The old beauty of the 1950s Cadillac Roadmaster


Our astute Cadillac and Buick fans will quickly tell you there is no such thing as a Cadillac Roadmaster and they would be correct, but we can see how one might get their ’50s automotive history and identification skills mixed up. One day reader Mat was talking to his brother-in-law about cars, when his brother-in-law told him about a ’50 Cadillac Roadmaster that was parked in his father’s barn. Obviously he was a bit mixed up on what it was, but it started a conversation that lead to this find. Read Mat’s story in his own words after the jump.


A few years ago, when I met my new brother-in-law, we began talking old cars. He races on small oval tracks, so we share an interest in everything that has 4 wheels and an 8-cylinder engine. He told me his dad had an old 1950’s Cadillac Roadmaster hidden in a barn. Of course my first response was, “Oh, a Cadillac Roadmaster?” He swore that it was a Cadillac, but wasn’t sure about the Roadmaster part. He said it was a two door with two tone paint. Not long after that, I had the opportunity to see the car. Even a Cadillac or a Roadmaster from the 50’s would interest me, but I had no special expectation.


As the barn door opened, I easily recognize the Buick grill, or what was left of it. It is a 1952 two doors hardtop, the Riviera series Roadmaster with the long straight 8. Here’s the story behind it. The previous owner was a doctor and when the car was involved an accident he decided to get a new car and sell it to the father of my brother-in-law, so it sat in their barn since the late 60’s. As a result of the accident it needs a new right fender and most of the grill, but the hood is intact. The car was parked between a bundle of 2×6 boards and the wall of the barn, so I was unable to look under it at that time.


Years later, they decided to move the Buick and I was able to look at it closely. Again, I had no expectation since northern cars with salty roads get rusty all over easily here in Quebec. The car needs a lot of love, there is no impossible project, but this one is too big for me. For example, there is hole behind the back glass that I was able to see the ground under the car. The car is complete except for the passenger fender and the grill that missing a lots of parts. This would have a been great project car but the rust…


And now the long story of why his father still has this old beauty. Back in the 60’s he enjoyed cars a lot. So he began buying cars without any brand preference with the goal to restore them (he had Fords, Edsels, and Chevys). He had a bunch of old cars around the house. One day he had to go out of town for work in northern Ontario for a long time. His father (the grandfather of my brother-in-law) decided that he had had enough of the old cars around the house, so he called a junkyard man to crush all the cars. Somehow the Buick had been forgotten by the father, so it was left untouched by the crusher. The car is now owned by my brother-in-law. He offered to sell it to me only because he knows my passion, but I had to pass on the offer at that point in time. But I told him that if he ever decided to get rid of it to let me know first. This Buick could be a great donor car, but who knows what might happen in the future?

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