A few years ago, I wrote a story about Jeff Petrack finding his high school street rod that he built. He thought it was lost when his father sold it. Jeff always thought it went to the junkyard, but it showed up out east. The fellow got a hold of him and it turned out to be the one. Jeff has since passed on.
Now, I have heard an interesting story about a fellow finding his great grandfather’s car and buying it back. This is how the story goes…
Axel Dylen bought a new 1936 Buick Coupe from the dealership in Virginia. He drove it as the family car for many years. Then in 1961 or 1962, Axel passed away and the car went to a family member.
Then it ended up in John Westom’s dad’s yard. John’s dad (Jack Westom) had it a few years, and he ended up giving it to Steve Carron, a neighbor kid. Steve drove it through high school and then parked it alongside his garage until 1979, when he traded it for an engine hoist and a bunch of tools to a Duane Herfindahl in Grand Rapids.
From there, it sat until 2000. Then it was sold for $1,500 to a fellow from Bigfork named John Van Nyhuis. He is the one who restored it into a street rod. John did a nice job restoring it to the car it is today. He made it into a nice driver.
Well, John Westom had been following his great grandfather’s car for many years and staying in touch with the owner of the 1936 Buick. This spring, John was able to purchase the car and now it’s back in the family after almost 60 years. Now it will get the love it deserves. It is a happy ending.
There were only 2,009 of the 1936 Buick Coupes built; 17 of them were shipped overseas. That makes John’s Buick a very rare car.
Glenn Dall lives in Mt. Iron, MN, and is a classic car enthusiast.