John Bugbee was looking for a 1956 Ford when he discovered a 1959 Ford Fairlane 500 convertible at the former owner’s place.

The former owner also owned a 1956 Ford, but it was a basket case, while the 1959 Ford Fairlane 500 was in good condition.

Jim Sutherland

Nevertheless, John weighed his options because he really wanted a’56 Ford since he owned one when he was a kid and met his future bride when he had a ’56 Ford during his younger years. Consequently, another 1956 Ford would have represented a trip down memory lane every time he drove it.

The fact the 1959 Ford Fairlane 500 convertible was not Door Number One for John gave him an opportunity to ask a lot of questions, presumably to discourage John from buying the convertible and continue his search for a 1956 Ford. The ’59 Ford former owner’s answers were solid enough to convince John to pursue the car-but on his own terms.      

Consequently, John tossed a low offer at the 1959 Ford Fairlane convertible’s owner, and he promptly turned down John’s bid. The fact John wanted to own an ideal Ford (1956) from his past made it easier to walk away from the former owner’s ’59 Ford drop top.

However, the former owner had terminal health issues and contacted John to agree to his offer before the man passed away and was unable to be involved in the sale decision. As a result, John ended up with a 1959 Ford Fairlane 500 convertible instead of a 1956 Ford. The fact he is a big Ford fan made the Plan B vintage car decision easier for John. 

John also added that he “just happened to have money sitting there and would not have taken out a loan to buy the ’59 Ford”. The timing was good in a financial sense, so John is happy he decided to purchase the car.

The ’59 Ford’s original V-8 engine had been replaced with a larger 390 cubic inch big block that upped the convertible’s game in terms of brute force performance. The 390 is hooked up to a 3-speed automatic transmission that can easily handle the engine’s extra horses.

The car still has its original vacuum wiper system that performs well when the car is not under load, but it seems unlikely that John will intentionally take the convertible out in the rain at this point in its history. The ’59 Ford also has its original drum brake system that is supplemented by its factory power brake boost. 

John told MyStarCollectorCar his ’59 Ford convertible has undergone one repaint over the years, but the former owner chose to retain its factory color. He added the interior is original and has survived the decades in good shape. 

John also told MyStarCollectorCar his ’59 Ford tracks down the road well and “handles nice” in his words. The car is a solid driver and John lives down a gravel road, so he gets an opportunity to test its ability to handle the rough stuff whenever he takes it out for a tour.

The drives may not be an exact trip down memory lane because it’s a 1959 Ford-and not a ’56 Ford-but John enjoys every minute of the experience. Spoken like a true car guy.  

Jim Sutherland

BY: Jim Sutherland

Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section.