Sinister Elegance: 1959 Buick Electra

1959 Buick Electra

Shown here on craigslist in Plainfield, Indiana, is this gorgeous 1959 Buick Electra for $3,500. There’s so much here to like, I’m not sure where to start. The roof-line and tail-fins. While this “flat top” roof line was shared with other full size GM models of the era, none of them pulled it off as successfully as Buick did. Here’s why: the rest of the body style lends itself to a flat roof line, by having more of a slab-sided, box shape look to it. The wrap-around back glass is awesome too, reminiscent of the modern, mid-century architectural “walls of glass”, and was an excellent counterpoint to the “bubble top” models also being produced by GM at the time.

1959 Buick Electra Flat Top

The rear tail fins are huge, as was apparently mandated by Federal law in the late fifties, but these fins point outward. Not straight up like Cadillac and Oldsmobile, and not sideways like Chevrolet. This gives it more of a ‘winged’ appearance. Very Batman. The classic, jet exhaust large round taillights look great here too. A look at the front end reveals a similar styling element that compliments the rear very well, with sort of a forward-facing fin that also serves as a hooded brow over the headlights. The checkered grille, winged hood crest and large straight bumper finish the front end nicely. Gone are the bullet shapes and rounded fender edges from just a few years before. This was a very different Buick than 1955. How the heck could you possibly have been seen to be keeping up with the Joneses if you didn’t own one of these?

1959 Buick Electra Interior

This car looks great in black. The gray interior works well with it, a timeless classic look, and it’s as elegant today as it was a half century ago. Although ‘patina’ might be the most over-used word in the old car hobby, this car has it. I wouldn’t change much. Vacuum the leaves out of the interior, and unwrap the steering wheel. Lose the mid-70s vintage Buick hubcaps that are on it now. Get it almost roadworthy. I could see myself removing the muffler, setting the idle way down, and cruising slowly around, antagonizing my neighbors with this car. When I was finished, I’d park it at the end of my driveway, with about eight inches of the rear end hanging out in to the street.

Buick Electra Flat Top

1959 was the first year for the top of the line Electra 225, and this was a bigger car with a longer wheelbase than the Invicta and LeSabre models. In fact the 225 moniker actually refers to its overall length in inches. Considering how long GM made them, I’d say the ‘deuce and a quarter’ was a pretty successful brand.

1959 Buick

Equipped with the venerable 401 nail head engine, and Dynaflow automatic transmission. The seller says it runs, and that can be half the battle right there. He’s overpriced, particularly given that no title is included, but it’s been listed awhile, so maybe he’ll negotiate. This car with such a great look was too cool not to share. This big beautiful black Buick might best be left in its current ‘jalopy’ state. What do you think?

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Comments

  1. Wayne

    Lose the tinted windows. Redo the interior (the grey is too bland). Repaint in black and add some wide whites.

    Like 1
    • GOPAR

      Ditto

  2. David Wilk Member

    I want the Chrysler station wagon sitting next to it in picture #1. The Buick is OK, but the Chrysler is cooler.

  3. dj

    I kind of like the black on this. Black windows, black paint, black walls. Think of Animal House. All that smoke on the street and then this thing comes flying though it like the Lincoln did.

  4. piper62j

    There’s something to be said about black and chrome.. Great combination.. The trunk on this one seems longer than the hood..

  5. PaulieB

    When I was a kid, 50 years ago, my neighbor across the street had a ’59 Electra convertible.. white with red interior.. gorgeous..

  6. S.Brodie

    Front and rear fins, a handsome automobile, and one that needs to be done properly not meaning a rotisserie job but just a nice paint job and a reupholstered interior. The bad carpets in the front scare me as the sheet metal could also be gone. Add a big whip antennae with a foxtail, 2.5″ flowmasters and look out ladies cause this one has a king size back seat.

  7. alfred

    lots to work with, this could be an awesome project. two to many doors but that wouldn’t stop me

  8. Billy

    I may be a year off, but this car in baby blue was Brad Hamilton’s “Cruising Vessel” in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. “Just 6 more payments gentlemen, and this beautiful blue luxury sedan is all mine.”

    • L.R.F

      That was a 1960, I had a ’60 Electra 225 square top in the same color blue with full options. Would have kept my ’59 forever but it was stolen.

  9. Bill

    Back when these cars were relatively new, I remember my neighbor talking about how his Mom always drove “them Buick Electrics.”

  10. Patti Hayes

    I want this car..
    Period

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