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  • Matching Numbers

    When I bought my 53 Commander it had the original 232 engine removed and replaced with a re-built 259 cu.in. I took the old engine and it nows sits in my garage. The restorer of the car indicated the original 232 ran but smoked and had low compression and therefore installed the re-built larger version. In many instances on this forum comments are made that an old 232 is of little or no value. Some purists suggest I should rebuild the smaller engine and re-install to have matching numbers. Is this that important? I would appreciate opinions from some of you folks that have been involved in engine switches.
    Thanks


  • #2
    In the Studebaker community,matching #s mean nothing. Judges do judge the outward appearance of your engine though. {engine and accessory colors,4 hole valve covers,correct carb and air cleaner,correct water pump manifold,decals if applicable,etc.

    Oglesby,Il.
    "Studebaker? It must be hard to find parts for those!"
    Oglesby,Il.

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    • #3
      It's important if it's important to you.
      If your car is near all original, and you
      want it to be completely original, or at
      least as close as possible, then go for it.
      Is you trans correct, rear end? This could
      be a snowball effect if you are not careful.

      Tex E. Grier

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      • #4
        You make an interesting point.
        The trans and rear end are correct but it has been converted to 12V, dash has been painted to match the interiro instead of the mouse gray. so those things alone would tend to push it away from original. I think I may have a 232 available in the Chicago area.

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        • #5
          Mike,
          I wouldn't go so far as say a matching numbers car means "nothing," but true, it usually doesn't make it worth much more in the Studebaker community unless it's a Jet Thrust engine and came with the car. I doubt you get points for having the original engine in it at a meet, except to guys like me who still thinks it's pretty neat to have the matching numbers to the production order sitting in your car and working. It's kind of rare anymore. I don't have my original engine in my car now, but I have it stored like yours and will rebuild it some day and return it to it's original nest. If you want to go back to a 232, I would just repair the original, not search out another.

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          • #6
            I would keep it.

            If the 259 you're now using ever goes bad, just rebuild the 232 and
            stick back in it. If its more power you want, couldn't the 232 be
            turned into a 259 or even a 289? Who would know, just from looking
            at the outside?

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            • #7
              quote:Originally posted by mdelapp

              You make an interesting point.
              The trans and rear end are correct but it has been converted to 12V, dash has been painted to match the interiro instead of the mouse gray. so those things alone would tend to push it away from original. I think I may have a 232 available in the Chicago area.

              If your car was originally the Spring Special red/white, it would not have had Loma ("mouse") Gray interior trim.

              It is easy to change some things on a 259 to make it look like a 232, but not some other things. Since your car is modified and you are not striving for authenticity, I would stick with the 259.

              Gary L.
              Wappinger, NY

              SDC member since 1968
              Studebaker enthusiast much longer
              Gary L.
              Wappinger, NY

              SDC member since 1968
              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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