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Boat Included! 1959 Rambler Six Cross Country

It’s not uncommon to see package deals here on Barn Finds. But it’s usually groups of the same or similar cars. In this case, this seller has a rather nice 1959 Rambler Six station wagon that is being sold along with a matching DuraCraft boat! But that combination may only appeal to someone who likes their vehicular fun on both land and water. Located in Little Rock, Arkansas, this interesting pair is available here on eBay where the bidding starts at $20,000 (or you can end the suspense right now at $26,000). Thanks for this fascinating tip, Larry D!

Let’s start with the car. It’s a 1959 Rambler Six built by American Motors. These were introduced in 1956 shortly after Nash and Hudson merged to form AMC. Compared to automobiles built by GM, Ford, and Chrysler, these autos would be considered intermediates, smaller than a full-size but bigger than a compact. The Rambler Six came with a 196 cubic inch inline-6 while its companion model was the Rambler V8 with a 250 cubic inch motor.

On the other hand, the boat is from Monticello, Arkansas-based DuraCraft, whose roots go back to 1945 when they started producing aluminum boats from war surplus after World War II. Apparently, they were in business until 1983 and took a hiatus until 2010 but are at it again with the offspring of the company’s original founders. The seller’s boat was built in 1958.

From what we can tell, the seller’s ownership of this interesting pair began with the boat. The latter belonged to the seller’s father, and he would take rides in it as a child. It’s since been restored and the engine replaced with a rebuilt one (period-correct). We’re not given a lot of details about the boat, and it looks to be made of either wood or fiberglass, not aluminum as was DuraCraft’s specialty. I’m not a boat expert, but this one looks sharp!

The station wagon was another color when it was new and has since been repainted, apparently to match the boat. In all the photos provided, they are inseparable, and the seller would hate to see them part company. So, you probably will have to take both to get the one you might want. The seller says the car’s mechanic components and interior are original. The manual transmission went out at one time and was replaced with another one without overdrive, but the original and driveshaft have been retained.

A little TLC will be needed to whip the Rambler back into daily driver form. The carburetor has been rebuilt but needs to be dialed in as the engine doesn’t run quite right. Beyond that, there is no mention of anything else that the car or its companion may need other than someone who will enjoy the pair as much as the seller has.


  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Nice pair. I love the tail lights on the boat. Not sure how much confidence I would have with both. I would think local shows mostly. Cool find though!

    Like 8
  2. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    They certainly have a sweet theme going, but unfortunately, boats are money pits. It would make a nice display though, if you had 26K laying around. I do have the 26K, but that’s next months gas money, lol.

    Like 20
  3. Howard A Member

    “Log in” be dammmed, ( stupid early access) I have to get in on this one toot-sweet. Russ does a great job with his descriptions. In Wisconsin, the Cross Country was without a doubt, Ramblers biggest draw. It was designated as a
    family car”, and people who worked at AMC, usually family men ( sorry, no ladies on the lines then) and this is what they drove. Not so much in fear of someone from the company demanding they drive their cars, like Ford, many times, these workers would actually build their own cars, and add a lockwasher or 2, because they were proud of what they did. Manual trans going to kill thiss sale( no bids) on what I consider a great deal for this package. See? Nobody can drive a stick, and boating went out with the Bill Clinton era. The motor is actually a special unit, it’s a Johnny SUPER SEA HORSE 35 hp, twin. I can’t find the difference from the “regular” 35, but the styling was unique, and not many were sold.
    Re: Fins on boats. Tail fins were very common in the late 50’s, and trying to mimic cars of the time. Tail lights and what looks like exhaust ports below, are right out of GM cars. The fact there are no bids, pretty much bolsters what I’ve been saying all along,,,we live truly in different times.

    Like 12
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      “boating went out with the Bill Clinton era”. Wait, what?
      Please explain, further.

      Like 10
      • Howard A Member

        When I was a kid( 60’s) boating was huge. We had a lake cottage near Milwaukee, and was incredibly busy. Interest steadily declined, and by the early 90’s,( Clinton era 1992-1996) except for a few pontoon boats and PWC’s, the lake had become eerily quiet.

        Like 3
    • JV

      Boating went out!? Try buying a boat right now. Worse than buying a new car.

      Like 4
  4. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Boating and fishing are still huge in Texas. I lived in a small town on the north side of Cedar Creek Lake in North Texas. They have fishing tournaments quite often and the lake is usually covered in boats of all types and sizes. A good fisherman can make great money in prizes and cash.
    As for this rig though its probably only of interest to someone locally. The boat especially. There are only certain brands of boats that are well received in every area. The wagon on the other hand is quite collectable in every sector of the hobby.
    God Bless America

    Like 7
  5. That AMC guy

    Nice car but never been into boats. (It has been said the 2 best days in a boat owners life are when he buys the boat – and then when he finally sells it.)

    Never saw the partial-flow oil filter on the 195.6 OHV engine oriented upside down before though, I’ve always seen them like this with the filter topside:


    Like 2
    • Rick

      Yeah, that inverted oil filter jumped right off the page. It’s an odd sight for sure.

      Like 1
    • Charlie

      My father probably designed that oil filter when he was an engineer at Walker Manufacturing Company in Racine, WI, beginning in 1957. Unfortunately he is not around to tell us the merits or drawbacks of mounting the filter in either direction. He’d certainly have an opinion on which way is best.

      Like 1
    • Mark Member

      Not a boat. Replace airplane as the two happiest days!

      Like 0
    • glenn C marks

      Don’t believe that old “saw” about a boat owners 2 favorite days. They never talked to a pontoon boat owner! I still wish I had one (either of them)! 30 years of total ownership. Some pains, yep! Some foot stompin’, yep! Some expense, yep! Some motherf****n great times, HELL YES!!!!

      Like 0

    I think it is a nice tasteful package. Nothing as solid as a Rambler and a wagon. The manual trans is a big plus. No 63 year old slushbox trans issues. Power on demand with the 3 on the tree. Besides it’s fun to drive. Plenty of power from that quiet thrifty six.

    Great retirement present. If one can retire that is. Who know in this land of uncertain times. Forget the world and look out the wraparound windshield like it is the 1950’s again. Trips to the local grocery and or big box store during the week. Go to a car meet on Saturday. Take the boat out on the water on Sunday would be fun times.

    Like 12
    • Bruce

      Your right AMCFSN
      I grew up during that time, there were national social issue’s and in general life was simpler… And it’s a fact most people of today can’t and should rather Not drive a standard shift car.
      Oh by the way., give my left arm for 69 Rambler scramble, beautiful period piece and it had some ball’s.
      I would trade my collection of 8 fox body mustangs for a scrambler in restored shape.

      Like 0
  7. Buffalo Bob

    Tried to get into boating back in the late 90’s, but failed. Being between Erie & Ontario, we had both lakes plus the Niagara River to put in. My brother & I had a 14′ ’63 Glastron pushed by a 40hp Evinrude Big Twin, which was mechanically the same as the motor here. Once we had the coils & water pump squared away, it was relatively cheap to maintain. And, that little boat really moved out! Then, Life got in the way, & we sold her. At least we got a couple summers of good fishing out of her first.
    The Rambler looks pretty great too. Having worked at the AMC dealer in my youth, I never saw one quite this old, but their reputation for bullet-proof drivelines was legendary. Too bad they couldn’t hold the tinworms at bay here in the rust belt.
    Again, this is a great looking pair & deserves to be shown together.

    Like 5
  8. man war

    Unlike the 75 Cadillac Eldorado station wagon on this forum the other day that many people said had a weird looking bubble top, this one has the opposite – a smashed down rear roof. lol

    Like 1
    • That AMC guy

      That “dip” in the roof of Rambler station wagons is there because the regular sedan roof was used with an extension welded on to save money on tooling for an entirely new roof. Most came with a roof rack on that section to make it look like a styling feature rather than a cost-cutting move.

      Like 3
  9. Karl

    Howard is correct on the outboard it’s a Johnson Golden Jubilee edition I owned one when I was in HS. The only difference between these and the regular 35 HP outboard was the color of the hood and these came with the bar on the back of the engine to set it on the floor kind of its own stand.

    Like 2
    • Boatman Member

      Karl, I believe the “Super Quiet” lower cowling was also what made the Super Sea Horse.

      Like 1
      • Karl

        Boatman you sure could very well be correct that was a long time ago I had that engine. Good engine I think I traded a guy a saddle for the engine. It needed the carbs cleaned when I got it but after that it ran great although it was a bit gaudy with that gold color, I am sure I traded it for something else down the road.

        Like 2
  10. unclemymy Member

    I believe that the boat is, in fact, aluminum. Looking at the ebay photos, you can clearly see riveting details on the fins, as well as the chine, the prow, and on the deck. There is a clear weld line at the transom, extending to the bottom of the boat. 6061T6 aluminum was very plentiful for many years after WWII, both from existing stock warehoused at the end, and also from the tens of thousands of aircraft scrapped and smelted :-( in the Arizona boneyards. As a former purchasing manager, how I would have delighted to have cheap access to such raw materials!

    Like 4

    This is the first car I remember as a child. My dads’ was green with black stripe and roof. What I remember most about it is…One day getting in it to “pretend” drive, shifting the column lever (no locking ignitions in those days) and rolling it down the driveway, across the street and into the shallow ditch on the neighbors yard.
    I didn’t do any damage to the car or yard. Nor do I recall “catching it” from my parents. Maybe I did or maybe it just scared the bejeepers out of me. Because I don’t remember ever playing in that car again.

    Like 0
  12. Neil

    To be period correct I believe the name of the boat is incorrect. They weren’t using Ms. back then, but Mrs. or Miss. Okay, picky detail, forgive me. Pretty cool package.

    Like 8
  13. Paul R.

    I don’t see the chrome but regardless I do believe the outboard is a 1957 Johnson Golden Javelin . It was the fancy version of the 35 h.p. big twin engine.
    One of those beautiful works of art from the late fifties.

    Like 2
  14. Paul R.

    I take that back , no chrome, not a Javelin ,must be the next model down, the “Super Sea Horse “ as someone mentioned, and 1958.
    I didn’t know there was a gold and white Johnson that was not a Javelin.

    Like 2
  15. John

    Could you clear up which boat is thrown in
    The front one or back one?

    Like 2
  16. Bob

    I worked 2nd shift on the 4th floor paint dept on Richards St Milwaukee and sanded the prime paint on the interior rear deck of that car as a student.

    Like 6
    • Howard A Member

      Hi Bob, some beautiful paint jobs came out of that plant,,now a Walmart. I worked for a paint company in the 70’s that supplied some of the paint. In case some don’t know, the car bodies were assembled and painted in Milwaukee, then the finished bodies were transported to Kenosha on open, 2 or 3 tier trailers, for the engines and drivelines,,,in all weather, which is why some Ramblers were rusting in the showrooms. As kids, we used to watch the trucks go by with all the car bodies and the colors. The trailers were pulled by IH 4000 day cab cabovers. https://i.pinimg.com/originals/8a/cd/fa/8acdfa4385b491b9acc153dd6363701c.jpg

      Like 0
  17. trdave

    Oil filter was an option. Originally mounted on top. Never inverted any of mine, but now wish I had. 196 engine is long stroke. Much low end torque.

    Like 1
  18. chrlsful

    I like these pretty much, all cept for the lill roof ‘ding’, right above the frnt of last window / rear of the 1 B4, as it’s a wagon version of my Rambler American (440, vert). Right sized. i6 & tree/3, also fine !
    Now the boat…I prefer those sail powered (skis, human powered, etc). I DO like it better than the ubiquitous trailer tho…
    Great story & choice by Russ !

    Like 1
  19. Lee A

    The boat for sale is a DuraCraft Duraflite “Supreme.” It was a one year model, built in 1958 only, all aluminum. In 1958 Johnson built two versions of their 35hp engines. The first was a carryover model from 1957, called the Sea Horse 35, styled just like the 1957 model, only with the colors, holiday bronze and white, reversed. The other model was the Super Sea Horse 35, all new, inside and out, painted in white with gold accents as shown on this boat. In 1960 they boosted this to a 40hp and this one carried on for decades. All were styled by Brooks Stevens, who had done the styling for OMC/Evinrude/Johnson since the mid-thirties.

    Like 8
    • Paul R.

      Very interesting, thank you.
      Wondering where the Javelin fits in the model line up.
      I’m pretty sure it was just a fancy version of the stock 35 h.p , with more chrome, although electric start was standard, not an option.
      I also remember the compression release mechanism on the head to make for easier pull starting. Often disabled on older engines.
      The stock Sea Horse 35 was deep red or burgundy with white trim , then reversed with white and burgundy trim.
      Once the single piece fibreglass cowling came in 1960, the artistic beauty was lost , in my opinion.

      Like 2
  20. Lee A

    The Javelin was produced in 1956 and ’57 only. In 1956 it was “deep burgundy,” or as Johnson called it, “Holiday Bronze,” accented by large amounts of chrome. In 1957 it was gold, with a white lower unit, and again, more than its share of chrome, with a couple of black accents. No Javelin in 1958, as they felt that the Super Sea Horse pretty much covered that segment of the market. Fiberglass cowls (or hoods to the rest of us) came in 1959. Cleaner styling, less 50-ish.

    Like 1
  21. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    One of the customers at my restoration shop had a 1958 DeSoto station wagon, and he pulled a boat/trailer with fins & tail lights that almost matched the DeSoto’s fins.

    The owner bought & restored the boat to match the wagon. He once told me that trying to take the car and boat to a car show was turning out to be troublesome. Seems most show organizers wanted cars lined up in rows, and cars towing travel trailers or boats were ostracized. Some show banned them, others said “Park it over there. . . “. Most of the time he was parked among the fire engines or big trucks. He said one show organizer said he had to disconnect the boat/trailer and then park next to them in the line-up.

    Like 5
  22. V8roller

    ‘He said one show organizer said he had to disconnect the boat/trailer and then park next to them in the line-up.’

    The Japanese have a saying about the need to conform… ‘the nail that sticks up will be hammered down.

    This is a great combo for someone who wants and can use both for transport and boating rather than shows, just need to find that person.

    Like 0

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