No Reserve 1962 Rambler Ambassador Cross Country

If you’re looking for a quick project, this 1962 Rambler Ambassador 400 Cross Country wagon isn’t it. Unless you have a tv reality show, those guys can nut-and-bolt restore a car in this condition in three days, all while throwing wrenches at each other and other lame shenanigans. The seller has this one listed here on eBay in Little Rock, Arkansas and there’s an unmet opening bid of $100 that nobody has been brave enough to click on yet.

Yep, this is a very cool car but a very rough car. Being “All Welded Single Unit Construction“, and showing a lot of rust, that’s usually a bad combo. You can even see a gaping rust hole above that body tag, ouch. This car was originally Baron Blue Metallic and Frost White, a very nice combo. It’s still sort of blue and white with a big helping of moss, rust, primer, and other colors thrown in.

The third-generation Rambler Ambassador was a one-year model made for 1962. It was more of an evolution than a revolution from the second-generation cars. They were somewhat antiquated compared to the 1963 fourth-generation cars, which were named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year along with the entire 1963 Rambler line. I love the vintage look of the 1962 Ramblers but maybe it’s because I’m also a 1962 model myself. Plus, who doesn’t like a Cross Country wagon?

Whoa, there’s a lot of welding to do here, are you up for that? I have done some welding and patching in my day but nothing this extensive. I know that a few of the Barn Finds team and the readers have done some extensive restoration projects and could tackle this if they wanted to, or had the room for yet another project. This is a major project, there’s no getting around it. I don’t know if this one will make it out of the woods but I could be wrong. The seller says that it has full power, which I’m assuming means power brakes and steering, but it also has factory air-conditioning!

The only engine available was AMC’s 327 cubic-inch V8 with around 250 horsepower, which wasn’t a bad thing at all. It’s interesting seeing a generator there rather than an alternator which would be on the next-generation cars. There’s quite a bit of debris under the hood, unfortunately, but the other engine photo shows it with the air cleaner assembly on so hopefully that kept some of that stuff out of the engine. There’s no word on it it turns over but hopefully it does. Is this one way too far gone or is it salvageable?

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  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    If someone buys this and commences welding on it, I would love to see the progress and meet the poor guy.

    Like 10
  2. P

    The famous Bugs Bunny line….

    “In this corner, Daaaaaaaaa Crusher!”

    Like 8
  3. Robert


    Like 2
  4. That AMC Guy

    It’s scrap metal.

    Like 3
    • Karen Bryan

      You area correct, sir. Even the moss and weeds would probably run away from this rotten hulk.

      Like 1
  5. trdave

    Don’t crush Many decent parts
    Had a 4-door. Sea Foam green top over white, 4 bbl, high comp heads, quiet dual exhaust, 3-speed w/ o/d, 3:55 rear gears. A true sleeper. Little school teacher bought new. Now owned by an AMC collector.

    Like 8
    • Russ Ashley

      Did anyone else notice that it has push button drive like Mopars had? I know you can’t save them all but I always hate to see rare parts being crushed.

      Like 7
  6. Steve Clinton

    This rambler crossed the country one too many times.

    Like 2

    This Rambler has returned into “country” so much that clicking on the auction would have a different word than Brave, unless one needed a few parts..

    Like 2
  8. brewmenn

    I think it has potential. Probably no as a restoration, but as a unique rat rod style cruiser. The floors look scary, but I think a decent fabricator could weld something up. it would not look remotely factory, but would be functional. All the panel and door gaps look consistent, which gives hope that the structure is sound. I wish I had the resources to take on something like this.

    Like 4
  9. Howard A Member

    Well, clearly the car proper is pretty shot, but a treasure trove of parts. I read, for ’62, this was top of the line for Rambler. I bet those tail lights, a one year feature, I think, are hard to come by. Thing is, just finding a decent car someone has for this to be a parts car for, will be a tough find in itself. There were plenty of wagons, but none like this and they all rusted to pieces, just like this. I read, in 1962, this was the most expensive Rambler, at close to $3 grand, pricing it above most other wagons at the time. Price increasing in 50 cent increments, so not a lot of interest, maybe a regular wagon you could make into a “400”, but not much hope for this, as is. Cool find.

    Like 2
  10. Geoff C.

    I would love to have one of these in nice shape! But this one is way too much to tackle. However, it could be a gold-mine of parts for someone who already has one: I mean, just the radio and speedo cluster are worth something… and many other parts are there also…

    Like 3
  11. Major Thom

    Now at $140.50 with three bidders. Could there be three people already owning the same model who want to do a V8 and/or factory ac conversion? Can’t see why anyone else who would be interested. At least the seller started with realistic opening bid, unlike the fantasy-world amounts a lot of eBay sellers/flippers think their rusted out hulks should bring.

    Like 9
  12. James Schwartz

    I love that you pointed out:

    “Unless you have a tv reality show, those guys can nut-and-bolt restore a car in this condition in three days, all while throwing wrenches at each other and other lame shenanigans”

    It’s really irritating when one of these reality shows (with the requisite annoying loud-mouthed “boss”) drags a car from a swamp and then presents it to his employees as their next project. Telling them that it needs to be ready for auction in 8 days. They encounter numerous unexpected delays, yet somehow how a beautiful car ready for auction on day 8 (after of course working throughout the previous night). Nevermind that a quality paint job alone takes 8 days…. SMH.

    That’s why I liked the show FantomWorks so much. It was far more realistic. Yes, they still had added “drama” for TV. But when you’d see that a particular project was on “Day 237” of the build, at least you got a realistic view of what it REALLY takes to restore a car. And of course, that show is no longer on :-(

    As for this Rambler, I agree with the rest. Too far gone to be anything but a parts donor.

    Like 5
    • Steve Clinton

      “It’s really irritating when one of these reality shows (with the requisite annoying loud-mouthed “boss”)”
      Especially a know-it-all one with a goatee.

      Like 3
  13. Russell Ashley

    Hemmings Classic Car magazine featured one like this last month in their “Drivable Dream” story. It was blue and white like this one was originally and it looked great. It made me want one but at my age another restoration is not likely so I’ll pass on it and hope someone else saw the story and wants it.

    Like 4
  14. Dovi65

    I have a special place in my heart for the early 60s Ramblers, as my Pops had several at one time back in the early/mid 70s, when these were basically give-aways to anyone that wanted one. This one is a model I’d love to own. Sadly, this one is too far gone to ever ply the roads again, but there seems to have enough parts to give so that others may live on

    Like 4
    • JonArd

      Have a soft spot for Ramblers, too … my mom bought a ’64 Classic 660, the car basically on which I learned to drive … I had driven my dad’s ’60 TBird once, and my grandfather’s Apache with a three-on-the-tree in the cornfield, but the Rambler I drove all around the property before being allowed on the road … had my first accident when I slid into the back of a ’66 Ford Galaxie, and my first make-out score in HS – it had reclining seats … traded it for a VW Fastback …

  15. Karl

    Wow I could just see it put 900 hours and 40k in hard to find parts and when it’s all done it’s worth 5k. I don’t know if I would live long enough to finish something like this and about half way through it hoping I don’t!

    Like 1
  16. Rick

    Barn Finds needs a You Really Ought To Forget It section.

    Like 4
  17. Tort Member

    Just yesterday My Classic Car featured a collection of Nash cars. The owner stated parts are hard to find and expensive when you do. Don’t crush it, part it out.

    Like 8
  18. Jerr

    Good parts car just for the factory AC. Cant save them all

    Like 8
    • Bill McCoskey

      If you want this car for the A/C, to transfer it to a non-A/C car, you should also cut out and keep the cowl, because sometimes A/C cars had different sheet metal pieces on the cowl in addition to the different holes. That way you will also have a cowl to use for measurements.

      Like 7
  19. Ron

    That’s why you call it “A labor of love”!

    Like 4
  20. Gator Member

    Parts, parts, parts! After restoration of my 63 American 440h, I can attest that all Rambler parts were made of Unobtainium.

    Like 6
  21. Tom Hand

    Somewhere a fool and his dream…….

    Back in the 60’s my two buddies and I formed band. Jim, the drummer could borrow the family station wagon, which was a white Rambler SW. Not sure what year it was but it had a manual tranny and a six cylinder engine. It got us through storms, snow and heat. Looking at this brings back a lot of memories.

    Like 4
  22. Richard Isenberg

    Why even put it on barn finds. Junk yard wouldn’t even buy it

    Like 2
    • Steve Clinton

      Besides that, it ain’t in a barn! 8-)

      • Jim in AL

        Better off trying to drive the barn.

        Like 1
  23. Terry R Melvin

    This particular Ambassador would most likely cause an international incident. Parts only please.

    Like 1
  24. Glenn C. Schwass Member

    It’s a shame. Terrible photos to see how bad it is in the rockers, tailgate etc.

  25. Stan Marks

    I didn’t know cars can come down with leprosy.

    Like 2
  26. MikeH

    Hey, the glass all looks good!

    Like 1
  27. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Clearly the body shell is recycle bound, but lots of resale parts. That a/c compressor is larger than most motorcycle engines. By the time this car is purchased and transported to new location you might not have much dismantling to do. It’s a parts car at best and a crusher at worst. Bud low sell high.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  28. Jim in AL

    Better off trying to drive the barn.

  29. Daniel Gavin

    Amen !!…… can now close the grave.

    Like 1
  30. Sunshine

    Being a “5-door” makes this likely a 3 seat wagon. If anyone is tempted, 15 years ago I sold a 62 Classic Sedan, and a 1960 Rambler Cross Country Wagon to Cherry Avenue in Amarillo, TX. Both were RUST-FREE, the ’62 also had factory AC, and the ’60 had split/reclining front seats. Jus Sayin

  31. AMCFAN

    Obviously no love for the AMC/Rambler. It takes a real enthusiast to know what is sitting here. The seller has not done himself any favors by doing little in the way of selling. moving it out of the weeds. A powerwash would be nice.

    The exterior looks good but that isn’t what I look for. Having numerous vintage Ramblers it is not the exterior you look at. Can’t judge by the floor pans. Rambler pioneered the Uni Body. I have had them from out West born and raised. Have had minor floor rust due to a common windshield gasket failure.

    To judge this one would need to get off their chair and look under the car. With an online sale it isn’t possible unless you are within reasonable driving distance. It’s a hard pass.

    Regarding parts. Get a factory service manual. I needed to rebuild my manual OD trans. Within three ebay sellers I rebuilt it for less than $80.

    Like 3
  32. Steven

    I am in the process of rat rodding this same wagon. Mine has a 351CJ from a 70 Torino GT,4 speed, narrowed 9 inch diff, 4 wheel discs and a jaguar rack. Should be enough to keep me in trouble with the law…..

    Like 2

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