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Original? 1960 AMC Rambler Custom

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This looks like a solid car, I can’t tell if it’s original or if the body has been restored at some point. The 1960 AMC Rambler Custom seen here is in Marengo, Illinois and can be found on eBay. The current bid is a buck under $800 and even though it isn’t a running car that seems like a good price. Could this great-looking body be original?

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The body on this car looks amazingly solid, almost too solid for being fifty-six years old. The seller does mention that the “car has been sitting a long time, both since I owned it and also by the previous owner. It has been stored in a garage.” I can see a little bubbling on the bottoms of the doors and maybe in the rockers, but could this possibly be an original car? Under the title section of the eBay ad they have it listed as being “Rebuilt, Rebuildable & Reconstructed”, maybe that answers the “original” question.

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The seller says to “LOOK AT PHOTOS TO DETERMINE CONDITION.” I don’t think they’re actually yelling, just wanting to make a point. For less than a grand you’re not going to spend $250 to have a company check this car out in person to see if it’s original or has bondo on it. It sure looks like it’s worth taking a risk on. There is some rust in the front floors but there is no mention of rust-through and it’s hard to tell from the photos. The trunk looks great and you can see that a couple of extra tail light lenses are there to replace the broken one and still have another spare. Nice.

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There are no engine photos, unfortunately, and the seller says that when they “had this car running it ran pretty good but the transmission only work in forward. Reverse didn’t work. It has a surprising amount of power for a 196 ci I6.” They also say, “I am not going to spend any time fixing things. Since it has been sitting the brakes stopped work and the battery is bad. It has not been started for several years and without a battery I’m not going to try to get it running.” I have no doubt that the majority of Barn Finds readers could get that 90 hp engine running again. The interior will need to be re-trimmed, but, what a great design on those seats! With the great condition that this body is in, I wonder what this car will sell for, even without it being a running example. Would you take a chance on this original-looking car?


  1. david

    Flat head engine, not available in he Custom, had 90 hp. Overhead engine in this car would be around 125 hp. Good looking specimen

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  2. mike

    Flat heat was only in the American Not the Rambler.. Engine in this car is a OHV 195.6

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  3. DENIS

    These had a bulletproof motor, unless it was run out of oil, it would likely be simple to get running. Not much value when done, but a fun Sunday car…
    I had several w V-8s and they would haul ass

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  4. nessy

    I still have a 61 Rambler Classic just like this car but in a sharp factory red, silver and black color combo. My great uncle left it to me long ago. Great cars but watch out for underbody rust. We had to replace the floors in his car twice over time.

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  5. Rick

    You could find Ramblers of similar vintage in driveable condition for $50 back in the early 70s because nobody wanted them. And when you went to the Rambler section of the junkyard most of them looked like they had been driven into the yard and parked. One of my neighbors that was my age had a yellow ’60 Rambler 4 dr w/ a 3 spd on the column given to him by his grandma when he turned 16 and got his license, it was his first car. It was still in nice shape, think it was only 11 or 12 yrs old at the time and we had all ridden in it since we were little kids, his grandma would drive us to school and baseball and whatever in it. Anyhow he started driving it and we all rode around with him in it , but we got bored after a couple of days, so we bought a couple of cases of beer and took the Rambler off road, and ended up brush running the thing, and taking turns just beating the crap out of it, crashing into stuff and totally trashed it until finally one side of the front suspension came off, so it was no longer driveable, but the engine still ran good. So we hooked up the throttle spring backwards so the carb was wide open and fired it up and let it free wind until it grenaded. Then we lit it on fire and drank beer while we watched it burn, and then we walked home. A couple of months later it got towed away as an abandoned vehicle and the towing yard came after his grandma for the towing and storage charges because the title never got transferred out of her name.

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    • Steven Ligac

      What a great story! Sounds like me and my mates in the day.

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  6. Ed P

    The paint needs a bucket or two of elbow grease liberally applied. For the price, this is a great project car.

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  7. Howard A Member

    My grandfather had Ramblers, several of them, including a ’61, very similar to this. 1st thing I’d check are the trunnions on the front suspension. My grandfathers car only had like 40K miles on it, was in perfect shape, except for the front suspension. Being a unibody, the front suspension mounts to the body via trunnions, and those rusted clear of the body, deeming the car undriveable. Nobody wanted to fix it, and he junked it. The motor ran so quiet, you couldn’t hear it run. Kinda sad, nobody wanted these cars back then, and apparently, nobody wants it now. Can’t say there’s no bargain classic cars, as here you go. Very seldom seen today.

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  8. doc

    Ramshaft! We would ride around in my friend Carl’s 1960 Ramshaft wagon and play Ramble On by Led Zeppelin on an 8 track of course. Ha! I have 8mm home movies that he copied for me of us terrorizing in the ‘Shaft.We would roof ride hanging on the the luggage rack and make bank turns on a high dirt bank on a left hand curve.

    Still alive and well!.

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  9. paul lehman

    You can say no one wants these cars, Two years ago I sold my mint 60 Ambassador for $14,000. You just have to find the right person. I bought the car for $2500. 20 years earlier.

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  10. doc

    I’ll bet is was Carl, he loved those cars

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