Unveiling the Timeless Elegance of the 1959 Buick Invicta Convertible

Unveiling the Timeless Elegance of the 1959 Buick Invicta Convertible

The 1959 Buick remains an icon of Fifties automotive design, albeit not as revered in Britain as in other regions. However, Jon Gillman stands as a notable exception, keeping three of these classics road-ready. His latest restoration, a remarkable 1959 Buick Invicta Convertible, unfolds a tale of timeless allure and meticulous preservation.


Photography: Gary Chapman
Text: Zack Stiling


America's Transition in 1959


Buick Invicta

The year 1959 marked a significant shift for America. The era that once exuded unblemished charm saw changes—the loss of teenage innocence with Buddy Holly's passing, and Bob Dylan's ballads echoing societal challenges. Amid the escalating Cold War in Cuba and economic recessions, Detroit's car manufacturers faced the reality: consumer priorities inclined towards economic practicality over flamboyant glamour.

Despite the shifting landscape, the American automotive dream persisted, reaching its zenith in 1959, notably led by General Motors. Often overshadowed by the famed '59 Cadillac, the Buick emerged as a diamond in the rough. Its sleek, low profile challenged the era's design norms, possibly rendering it the most aesthetically pleasing offering of the year.


Unveiling the Timeless Elegance of the 1959 Buick Invicta Convertible

Buick's fortunes were dwindling since 1955, plunging from 737,000 sales to a mere 240,000 in 1958. Blamed by critics for its '58 model's perceived 'ugliness,' Buick sought redemption. The '59, however, proved undeniably beautiful—a refined masterpiece, despite its distinct tail fins.


Introducing the Invicta

The '59 Buick lineup underwent a revamp, rechristening models. The Century transformed into the Invicta, boasting the newly minted 401cu in, 325bhp Nailhead V8 engine, a mark of opulence and performance. Among the models, the convertibles stood as paragons of beauty, and Jon Gillman, an ardent '59s enthusiast, proudly owns this Invicta—a testament to his enduring passion for these classics.


Restoration Journey and Unraveling History

Jon's affinity for vintage cars traces back to his youth, eventually leading him to acquire this Invicta, originally sold through Muti Buick in Passaic, New Jersey. The car, finished in Lido Lavender with a white top and blue-grey upholstery, embarked on a transformative journey under Jon's care, culminating in a comprehensive restoration in 2021.


Unveiling the Timeless Elegance of the 1959 Buick Invicta Convertible


Professional Restoration and Unveiling Heritage

Entrusting the restoration to Chris Gaunt's Automotive Restoration Shop near Doncaster, the Invicta underwent meticulous refurbishment. The choice of Glacier White paint and red upholstery, akin to Buick's original brochure showcase, revived the car's timeless elegance.

Jon's sage advice for restoration enthusiasts echoes the importance of trust, knowledge, and meticulous record-keeping, underscoring the intricate process involved in sourcing and refurbishing vintage parts—an endeavor requiring patience and expertise.


Driving Pleasure and Rarity

Despite spending most of the year overseas, Jon cherishes the driving experience the Invicta offers. Its convertible nature, though susceptible to scuttle shake, resonates with the nostalgic charm of vintage rides. The Nailhead engine's quiet sophistication, coupled with the car's cruising prowess, brings immense joy to the driving experience.


Unveiling the Timeless Elegance of the 1959 Buick Invicta Convertible


A Rarity in Britain

While '59 Buicks were well-received globally, the Invicta convertible remains a rarity, with only 5447 units built. Jon estimates a mere 26 '59 Buicks in Britain, rendering his Invicta a truly unique specimen, a testament to its enduring charm amidst scarcity.


Embracing Timeless Elegance

In essence, the 1959 Buick Invicta Convertible stands as a testament to enduring elegance. Its crisp styling, distinctive features, and rich history make it a treasure cherished by enthusiasts like Jon Gillman—an embodiment of automotive artistry that defies time.


Captivating Features

  • Crisp Fifties styling, accentuated by Glacier White paint
  • Signature 'eyebrow' design cues and sharp yet tasteful fins
  • Immaculate lipstick red upholstery complementing its elegance
  • A showcase of craftsmanship through the Nailhead V8 engine
  • A historical journey, cherished by the first owner for over four decades
Article type:
Review
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