CC Outtake: 1959 Buick – Not a Good Sign

I wouldn’t have seen this car if not for the forest fire.

We had booked a site at Grundy Lake Provincial Park for a week this summer, but it had been a hot dry summer up north and the park was evacuated and closed a few days before we were to go.  Looking around quickly, Mrs DougD booked a vacant site at Mont Tremblant park in Quebec.

We decided to take the scenic route up, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere my kids spent most of this summer at a youth camp near Huntsville, so this journey started with a side trip to collect their laundry and wash it at the local laundramat.  From there we went east on Highway 60 to visit relatives in Ottawa before entering Quebec, and in the thriving metropolis of Barry’s Bay Ontario there was a CC to be had:


A servicable looking 1959 Buick, with those cool outward sweeping wiper arms resting on the FOR SALE sign.  $3,000?  Not bad.  Oh wait, there’s no motor or tranny.  And AS IS underlined, that’s not a good sign.  (Get it?  A good sign?)


For a non-GM guy, I really like 1959 Buicks although I’m not sure what model this is.  As the fashion of finned cars reached it’s crescendo is this the only car I can think of that had fins on both the front and rear?  Of course they toned it down for 1960, and by 1961 the fins were gone but the 59 is just so… uncompromisingly finny.


This must be the AS IS, which is different from as was, or as supposed to be.  I see homemade patch panels, rust, tar, and I think some fibreglass poking out there.  What I do not see is a missing chunk of the frame.


The iconic Nailhead V8 is gone, but the iconic aluminum brake drums remain

The interior is not hopeless, looks like some recovering of soft surfaces and different carpet, but at least everything appears to be there and usable.  Unbroken glass is a plus on this car too.

I recently read some wisdom by JP Cavanaugh here which I think we can apply in this case:

I have always broken a car down to 3 main areas – body, interior, mechanical. My rule for a fixer upper is that when any 2 of the 3 are good, go for it. If you really love the car I could see it if even 1 of the 3 is good.  

I give this car 0 for the body, 1 for the interior and -2 for the mechanical, so overall we’re at -1.  Halve the price and it’s a good parts car for someone.

I’m really glad we got to see this interesting car at the side of the road, but since we were already pulling a trailer with our van there was no way we were taking this one home.

Further Reading:

Shot in Barry’s Bay Ontario July 2018. I don’t know if it’s still there, drive up yourself if you must know.