A Good American: 1960 AMC Rambler American

041516 Barn Finds - 1960 AMC Rambler Custom - 1

1960 was the last year of the first-generation AMC Rambler American with the somewhat “upside-down bathtub” styling. This 1960 AMC Rambler American Custom is in Siloam Springs, Arkansas and the seller says that she “is all original”, but then they go on to list all of the things that have been changed.

041516 Barn Finds - 1960 AMC Rambler Custom - 2

The first-generation American was made for 1958, 1959, and 1960, with 1960 being the first year for both the four-door sedan and the Custom top-trim-level, such as on the example here. This car is supposedly all original, but it has a completely-rebuilt engine, new seals in the transmission, a re-cored radiator, new door seals, an all-new interior, etc. The trunk does look original. In all fairness to the seller, who I’m sure is an nice, honest individual; I can see where a person would call this an “original” car as opposed to a restomod or something like that.

041516 Barn Finds - 1960 AMC Rambler Custom - 3

Speaking of that new interior! Wow! WOW! I’m not sure if I would have gone this route, and you all know that I like things odd and funky; but this one is over-the-top even for me. I don’t know what to say about this interior, other than I like the dash, at least the original part of the dash. Maybe not the added-on gauges, but I can see where a person may want some additional information as to what’s going on under the hood. The backseat is funky, too! This looks like the boarding house that you stayed in during your college trip to Europe in 1978. Remember that? When you missed the last ferry to Calais, France and had to stay in a rented room in Dover, England for the night. Remember that room? This is it. This car should be called the AMC Rambler British.

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Ahhh, that’s better! This is a beautiful engine, nice and tidy; and no paisley valve cover! The seller says that this engine has been fully rebuilt and it looks great. It’s a 3.2L, 196.5 six-cylinder with a healthy 125 hp; not bad at all in the power department. The 1960 Custom had this engine as standard equipment and it was a 37 hp bump over the base engine. Power steering was an option for the first time but I don’t see it here. The 3-speed Borg-Warner automatic transmission has had new seals put in it so it shouldn’t drip on the Persian rug that you’ll park this car on in your garage.

This car is listed on eBay with five days left on the auction and the current bid is a bit over $3,300. This could be a good buy, but I would want to redo that interior. Are you a fan of this first-generation AMC Rambler American or would you hold out for a next generation car?

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Comments

  1. jim s

    i drove one of these, 2dr, manual trans, base model, as a delivery car. steering did not seem to have any selfcentering to it. still driving it got me out and away from the business for short periods of time. i do not like the way the inside look but if the price stays low and there is no rust this would be nice way into the hobby. drive it while trying to get the car back to stock. great find.

  2. jim s

    the amcrc.com site has a 1959 deliveryman listed for sale.

    • Scotty G Staff

      I saw that a couple of weeks ago, what a car! Thanks, Jim!

  3. RayT Member

    When I was growing up, a young guy who worked at a local gas station had one of these. He had stuffed a SBC into it. Very neat work, and it ran very well (though it could have used larger-than-stock rubber). I recall that he had “Nash” logos painted on the valve covers. I loved it!

    So that’s all I see when one of these comes up. Hope someone more sensitive to originality than I am comes along and grabs it.

  4. brakesevo

    It is I fear, a perfect example of ‘shill bidding’ – over $3300 and “reserve not met!” Just who do they think they’re fooling?? This one will end as a “reserve not met” as no one in their right mind would bid any real money anywhere near the current ‘bid’ amount!!

  5. JimL

    Looked nice and peaked my interest until I saw the interior.

  6. Texas Tea

    My Grandmother had one of these in a two door with baby blue paint. Bought it new in 1960 and finally traded it in for a new, red 1972 amc Hornet. She had the Hornet for about two weeks when a hail storm came rolling through town (Cisco, Tx) and it totaled the Hornet (no garage). She called over to the house crying as she watched her car being destroyed by the golf ball size hail. That storm caused a lot of damage.

    These old Ramblers still hold a place in my heart as I remember my tiny Grandmother driving her old Rambler and not being able to see over the steering wheel.

  7. geomechs geomechs Member

    This is almost a dead ringer for a car one my school teachers drove years ago. I’m sure it was a ’59 though as it still ran the flathead six. The car kept blowing head gaskets so she and her daughter traded the car for a new International pickup. That would’ve been back in ’67. The car was in almost mint condition, paint was a little faded but no rust and not a scratch. I remember the car languishing in the back lot then out to a farm east of town. One day it was gone and I sure hope that it found a good home. All it needed was a new motor.

  8. Jeff DeWitt

    I always thought these looked like pregnant Larks!

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