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Wheels in the grass

1959 Meteor Rideau 500 Montcalm (Canadian), Wyoming County, NY

1959 Meteor Rideau 500 Montcalm (Canadian), Wyoming County, NY

So you’re looking at these photos of a 1959 Ford and you’re thinking, something looks different. And right you are. This is actually a 1959 Meteor Rideau 500 Montcalm — or as I used to call them as a young lad who spent many happy summer days in Crystal Beach, Ontario — a Canadian Ford.

Back in the late 1940s, Ford of Canada decided they needed products which would better compete in the medium-price range with Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and others of that type. The main problem with selling American cars in Canada was prices were generally higher north of the border while the average salary was lower. So Ford created two new lines to sell exclusively in Canada. One was the Meteor, which was a gussied-up Ford with trim changes and sold in Mercury dealers, and the other was the Monarch, a gussied-down Mercury sold at Ford dealers.

The car pictured here was spotted down in Wyoming County, and was the top-of-the-line model which was introduced halfway through the 1959 model year, coinciding with Ford’s new Fairlane 500 Galaxie series. The gentleman who owns the car told me only about 1,500 were made, so not only is it rare to see one 50 years later, but to find it in the U.S. is a real coup.

...from the brochure

...from the brochure