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In the spring there was a judicial decision by the district court of Hamburg that is of interest to the classic car scene. The theme was the phrase "Matching Numbers“, Which appears every now and then in connection with classic cars. Specifically, it was about a precious jaguar. The apparently "fake" big cat from Converty was the subject of the proceedings. Specifically, a small series model as XK150S Roadster.
What was it about?
A classic car friend bought the car in the Netherlands in 2015. It was given to him as a 150 Jaguar XK 1960 S Roadster offered with 3,8-liter engine and Left hand drive. It is probably the rarest model in the XK series and there are probably a maximum of 14 copies worldwide. According to the seller, the purchase was “a great investment”. In addition, everything is original. Even the engine number - "VAS 1193-9“Be real. It is therefore a so-called Matching number. So the English bought for slack 305.000,00€ the vehicle.
Two years later, the owner wanted to turn the Jaguar back into money. It was around this time that he learned of a rumor that he had bought a fake. So he hired three experts. They pointed out certain irregularities related to the authenticity of the XK. For example was the engine no matching number. The engine block bearing the engine number was changed to one from 1964 and was therefore no longer the one with which the vehicle was first delivered.
The case came to court. The district court of Hamburg obtained a separate expert opinion regarding the understanding of what can be understood as “matching numbers” in the classic scene. The court came to the conclusion that it did not matter how the numbers of the engine, transmission and chassis were identical.
Mention of the matching numbers components - what to look for when buying?
"Matching Numbers" are not only Vehicle-relevant numbers, the digits of which must match. Rather, the vehicle must have components with which it first delivered became. And then of course the replaced engine block fell out. The vehicle was therefore not a matching number. In the end, this judgment takes care of dealing with the term Matching Numbers for significantly more legal security. The confusion with the previously used definition "Number equality“Is over. Because if you only assume that numbers are the same, it would ultimately make no difference how the numbers were matched in the first place. So the creation would have been possible later!
To note: The Hamburg Regional Court only ruled on a matching number engine. The judgment therefore does not answer the question of which other components of a classic must be included in the term matching numbers if they are used without further specification. Normally it unfortunately only refers to the engine and the gearbox. So it is certainly not wrong that when the term “matching numbers” appears in the sales contract, one insists that it be specifically mentioned what it refers to.
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