Sensible Spectacular: 1965 Rambler Cross Country

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Hailing from Lodi, New Jersey, this Rambler Classic 770 “Cross Country” station wagon looks surprisingly solid and well-kept. The selling dealer claims to have purchased it from the grandson of the original owner, who drove the car from new until 2005. It’s listed here on eBay with an opening bid of only $1,500 and no reserve.

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The Classic was the midsize American Motors car in 1965, although this is still a pretty large car with a 112″ wheelbase. AMC marketed them as the “Sensible Spectaculars”, an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one. The seller of this car tells us to expect dents, scratches, and bubbles (presumably rust) in the usual places, although the worst rust on the car is on the driver’s side floor pan where apparently a battery was left for a considerable period of time.

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I like the intact original wheel covers and the period color, even though we can see from the underhood picture that the paint isn’t the original color. There’s no way to tell from the included pictures how good the paint quality is, but at least all the trim and chrome are present and look presentable for a low-cost driver. Between the “Rambler”, “Cross Country”, “770” “Classic” and “V8” scripts on the car, it’s a good thing they are all there!

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You’d better have a lot of room when you open that tailgate! I was surprised to see the rear-facing third row of seats in a car this size.

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As you can see, the driver’s seat needs some help, and if you look at the pictures in the auction you’ll see the headliner is very stained as well. However, at this price, you can’t expect perfection. The seller does explain that the car could use an exhaust system and to plan on some maintenance, but at least it drives as-is. It also comes with piles of documentation which are also pictured.

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Under the hood we can see the lighter blue that this car was when it left the factory. Personally, I like the medium metallic shade better; if I were to repaint the car, I think I’d go with the darker color. After decoding the VIN at this site, you can see that the car left the factory with a 287 V8, although the seller states they have been told it’s a 327, which was also offered in the 770 Classic in 1965. I’d love to make this car mine, but it’s a bit far to go right now. Would you like to take this “Sensible Spectacular” home?

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Comments

  1. van

    The perfect car to take the guys hunting in the woods. If you forget where you left the car, no harm no foul.
    Bad news it’s stuck in the mud, good news now I can get a truck

  2. piper62j

    Could use an interior and mold clean-up… Headliner is disgusting, but overall, nice DD.

    Good find..

  3. Mike H. Mike H.

    I grew up riding in the third seat of a 1965 Rambler 770 Cross Country; mom’s was brown, though.

  4. Rich

    Clean it up, lower it and drive it. Could be a cheap entry.

  5. Howard A Member

    Always liked Ramblers. Maybe because I’m from Milwaukee, or I always root for the underdog, but Rambler made great cars in the 60’s ( actually, most 60’s cars were good cars) I do believe this is a 287, because one site sez all 327’s ’64-’66 were red. This car was billed as a “5 door” and I’m pretty sure it’s the original color, maybe just faded under the hood. Might want to ditch the vacuum wipers, but just a great find. These cars were generally unwashed and unloved and served middle class America well, until the front suspension rusted clear of the unibody. ( like my grandfather’s Rambler) Great entry-level “Classic”, as the name implies. Can’t go wrong here.

  6. MountainMan

    Good looking old wagon. Seems as though it might sell for a reasonable price making a respectable cruiser for the whole family or you and a group of friends.

  7. Jason Houston

    Nice cars, style-wise. Too bad they didn’t finish painting it properly. If it were lowered, it would cost more to repair it than it would ever be worth, in which case I’d drive it straight to the crusher. There’s no entry charge, either.

  8. Charles

    I like this car, and if I was not up to six vehicles and two boats right now might try to purchase it. I have a factory promotional model of this exact car. My uncle worked as a design engineer for GM from the 50’s through the 80’s. We would go and visit their home outside Detroit every summer and stay for a couple of weeks. As a kid I loved going there because they had a swimming pool, horses, and dirt bikes.

    My uncle always had a few promotional models from the big three that he would save for me to play with. Most of them were Corvette’s and other GM vehicles since he worked for Chevrolet, however the auto industry was fairly fluid in those days. It was not uncommon for people who worked for one of the big three plus AMC to have worked for one of the other companies at some time. Various sales people routinely gave promo models to each other, and everyone’s children had promo models from all of the Detroit companies.

    One year while visiting my uncle presented me with several models as always. One was a 1965 Cross Country in almost the same color that this car is painted now. Since I was a kid and this was a Rambler wagon, it did not get the play time that the sportier models did, and thus it has survived all of these years. I will get it out and take some pictures of it just for kicks and giggles.

    Maybe that is why I feel a connection to this car currently for sale. It would be fairly inexpensive to buy and probably not terribly difficult or expensive to restore. As a kid our next door neighbor had one of these cars. It was a reliable car, and served them well for many years. They had a trailer hitch on it and towed their 16 foot StarCraft boat behind for family camping trips and such. Looking at this one is like gazing through a window to a different time.

    • krash

      ….nice story, Charles…

  9. Charles

    So the color was not how I remembered it…

    • Jacob

      link doesn’t work for me.

  10. JCW

    Had a 64 was at a show selling a 59 2dr rambler guy said he had a 64 wagon for sale wanted me to look at. He said he wanted 600 I said not interested though I would give him 100. As I walked away he says ok dang now I have to buy it. I did the sold. It a year later for 150. Should have kept it. Would make it into a El Camino look leave everything else original put a tag under hood that said experimental #2 and see how many guys say I remember reading about these never saw one. Really I want to do that just need a cheap 64/5 wagon and 2 doors from a 2dr.

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