Big Fins: 1959 Buick Invicta

left front

1959 was the first year for the Buick Invicta, the middle model between the other 2 full sized models, the LeSabre and the Electra. This one is in Brechin, Ontario, so it’s a Canadian version, eh? The US version still had the Ventiports, or portholes, on the front fenders but the Canadian version like this one listed on eBay didn’t. They say “everything works” so it must run and drive. The BIN of $6,500 could be reasonable if there is not too much rust and no major mechanical issues.


The interior looks original and complete. With some cleaning, it could be used as is, but upholstery and carpets would certainly make it nice.



The right side is an unknown and they don’t show much of the engine. The engine compartment looks complete from what they show. The Invicta was often called the Bankers hot rod, since it was fairly luxurious and practical, but came packed with the 401 Nailhead V8. That alone should make this Buick fun!

left rear

The body looks original, if a bit battered. It’s more of a 30 foot than the usual 20 foot car. Would it be worth doing the body work and paint, or would you drive it as it is? There aren’t many of these around any more. It would make an unusual lowrider on air with big wheels for those into that sort of thing. Perhaps one could drive it as it is and gradually improve things. For those few who would consider adding this to their fleet, what would you do with it?


  1. mark

    just saw one of these done up on a show on looking cars….like something from the Jetsons

  2. Luki

    A not so perfect original interior is better than a replacement interior every day of the week. That’s where the cool 50’s vibe comes from. Erase it and it will never be as good.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Tough to diagree with that!

  3. Mark P

    Brad Hamilton’s Cruising Vessel from Fast Times At Ridgemont High.

  4. Chuck

    Were they still doing the portholes in 59 ?

    • PaulieB

      They were doing portholes in ’72!

    • David Frank David Member

      Yes, sorry if I wasn’t clear. This is a Canadian version; no portholes. American cars had port holes.Funny that, eh?

      • Sparky

        Incorrect : Buick’s had no VentiPorts in either ’58 or ’59.
        Canadian Buicks were U.S.-built and exported, anyway.

  5. Rick

    Almost looks like it has the smaller Chevy body from the firewall back, the rear quarter window doesn’t look as big as it does on American made Buicks, although I could be wrong. In the 50s some Canadian versions of Pontiac used smaller Chevy bodies.

    • RayT Member

      The Buick’s understructure, doors and roof were shared with Chevy, Olds, Pontiac and Cadillac at the time. So far as I know, this was true for Canadian versions as well. Only drivelines, frames, trim and some exterior panels were unique to each car line.

      My ex-brother-in-law had a Canadian Olds from the “wide-track era. It had a Chevy chassis (with narrower track) under the Olds body. Looked very strange to me.

      The front and rear views suggest that there’s quite a bit of rust bubbling away under the surface on this car. Much as I appreciate the look of the ’59 Buicks — and Chevies, and Cadillacs — I think I’d stay away from this one.

      • Sparky

        In ’59; the GM Divisions cars shared firewalls, front floorpans, front doors & front seat frames [various rooflines were shared going back into the ’30s].

        90% of each Division’s cars are proprietary/autonomous.

    • Ed P

      To decode the various GM body designations go to the following url:

    • Bobsmyuncle


      • Ed P

        From 1946 to 1960 –
        The “A-Body” cars include – Chevrolet: 150, 210, Bel Air, Del Ray, Biscayne, Impala, El Camino. Pontiac: Chieftain, Star Chief, Super Chief, Bonneville, Catalina, Ventura.
        The “B-Body” cars include – Buick: Special, Century, LeSabre, Invicta. Oldsmobile: Eighty-Eight, Ninety-Eight, Starfire Ninety-Eight.
        “C-Body” cars include – Cadillac: Series 60 Special Fleetwood, Series 62, Eldorado, Deville. Buick: Super, Roadmaster, Limited, Electra, Electra 225.
        “D-Body” cars include – Cadillac: Series 75 Fleetwood, Series 6700 Fleetwood.

  6. Chuck

    Just “Gurgled” it—Buick did away with the portholes for 58 & 59 models, but resurrected it 1960.

    • Pete

      Nice, i was about to “Gurgle” it myself, i know the ’59 i saw at a car show last summer didn’t have the ventiports, and the 2 door i saw rotting away in a field years ago didn’t have them, very sinister looking cars from the right angle.

  7. Rick

    I had a ’63 Canadian Pontiac Strato Chief 4 dr sedan, even had a “Pontiac” 283 under the hood (according to the decals on the valve covers anyway) and a narrower Chevy differential, which looked really weird under the wide track body. Bet with the right offset you coulda put some big meats under it without tubbing it.

  8. Devin

    Sounds like my watch.

  9. Charles

    My parents had two of these. The first was an Invicta Wagon that they bought new in 59. My sister and I talked Dad into driving through the tree in the Redwoods National Park. The fins got stuck and mashed the bright work slighty. We had to listen to Dad cuss the rest of the weekend. They towed a Shasta 16 foot camper with the car. The second 59 Invicta was like this one, a four door sedan. Dad bought it in 1966 from a fellow who owned a body shop in Cocoa Beach FL. The car had begin to rust, and the PO patched her up with Bondo. A whole lot of Bondo. The car looked good inside and out, however the filler began to crack. The next thing we noticed were piles of rust every time someone opened and closed a door. Good memories overall, however the new Buick made the best of them. I would love to have a 59, although this one will take some effort to make it nice like it once was.

  10. Crazydave

    From Ontario? 50 years at the bottom of the ocean would cause less rust!

    • Glen

      The roads here get both sanded and salted. Salt only works down to about -10 Celsius, then the sand gets spread. Sand kicked up from the tires can be hard on paint, and of course salt is nasty stuff. So yeah, we have our share of rusty cars. Back in the 70’s, my dad became friends with body shop owner who repaired our 70 Ford LTD wagon. That thing rusted if it saw a salt truck!

  11. Alan (Michigan)

    When I glanced at this listing I was struck by the similarity between the styling of the front Unibrow and the Ferengi characters on Star Trek, TNG.

    My Uncle had one of this style, turquoise and black. Awesome.

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