EXCLUSIVE: 1962 Rambler American

What a neat little car with a great story and history! This 1962 Rambler American comes with a lot of parts, some of which are new, as well as some detailed service records. Reader Mark M. has included a lot of details along with some pictures and is only asking $1,250! It’s located in Puyallup, Washington — if you’re interested, contact Mark through the form at the bottom of the post.

Here’s what Mark says about the car:

What makes it special:  I bought this car from a blacksmith who received the car as payment for work. I have maintenance records and registrations dating back to the mid-80s and late 70s respectively. I have approximately 40 service records, spanning from the 80s to mid/late 90s. I have registrations dating from 1976 to the 2000s. I also have the original owners manual and TSM, which are very legible but have worn covers. The car wears it’s original 1962 Washington State plates that are registered to me and come with the car. I also have AMC Rambler Club directories, newsletters and forms dating back to the early 90s. The car has a long trail of documentation and is a fantastic candidate for restoration. The car comes with a significant amount of NOS parts as well as spares, and could easily be restored as the next owner would see fit.

Body Condition: The body is straight and rust free and is free of dents. Small holes are present near the rear bumper and on the trunk lid, although a spare trunk lid comes with the car. Paint is faded and appears to have been sanded in places to avoid rust taking hold. Overall the body is in excellent condition and requires minimal if any work before being ready for paint.

Interior Condition: The interior is stripped and I’ve been using bucket seats from a donor car in the interim. Windows all roll up and down, doors all open and close. There’s a small crack near the driver’s side of the windshield, but the crack does not affect visibility in a significant way. The car comes with it’s original seat frames, though they have rust. I believe that they are savable/usable but will require some refurbishment before they’re reupholstered and returned to the car. I also have the door trim patterns and a lot of exterior chrome trim. The previous owner said that all exterior trim is present though I have not verified this claim. There is a lot of trim being stored in the car so I don’t doubt that the trim is complete. The gas tank is rusty and currently off the car but could be refurbished and reattached. The original fill pipe for the gas tank is included, though I doubt it’s savable.

Mechanical Condition: When I purchased this car from the blacksmith we bled the brakes, threw in a new battery, fed the fuel line into a 1-gallon gas tank and drove it 15 miles home. It’s been sitting in my garage for about a year, but I would drive it once a week for short distances before then. Most electrics work, though some are intermittent (brake lights). I haven’t diagnosed the electrical system, but it’s incredibly simple. When running the car hummed along better than my old ’01 Toyota Camry.

The brakes are currently seized and the car is not running, but I will unseize the brakes and see if I can get it running in the coming week. I suspect it will be easy to get running once more, but a potential buyer will have to trailer the car as it sits currently.

This really is a seriously cool find! There can’t be many of these cars left and the history and documentation make it special. I really like the realistic price — how can you go wrong? Thanks to Mark for listing it as a Barn Finds Exclusive! Do you have a classic sitting in your barn, garage or shed that needs a new home? Please consider listing it here on Barn Finds!

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  1. Beatnik Bedouin

    As a lot of you know, I used to tool around SoCal in a ’62 American Deluxe wagon – it certainly wasn’t a cool car back then – LOL!

    This looks like a fun and very affordable project for someone. I’m sure That AMC Guy would be able to offer a lot of valuable info and handy hints to the new owner.

    Like 1
    • That AMC Guy

      Thanks – I used to own a couple of breadbox Ramblers, a ’61 4-door and a ’62 2-door. Still have a lot of parts laying around for them, as well as the factory shop manual that’s pictured in the 2nd photo.

      Probably the main thing to keep in mind that this is basically a restyled 1950 Nash Rambler (designed in mid-late 1940s), so even by 1962 standards these cars were not exactly cutting edge. They were very prone to rust so even though this one will need quite a bit of work you’re ahead of the game if it is truly rust-free.

      I do see what appears to be a recent master cylinder under the hood. It’s a dual master, which was standard on Ramblers starting in ’62. (Probably the only feature on the car which was ahead of its time! :) )

      The front suspension uses greasable trunnions top and bottom, and the factory called for greasing them at 1,000 mile intervals. (They’ll last a long time if you do and a PITA to fix if you don’t.)

      The oil filter was an optional partial-flow unit which you can see under the top radiator hose in the photo. It is fed with external oil lines so you’ll want to pay attention to their condition. Other engine design features are the intake manifold integral with the head and no real exhaust manifold. (The exhaust pipe has slots cut out to match the exhaust ports at the engine end, is capped, and just bolts up to the block.) It’s about as simple and reliable an engine as you’ll find.

      The rear axle is AMC’s old “big nut” design which requires its own approach to servicing:


      Vacuum wiper motor is under the dash. Electrics were never offered in this model as far as I know.

      That’s about all I can think of off the top of my head. In general when driving these you need to get into a 1949 frame of mind rather than 1962; set your expectations accordingly and you’ll have a great time with it.

      Like 4
      • Old Car Guy

        I will second everything that “That AMC Guy” says. In addition I would caution that the flathead 6 had a habit of developing cracks in the block around the valves. I tore the heads off of 5 engines before I found one without cracks in the block in the early 70’s. I rather liked vacuum wipers once I installed a vacuum reservoir, remember power brakes ran off of engine vacuum too. The vacuum wipers were finitely adjustable and were very simple. AMC kept the upper trunnions until ’69 but went to lower ball joints in ’63(’64 for the American). It was one part that was unavailable for years, recently becoming available again. If kept well greased they rarely wear out. I had a ’63 Classic that the trunnions were in excellent condition when I unfortunately totaled at 153,000 mikles

        Like 0
  2. Fred H

    The shipping will be as much as the car .

    Like 0
  3. Wayne

    I like all of it! (the price, documentation, condition, transmission, location, etc.)
    Except the second pair of doors!

    Like 0
    • That AMC Guy

      The 2-door sedans don’t look any less awkward. :)

      Like 0
  4. Chevy Guy

    anything with the name american in it is awesome!

    Like 2
  5. r s

    Hard to imagine a ’62 American car with a flathead engine!

    Like 0
  6. dennis hagelin

    still available??

    Like 0

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