Jump to content

1932 Pontiac ID number help


pontiac32west
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am trying to figure out a little more about how to ID my new 1932 Pontiac project. 

Can anyone tell me if the numbers cast into the engine should necessarily correlate to the numbers on the frame or cowl tags?

 

Also, can any information be garnered from the Job No.?

 

I am 99% sure the car is all original, but the engine # does not appear on the cowl or frame - just on the pink slip.

Thanks!

body-tag.jpg

frame tag.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Casting numbers do not correlate to any other specific number.  Normally if you had a chart you could tell the approximate date the part bearing the casting number was cast.  Sometimes there is even a date cast into the part, like my  cylinder heads.

The Fisher body plate   32308 says your Pontiac is a six cylinder sport coupe     1591 tells you that 1590 bodies were built before yours.

Your car's serial number is on the right side of the rear cross member or under the left front fender.  Numbers start at 835001 and end at 879565.

I have owned 6 split head Pontiacs, have driven one as a daily driver for 59 years and have never been able to find the serial numbers.  I under stand they are  lightly hand stamped.  I have seen pictures of them but have never seen one in real life.  Luckily up here in Canada cars were registered by serial number and I have a letter from GM in Oshawa confirming that my engine is the car's original.

Obviously your car was first registered in one of the states that used engine numbers rather than serial numbers.

 

How about some pictures please.

Edited by Guest
too many 0's (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most makes did not stamp the same number in multiple places on the car in the early 30s. Maybe Oldsmobile did, but that was unusual. I have never heard of it on a 30s Pontiac.

 

A typical car had an engine number, a frame number, and maybe a body number. Which number or numbers got used on the title or registration varied by state in the US. It was fairly common for cars to be titled to the engine number.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Tinindian said:

Casting numbers do not correlate to any other specific number.  Normally if you had a chart you could tell the approximate date the part bearing the casting number was cast.  Sometimes there is even a date cast into the part, like my  cylinder heads.

The Fisher body plate   32308 says your Pontiac is a six cylinder sport coupe     15901 tells you that 15900 bodies were built before yours.

Your car's serial number is on the right side of the rear cross member or under the left front fender.  Numbers start at 835001 and end at 879565.

I have owned 6 split head Pontiacs, have driven one as a daily driver for 59 years and have never been able to find the serial numbers.  I under stand they are  lightly hand stamped.  I have seen pictures of them but have never seen one in real life.  Luckily up here in Canada cars were registered by serial number and I have a letter from GM in Oshawa confirming that my engine is the car's original.

Obviously your car was first registered in one of the states that used engine numbers rather than serial numbers.

 

How about some pictures please.

 

I think you have added an extra 0 in the body numbers. 

 

The Standard Catalog says that Pontiac built 35,000 six cylinder cars in 1932. I wonder what percentage were coupes.  I think around 10% would be typical maybe?

 

My 1926 car has the date cast in the block. In that era the blocks were cast by Ferro, although I don't know for how many years that happened. 

 

It also has the date stamped into the radiator shell. The radiator top tank also has a month date from Harrison.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Tinindian said:

Casting numbers do not correlate to any other specific number.  Normally if you had a chart you could tell the approximate date the part bearing the casting number was cast.  Sometimes there is even a date cast into the part, like my  cylinder heads.

The Fisher body plate   32308 says your Pontiac is a six cylinder sport coupe     15901 tells you that 15900 bodies were built before yours.

Your car's serial number is on the right side of the rear cross member or under the left front fender.  Numbers start at 835001 and end at 879565.

I have owned 6 split head Pontiacs, have driven one as a daily driver for 59 years and have never been able to find the serial numbers.  I under stand they are  lightly hand stamped.  I have seen pictures of them but have never seen one in real life.  Luckily up here in Canada cars were registered by serial number and I have a letter from GM in Oshawa confirming that my engine is the car's original.

Obviously your car was first registered in one of the states that used engine numbers rather than serial numbers.

 

How about some pictures please.

Thank you for the helpful information. Much appreciated! If I happen find what appears to be serial numbers, I will post a pic. 

I had suspected the "matching numbers" criteria didn't apply to this era, but was not positive. 

 

Thanks again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Bloo said:

Most makes did not stamp the same number in multiple places on the car in the early 30s. Maybe Oldsmobile did, but that was unusual. I have never heard of it on a 30s Pontiac.

 

A typical car had an engine number, a frame number, and maybe a body number. Which number or numbers got used on the title or registration varied by state in the US. It was fairly common for cars to be titled to the engine number.

Further confirming my suspicions. Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, pontiac32west said:

Further confirming my suspicions. Thank you!


Is that photo you posted of the chassis plate the one on your car?

 

The numbers quoted by Tinindian are the 1932 engine numbers.

 

The 1932 chassis numbers went from 729001 to 763983, which would put your car about halfway through the run.

 

I guess you have the body off it? I wondered if the number was visible with the body on or not. My only experience is with the 1926 cars and both of mine are bare chassis.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A direct quote from Gunnell and Kowalke's book Pontiac 1926-1995 says  "serial numbers were on the right side of the rear cross-member or under the left front fender.  Starting: 729001.  Ending: 763983.  Engine numbers on left side of crankcase or near left front corner of block.  Starting: 835001.  Ending 879565 (approximate)".

 

where did that extra 0 come from???  I will edit it out now.  Thank you  nzcarnerd.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, nzcarnerd said:


Is that photo you posted of the chassis plate the one on your car?

 

The numbers quoted by Tinindian are the 1932 engine numbers.

 

The 1932 chassis numbers went from 729001 to 763983, which would put your car about halfway through the run.

 

I guess you have the body off it? I wondered if the number was visible with the body on or not. My only experience is with the 1926 cars and both of mine are bare chassis.

Yes. The photo of the chassis plate is the one on my car.  I was trying to determine if any of the numbers on the cow tag should necessarily correlate to any numbers on the frame. The consensus seems to be "no" they don't during this era.

 

Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, pontiac32west said:

The consensus seems to be "no" they don't during this era.

Correct.  The plate says Fisher Body Corp and that is all it refers to, the body itself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, pontiac32west said:

Yes. The photo of the chassis plate is the one on my car.  I was trying to determine if any of the numbers on the cow tag should necessarily correlate to any numbers on the frame. The consensus seems to be "no" they don't during this era.

 

Thank you!

 

Have you found any dates on either the cylinder block or on the radiator shell?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hopefully this response will not add to any confusion.

 

For 1932 there were not 'matching numbers' but a range of numbers on the engine, chassis, firewall, and also a plate on the main sill (passenger side) that had a four digit number that specified paint code.  

 

Firewall Plate

The 32308, as was mentioned before, designates a Series 402 Model 32308 Sport Coupe.  If this is the car I am thinking of from Craigslist in San Francisco it is also a Deluxe model.  If so, it would have twin tail lights and the trim around the window sills on the doors are fancier.

The Body Number is just a sequential number identifying the particular car.

 

Plate Chassis - 744177-P6

This is the serial number for the car.  The sequence here specifies a car made in Michigan.  The range is 729001-P6 to 763983-P6  In '32 there were 1700 cars made in Oakland, CA at the old Durant Motors Plant and they had unique serial numbers with the format C-XXXX-P6.  The V-8 cars ended in -P8

 

Engine Number

The engine number is on a flat spot on the crankcase, driver side, just about the dipstick.  It should be a number in the range of 835001to 879565.

 

Paint Code Number

Does the car have a small plate on the passenger side on the main floor sill with a 4 digit number?  If it does we can determine if the blue color is original.  

 

There was some discussion on production numbers, how many were made, and how many are left.  I have seen some variation in total production numbers for 1932.  One thing that is not in question is that this was the worst year of production for Pontiac.  They made both the Series 302 which was a V-8 and a Series 402 which was a 6.   The numbers I use are based on Serial Numbers and for the 6 cyl total 36,673 and V-8 of 6,282 for a total of 42,955.    You will see that the engine numbers total more than this.  The engine was used in other vehicles made by GMC.

 

I track all surviving '32 Pontiacs and my database is still being scrubbed for accuracy.  The number that I am using for known cars of all body styles and engines is 75.  I think this number is plus or minus 5 to 10 cars.  It is difficult to keep track of cars as they go from owner to owner so there may be duplicates and there are also cars that pop up from time to time.  Of the 75 about 20 are V-8's and about 55 are 6's.   Of the 55 6's there are 15 Sport Coupes.  I believe the numbers show that they are the most common surviving body style.  My estimate is that 1-1.5 out of every 1000 6 cylinder cars has survived.  The V-8's have a higher percentage that have survived.  It is not possible to know exactly what the breakout of model numbers produced in 1932 because those records were destroyed in a fire in the 50's.

 

Please let me know if you have any more questions on this car.  If this is the car in California I would like to see it sometime.  I think it is about 100 miles from my home.  

 

I have attached a photo of my '32 Deluxe Sport Coupe which may be a twin of this car.

 

DSC_0435.thumb.jpg.8d7a505922e425586fa56b9b3d06709b.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/17/2019 at 8:28 PM, 32Pontiac6 said:

Hopefully this response will not add to any confusion.

 

For 1932 there were not 'matching numbers' but a range of numbers on the engine, chassis, firewall, and also a plate on the main sill (passenger side) that had a four digit number that specified paint code.  

 

Firewall Plate

The 32308, as was mentioned before, designates a Series 402 Model 32308 Sport Coupe.  If this is the car I am thinking of from Craigslist in San Francisco it is also a Deluxe model.  If so, it would have twin tail lights and the trim around the window sills on the doors are fancier.

The Body Number is just a sequential number identifying the particular car.

 

Plate Chassis - 744177-P6

This is the serial number for the car.  The sequence here specifies a car made in Michigan.  The range is 729001-P6 to 763983-P6  In '32 there were 1700 cars made in Oakland, CA at the old Durant Motors Plant and they had unique serial numbers with the format C-XXXX-P6.  The V-8 cars ended in -P8

 

Engine Number

The engine number is on a flat spot on the crankcase, driver side, just about the dipstick.  It should be a number in the range of 835001to 879565.

 

Paint Code Number

Does the car have a small plate on the passenger side on the main floor sill with a 4 digit number?  If it does we can determine if the blue color is original.  

 

There was some discussion on production numbers, how many were made, and how many are left.  I have seen some variation in total production numbers for 1932.  One thing that is not in question is that this was the worst year of production for Pontiac.  They made both the Series 302 which was a V-8 and a Series 402 which was a 6.   The numbers I use are based on Serial Numbers and for the 6 cyl total 36,673 and V-8 of 6,282 for a total of 42,955.    You will see that the engine numbers total more than this.  The engine was used in other vehicles made by GMC.

 

I track all surviving '32 Pontiacs and my database is still being scrubbed for accuracy.  The number that I am using for known cars of all body styles and engines is 75.  I think this number is plus or minus 5 to 10 cars.  It is difficult to keep track of cars as they go from owner to owner so there may be duplicates and there are also cars that pop up from time to time.  Of the 75 about 20 are V-8's and about 55 are 6's.   Of the 55 6's there are 15 Sport Coupes.  I believe the numbers show that they are the most common surviving body style.  My estimate is that 1-1.5 out of every 1000 6 cylinder cars has survived.  The V-8's have a higher percentage that have survived.  It is not possible to know exactly what the breakout of model numbers produced in 1932 because those records were destroyed in a fire in the 50's.

 

Please let me know if you have any more questions on this car.  If this is the car in California I would like to see it sometime.  I think it is about 100 miles from my home.  

 

I have attached a photo of my '32 Deluxe Sport Coupe which may be a twin of this car.

 

DSC_0435.thumb.jpg.8d7a505922e425586fa56b9b3d06709b.jpg

 

Hello, and thank you for the information!

 

First, yes, I acquired the car you spotted on Craig's. With any luck, it will be arriving later this afternoon, and by next week, I may be able to answer a couple of the questions regarding #'s that have been presented.

 

Quite honestly, my mindset was to maintain the original body, but to modernize the chassis and drive train. However, in view of your estimation that I may have stumbled across one of a mere 15 +/-  surviving Sport Coupes, well, that could be a game-changer....

 

In the event I decide to go with plan "A" I will have some parts of value available to someone restoring one of these cars to 100% original, such as yours - it is a beauty!

 

I wish the original radiator cap had come with mine, but to no avail. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am the tech advisor for the Pontiac Oakland Club for 1932 Pontiacs.  I would like to get your car on my list and if you are in California I would like to see the car.  I would like to talk to you about your car and your two options.  I will send you a private message.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...