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Cheap ’60s American Classics!

Rambler And Valiant

Out our way over on the left coast and out in the western deserts beyond the lands of winter snows and salty roads cars don’t rust much. There are many 50 year old cars that have been sitting for decades. You find them for sale cheap like this Valiant and this Rambler listed on craigslist for about $1,000 each. If they are not too rusty and the engines are free they might be brought back to life. Cars like these will probably never be worth much, but wouldn’t one of these beat driving around in an econobox?


This one has been sitting for about 30 years. It’s a manual 3 speed car. But rust in the floors could rule it out as a truly cheap project.


It looks complete and original under the hood. This slant six engine is a familiar sight. The engine turns over but it won’t start. That could be an easy fix though.


These Rambler American’s pictures are awful, but it does appear unmolested inside.


It’s hard to tell what’s under the hood. Could those be spark plugs on top of the engine? That would be a bad sign.


These 2 cars may not be the best example, but they are a sample of what’s out there. Parts are plentiful and cheap for cars like these and they are simple to work on. 1975 and older cars are exempt from SMOG inspection in California, 1967 in Arizona and Illinois. One could even restore their car a bit as time and money permitted. For many people, cars like these are just junk and the comments will perhaps reflect that, but I think they are worth looking at as possible cheap, fun transportation. You may have to inspect several cars before you find a good candidate, but there are good, solid cars out there for sale cheap if you are willing to look beyond the rare and collectible.


  1. Frankie

    Oooh, see that Torino back there…

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  2. Rich

    Cool write up. These would be a sweet way to gain entry into an old car and gain experience. Be cool to see more of these.

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  3. Joe

    There’s a Vista Cruiser too!! I wouldn’t mind the Valiant. There’s one in my area set up as a straight axle drag car. They were silly looking cars, but those slant 6 engines were hard to kill.

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  4. St. Ramone de V8

    Love seeing this. These two cars, and so many similar ones are considered totally worthless to the high end collector. That’s not really what this site is about, I think. Stuff like these two cars will never, ever be valuable collector cars. That makes them perfect candidates for easy projects that only ever aim to make them drivable again. Then you could provide the young drivers of today with the chance to drive a car from a different time. A time with a three speed column shift, with no PS, PB, and no radio or heater even sometimes. Driving these cars meant paying attention. Anticipating traffic situations. Maybe I’m a dreamer, but I’d like to see more of these simple old cars back on the road, and I’d love to have a chance to offer my kids and grandkids a chance to try it!

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  5. Larry K

    That Valiant would make a nice daily driver.fix it up at your leisure.

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  6. grant

    A while back a feature was run on a couple old Mopars, I don’t remember exactly what they were. The seller had them each about 80% done, and the prices were reasonable. Poor guy caught hell in the comments (not from me) for “wasting his time.” These cars are similar, in that they aren’t worth a lot, but could be a cheap way to enjoy an old car and learn some restoration skills. Love the lines of that funky Valiant. Would have to name it “Prince” though.

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  7. RON

    Love the comments on all so agree with St Ramone and Grant. I would love to fid these cars in my area at such cheap prices especially the Valiant. Such fun unsual daily drivers. Keep up the good work guys, no wastehere. So nice to see things nt owned by the upper crust and affordable to all.

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  8. Andy

    And you’d better do it soon, while internal-combustion, human-driven cars are still legal!

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  9. Howard A Member

    While I too think it’s good to post these things, just to show, it you got the knuckles, a cheap project can still be had, however, make no mistake, until you’ve restored a “dead” car like this before, it’s not for the faint of heart (or wallet) I restored my 1950 Packard, that didn’t look much better than these, and it was a huge task, and that was 35 years ago. ( and I had 4 parts cars) I’d think, there are a few of these cars still out there, in running condition, and believe me, it’s a lot easier that way. Sorry, I’d say parts cars on these. ( if that term still applies)

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  10. Alan

    Bring that 50s gmc delivery up front for a look

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  11. Rick

    When I was a kid in the late 60s/early 70s, poor folks drove cars like these

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  12. Eric Dashman

    Not the prettiest of cars, are they. They can be found in much better condition too for the same price. Here’s 2 62 Valiants in North Carolina:
    http://greensboro.craigslist.org/cto/5668493549.html south of Greensboro, 4 door, automatic with all the trim intact and chrome looking pretty good.
    http://greensboro.craigslist.org/cto/5695884066.html a little northwest of Winston-Salem, a 2 door in a little rougher shape than the 4 door, also automatic.

    The 4-door almost tempted me just to have as a driver, but I’ve got too many projects already.

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    • packrat

      Eric, that 2dr lead you dug up looks, prima facie, to be a very good starting point at the listed price.

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  13. fordfan

    The rambler is a flathead 6 hence the spark plugs on top of the engine

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  14. RON

    i think they were referring to the fact that the plugs are literally laying on top of the engine, not that it is a flathead. lol

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  15. AlphaRoaming.com

    Better than an Econobox? They ARE Econoboxes from a different era!

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  16. Ron Engel

    At some point in time these vehicles will be sought after because that all that would be left! These cars can be a blast without spending a lot of money. You can get your vintage experience and have something different. You won’t see a lot off doubles at a cruise-in. Growing up I was lucky to have a nice Model A for cruising and a beautiful 50 Chevy 4-door for surf trips and long drives to Bakerfield for the March Meets.

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  17. Mike

    The Rambler looks like it could be a 1963 AMC Rambler American 330 sedan it came out with a 196ci flat head 6 banger, yes the spark plugs were in the top, you can tell it is the 195 by the placement of the oil filter.
    I have one in my collection, they are fun to drive and it goes on Rt. 66 cruises ever so often. The main reason I bought it was because it is something that is as old as I am, and still runs good.
    When I bought it some 30 years ago, it sat for many years in a storage shed on a friends family farm. I was given the car as payment for work I did for his Aunt. It took me nearly 5 years to restore back to as close to original as I could get it, and like I said it goes on the fall cruise’s the car club I belong to does on part of Rt.66.

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  18. Bruce

    I love that you are showing us these. Please show more like them! It is very nice to see some cars with potential that are not too commonly seen anymore.

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