Solid Wagon Survivor: 1961 Rambler Cross Country

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Stylish, unique, and just plain uncommon to see, this ’61 Rambler Cross Country station wagon is a sweet find! Very complete and with no apparent rot, this station wagon would be an awesome project to revive and preserve. Plus who doesn’t want to load up friends and family in such a cool machine? Driven to its place of rest, this Rambler is now offered for $3,500. Take a look at it here on craigslist out of Denver, Colorado. Thanks to roger for sharing this sweet wagon find!

Although appearing not to have run in a while, this factory 195.6 cubic inch inline 6 is very complete. I bet this Rambler could be revived rather quickly. There is no extreme rust in the engine compartment, but the engine does appear to be a bit oily/dirty. Also the radiator looks like it may need to be repaired or replaced.

The front seats are covered by a blanket, but the rest of the interior is quite reasonable. The door panels and back seat in particular are quite nice. A bit dirty, and maybe even faded, the dash looks as if it would clean up fairly well. One feature I really like about this Rambler is the rear door quarter glass windows. That way there is plenty of air flow for those “Cross Country” trips.

Matte in finish but with an even coat, the possibly original paint is decent with no real surface rust to report. The rockers and quarters are surprisingly rock solid. All of the glass is accounted for and in good shape, and the storage area is plenty large to haul any and all of the junk your heart desires. I think this is a great project to preserve, or it could be a fun machine to hot rod a bit with a V8 heart, and perhaps a slightly lower stance. Are you a fan of this uncommon Rambler Cross Country station wagon?

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  1. HoA Howard AMember

    Another great Rambler find, makes me feel right at home. However, I must stress, Ramblers, nationwide, were really not that popular. As a kid, we did a lot of traveling, and saw very few outside the Midwest. I think most people in the Midwest, Wisconsin specifically, bought Ramblers out of pity. They either worked at Rambler, or knew someone that did, and since they needed a car anyway, may as well be a Rambler and keep the folks in Milwaukenosha working. ( what ever happened to that mindset?). I think Studebaker had the same issues. A car like this, for a younger person to be interested, has to be cleaner than this. It has to be updated, and you’d really have to have some connection to restore a car like this. As time rolls on, fewer and fewer do. I like Ramblers, grew up with them all around, but this gonna be a tough sell.

    Like 3
  2. That AMC Guy

    Even rarer than you might think…

    That, my friends, is the Rambler 195.6 ALUMINUM inline six! Most were replaced early on with the cast-iron version. Between the metallurgy and the antifreeze formulations of the time, plus the typical owner neglect of cooling system maintenance, these engines tended to have a very short life.

    Very few Rambler aluminum sixes are still running today. This car is a true unicorn!

    Like 5
  3. David Frank David FrankMember

    This one really brings back the memories. Someone must have taken good care of it at some time. I remember very well picking up ours new at the dealer. We put a lot of miles on it (for the 1960s) and it was indeed a solid, reliable performer for many years. Hopefully, the new owner will be able to bring this Rambler back to life without too much trouble and enjoy it for years.

    Like 2
  4. Dusty Rider

    I’m not sure this is a ’61, my dad had one and it had fins.

    Like 6
    • That AMC Guy

      I think you are correct. The fins were pruned and round taillights used for 1962. Here’s what the back of a ’61 wagon would look like:

      Like 4
      • Dusty Rider

        My dad’s was a gunmetal grey, 6 cyl, 3 speed with overdrive, I think, and had AC that came in through two flaps on the dash. It had to have a new motor early on, and if you slammed the hood too hard it would crack one of the headlights.

        Like 2
      • Carl Stclair

        my dad had a 61 it had fins this would be a 62

        Like 0
  5. Nessy

    This is a 62 model for sure. Ramblers Rule! I dig my little red Rambler. 1961 model.

    Like 10
  6. stillrunners

    Dang….my mom’s second car ! Dang…..where are those pictures !

    Like 0
  7. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    Like a dumbass, I passed on a ’63 4-door 660 last year in St. Pete. It was non-running, yet not rusted, but for whatever reason (which I can’t recall) I decided not to spend the $450 the guy was asking. With brakes, tires, and a tune-up, I could have had a decent driver for under $2000. Good thing I live in Florida, as I’m not thinking too clearly.

    Like 2
  8. erikj

    In the early 70s moms b/f drove us around in a rambler wagon like this. It was pink and black. Embarrassing then, now cool.

    Like 3
    • dweezilaz

      TAG: my parents had one except blue and white. It had an overheating problem and my Mother burned it up.

      My grandfather tore it down and found that it had previously been repaired such that the wring head gasket had been used that blocked half the holes in the block or something like that.

      It made a fun “club house” after that and sometimes we’d sleep “outside” in it.

      A shame Dad didn’t replace the engine. It went to the local junkyard in Saint Thomas some time after that.

      That was PA circa 1968-9 and it had more rust than this one does, slight, around the lower headlights, but more than this one.

      Would love to have it back or any of the AMCs that were in my family.

      Erikj: Granny had a 60 Ambassador, 327 4 bbl in that same shade with a maroon metallic top. Very nice, room and quick car.

      Like 0
  9. Kenneth Carney

    Gentlmen, what you’re looking at is a ’62
    and not the ’61 model it was first thought
    to be. My ’62 Classic 2-door had the same look in the rear quarters as this car
    does. Nearly bought a ’61 wagon as a
    daily driver in ’76 and it did indeed have
    tailfins much like Nessy’s Classic does.
    Thankfully, mine had the cast iron engine
    in it and not the aluminum unit. That was
    the first question Dad asked me when I
    traded my ’73 LTD for it, and $100 cash.
    Some folks out there might find them to
    be ugly or uncool, but with proper main-
    tainance, these cars provided the used
    car buyer an alternative to the overpriced
    and unreliable econoboxes that were being sold back then. I can tell you first
    hand that the 195 6 cylinder was capable
    of delivering over 30 MPG highway and
    28 in the city. To me, no other car could
    give you these numbers along with the cool factor that this car does. I’d trade
    my ’15 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport any day
    for a Rambler in #2 condition as my daily
    driver. That way, we could drive it through
    the week and cruise it at Oldtown on Friday and Saturday nights. Now you just
    can’t get any better than that.

    Like 7
  10. Wade anders O

    It’s a 62 my stepdad had one with a three speed on the floor and overdrive factory

    Like 3
  11. BruceB

    When I was a young kid my parents bought a new 1959 Rambler Cross Country wagon. It looked similar to this one, but with fins. It had a light blue with a blue interior. It had a three-on-the-tree and was a great car for us three kids, especially going to the drive-in and folding down the rear seat to make a bed. Even the front seats reclined. Wish I had that car at the drive-in when I got older…LOL.

    Like 0
  12. Graham Line

    Can’t remember that the quarter windows in the rear doors opened in the almost-base model my dad bought. Maybe they did in the fancier ones.
    The three-seat wagon (rear seat faced backwards and we were warned to NOT roll down the window in the 5th door) came with Goodyear tires that included an inner chamber because there was no space for a spare. They also weighed twice as much as an ordinary tire.

    Like 0
  13. G.W.Gilmore

    Oh Please No – No lower stance Keep it original even if someone puts a V8 in it. Alot of cars or trucks looks stupid to me when they are lowered. Specially trucks. Whats the use in it?

    Like 2
  14. rancoracing

    My first driven on the road car was a red and white 62 wagon. Not cool like other guys in high school with 64 Chevelles or 56 Chevys but it beat walking. The fold down rear seat and reclining front seats came in handy at the drive in theatre.

    Like 0
  15. 64 Bonneville

    Ramblers are a dirt cheap way to get into the old car hobby. At $3K is a little high on price for what you are getting. Bringing it up to stock, and running condition would add about $10K to initial purchase price. (a high #3 or low #2 , not Pebble Beach quality).

    Personally, I would pull the original motor and transmission and update with Chevy 4.3 V-6 and 200-R4 trans, front discs, and do away with king pin front suspension, add A/C and some tunes, but otherwise totally stock looking. Make a great little cruiser, and cross country runner.

    Like 1
    • coffeejoe

      I am 100% with you on that. I was thinking an air bag suspension and some stylish rims and tires. You wont see yourself driving down the road every day!!

      Like 0

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