This nice l’il car is a 1962 Rambler American Deluxe and it looks like a solid one. It’s advertised on Craigslist for a nice price of $2,000. Two grand for this car seems like a good deal to me if you don’t have to have it shipped clear across the country, or continent, or globe, from Grants Pass, Oregon.
This is a second-generation Rambler American and it was quite a departure from the first-generation models. But, they still had the wacky wheelbase mash-up with the rear wheel opening that didn’t quite line up. Rambler moved the rear wheel up a couple of inches so they could put the spare in the trunk, from what I understand, and it gave an odd profile look. They continued the look when they freshened up the design for these second-generation models. Ahhh.. the good ol’ days.. I can’t imagine anything like that happening with the overly-engineered and designed cars of today.
Ok, the first two photos showed a great-looking car with a nice, soft, original, faded finish and no rust, dings, or dents to speak of, other than a small crease along the rear edge of the passenger door and onto the right quarter panel. The driver’s side tells another tale. But, I’m not sure if that’s rust damage or a dent that was repaired. There doesn’t appear to be any rust to speak of, other than surface rust, so I’m guessing it’s something else. NADA lists a 1962 Rambler American Deluxe with a “low retail” value of $3,308 (deducting 10% for a 6-cylinder? Which makes no sense because a V8 wasn’t offered in this car in 1962), so if you don’t care about having a big, black splotch/repair on the left quarter panel, this could be a nice find for two grand.
Here’s where it gets sticky. There are only two interior photos, the one above, and this one showing the non-padded dash. The seller says that the interior and seats are in rough condition so you’ll be spending some hard-earned money on the interior. Here’s what it probably looked like in there at one time, other than this car has an automatic transmission instead of a column-shifted 3-speed manual. This Rambler also has the $74 Weather Eye option. These front seats fold down creating a better-than-nothing “bed” for travelers of yore. I think it would be cool to part in a big-box-retailer’s parking lot next to a group of motorhomes with one of these and spend the night. Hey, the store is open 24 hours a day for restroom breaks and you can’t beat the price of the room; $0.00. You can see surface rust on the turn signal stalk and steering wheel so there may be more hiding in the cracks and crevasses of this 54-year old car. I had better not get the age of this car wrong since it’s the same age as I am.
This is AMC’s 195.6 (usually called the 196) cubic-inch inline-six; the flathead version, not the OHV version, and it should have had around 90 hp. They were very reliable with high-quality internals but could be prone to overheating. As the temperature hovers at 15-below-zero-straight-temperature here right now, overheating isn’t even on my radar at the moment. The seller says that this one runs good and you can see some new parts there, and what you can’t see is the new gas tank. I have always liked these cars and although I would prefer a three-on-the-tree manual, for two-grand this seems like a nice project. Have any of you owned this generation Rambler American?