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Pretty Pink Project: 1956 Hudson Rambler Sedan

030616 Barn Finds - 1956 Hudson Rambler 1

Pretty isn’t exactly a word that the average classic car lover would use to describe a car. And, pink isn’t exactly the color that the average classic car lover would want on a classic car. So then, why do I like this car so much?! This 1956 Hudson Rambler sedan, found here on eBay in Bethel, PA, is one pretty, pink car that I wouldn’t mind owning. I’m a huge fan of this grille, and of this design, in general; it’s got the unusual factor that I look for in cars. There is no buy-it-now price and the current bid is $3,300 which seems like an absolute steal for a pink project this pretty!

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To me, this car defines the 1950s American automotive scene as much as any other car does; yes, even as much as the 1957 Chevrolet. I admit it, I’m an AMC / Nash / Hudson fan so maybe I am biased to both the design and the color combination here, but at least with this one you won’t see yourself coming and going several times at every car show as you will with a lot of other 1950s models. As most of you know, in 1954 Nash merged with Hudson and became American Motors Corporation but the Hudson name would carry on through 1957. Both Nash and Hudson carried the Rambler name in 1956, this one happens to be of the Hudson variety.

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As you can see, the seats have been recovered in the ubiquitous velour material that seems to be popular with folks who vary from stock materials. I’m pretty sure that the solid gray seat color and pattern has been toned down quite a bit from what would have been the original color, of which fifteen were available that year. You can also see the overspray on the door jambs, I might expect to be doing a little bodywork on this car if you’re the winning bidder, I have a feeling that it’s been dolled up for the sales photos but maybe the current owner bought it this way. I might have laid down $0.40 worth of masking tape before hitting the gray with a spray can, that’s just me.

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This is one cool, albeit hard-as-steel dash. I would personally wear the seatbelts here for a bit more safety against those pesky texting drivers that you’ll encounter every day on the road. According to the auction listing, the current owner bought this car last August to restore it but has too many other projects so this pretty pink project is being pushed out the door.

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Again, more overspray here and the pink looks pretty thick on the door jambs, covering up things that may not have originally been painted at the factory, but the seats seem like they’re in nice condition even though they’re not the original color or pattern. There should be enough leg and headroom here for anyone this side of Michael Jordan. I’m guessing that the fold-down seat / bed still functions and would make for some interesting overnight stays at a campground.

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This is the 195.6 straight-six “Typhoon” engine that was used until they came up with their own V8 and it had 120 hp on tap, as well as a 12-volt system for the first time. You won’t be able to show off to Jay Leno in a burnout competition but it should move this car along at legal speeds without too much trouble, all while getting around 30 mpg. With about 80,000 miles on this engine the owner says that it runs but it also smokes a bit.

030616 Barn Finds - 1956 Hudson Rambler 8

I think that this would make a great project car for summer cruise nights. This car looks like it’s in nice shape and if a person doesn’t mind a non-factory interior this one looks usable enough until you can afford to bring it back to an original color scheme. Or, maybe you’d rather just enjoy the car as it is now. Is this partial project car too pink for you or would you park it in your driveway?


  1. Avatar photo Jamie Staff

    Count me in as someone who would rock the pink proudly! Awesome car for the price–regardless of what value guides say :-)

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Scotty G Staff

      You have great taste in vehicles,sir!

      Like 1
  2. Avatar photo rdc

    Pink and charcoal were popular colors in the early fifties. I even remember my mother buying me a charcoal jacket with pink elastic on the collar and around wrists. Neat car.

    Like 0
  3. Avatar photo DENIS

    Homely but old enough to be kewt…looks like a nice buy. I had 2 ’57 Rebels, one 4 spd auto, one 3 spd overdrive…pretty badass in their day…wish I still had ’em…

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  4. Avatar photo Jim O Member

    Love the orphan brands and the unique colors they offered!! Here’s my survivor 1954 Ambassador with one of those colors!!

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    • Avatar photo BRAKTRCR

      Jim O beautiful car. We had it’s twin in baby blue with dark blue top. As I remember, it had dual side draft carbs and a 4 speed automatic. It also had window netting to go over the windows, to camp out. As a child, I rode on the rear window shelf.

      Like 0
    • Avatar photo DENIS

      WHOA! Continental kit!

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    • Avatar photo Scotty G Staff

      That’s a beauty, Jim! Wow!

      Like 0
  5. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    Once again, Scotty G. delivers! Living in Wisconsin all my life ( not particularly proud of that fact) Ramblers were a huge part of the automotive scene. When I was a kid, I’d ride my bike down to the AMC plant on E. Capitol Dr. ( now a Walmart) and watch the transporters haul the finished bodies on open 2 tier trailers ( no wonder they rusted prematurely) and the colors were just outstanding. Greens, blues, and yes, pink. I don’t ever recall seeing this particular paint scheme, but fits the contour of the car well ( aside from the overspray) Being sold already, proves these are highly collectible, nobody ever thought of saving a Rambler back then. Ramblers loved oil, and the no air cleaner doesn’t help matters. A neighbors mom had a ’58, and I remember you pulled the gearshift towards you to start the engine ( on automatic cars, anyway) While the 6 cylinder was a little lacking in the performance dept., the V-8 ( which my friends mom’s car had) was quite the performer. It was the car of choice for stop light drags. Cool car, and someone got a good deal.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Scotty G Staff

      Ha, thanks, Howard! I’m a sucker for any AMC-type product.

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo geomechs Member

        Hi guys. I think the color was ‘Salmon’ to try to keep some masculinity. Whatever the reason it must’ve had favorable results because there were a lot of pink (salmon) cars in the fifties. Good write-up Scotty. And Howard, nothing wrong with being a badger. My SIL is a badger and proud of it. Although I haven’t kept up lately I like the Packers.

        Like 0
  6. Avatar photo Midwest Jeff

    “engine runs, but smokes” In other words, “engine needs a rebuild.” Sounds like a project car to me..

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Ed P

      Maybe. The smoke might just be due to old and leaking valve seals.

      Like 0
  7. Avatar photo Bill

    I’d roll that baby in Pink! maybe change the grey to black, but heck ya! cool car!

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Nessy

    This car will bid more than the 3300 current bid. Great car in a great color but watch out for the well known underbody rust on these cars.

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo Matt Tritt

    I kind of hate to admit that I like this one too! Although it seems pretty-much forgotten now, American auto builders made the decision to try and appeal to women in the early 50’s, and they did it with pastels and chrome. I remember reading an aticle on this in a Motor Trend of my dad’s at the time, and wondering if painting a car PINK would actually appeal to anyone, be they female or male. It seemed in shockingly bad taste at the time to everyone we knew – but clearly there was a market somewhere. I suspect that one reason for VW’s unheard of success was the understated color range and lack of chrome and fins. :-)

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Matt Tritt

    I sound pretty negative about this car, but in my eye, the body shape looks better than almost all the other American made contemporaries, and almost European. The headlamps in the grill, the not overlong rear overhang, understated fins and great overall proportions just seem “right”.

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Dolphin Member

    Didn’t some of the carmakers call this pink color ‘coral’ back then?

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Chuck


      Like 0
  12. Avatar photo Vince Habel

    Gone at $4050. I missed it and it was not that far from me.

    Like 0
  13. Avatar photo Ed P

    “Neopolitan”, as in ice cream, was the term some folks used for these color combos. This one, I like.

    Like 0
  14. Avatar photo Mark Mitchell Member

    I bought a nearly identical car, in yellow & black with green interior. It came from Palm Beach, FL and has 30k original miles on it. Mine is badged as a Nash – not Hudson. A very cool car that really turns heads at our local cars & coffee. Everybody has the standard collector cars (Mustangs, Corvettes, Porsches, etc.) but nobody has one of these. We plan on taking it out to our midcentury modern Palm Springs, CA house (which is the same year as the car) and it will get plenty of use.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Scotty G Staff

      That’s one gorgeous car, Mark! Congrats on finding that gem.

      Like 0
  15. Avatar photo Jim Norman

    That coral/gray combination was very popular in the mid-50s. As a 13-year-old kid, I lusted after the ’55 Chev convertible with the same color combination that a family on my street bought..

    Like 0
  16. Avatar photo starsailing

    Add me to the mix of guys liking this tri color road trip Rambler. As kids to keep us busy while driving up north, we would start counting the tri color paint jobs on cars. Whoever saw it first got the point. After about 20 mins of driving through town mom would end the ” I saw it first” arguing very sternly. These Ramblers always looked so solid and well built. I could easily take a long trip in this one with a few fix ups. Needs the wide whites, tune up, including new voltage reg, coil, generator. As for the smoking oil problem….remove valve cover clean out all sludge deposits in case their is some plugged up oil returns. I found the big cure for blowby tube smoking and exhaust by using a large can of Engine Restore with oil change. After 300 miles or so smoking gets notably less. Keeping an eye on dipstick as oil level gets lower, I add more restore as needed. All other brands do nothing to help. Shared this with many friends,25 yrs, almost all had same results. Very little smoke becomes tolerable. Try it before doing $$$ rebuild. Save some bucks. It appears this Rambler has dual master cylinder. Never noticed anything older like this with factory dual master cyl. Notice the rear of the car up in the air in last picture. Did these Rambler have the self adjusting shocks like 56 Packards? When Packards came in the gas stations, us guys would grab rear fenders and push down bouncing body up and down to make the shocks go full pumped up. Back of car would be sticking way up as they drove away.
    Watching re reuns of the old 50’s tv show “Superman” all kinds of Ramblers in every episode.
    The extra photos by Mark and Jim are beautiful. Cool rides….!!

    Like 0
  17. Avatar photo Jose

    The front grill reminds of the Nash Healy roadster. Great looking cars.

    Like 0
  18. Avatar photo 75FXE

    That may be my old car, bought circa 1963 after being driven to Pennsylvania from California by a local politician’s mother. Served me well on frequent 150 mi. turnpike trips home and back, good trunk, reasonable space speed & comfort including famous Rambler reclining seat. 4 speed auto was a plus also. Unfortunately got caught in a central PA flood a couple years later (water flowing over the hood & trunk decks). Still ran well but much slower due to all the water trapped inside everything………

    Like 0

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