Summer Cruiser: 1963 Rambler American 440

By far my personal favorite era of the Rambler American, this car would be great to own for summer car cruising and car show duties. Or maybe, winter cruising if I lived in a reasonable climate that wasn’t cold and snowy six months out of every year. This 1963 Rambler American 440 convertible is listed here on eBay in Euclid, Ohio, there is no reserve, and the current bid is $5,110.

You may notice a slight color difference in the driver’s door, it appears to have been repainted at some point. The seller says that this car was “upgraded” about two decades ago with new paint and a new interior and it’s starting to show its age a bit with the off-color door or front fender (or, the whole front clip?) and what looks like bubbling or rust at the bottom of the doors and rocker panels. Still, this body style Rambler American is the quirkiest cool one available and a convertible would be the one to own. Or, a two-door wagon. One thing I find sort of unusual is that even the ads for Rambler Americans show off-color doors.

The second-generation Rambler American was made from 1961 to 1963 and the second-gen cars were newly-designed bodies on the first-generation chassis but they were quite an update. They went from the bathtub-like Nash look to a more modern style. The seller of this car has outdone the majority of any sellers that I’ve seen in a long time here on Barn Finds. They have 207 photos posted here that show just about every square inch of this great little car.

I was hoping for a Twin-Stick manual transmission but this one has a column-shifted Borg-Warner three-speed automatic instead. The seller says that it shifts correctly so that’s good to hear. The seats look beautiful and they were reupholstered at some point a couple of decades ago. I probably wouldn’t have chosen a butterscotch contrasting color but that’s just me. The convertible top is only a year old so no worries there. The seller has included underside photos which are always nice. It’s definitely not Pebble Beach-ready but as long as it’s solid without a lot (or any) painted-over bodywork, it should bring the next owner years of driving enjoyment.

The engine should be AMC’s 195.6 cubic-inch Typhoon overhead-valve inline-six with around 125 horsepower. The 440-H would have had a bit more. This one runs great and is smooth at highway speeds. There are a couple of issues, however: the heat is “probably disconnected” and the wipers don’t always work. I’m guessing bad vacuum lines and the heater core need help. Are there any fans of the second-generation Rambler American out there? I hope I’m not the only one.

Comments

  1. Greg B Greg B Member

    No Reserve so last bid wins.

    Like 4
    • Pit Stop Pauly

      Another great non big 3 find. Nice looking, attractive interior, adequate power for cruising, and wind in your hair (or not) enjoyment. And in a reasonable price range. Wrong time for me personally, but I love it!

      Like 7
  2. That AMC Guy

    I’ve owned a couple of these Americans. They’re riding a 1940s-design chassis under the skin and pretty much drive like it. The vacuum wiper motor on these is a bit of a pain to get to under the dashboard if it needs to be rebuilt.

    I though though that the 195.6 OHV engine was called the “Custom Flying Scot” at least through 1962, but maybe they changed that for ’63. This one is sporting what looks like a home-brew coolant recovery tank.

    https://i0.wp.com/www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Rambler-1962-engines.jpg

    Like 3
  3. Rodney - GSM

    An amazing survivor car worth keeping and enjoying. While never a fan of the “Dusty Rose” exterior paint it seems correct for the car. The interior is a study in color blindness. Yikes! More like a bruise that is not healing properly…

    Like 5
  4. Howard A Member

    Once again, TV, to some extent, dictates what cars are collectible, and in this case, ANY Rambler American convertible of this vintage, immediately brings up “3rd Rock from the Sun”. It’s unusual styling fit the bill perfectly as an “alien craft” from outer space. I’d bet it’s the attraction here, it was a very funny show. Turns out, the producer always loved Ramblers, and figured the American would be perfect, and it was.
    This is another of the cars you’ll rarely see at an auction, no clown wheels or fire-breathing motor pretty much squelches any interest among the “spoiled” today, but their loss is your gain, and a fun, turnkey car, top down, off to the local drive-in, if any left, that is, THIS, is what classic car fun is all about. Okay, the 6 was a bit underpowered, but regularly won the “Mobil Economy Runs” and the automatic, a no brainer there. Great find, even at it’s now price of $8 grand, sure beats that crappy squarebody for the alleged same price.

    Like 9
  5. Steve Clinton

    These old Rambler Americans are so ugly, they’re cute.

    Like 4
  6. Gator Member

    Just finishing up a restomod of a 63 440H Twin Stick hardtop. Almost tempted to try to get this convert just to have a set of “bookends”.

  7. fliphall

    Beep beep

    Like 1
  8. DeeBee

    If I’m really honest, and, some day when the stars aligned just right, I’d take a Studebaker Lark before this Rambler!

    Like 3
  9. Denny N. Member

    First thing if I was the successful bidder: I’d rush this baby off to the upholstery shop!

  10. Mikefromthehammer

    A less than positive review of the dealership I found online:

    “Mario F.
    Bellflower, CA

    12/30/2019
    First to Review

    This auto dealer is a complete scam. He works with a shop next door to his business by the name of S & S Auto @ 28831 Euclid Ave, wyckliffe, Ohio 44092. Please do not do any business with this company. You will be ripped off royally. You have been warned, so pls be careful. Stan Wagner the owner is a very dishonest eBay auto seller. He sold me a car that he claimed was in very good condition mechanically and electronically. It needs a new engine, the seat belt did not work, a broken windshield, all tires needed replacement, the horn does not work, or the radio. It was not easy to drive it to Ca, it overheated big time. Needless to say I got ripped off. Now he claims that I bought his pos for parts. The check engine light was on before I finalized the purchase, he promised to fix it, and the seat belt. No repairs were done. I had no choice but driving it to California under the deplorable conditions that the car was in. A horrible eBay experience!”

    https://www.yelp.com/biz/euclid-car-company-euclid

    Like 3
  11. chrlsful

    I had 1 of these, well…almost, as my 2nd car (a ’64? in ?72). It was a stripped dwn model but still the vert (no side crome’n fancy paint – bath tub white)! I liked the Nash too, this 1 a lill more boxy. Not 1 of the big 3, a lill old, I was laughed @ a lill. Stoping at the only stop light in town, now it grew to points and gigles. The motor was so smooth running they thought I’d stalled out. I’d balance the nickle on the hood to show how smooth it ran~

    Good enuff style (as above) the Studie copyed (fora lark). I loved it, right size, right MPGs, a vert. I was happy. To have again? joy this time round.

    Like 3
  12. CaCarDude

    I owned a ’63 440 back in the mid 70’s it was a 2 dr hardtop version and had the same engine trans set up as this. The color was a dirty beige and with gold for the side cove areas. A great little car to go from point a to b, aka grocery getter. Never going to win any races that I can think of. Seeing this brings back some good and some not so good memories of that old Rambler.

    Like 1
  13. gearjammer

    This is a very nice Rambler. It’s not in the wheelhouse of what I would be looking for, as I am most partial to Ford and GM products, but it did catch my eye. And I prefer the Rambler Classic over the American.

    While I wouldn’t make such disparaging remarks in this forum as Mikefromthehammer did about the dealer (but in his defense, the first three Google reviews were just as disparaging), I was thinking even before I read his comments that I wouldn’t buy this car for the sole reason that it is for sale by a dealer. I’ve learned from my own experiences, as well as anecdotal evidence, never to do business with a dealer again. That’s one of the many reasons I will never buy a new car again. But to clarify, new or used, dealers are a no-sale!

  14. gearjammer

    Sorry, Mikefromthehammer…

    I posted my comments before I realized the review wasn’t yours. The one you attached was one of the three scathing reviews I read.

    Other than that, I say don’t do business with dealers. Very few are truly honest.

    Like 1
    • Mikefromthehammer

      All is well gearjammer. I am sometimes guilty of posting too quickly. I think it is in our nature to do so sometimes. I’m glad you posted the followup.

  15. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this one sold for $10,612.

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