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Never Seen Snow! 1961 Rambler American Deluxe

Rambler came out with the freshly re-bodied American for the 1961 model year but it was still based on the previous bathtub Rambler American with a 100-inch wheelbase. This fantastic-looking 1961 Rambler American Deluxe sedan can be found posted here on craigslist in Rockfall, Connecticut and the seller is asking $5,500. Here is the original listing, this one will not last long at this price.

In a redesign that would cause heads to roll in 2023, this car is actually narrower and shorter than the preceding cars were! Unheard of! The second-generation Rambler American was made for the 1961 through 1963 model years and it’s my personal favorite Rambler American design. It still had the awkward wheel well offset of the previous design, but I really like this look. They came in a two-door and four-door sedan, a two-door convertible, and a two-door and four-door station wagon. A two-door hardtop was available in 1963.

There were Deluxe, Super, and Custom models and they were all nice despite some missing trim and other things that a top-of-the-line Custom would have had. I love this all-black look, right down to the blackwall tires. I don’t see a flaw on this car inside or out and the seller has provided a lot of good photos, highly unusual for a craigslist ad. Well done! The seller says that this is a survivor and has never been driven in the winter, it sure looks like it’s in excellent shape.

The seller thinks that the paint may be original and that would be mind-blowing, and also mind-blowingly unusual. It looks like it’s ready for Pebble Beach so for it to be older than I am (I know!), that would be crazy. Still, it could be. The interior makes me weep it’s so nice. If this car had a red interior this car would be mine already. The seats appear to have been reupholstered and everything else looks just excellent inside, including the trunk. You can see a third pedal in the photo above, and this car has a column-shifted three-speed manual transmission.

This is Nash’s 196-cu.in. L-Head, Super Flying Scot inline-six, with 90 horsepower and 160 lb-ft of torque. The Custom trim level received the new OHV engine with 125 horsepower, which would have been nice to see here. It was optional in the Deluxe and Super trim levels. The seller doesn’t say how it runs, just that it isn’t being driven much. This sure looks like an outstanding example, doesn’t it?


  1. Chris Roe

    As I remember, these had superior corrosion control because the entire unit body was submerged, except the roof, in electrocharged paint vats. The company was no doubt sensitive to the vulnerability of the original baby Nash rambler in this regard. Notice the front- end styling seems a blend of the period Plymouth Valiant and Studebaker Lark.`

    Like 12
  2. Robert Proulx

    In the mid 80’s our neighbours sister came to visit every once in a while and she owned a 66 or 67 Rambler two door all plain jane with dog dish hubcaps i always found that car so cool and for one thing the speedometer was written. 1 2 3 4 right up to 12 instead of the usual 10 20 30 40 and so on.

    Like 11
  3. That AMC Guy

    I owned one of these though mine was white-over-turquoise two tone. It did have the flathead engine and three-on-the-tree. These are definitely funky little cars, still very much a 1950 Nash Rambler under those squared-off body panels.

    Like 10
  4. chrlsful

    1st amc yr WAS a nash. All they did wuz put this ‘skin’ on exact nash chassy, drive-line, no change but sheet-metal. Pretty sure my ’63 american hada OHV i6 but I had not picked upa wrench or interest so cant remember it’s form 60 yrs ago (I guess flat AND ohv was offered) .
    Loved my lill white vert w/blk automatic (I wuz used to manual) top. Nice room, big box. Beautiful running engine (preverbal: ‘nickel balance on the hood while idling”).
    Still I like the transitional 3 yr model (’58/60) due to the apparent bertone / pin- inafarina stylin. Mmm, mm – great for merican, even beddah as ‘economy’ car. I flipped last wk seein a wagon model (only a pic from 3/4 rear) slightly akin to the squarback or Type III (Type 36, ie waggy) from that view (very rounded roof, its corners). Any of these (’58/all ’60s) drives very like a modern car. Course the rest aint near (MPGs, safety, ‘extras’, pollution).

    Like 3
  5. Mike

    In black it looks like an eastern block transportation for party members.

    Like 22
  6. Nelson C

    These became the cartoonist/illustrators generic car. Once a solid citizen and as common as dirt I find it a very appealing car. Bottom of the barrel in features it would be a blast to show up behind the wheel.

    Like 5
  7. Bill West

    My grandmother had one of these in red. Where she parked it was at the crest of a gently sloped hill which made up the back lawn, the swimming pool was at the bottom and one day she neglected to set the brake. You guessed it, it gathered some momentum, jumped the surrounding coping and ended up in 8 feet of water!

    Like 8
  8. Bob19116

    Amazing low budget transformation of an early 1950’s Nash Rambler known as the bathtub. They brought it back as the late 1950’s Rambler American with only small changes like opening the front wheel wells. The car was extra wide so the front wheels had room to turn inside the closed wheel wells. So, when they re-skinned the 100 inch Nash wheelbase from round bathtub to boxy early 1960’s design, they removed the extra width on the outside. Also nice upgrade to the modern dashboard. Interesting to look at the original bathtub and this “box” side by side and you can see they kept the same side pillars window line and side glass.

    Like 5
  9. AutoArcheologist AutoArcheologist Member

    This car lives right around the corner from me, I drive past it every day, sitting out on the lawn, with her For Sale sign.
    Didn’t know she was so low priced… Scotty is right, in this condition, at that price, she will sell quickly – Awesomely cheap entry into the collector car world, with a car most at local cruise nights won’t know what it is.
    If anyone is interested, I may be able to stop by and inspect for you…
    Scotty… You can always put red seat covers in her.. wink, wink, nudge, nudge… ;>)

    Like 5
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      You’re right about the red seat covers, but I’d have to redo the entire interior so it looks like it was done in the factory. That’s darn nice of you to offer to look at this car. With winter coming here very soon, and my storage units jam-packed already, it’s painful to have to pass up this one at this great price. Shipping to Minnesota from Connecticut would probably add $1,500 to the price, too.

      Like 2
  10. Bill Sparks

    Police cars in Pittsburgh, PA when I was a kid

    Like 1
  11. Fox Owner

    You know, for an economy car it doesn’t scream “cheap”. The interior design is really impressive. Everything, the dash, the steering wheel, the door panels just seem right. My late uncle who was a notorious skinflint owned one of these. He likes them because he could do all the work on them himself. But then he figured out how to mount his own tires on the rims using a pair of crowbars

    Like 2
  12. ClassicP

    Grandma had a black one like this in a station wagon. I remember riding in the back with my Peanuts Christmas story book. Oh and cheese puffs

    Like 2
  13. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    For the record about the title being, “Never Seen Snow” – I know it should be “Never Saw Snow”, but I was going off of the seller’s description that this one “has never seen winter” and modified it a bit.

    Like 0
  14. RobbyME

    Hi, I’m 67. in 59′ dad bought a rambler wagon…black. had the chrome squares like 58′ Roadmaster. we had that car for the 60’s! at recess kids…chevy or ford and I said rambler and they both hit me on the head!! I got the last laugh! it lived longer then both!! Maine in 60’s was brutal on cars…ramblers never came out alive! 10 yrs was pretty good for family well used car! tailgate fell off while we waited for the bus across the street!

    Like 1
  15. Rick B.

    Similar to the car driven by the aliens on 3rd Rock from the Sun

    Like 0
    • Bob19116

      I believe that car was a next generation 1964 or 65 Rambler American that was a new modern design from the ground up in 1964. It was slightly changed with squared off front grill and and taillights through the last Americans in 1969 when it was renamed the AMC Rambler. It went out with a band in 1969 with the 390cid Hurst SCRambler. In 1970 they had the next generation of that car and renamed it the AMC Hornet thus retiring the Rambler name.

      Like 0
  16. Campbell Chrisman iii

    Nice car.Also you won’t be embarrassed to be seen in it.Rode in a bathtub 49 to HS every day and got out of it a block away so as not to be seen.Was a good riding car though.

    Like 1
  17. Al clark

    I had a 1960 bathtub rambler with overdrive. It made 35 miles a gallon at 85 miles an hour and 22 at 105. Years later I bought one like this as a commuter car, but it did not have overdrive. Rugged cars. I would love to find a low mileage 1960 with overdrive.

    Like 1
  18. William Maceri

    As a kid growing up in the San Fernando Valley during the 1960s. I made a point of knowing every car built in the US. Naturally that includes the AMC cars. The Rambler. It was the top plain Jane cars of all plain Jane cars. They had a solid reputation for good reliability. No other cars looks fit it’s reputation as the Ŕambler American did. No other car attracted buyers that matched the looks of the of the cars to the buyers the way the Rambler did.

    Like 0

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