable.
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Re: Period Correct vs. numbers matching

#6 Post by Doug McDonnell » Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:52 pm

Don't waste your money unless numbers matching. People do pay a premium for numbers matching. They don't pay a premium for "close".
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Re: Period Correct vs. numbers matching

#7 Post by Doug McDonnell » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:42 pm

And while some may pay more for a non matching SC than the C engine you now have it may not be 10K more. Before I would switch to an SC I would want to know exact details of the rebuild. Were the Solex carbs rebuilt by a pro who did it right? Does it still have a counterweighted crank? Etc Etc Etc. If your intent is to street drive your car then the C engine may well be the better engine for the RPM range you will be driving the car in. PS I have 2 65 C's one with numbers matching engine, one with a built 912 engine. Both my engines have 1720 big bore kits.
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Re: Period Correct vs. numbers matching

#8 Post by Martin Benade » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:42 pm

Even more important than the details of the rebuild would be to know who did it. There could be lots of true good details in a terrible rebuild. I would be hesitant to buy a rebuild unless I knew quite a bit about it and the builder. I also agree that for many reasons what you already have sounds fairly reasonable to keep. The main value in having a period correct engine is if it makes you feel good, its not a huge improvement in value.
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Re: Period Correct vs. numbers matching

#9 Post by Emil Wojcik » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:45 am

Doug McDonnell wrote:... If your intent is to street drive your car then the C engine may well be the better engine for the RPM range you will be driving the car in. ...
The engine he currently has in the car is 742054. I believe that's a 1965-'66 912 engine, not a C.

I wouldn't change the engine. One that's period correct, but not the one it left the factory with, won't add any value.
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Re: Period Correct vs. numbers matching

#10 Post by Edwin Ek » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:52 am

Emil Wojcik wrote:
Doug McDonnell wrote:... If your intent is to street drive your car then the C engine may well be the better engine for the RPM range you will be driving the car in. ...
The engine he currently has in the car is 742054. I believe that's a 1965-'66 912 engine, not a C.

I wouldn't change the engine. One that's period correct, but not the one it left the factory with, won't add any value.
I disagree. If you have a S90 but put in an engine built on a normal case, that reduces the value. Otherwise, why is a S90 more valuable?
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Re: Period Correct vs. numbers matching

#11 Post by Martin Benade » Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:42 am

On the average there is really only one original engine that will enhance the value, no substitute comes close.
Last edited by Martin Benade on Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Period Correct vs. numbers matching

#12 Post by Mark Roth » Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:00 pm

I agree with Edwin. A S90 with a normal engine is not an S90. Matching numbers are a different category. I had a notchback with a rebuilt S90 (matching numbers) and my cab has a rebuilt C engine (period correct - came with the car). Definitely a difference in performance above 4500 rpms. If you're driving on the street and shift at 4000 you won't know the difference. But if you want to punch it, the S90 makes a difference. A known engine is always better than an unknown engine.
If his engine is equivalent to an SC, it's basically the same performance as a S90 and wouldn't make any difference.
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Re: Period Correct vs. numbers matching

#13 Post by Doug McDonnell » Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:11 pm

But in Kelly's case car currently has a 912 engine. Built in 65. Residing in an SC badged car. Unknown whether 64 or 65 SC. Functionally the 912 and SC engines are very similar. Visually, assuming fan shroud is painted Silver, there will be slight differences in fan shroud only. Many a Matching car owner has their original engine stored and has a 912 engine installed for driving. I still am of the opinion that spending money to get a non matching SC engine is not worth it in this case.
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Re: Period Correct vs. numbers matching

#14 Post by Jeffrey Leeds » Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:36 pm

Kelly, the question to be answered before the question you asked, is: "What is your objective with/for this car?"

Daily driver? Show or Concours? Road trips? Cars and Coffee meets? or ???

Without knowing your purpose or objective as to why you bought the car in the first place the answers you are getting are speculative at best.

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Re: Period Correct vs. numbers matching

#15 Post by Emil Wojcik » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:15 pm

Doug McDonnell wrote:But in Kelly's case car currently has a 912 engine. Built in 65. Residing in an SC badged car. Unknown whether 64 or 65 SC. Functionally the 912 and SC engines are very similar. Visually, assuming fan shroud is painted Silver, there will be slight differences in fan shroud only. Many a Matching car owner has their original engine stored and has a 912 engine installed for driving. I still am of the opinion that spending money to get a non matching SC engine is not worth it in this case.
My point exactly. His car does not have a standard C engine, it has a 912 engine.
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