Easy Restoration? 1960 Rambler Custom Cross Country

Most people don’t realize that Rambler was one of the top five U.S. auto makes by production in the early 1960s. Of course, they were dwarfed by Chevrolet and Ford but still managed 4th in 1960, 3rd in 1961, and 4th in 1962. By the end of the decade, they were barely in the Top 10. Rambler also had the highest percentage of wagons to overall sales than the other builders. This 1960 Custom Cross Country station wagon helped contribute to that success and now looks like a good candidate for a full restoration. It’s located in the college town of Tallahassee, Florida, and available here on eBay for the Buy It Now price of $3,500.

1959 was the last year of the Rambler Six and Rambler V8 designations that the builder would use to designate models. They would become the Deluxe, Super, and Custom for 1960 and then became Classics in 1961. Any of the trim levels could be had with a six-cylinder or V8 engine and 1960 was also the year that the American compact car was introduced. In spite of the new choice, the mainstay 1960 Rambler with a 195 cubic inch, 127 hp six-banger was AMC’s best-selling car that year at nearly two-thirds of all its sales.

The seller’s 1960 Custom Cross Country was the top-of-the-line wagon you could get at your Rambler dealer that year. This one appears to be a largely straight and original wagon that has numbers-matching running gear. There is no mention if the wagon starts or drives, but that might be dependent on how long the vehicle has been dormant (which we don’t know). Other then its fair share of patina, it’s hard to tell if there is any corrosion to be concerned about. The chrome and glass all appear to be good.

We don’t get a thorough visual inspection of the interior, so we will assume it will require some attention. The carpets have been removed, at least in the front, and surface rust is all we see there. Because so many of the interior surfaces were metal in those days, repainting those parts may be the most time-consuming to do. The car has one of those gee-whizz push-button automatic transmissions and rare factory air conditioning, which even has its own exterior badge. Some work may have been done in the engine compartment given that the radiator and hoses look newer. The odometer reads almost 75,000 miles.

The seller says he would entertain a trade for a luxurious European car, such as a Jaguar or Mercedes. Vintage Ramblers don’t command the same dollars as the more common domestic makes, but this one looks like it could be an affordable restoration. It’s not a rusted hulk-like so many of these things that we see. Plus, you’d have to opportunity to own one of the cars that was “typical of the stylish, yet highly practical wagons built by AMC in the 1950s.” (Source: Wikipedia)

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Comments

  1. That AMC Guy

    There is no such thing as “numbers matching running gear” on AMC cars. The seller is either lying or doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    Like 3
    • Howard A Member

      Now, now, TAG, let’s concentrate on what a great find this “Ambler” is.( we used to rearrange the letters to say other things). I may be full of it, but with your knowledge of AMC’s, I (we) expect more from you. If you lived in the upper midwest, these cars were all around. Relatives and neighbors, that probably worked at AMC, guy across the alley screwed dome lights in on Ramblers,,,all day, hey, at the time, it was the highest paying job around. There were waiting lists to work there, and all drove Ramblers. My grandfather drove them exclusively. He was proud to live in a city( Milwaukee) that built their own cars. The OHV motor was still relatively new, and many still came through with flatheads, I think. Ramblers just didn’t make a big showing elsewhere in the country, but we drove the heck out of them. They were good cars. This particular car has it all, A/C( looks add-on, I don’t ever recall seeing an A/C unit on very many Ramblers), PS, PB, oil filter, not full pressure, but loved the location, it was an option, and was probably a nice car when new. I suppose the looks are what most people remember what Ramblers looked like, for many, it was tie with Studebaker for bottom of the barrel, but we, like the people of South Bend, were very proud of our cars.

      Like 9
      • William Fox

        Howard, the one feature this wagon is missing that would probably TRIPLE it’s value is if it were the ultra-rare 4dr. hardtop version! `58-`60 Rambler wagons of that configuration are literally non-existent today. I’ve never laid eyes on a `60 model so equipped, but would love to. Late last year BF featured a green `56 wagon that was a hardtop; the only one i had ever seen! And probably one of the only ones left.

        Like 2
      • Howard A Member

        I wonder how many folks couldn’t find the dipstick on these ( and with the amount of oil they used, it was important) It was attached to the oil filler cap.

        Like 1
      • CJinSD

        There were some very attractive Studebakers.

  2. JoeNYWF64

    A faded paint car can look so much better if it’s in the rain. I imagine replacement tailights are hard to find?

    Like 3
  3. angliagt angliagt Member

    1960 Armada?

    Like 2
  4. DavidH

    This reminds me of the ‘61 Classic I learned to drive in. Same color, minus the surface rust. The price seems ok providing it runs, drives and oh yeah stops. Too bad Florida is so far away from Vermont. This one brings back some good memories and it would be a fun project.

    Like 2
  5. Bob_in_TN Member

    Air Conditioning: I know nothing about Ramblers of this era, but if this is factory wouldn’t that be a very early application of a/c in a non-luxury car? I don’t remember a/c becoming available in “regular” cars until later in the decade. In any case, that emblem is…. cool.

    Like 2
    • thomas f

      AMC had quite a few early a/c cars due to their owning Kelvinator (refrigerators, stoves, etc)

      Like 2
  6. roger pence

    I thought William Fox was crazy, but Rambler did make a hardtop wagon. Here’s a ’59:
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/848193837/1959-rambler-station-wagons-original?ref=pla_similar_listing_top-2&frs=1

    Like 2
  7. Bob C.

    Russ, you are partially right about the American. It was actually introduced in 1958, but 1960 was the first year for the 4 door sedan.

    Like 1
  8. Joe Machado

    Had a 1960 Ambassador hardtop wagon given to me in 1968. Pushbuttons stuck in drive. Easy fix, then sold it back to her. Two day flip

    Like 2
  9. Turbo

    I remember hearing that AMC was the first manufacturer of mass produced vehicles to make AC standard. If I recall correctly it was in the late sixties. Anybody know if this is fact or the result of my aging brain playing tricks?

    • Rick

      You’re right. The first vehicle to offer AC as standard was the 1968 AMC Ambassador.

  10. Phlathead Phil 🚗🇺🇸

    I wouldn’t have a Rambler if you paid me to take it off your hands. Ugly 🦆 of a car in my opinion.

    • Turbo

      you appear to have questionable judgement at best

      Like 7
  11. Phipps

    I love this one. My grandfather had a BuickGMC?Rambler dealership in Athens GA in this era. I still have an original scale model from 1960 the dealer used to display it. This would be a great resto project

  12. Larry Green

    I remember when I was kid, my friends father had a 1960 Rambler, the same teal green, he took us for rides all the time. I just loved that car because you didn’t have Diana Shore (rip) riding in the front seat singing, see the USA in a Chevrolet! Lol But its was well built and reliable cheap transportation, today they are starting to use plastic oil pans in cars not steel. They need to make cars built a Rambler again!

    Like 1

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