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Firewall VIN Tag Stamping Questions...
#1
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1929PackardGuy
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I'd been suspicious of my '29's firewall tag not being original since I bought it because it just looked too good, but, pics from 1999 before it was restored show the same tag - obviously, during the weird brush-painted "restoration" it got in the 1960s, somebody added a later 1930s repro or unstamped tag, stamped it themselves, and put that on there. So, the OCD part of me can't live with that and I must now have a repro correct firewall tag made.

The issue - the guy I contacted was insistent that Packard only used the letter "I" in place of the number "1" on the top line with the car's serial number on it. I have seen A LOT of unrestored Packards going back to the teens and twenties and thirties that have the numeral "1" stamped in them and I have seen the "I" as well, but usually on 1933 and later cars. Also, have usually seen silver tags on the cars, he insists it should be brass - I have seen brass, but more often than not, silver.

So, any input on this would be appreciated. I've always thought these were punched by the recieving dealership, so how could there be "absolutes" with these things? Thanks much!

Posted on: 9/30 12:24
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Re: Firewall VIN Tag Stamping Questions...
#2
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Owen_Dyneto
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Over the years of Packard production there were at least 23 different types and styles. At least 4 metals were used, plus the decal for the 1938 Detroit-made cars. Both tinned steel and aluminum were used immediately postwar, aluminum thereafter and finally, stainless steel. Nickel-plated etched brass used earlier, plain etched brass earlier than that, and the very earliest were actual brass castings. There are examples of each type used by Packard on display at the Proving Grounds.

The vehicle number was stamped at the factory, the balance of the information (selling date, dealership, city, etc.) was to be stamped by the selling dealer.

Among those who delve into the subject, the plate used in 1929 is often referred to as Style N (etched relief brass) and it was in use from the 2nd series Eight/3rd series Six thru the very early 10th Series. It appears that the transition from the use of the "1" to the "I" occured during that span, I'll try to pin that down for you later.

I'll inquire to the caretaker of the display at the Proving Grounds whether the Style N was left as natural brass, or bright metal plated.

Posted on: 9/30 13:34
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Re: Firewall VIN Tag Stamping Questions...
#3
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1929PackardGuy
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Much appreciated! And if you know of a source where an accurate reproduction can be had, do let me know. Not sure I'm keen on the shiny brass one I'm being told is "correct" as I'm not seeing any shiny brass ones on other 1929 cars, and not seeing any "I" shapes either.

Thanks much!

Posted on: 9/30 14:08
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Re: Firewall VIN Tag Stamping Questions...
#4
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West Peterson
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I would keep the original... at the very least, keep it in the glove box. Too many originals were tossed during restoration. On rare custom cars, it makes a huge difference in the car's value, as it's the only thing that truly identifies what chassis the body was originally set upon.

Posted on: 9/30 14:41
West Peterson
1930 Packard Speedster Eight Runabout (boattail)
1940 Packard 1808 w/Factory Air
1910 Ford Model T open-front delivery
1940 Lincoln Zephyr sedan
1947 Chrysler Town and Country sedan

http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=4307&forum=10

http://aaca.org/
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Re: Firewall VIN Tag Stamping Questions...
#5
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1929PackardGuy
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I don't have the "original" - therein lies my problem. My car is wearing apparently a very old reproduction or a later 1930's unstamped original that somebody stamped probably in the 1960s. The car was brush painted tan sometime in the early 1960s and put back on the road for a short time, I assume it was done then. She was parked for quite a long time before the restoration of 1999/2000.

On the plus side, the ID plate on the firewall does match the engine number, so, I suppose that's why they stamped that at least the way they did.

Posted on: 9/30 15:58
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Re: Firewall VIN Tag Stamping Questions...
#6
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Packard Don
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As a licensed VIN verifier for the California DMV, I didn’t know that any Packards before 1955 used the engine number on the VIN plate. If anyone can advise on when it was done, I would appreciate it. Otherwise I wonder if the owner who added the reproduction plate did it to match the title which may have had the engine number.

Also, Dave (Owen_Dyneto), I have a plate from 1941 that appears to be copper with the lettering on it in what appears to be raised lead or tin. Of course, this was a Henney-Packard and wasn’t the actual VIN plate but rather another plate with various component serial numbers on it. I don’t have it in front of me so not sure.

Posted on: 9/30 16:13
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Re: Firewall VIN Tag Stamping Questions...
#7
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Owen_Dyneto
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1. Based on photos I have on file, the 1929 patent plates still used the numeric digit "1" rather than "I".

2. The attached blueprint provides details of typical construction of the era; the plate material used was brass, background etched in relief, then nickel plated and then the background paint filled (black). I believe the plates used in the 6th Series had the same construction.

Attach file:



jpg  Patent Plate 133933 sm.jpg (486.83 KB)
177_633777ef6081e.jpg 1500X1028 px

Posted on: 9/30 18:13
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Re: Firewall VIN Tag Stamping Questions...
#8
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1929PackardGuy
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Quote:

Owen_Dyneto wrote:
1. Based on photos I have on file, the 1929 patent plates still used the numeric digit "1" rather than "I".

2. The attached blueprint provides details of typical construction of the era; the plate material used was brass, background etched in relief, then nickel plated and then the background paint filled (black). I believe the plates used in the 6th Series had the same construction.


That's exactly what I was seeing. That blueprint shows the plate they started using in 1933 and that's when I start seeing the "I" instead of a "1". I was getting argued down about that and that the plate on a '29 should be brass. Technically they are, but they're nickel plated so a correct repro would be silver, not shiny brass. Showed him photos of this plate on a '29 640 I couldn't get bought, know this car to be original other than a bad yellow 1960s repaint, and he told me this tag was fake. This tag is definitely NOT a fake. Thanks much! Who reproduces these things??

Attach file:



jpg  20210504_145616.jpg (6,291.36 KB)
224949_63378ce79b9fe.jpg 4032X3024 px

Posted on: 9/30 19:42
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Re: Firewall VIN Tag Stamping Questions...
#9
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Ozstatman
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Quote:
1929PackardGuy wrote:....Who reproduces these things??

You could try Pulfer and Williams.

Posted on: 9/30 20:00
Mal
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"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

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1941 One-Twenty Club Coupe - SOLD

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Re: Firewall VIN Tag Stamping Questions...
#10
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Owen_Dyneto
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Pulfer and Williams may have been one of Packard's original suppliers, today they are part of LaVine Restorations.

The nickel plate on these tags was very thin, it's entirely possible that in some cases all traces of it could be gone after a couple of decades. When I bought my '34 back in 1963 only faint traces of the nickel remained, primarily in the corners.

Posted on: 9/30 20:02
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