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Cody Museum Letter Oddity
August 14, 2021
2:07 am
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Fort Worth, TX
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I’ve been picking up knowledge here and there thanks to my peers, but something caught my eye on a letter I just got from Cody. The rifle is a 1894 deluxe 38-55 and I’ve been super excited about it. I’m not worried about anything being fishy… I’ve just never seen this on a letter and can’t seem to find any info regarding it via the web or the Madis book.

My question is in regard to the order number, which is 34400-D. My old man and many relatives have been collecting Winchesters for years but have never seen anything like it. Can anyone tell me what the ‘-D’ may be referring to? Always thirsting for knowledge! 

I would attach the letter for reference but can’t seem to figure out how. I’ll try to add it shortly on an actual computer and not my phone. 

Thank you,

Robert Dean

robertdeantx@gmail.com

Robert Dean
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August 14, 2021
2:33 am
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Kingston, WA
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Robert,

I have seen at least a few hundred similar order numbers in the warehouse ledger records, many with an “a”, “b”, “c”, or “d”.  My theory is that the specific order number contained multiple Winchester models & quantities, e.g. 1892, 1894, 1895 and each one of them had its own letter suffix. 

Bert

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August 14, 2021
2:38 am
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Thank you Mr. Hartman! I reckon that makes as much sense as anything. 

Regards, 

Robert D.

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August 14, 2021
2:43 am
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robertdeantx@gmail.com said
Apparently I don’t have permission to add a photo. Not sure it would be of much use anyways, but granting permission would be appreciated. Thanks  

You have to be a paid WACA member to directly upload pictures.  As a “Guest” your option is to post your pictures on a photo hosting website, then provide the URL to them in a post here on, or have a WACA member post them for you.

Bert – Admin

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August 14, 2021
9:09 pm
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It says he is a Member?

August 14, 2021
9:17 pm
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Chuck said
It says he is a Member?  

Chuck… you are a bit late.  I updated his status earlier this morning to “WACA Member”. Prior to this morning it showed Robert as a “Guest”.

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August 14, 2021
9:24 pm
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Bert H. said

Chuck… you are a bit late.  I updated his status earlier this morning to “WACA Member”. Prior to this morning it showed Robert as a “Guest”.  

Well you know me.  I only have one speed and it isn’t fast.

August 14, 2021
10:42 pm
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Chuck said

Well you know me.  I only have one speed and it isn’t fast.  

Even when driving that Galaxie? 

A man can never have too many WINCHESTERS...

August 15, 2021
4:17 pm
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It’s a Fairlane and at 80 that old suspension is a bit scary.  Add to it the drum brakes it can be a bit wild.

August 15, 2021
8:31 pm
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Chuck

   Just to make you feel better I have been told that I am half-fast. Don

August 29, 2021
2:12 am
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Chuck said
It’s a Fairlane and at 80 that old suspension is a bit scary.  Add to it the drum brakes it can be a bit wild.  

Driving a Fairlane at 80 can make one a bit fanatical about keeping the brakes adjusted. Front suspension does have a bit of flex and the steering linkage can get sloppy. Always liked the lines of that car, must have been the resemblance to my Comet Cyclone. 

 

Mike

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August 29, 2021
4:15 pm
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TXGunNut said

Driving a Fairlane at 80 can make one a bit fanatical about keeping the brakes adjusted. Front suspension does have a bit of flex and the steering linkage can get sloppy. Always liked the lines of that car, must have been the resemblance to my Comet Cyclone. 

 

Mike  

I have new springs and shocks front and rear.  The front has a sway bar but this car feels like it’s going to roll over if I try to turn too fast.  This car was designed to drive at about 40 Mph or in a straight line.  It’s a factory hot rod K code.

August 31, 2021
3:01 am
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K code? Haven’t heard that in awhile. Did that include the performance manual steering box? I can’t recall if my Comet Caliente had that code but I bought it from the original owner, a L/M mechanic. He told me it was built with a three two barrel intake  & carbs but he took it off because he bought it for his kid. He never would tell me if he had the intake stashed somewhere but he died before I could talk him out of it. He told me the performance steering box option cost more than power steering. Quite honestly it wasn’t much of a hot rod by today’s standards. It had just enough horsepower to bring the back end around to help with the soft front end. I made a decent living for a few decades as a Ford parts guy but I generally tried to avoid the enthusiast trade. Too much trouble for too little money. I could generally alienate them when I told them there was no such thing as a 64 1/2 Mustang and some other disturbing facts about America’s first Pony car. 

 

Mike

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Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
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Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
September 1, 2021
5:10 pm
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In Ford lingo the K code meant the high performance solid lifter 289.  The Comets could come with this engine but they did not use the K as the engine designator in the Vin.  On Fords you would get this engine with a single 4 barrel.  If you ordered the 2 fours, 3 twos, or the Webers they came in the trunk.

This is the engine that Carrol Shelby used in the Cobras and later the GT 350 Mustangs.

With this engine it came with manual steering, a four speed and a 9″ rear with 3:89 gears.  You could not get power steering, an automatic or air conditioning.

Not hot by today’s standards but it did have 50 more hp than the standard 4 barrel 289.  In race trim it would put out about 380 hp.

Here is a picture of what it looked like with the 3 twos when the previous owner added them.

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September 2, 2021
3:36 am
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Thanks, Chuck. Mine was not a “K”, it had the C4 trans and hydraulic lifters. Can’t recall the details on the differential but pretty sure it wasn’t a 9”. And no, it didn’t have A/C. Not a big deal back then. 

Nice looking engine bay, I’d feel right at home there. I’m feeling rather old now, I think I better toddle off to bed. Thanks for the memories.

 

Mike

Life Member TSRA, Endowment Member NRA
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Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
September 3, 2021
11:51 am
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I enjoy the twists and turns these threads can take!  We start out talking about Winchester with a serial number with a “D” and end up talking about a 289 Ford engine with a “K”.  This did take me back to my first car – a ’66 Mustang with a 289 engine.  I don’t know for sure, but I am confident is didn’t have the K code.  It was a standard 3 speed with a two barrel carb.  It had more than enough pep for a teenager.

September 3, 2021
4:50 pm
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Steve, I don’t know a lot about Mustangs but my guess is that the K code motor would have had a 4 speed.  Others things that came with the K code were factory cast iron headers, a dual point distributor, a different water pump impeller, larger diameter pulley for, in your case, the alternator, modified heads, a much larger harmonic balancer and the larger venturis in the carburetor.  The rod bolts were a larger diameter and the main bearings were wider and there was an internal balancer on the crank.  The 4 speed was a close ratio. The larger pulley and the water pump impeller were changed due to the higher revs this engine could make.  Didn’t want to over spin the generator or cavitate the water pump.  Peak horsepower at 6,000 RPM’s.

September 3, 2021
6:00 pm
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Chuck said
Steve, I don’t know a lot about Mustangs but my guess is that the K code motor would have had a 4 speed.  Others things that came with the K code were factory cast iron headers, a dual point distributor, a different water pump impeller, larger diameter pulley for, in your case, the alternator, modified heads, a much larger harmonic balancer and the larger venturis in the carburetor.  The rod bolts were a larger diameter and the main bearings were wider and there was an internal balancer on the crank.  The 4 speed was a close ratio. The larger pulley and the water pump impeller were changed due to the higher revs this engine could make.  Didn’t want to over spin the generator or cavitate the water pump.  Peak horsepower at 6,000 RPM’s.  

Chuck – that sounds like one heck of a motor.  Now I want one!  Interesting how cars and guns were items that could be ordered either 1) plain or, 2) very fancy with some very special features.

I used to be intrigued with the, “1/2” year Ford models.  Seems I was incorrect in my belief that there were 1964 1/2 Mustangs.  I recall in high school a couple friends had, IIRC, 1963 1/2 Galaxies.  In recent years, at a car show, I did see a 1968 1/2 Cobra Mustang GT Fastback that caught my attention enough that I took photos and saved them.  That 428 Cobra Jet engine generated 335 H.P.  Funny how that isn’t much by today’s standards.  Conversely, a guy could order a Winchester M54 in .220 Swift in 1935 and shoot varmints at over 4000 fps.  Today, in 2021, you really can’t do much better than that.

September 4, 2021
9:28 pm
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steve004 said

Chuck – that sounds like one heck of a motor.  Now I want one!  Interesting how cars and guns were items that could be ordered either 1) plain or, 2) very fancy with some very special features.

I used to be intrigued with the, “1/2” year Ford models.  Seems I was incorrect in my belief that there were 1964 1/2 Mustangs.  I recall in high school a couple friends had, IIRC, 1963 1/2 Galaxies.  In recent years, at a car show, I did see a 1968 1/2 Cobra Mustang GT Fastback that caught my attention enough that I took photos and saved them.  That 428 Cobra Jet engine generated 335 H.P.  Funny how that isn’t much by today’s standards.  Conversely, a guy could order a Winchester M54 in .220 Swift in 1935 and shoot varmints at over 4000 fps.  Today, in 2021, you really can’t do much better than that.  

Technically there is no such thing as a 1964 1/2 Mustang.  There are early 1965 production cars that are somewhat different than the regular production cars.  Same for the the 1963 1/2 Galaxie.  The later production Galaxies could be had with the formal roof or the new more aerodynamic sport roof that NASCAR wanted. The 428 was a cheaper engine for Ford to build than the 427, not better.  The horsepower games were on to fool the insurance companies.  It may have produced this amount at some RPM but it was not the MAX horsepower.  All manufactures were doing the same thing. The L88 chevy engine was rated at 425 Hp but actual output was around 560 Hp. This was more than what the LS 6 454 made.  The L 88 engines were underrated to fool the public too.  These were meant to get into the hands of the serious racers not the general public.  Most were fooled into buying the 435 HP engine.

Believe me if you haven’t driven a 1960’s to 1970 car with 500+ HP you’d be very surprised to say the least.  The suspension, tires and brakes in those days made these cars quite scary at times.

September 4, 2021
10:43 pm
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Chuck – thanks for the additional detail.  I’m very light on knowledge in this area.  I had no idea about the fooling the insurance company games regarding actual horsepower.  

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