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1959 Pontiac 420 E or C code


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Can anyone tell me where to find this code C or E.? One is for 345 hp and I am trying to find out what my Pontiac is.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I can only tell you that for the 330 hp and 345 hp 389" engines the correct terminology is 420A. The very lowest horsepower 389" engine at 215 hp is coded 420E.

I can also tell you that most people selling a Tri-Power car mistakenly call their engine a 420-A 345hp engine, when in fact they have a 315 hp Tri-Power engine. The 330 hp four barrel and the 345 hp Tri-Power engines were made primarily for NASCAR (4bbl) and Tri-Power for IHRA and NHRA.

I can also tell you that the 420A engines came with a # 886 cam ( the 315 hp engine came with the 472 cam) and that most cars were shipped out with a solid lifter cam and lifters in the trunk of the car. When and only after this cam was installed only then could you claim to have 345 hp. Also, the 420A engines were hand assembled in the Pontiac tool room and most went to racers. My dad's 59 Catalina "A" stock automatic drag car was ordered from a dealer in Hollywood Ca. Normally a car from that location would have been built in South Gate Ca. but because it was a 420"A the car was built in Mi. and shipped cross country.

Look for the engine ser# at the rt front of the block, just below the cylinder head a 345 hp engine will have the ser# and a AN for a manual trans and a AM for a automatic. On a 315 hp engine it will have the ser# then G for Manual trans or C for automatic.

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