In the 1980’s while working in the retail sector I assisted a customer needing help in loading her Leica. Loading difficulties were a constant problem. After instructions I noticed something very peculiar about the camera. The Leica IIIc is not numbered below 360000. Leica 352922 is from a grouping 352901-353600 assigned to 700 chrome Model E’s dated 1940. The camera looked factory fresh and I asked to look inside to check for a matching serial number. Inspection revealed the internal number was the same as on the top cover. The number was hand scratched .
Normally IIIc internal numbers are engraved. The question remains. How did 352922 end up on this IIIc? Was a mistake made? Is it possible that an original E was returned to Wetzlar at customer request and upgraded to the latest model? Normally Leitz Wetzlar did not upgrade short base Leicas to long base. Clearly this is a Leica mystery needing further investigation. Your comments are welcomed.