Only 3,500 Miles? 1963 Rambler Classic 660 Wagon

Regular readers will know that when it comes to classic cars with low-mileage claims, I like to give the seller the benefit of the doubt. That is the case with this 1963 Rambler Classic 660 Cross Country Wagon. The owner states that it has 3,500 miles showing on its odometer, which is an extraordinarily low figure for a car of this age. Taken at face value, the claim seems plausible. However, it will be interesting to see what you think once you’ve taken a closer look. Regardless of the truth, the owner has listed the Rambler for sale here on eBay. It is located in Orlando, Florida, and while the owner has set a BIN of $26,500, he does leave the option for potential buyers to make an offer. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Larry D for referring this Wagon to us.

From a distance, this Corsican Gold Rambler shows a lot of promise. Its paint retains a good shine, while the panels look straight and free of any apparent dings or dents. The chrome shines brightly, and the glass is in excellent condition for its age. There’s no evidence of any rust problems, so it appears at first glance that we’re onto a winner. The paint shows some checking which would not be unusual for a vehicle of this age. There are also a few minor scratches and marks that I might not have expected. These are apparent around the edge of the rear wheel arches and some larger ones inside the passenger side rear door frame. There’s nothing that I would class as horrendously bad, but more than I might have expected on a low-mileage classic like this.

Typically, an interior provides a more accurate indication of the truth when considering a mileage claim with any classic car. The overall impression that this one offers is initially positive. The carpet looks clean, there is no visible physical damage on the seats, and neither they nor the wheel display the sort of wear that would indicate that the odometer has rolled over. When we begin to examine things more closely, a few alarm bells start to ring. Some of the painted surfaces inside the doors are chipped and scratched, but it is the driver’s door trim that worries me. Browse through the gallery at the bottom of this article. You can see that the armrest is broken and that there is a dirty mark or discoloration above this from where it appears that an arm or elbow has been rubbing on the vinyl for an extended period. That is something that I would never expect to see on a car with 3,500 genuine miles on the clock. Further muddying the water, the cargo area initially seems free of any physical damage that can accumulate over years of use. Closer inspection reveals some possible stains on the carpet in this area, which was something further that I wasn’t expecting.

Powering the Rambler is its original 195.6ci six-cylinder engine that is backed by a 3-speed Flash-O-Matic transmission. This six should be producing 127hp, which is sufficient to propel the Wagon through the ¼ mile in 20.1 seconds. There are a few interesting touches to note, including the “Norko” battery charger mounted in the engine bay. Once again, it is an area that sends mixed signals. The paint in the engine bay itself looks pretty good for an unrestored survivor of this age, but it isn’t as nice as I would expect on a vehicle with a four-digit odometer reading. I acknowledge that things can and will deteriorate over time, but items like the paint on the valve cover show more deterioration and physical damage than I expected. Further confusing the issue, the seller provides no information on how the car runs and drives. I even searched for the vehicle on their dealership website, and the information there is no better.

Now that you’ve had a closer look, I will be interested to see what your take is on this 1963 Rambler Classic 660 Wagon. I generally give sellers the benefit of the doubt, but this car raises some important questions in my mind. Adding further to the mystery is a listing that I found for this Rambler from earlier this year. It provides a similar level of description about the Wagon’s mechanical health but a more comprehensive array of photos that reveal more small defects in the paint and trim. Interestingly, that listing also indicates that this Rambler sold at that point for $12,500. All of this has to make you stop and think. Would you consider pursuing this one further?

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Comments

  1. 4spdBernie 4spdBernie Member

    Previously sold on BaT 1/20/21, $12,500 + BaT fee. https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1963-amc-rambler-classic-4/

    Like 8
    • Mike

      Looking at the BaT listing (350 pictures!), the winner picked it up for $12.5k. The selling dealer was in FL. After reading the winner’s history of comments on BaT, I think the winner of the auction lives in Idaho. So… why is this car being sold by another FL dealer?

      Weird….

      Like 3
      • Dave

        Well, it IS a “Cross Country Classic”! 😂

  2. RayT Member

    $26K? Seller make joke, Funny ha-ha.

    Looks a nice car, probably in decent shape for Cars & Coffee runs. But for that kind of loot, I’d expect fewer flaws and shinier paint.

    These are not yet “collectibles,” if indeed they ever reach that stage. An appearance at BaT draws bigger money, so I suspect the buyer-now-seller worked himself into a mild frenzy and bid higher than he really wanted to. It happens.

    Like 12
    • That AMC guy

      I’ll have some of what that seller is smoking! (Or maybe not, psychotic illusions are not really my thing.)

      Like 7
    • Robin Baker

      My baby! This was my very first car, and for $300 I drove it off the used car lot ( and kept going; the brakes were disconnected!), took it home, and loved mine for 13 years! Rebuilt it twice, and other than the color ( mine was red with black) and the odometer (mine was at 220k when the earthquake took her from me) it appears to be the exact duplicate of my baby! Unfortunately,it’s too rich for my blood now (anyone know where I might find a fixer upper like this jewel? A much cheaper one?) Someday I’ll get to replace the one car that I can’t forget. This was a wonderful look back, thanks for sharing!

      Like 2
  3. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    Looks like Mr/Mrs Flipper is looking for a 14K payday for doing absolutely nothing. They are also misrepresenting the mileage, since you can clearly see that the car has a lot more than 3500 miles on it.

    Like 14
    • TimS Member

      I was thinking the same thing. Anyone can ask any price and that doesn’t mean they’ll get it, but it’s not a smart business strategy to go from one highly-visible auction site to another without so much as turning a wrench.

      Like 14
  4. Stevieg Member

    This sold earlier this year to the current seller. He bought it at one of the big auctions, I don’t recall if it was Barret-Jackson, or Mecum, or another of that type. I saw the auction results in a Hemmings Motor News.
    Wherever the current seller bought it, it was represented to him (and everyone else reading that publication & attending that auction) as original miles. I don’t remember what he paid, but I remember it was WAAAAAY too much lol. I didn’t realize until a month later, when I saw it advertised in the same publication, that it actually went to a classic car dealer. I assumed, at the insane price paid, it went to a car buff for personal collection. I didn’t think someone would pay crazy bucks for a car to try to make a profit. That just strikes me as a bad business model lol. We all make mistakes occasionally.

    Like 9
  5. DualJetfire

    It’s possible. The acid tests for over 100 k are right side brake pedal wear and left side driver seat wear. Can’t see the pedal but the seat is ok. The driver inside door jamb is a big indicator of hi mileage, tho. The 63 Rambler Classic was Car of the Year, and beyond that were great cars. I had a 64 with a 287 auto that got 29 mpg and went like a bat out of Wuhan. I had to put an additional spring on the carb to keep from speeding thru residential districts. Once I got pulled for going 90 and the cop let me go cause there was no way a car that old could go 90. No, I did not tell him I had plenty of pedal left!

    Like 3
    • Ignatius J. Reilly

      Not sure about the “acid test”. A worn brake pedal pad is easily replaced.

      Like 1
  6. Luki

    AMC went bankrupt for a reason.
    It’s the same reason that no one is going to buy this orphan for anywhere near the asking price.

    Like 2
    • That AMC guy

      AMC did not go “bankrupt”, it was acquired by Chrysler in 1987.

      Like 16
      • Luki

        That’s right the bankruptcy petitioner was GM.

        Like 4
    • Bob19116

      My former 100 shares of AMC converted to Chrylser stock and then to Mercedes (Daimler Benz) when Mercedes bought Chrysler. So I have 23 shares of Daimler worth more than I paid and paying a dividend. Not exactly a bankruptcy like Studebaker where shares and pensions went to zero.

      Like 6
    • tom hofstad

      You seem to have confused AMC with general motors. AMC never went bankrupt they were purchased by Chrysler so iacocca could get a hold of the Jeep line

      Like 4
  7. Bob Roller

    3500 miles?Probably one of he 6 AMC clunkers I saw in a 100 mile stretch of I-71 right after it opened.Not a bad looking car but not worth much when new and time has not helped it.

    Like 1
  8. Howard A Member

    1st, it’s a great find, and I don’t buy the mileage either, you can buy those repop “Silvertown” bias-ply tires, not that you’d want them, but shouldn’t matter, it’s an unbelievable example. 2nd, unless I missed it, say what you will, 1963 Rambler was MT’s Car of the Year, how it beat the ’63 GM lineup is beyond me( we always thought Rambler bribed MT) but it helped sell a few more Ramblers, anyway. Naturally, the seller is dreaming, but what the heck. Nice find, and lose the bias-ply tires, for heavens sake.

    Like 6
  9. Joe Machado

    In 1968, a woman that had a 1960 Ambassador wagon, two tone green, gave me her car, and at that, I paid too much, because the push buttons were deranged.
    I repaired it, drove it a couple days and she came over and asked why is is running around?
    She thought it was a bad trans.
    She asked if she could buy it back.
    I sold it for $200. It had factory air if memory serves. And it was cold air!
    She drove it to New York from Harbor City, California and back.
    I don’t remember the engine.
    Notice the gold car is from New Jersey. Salt anyone?

    Like 3
  10. chrlsful

    right sz (112 WB), right model (waggy), 2v carb, right motor, right transmis (swap out for whatever 4 speed/OD auto they’d take)…
    My nxt daily !

    Like 2
  11. Abi

    I know the saying goes a picture speaks a thousand words, BUT he wants $26k and only gives a 12 word written description?

    Like 2
  12. Bob19116

    My 1st car in 1967 as a senior in high school was a gold 1963 Rambler 4 door sedan, 3 on the tree and the same 196 cast iron 6 cylinder engine. I don’t believe that cloth upholstery ever lasted without splitting for even 70,000 miles. Also, the front grill is a thin aluminum extrusion and dents very easily. This car appears to have only 1 major indentation in on the right side of the grill. Rare to see one where the top edge of the grill looks perfect straight across.

    Like 1
  13. Rixx56 Member

    Driver side door gaps seem abit off…

  14. mike

    I had the exact same car a few years ago even with low miles. It was the same color interior and exterior but the material is different. I think the upholstery has been replaced. This is a nice car but no way is it 3500 miles.

    Like 1
    • chuck dickinson

      Perhaps yours was a 550 or a 770. This IS the right material for a 660.

      Like 1
  15. CJinSD

    There’s no mention in the listing of the Rambler’s reclining front split-bench seat, which was pretty much the car’s distinguishing feature. The recline lever is visible in one of the photos.

    Like 2
    • Howard A Member

      Good call. That was an option for Nash dating back to the 30’s. I think was standard on all Ramblers until the late 60’s, when it became an option when bucket seats gained popularity.

      Like 1
  16. Gunner

    My step mother owned a Red/Red one when my father met her. It was several years old by then and was well used. I remember thinking that it was quite ugly next to my Dad’s ‘69 Shaker Hood Mustang Grande. They were married in time and the Rambler went bye bye for a new ‘72 Ford Country Squire wagon to fit all of us kids. I was a car guy then and just didn’t know it yet. Good memories.

    Like 1
  17. roguev8

    The reason Motor Trend gave the Car of the Year award to AMC was because the door frames were one piece all welded together. Made for a more solid car.
    Those Ramblers, ’56 thru about ’66, were very solid cars. Yes they rusted, but didn’t everything else?? Give credit where credit is due.

    Just my .02.

    Larry in PA

    Like 5
  18. CJM

    Anyone who buys a car to flip on BAT and hopes to make money is a fool! Cars bring more money on BAT than they do on eBay. He’ll be lucky to get what he paid, which is all the money for this car. That being said i would tend to believe the mileage is actual. Original tires, right? Things can happen to a car, even in 3500 miles, especially over a nearly 60 year time span. Things spill in the cargo area. Was probably owned by some little old man who had a dirty elbow. Once those armrests dry out from age, they could crack from a heavy arm or a rough pull to shut the door. A charming car, but grossly overpriced at this point!

    Like 3
  19. Russ Ashley

    Wow, you guys are a tough group to convince. From looking at that wagon I see no reason to doubt the mileage, but I do doubt the new seller’s reasoning if he expects to get that price. Most of us here are car guys or girls who occasionally browse the car marketplace so it’s not easy to sneak one through that just recently sold for half of the asking price.

    Like 2
    • Duaney

      Please observe the engine compartment, a real 3500 mile car would present as virtual brand new . The obvious oil leaks and dirt everywhere show at least 103,500 miles. Obviously the car was garaged and well cared for.

      Like 3
  20. Bob-O

    I’ve never been a fan of roof racks but this one kind of balances out the lines of this car. If I were to purchase it I’d figure out how to put disk brakes on the front, replace the six with a 401/automatic with a 3.55’ish rear gear and widen the stock rear wheels so I could fit a slightly larger rear tire. Keep the exhaust quiet and go out and have some fun on the street.

    Like 1
  21. Russ Ashley

    Look where the oil filter is. I’m thinking that’s why there’s some grime in the engine. If you have it changed at a station they aren’t going to spend a lot of time cleaning around and under the filter mount. Valve cover gaskets dry out from sitting also and one trip on a dusty road could make the engine look like that. I don’t know if the mileage is accurate but the seat and steering wheel makes me think it is. I’m not buying it so doesn’t matter to me.

    Like 1
    • Howard A Member

      While that’s true, those filters did make a mess, it was almost worth it for the ease of changing one. These were “low pressure” filters, as opposed to the “full pressure” ones today. If these set a spell, oil would drain back into the crankcase. You are right about gaskets. We’ve come a long way in sealing oil leaks, I believe it was the Asian offerings that had “clean” motors. Besides, back then, ALL cars leaked oil. Oil was cheap, and those oil strips in the roads back then, were from cars like this. I think the biggest “leakers” ( aside from Detroit diesels) were hemis and slant 6’s.

      Like 1
  22. Steve Mehl

    In the 1990’s I bought a mint condition Dodge Monaco coupe with 43,000 miles. Flawless interior, great paint, large engine over 400 CI with the extra lean contraption on it. Unrestored but the engine paint looked really fresh and so much better than this pictured Rambler’s engine. So I really doubt that wagon has only 3K mileage.

    • Steve Mehl

      I meant to say a 1976 Dodge Monaco.

  23. AnthonyD

    Never believe such a ridiculously low mileage without any history or documentation.

    Like 3
  24. jonathan

    I just don’t understand you people. A common as hell car as this Rambler, and the seller sends a dozen pictures, and even two of the dashboard, which I always find interesting. I’m not complaining, mind you, but why do you even bother with sometimes featuring cars that have as little three uninspiring pictures, and you let them getaway with it. Do you think that little of the readers you serve. I’m not going to be a buyer, but I’m sure you have many people who are, otherwise why would you be doing this. I guess what I’m getting bat, tell your sellers a couple of things; 1). if at all possible, wash the car, 2) require at least 7 or 8 pictures (who doesn’t have a camera in their phone anymore), so there is no reason not to fulfill these pictures, and be sure to take pictures of the dash, at least one, head on. 3). Take pictures from different angles, like you want to sell the car, not scare people away. That’s my two cents, see what you can do!! ;)

  25. jonathan

    I just don’t understand you people. A common as hell car as this Rambler, and the seller sends a dozen pictures, and even two of the dashboard, which I always find interesting. I’m not complaining, mind you, but why do you even bother with sometimes featuring cars that have as little three uninspiring pictures, and you let them getaway with it. Do you think that little of the readers you serve. I’m not going to be a buyer, but I’m sure you have many people who are, otherwise why would you be doing this. I guess what I’m getting at, tell your sellers a couple of things; 1). if at all possible, wash the car, 2) require at least 7 or 8 pictures (who doesn’t have a camera in their phone anymore), so there is no reason not to fulfill these pictures, and be sure to take pictures of the dash, at least one, head on. 3). Take pictures from different angles, like you want to sell the car, not scare people away. That’s my two cents, see what you can do!! ;)

  26. jimkf

    At one time, I owned this car’s twin. It was nowhere near as nice but the price was a whole lot less than the ask on this one…a 12 pack of the sellers favorite beer.

  27. Mike Adams

    A 3500 mile car should be showroom new. This one is not. All the little scratches around the rear window show that the car has been used. All the little scratches all over the whole car show the car has been used. Who buys a car and never drives it and puts a AAA sticker on it? There is wear on the left side of the brake pedal, indicating that the owner drove it with two feet. Not common, but that wear got there somehow. And of course, the engine is simply to grimy for 3500 miles. Not a chance.

    Like 1
  28. vitameatavegamin

    A nice 103,500 mile car…Maybe 14K.

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