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Canora resident still drives car purchased new in 1958

Russell Yasinowski still has the 1958 Pontiac Pathfinder which he purchased new to "take my parents on a holiday they never had."
Car history
Russell Yasinowski of Canora purchased this 1958 Pontiac Pathfinder new in 1958, and has had it ever since. Local residents and visitors alike had the opportunity to get a close look at it during the Cruisers Car Club Show at the Canora Live & Play Street Festival in August.

CANORA - As the youngest in a family of 11 children born to Emily and Dimetro Yasinowski on their farm near Wishart, Russell Yasinowksi had a dream "that when I group up I will save my money and buy a new car, and take my parents on a holiday they never had."

Yasinowksi never forgot that dream. By 1958 he was 22 years of age and had saved enough money to make that dream a reality.

"I found a car I liked at Stern Motors in Wynyard," he recalled. "It was this 1958 four-door Pontiac Pathfinder. I took my money there in a sock that I had saved it in. I dumped it on John Stroziuk's desk, who was the salesman at Stern Motors in Wynyard at that time. He counted my money, wrote up a bill, and gave me the keys. The car was mine!"

The deal was made in early spring, which presented its own stiff set of challenges.

"I couldn't even get the car home," said Yasinowski, "so I left it at my neighbour's place until I could drive home. We used the car all summer, and in the fall I took my parents on a holiday.

"We went to the United States, including Chicago, and also Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. We were on our way to Toronto, where my sister, brother-in-law and family lived. The next stop was Sudbury, where my brother and his family lived. We hadn't seen him since the 1940s."

Yasinowski and his parents made the trip home through the Sandilands region east of Winnipeg where his parents first settled and were united in marriage. 

"Mom's sister's family and her brother's family were in Sandilands. We then went to Winnipeg where my dad's sister and brother lived with their families. I hadn't met all those cousins, and now I know a lot of cousins, aunts and uncles. Mom and Dad enjoyed the holiday and so did I. My dream came true!" 

Yasinowski still has that Pontiac Pathfinder, and brought it to Main Street in Canora in August for the Cruisers Car Club Show during the Canora Live & Play Street Festival.

After his family's years farming near Wishart, Yasinowski lived and farmed near Hudson Bay and Lestock, before moving to the family's Canora area farm in the early 80s. In total, he farmed for 60 years.

Yasinowski said he originally chose the Pontiac Pathfinder because "I liked the look of it, and it was a sturdy car."

He paid $3,400 for it new, which included extras such as a spare tire and a two-tone paint job.

"I paid cash for it because nobody trusted banks at the time."

Yasinowki and his wife Anne were married in 1959, the year after he bought the car.

"It's like a member of the family now. We've had it for dating, our wedding, and our 25th, 50th, 55th and 60th anniversaries."

The car has been well-maintained over the years and still gets driven regularly. It has a three-speed standard transmission and the original 223 horsepower engine has been rebuilt. The car has been repainted, but still in the original colours

Yasinowski said this model was only manufactured for one year, making it a collector's item. He doesn't know of any others like it still in existence.

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