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  1. #1

    Default 1959 Bonneville Restoration

    Hi Guys,

    Have joined POCI as I'm going to need lots of help in restoring a 59 2Dr HT.

    Usual bodywork & interior, floor & trunk pans. Car is generally sound, with the exception of the rear arches and lower quarters which are badly rotted out.

    Other major issue is the engine has had heads robbed many years ago.

    I've been asking questions in various places recently, but a definitive answer on suitable heads is still a little vague, although it sounds as if 60's heads will also suit the 59 block (?)

    Anyway - I need help in finding a pair of 59 heads (or 60's ?) and are any repair panels for the rear lower quarters and arches available ?

    Regards to you all

  2. #2


    Welcome to POCI Will. I can help you a bit with what to look for regarding the heads. 1955 through 1960 Pontiac heads will work on the 59 block but...

    1955-56 heads have smaller ports so you don't want those.

    1957-60 heads are what you need. Another but... you must insure you have the "distributing tubes" in the heads. 1960 heads did not have them but 1957-59 tubes can be used in the 60 heads. The tubes were use for "reverse-flow" engines up through 1959. See for more information.

    Bottom line, look for 1957-59 heads and insure distributing tubes are in the heads and in good condition. If you find 1960 heads, you'll need to find 1957-59 distributing tubes to put in the heads. The distributing tubes are much more difficult to find than the heads.

    I don't know about later years, I believe they will bolt up to your block but I don't know if the distributing tubes can be used in them. I don't know if all the block interface to cooling and oil passages are the same.

    You may also find this link of interest regarding the engine:

    Good luck... Larry
    Larry Gorden, POCI 1956 Tech Adviser

  3. #3


    What part of the world are you in? You may know already that you want a 389 reverse cooling head & I know of several '59 parts cars in central IN, they may be rust free.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the replies - apologies for the delay in responding - been working on the workshop so the restoration can get underway.

    I'm in the UK, so the head issue is potentially a major issue, due to shipping weight.

    I'm also trying to find stainless windsheild trim for the 59 2dr HT (although Title states it's 2dr SDN ???)

    Can anybody help ?

  5. Default

    Thanks Larry .... still looking for heads ....

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by sparklyman View Post
    Thanks Larry .... still looking for heads ....
    Ames Performance Engineering in NH has a lot of trim


  7. #7

    Default Restoration Commenced

    Quote Originally Posted by 62045 View Post
    Ames Performance Engineering in NH has a lot of trim

    Hi - thanks for the info - will browse the extensive catalogue !

    Work commenced this weekend - managed to remove the brightwork off both sides of the roof/door openings and the back glass reveal mouldings. Took a while, as not familiar with anything like this - no damage, with the exception of the upper rear reveal moulding which just would not yield, so a little wavy in places, but can be trued up again.

    I purchased some manuals last year, whilst the car was in transit, so made a clip tool (as per the body manual) but it just didn't work for me. Once the mouldings were off and I could see the clip design, I think the manual write up was a bit misleading. I was trying the get the tool around the rear of each clip, but now wondering if the small (tang) on the front of the clip was the point where the tool should have been inserted and wiggled side-to-side ? Anyway, very pleased 99% of the trim was not damaged

    Rear fender removed, tailights and back up lights & trim which allowed a better inspection of the perforated rear valance and trunk rear floor brace (rotted ends). The trunk floor braces, that skirt the wheel wells, are completely rotted out, so I#m going to have to fab these, together with the drop offs. There was a heavy application (factory) of seam sealer covering the spot welded outer flange of the rear panel and valance. A Heat gun and putty knife got it all lifter - clean grey steel underneath, very impressive performance for a 60 year old car, sealer was still pliable and had not hardened

    I guess nobody manufacturers a lower rear valance panel ? Lower front/rear quarter panels and arches are also rotted out

    Anybody aware of any repair panels for these areas ??Attachment 3474Attachment 3475Attachment 3476Attachment 3477

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by 62045 View Post
    Ames Performance Engineering in NH has a lot of trim

    T windshield trims in Ames catalogue unfortunately ...

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by sparklyman View Post windshield trims in Ames catalogue unfortunately ...
    Hi Will, most windshield trim interchanges between a 1959 Pontiac and Chevy. Looks like many clips are reproduced and offered in Chevy catalogs too, you might Google around and see, good luck, Todd C

  10. #10


    Good tip from Todd, Chevy will be easier to find but probably only 2-dr or 4-dr hardtop will work. Looking at the Pontiac Master Parts Catalog (this link), Group 10.093, page 710-711, I see that the 2-dr and 4-dr Bonneville use the same windshield moldings, and some interchanges with 1960. Your 2-dr Bonneville is model 2837 and 4-dr is 2839. I've attached the relevant part of the listing. The Master Parts Catalog can be very useful in finding what years/models parts interchange with.

    That may help a bit in your search for replacement parts. Reproductions are not made so you'll need to find the moldings used. You might try watching ebay for the parts you need. I got a couple of moldings for my 56 Safari there.
    Larry Gorden, POCI 1956 Tech Adviser

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