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Old 10-14-2017, 09:05 AM   #1
FritzJr
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Default 1932 Serial Number Font Enigma

I have read that the font for serial number stamping was changed in late 1931. The new font had different character shapes for 1, 6, and 9 to make it more difficult to change or replicate. Supposedly some early 1932's had the old font but all units built later in the year used the new font.
I have had the chance to view a '32 which is currently undergoing restoration. (It is not mine) The car appears to be an unmolested original which had not been previously restored. It has all the characteristics of a late in the year build. The serial number would indicate a unit produced late in the model year.
The serial numbers on the transmission and the frame are the same. However, the transmission has the numbers stamped in the new font while the frame is stamped with the old font. The front and the center frame serial numbers have been found. The rear serial number is not visible due to some rust in that region. Both the front and rear frame serial numbers have the old font. Both stamping have the stars. The front serial number has the 18 prefix and the special dash. The center number does not have the prefix, as was the common practice. The frame numbers appear to be original and not restamps.
The question is whether is it reasonable that the font of the stampings would be different between the transmission and the frame.
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Old 10-14-2017, 09:38 AM   #2
JSeery
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Default Re: 1932 Serial Number Font Enigma

The numbers are added at different times and at different locations. The transmission number is added when the engine/transmission are assembled. Later in time when the engine/transmission are installed in the chassis the number is added to the fame. So, different stamps would be used for the two different stamping processes. I have no idea if the earlier stamp style would be held over on the assembly line.
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Old 10-14-2017, 10:25 AM   #3
deuce_roadster
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Default Re: 1932 Serial Number Font Enigma

I wonder if DavidG has run across this on another car? If one assembly plant had 2 different sets of stamps, it probably happened many times.
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Old 10-14-2017, 10:37 AM   #4
DavidG
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Default Re: 1932 Serial Number Font Enigma

One of the risks in having access to historical operational instructions and running change information is to assume that implementation took place across multiple assembly plants located around the world at more or less the same time and in a uniform manner. We know from endless examples of deviations in the placement, completeness, and quantity of stamped engine engine numbers on frames from the Dearborn-issued instructions early in the '32 model year that just about anything goes (or went, more appropriately).

In this case, unusual surely, but unreasonable, not at all.
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Old 10-15-2017, 12:15 PM   #5
FritzJr
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Default Re: 1932 Serial Number Font Enigma

Thank you for the information. The owner was concerned that the differences indicated a restamp at some point in time. This seemed unlikely since the number in the center of the frame requires removal of the body.
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Old 10-15-2017, 01:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1932 Serial Number Font Enigma

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Exactly!
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