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Texas Project: 1959 Rambler Six Cross Country

Being just one inch longer than a new Toyota Camry, this 1959 Rambler Six Cross Country Custom sure seems like it would be bigger, doesn’t it? This car needs a lot of work but a few bidders think that it’s worth it. This medium-sized-car / large-sized project can be found here on eBay in Magnolia, Texas, there is no reserve, and the current bid price is $1,225 with just two days to go.

The Ramber Six was made from 1956 through 1960 and they came in several trim levels, from the base model’s Deluxe designation (only available in a four-door sedan) to the mid-trim Super, and the high-end Custom as seen here, both of which were available in the Cross Country station wagon body style. There was a higher Country Club hardtop model above this car for those who prefer a hardtop.

You can see the level of restoration that’s required with this car. It isn’t the worst that we’ve seen but the next owner will never get their money back if they just drop it off at a shop and let them restore it inside and out. The seller bought it eight years ago and planned on putting in a new drivetrain but leaving the body somewhat as is, but plans change, as we all know. The seller lists the mileage as 55,438.

The interior is rougher’n a cob, as nobody says anymore. Magnolia, Texas is just northwest of Houston, so it isn’t exactly desert dry there. Maybe this is more rodent damage than anything, who knows. Portions of the interior fabrics could be reused or used as patterns, or just burn through a few thousand dollars and get all new materials from SMS Auto Fabrics. The headliner looks almost perfect and the rear compartment appears to be housing some engine components. This car should have a Borg Warner three-speed automatic transmission.

The engine in a Rambler Six is – drumroll, please – a six-cylinder! This one should be an AMC Typhoon 196-cu.in. OHV with 127 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque, or it did have. This one is stuck, unfortunately, but hopefully it can be saved somehow. This is a big project, do any of you have it in your soul to restore a car like this Rambler Six Cross Country?


  1. Howard A Member

    Sigh, 1st, and foremost, another great find by the master. I happen to know, this particular car is way too far gone for the author to even consider it, but if there was a pristine example of this car, it would settle his long, and practically lost desire to have a Rambler. 2nd, his posts are well researched, as it’s difficult to find a lot of info on Ramblers, probably being deleted daily on websites due to lack of visiting. Wagons generally are top of the line, I think only the Ambassador cost more, but these were some of the cheapest, oops, I mean, least expensive wagons offered in America. And good cars too, many times using the exact same parts as the others. Nothing, bupkus. Outside the midwest, one RARELY saw a Rambler. IN the midwest, however, they were regularly seen, and the usual way one made it to Texas, was in a relocation deal. The rust shown started before they left.
    Just parts here, and maybe TWO hundred 55 grand, they were very dependable, and if rust didn’t kill the trunnions, they could do a lot of miles. Reclining seats, great heater, room for a BIG family, what’s not to like? The name, that’s what. Studebaker had a similar problem. Sadly, I doubt anyone will take this on.
    Now, Sherman, set the Wayback machine to the year 1972. Yes sir, Mr. Peabody. This car would have been “rescued” from the back row of a Chevy dealer for MAYBE $50 bucks, a weekend with friends got it going, you had a decent beater with a heater. Okay, it wasn’t as cool as whatever it replaced for summer use, but it got you to work, and you know what? Nobody cared, as long as you got there.

    Like 18
  2. Big C

    These are getting popular with the resto-mod crowd. I’ve seen a couple done up with modern drivetrains, cleaned up interiors and plenty of “patina” left on the body. This will sell, contrary to, ahem, older opinions.

    Like 8
    • JustPassinThru

      Restomod would be the way to go with this one. Heave the frozen six and Warner Mickey-Mouse transmission (Post Office mechanics called it that; it was later used in AM General postal jeeps) into the back of the gardening shed. Weather and abandonment can’t do more than has happened; but there’s the parts if matching serials becomes a Thing.

      Then get an AMC/Jeep four with TorqueFlite attached. A 2wd XJ is a good source. They weren’t plentiful but they were out there, and a lot of government agencies bought them. Engine, trans, and wiring harness.

      Figure out what you’ll do with the torque-tube driveline. Might have to manufacture either a coupling point on the TorqueFlite, or a mid-chassis brace, like the Chevette used.

      Then, interior as you like. With the XJ wiring harness (necessary for the modern computer crap) probably the instrument cluster will be needed. Fortunately for the resto-modder, the dashboard here stands out for its ugliness. Modding it is no crime.

      Rust is the joker in the deck. The plus: Unit body. Unlike a chassis frame, the unit body seems to endure more corrosion before becoming dangerous. Our family’s 1962 Rambler wagon endured six years of Ohio salt…compared to only five with the Ford Galaxie that replaced it. The Ford looked much better but the frame had broken from corrosion.

      If the body is serviceable…go to town. You have a sleeper…you say “Patina,” I say “Beater.” But it’ll be the only one on the Friday Night cruise meeting.

      Like 5
  3. Maggy

    Pennsylvania front license plate.NE car not a Texas car. Lots of rot from the few pics shown and I’m sure the underneath ain’t much better.Too far gone imo to sink good $ and time into.Make a great parts car.Glwts.

    Like 7
    • RandyB

      PA antique plate. The car most likely would not pass strict PA inspection, the PA owner plated it with an antique plate, not requiring inspection.

      Like 2
    • Ray Thomas Member

      front plate is just vanity. PA does not issue front plates.

      Like 1
  4. geezerglide 85

    Years ago I had a friend that worked for a used car dealer when he was younger. Said dealer bought a lot of cars at auction in New York. He was driving a newly bought Rambler home, when he stopped at light one of the trunnions shot up right through the hood. New York cars can be pretty rusty. I always thought the trunnion set up was kind of odd. Did any other car makers use them?

    Like 3
    • Arfeeto

      I seem to remember that trunnions became a problem only when they went without lubrication.

      Like 3
      • Howard A Member

        Hi Arfeeto, actually, the inner front would rust around the trunnions connection points. My grandfather had a ’61 Classic, with 41K miles, the body/engine were perfect, but the trunnions rusted and nobody would fix it.
        To answer geezerglide, I think lots of cars used trunnions, I know British cars did. Many, due to the location, did go ungreased, and that didn’t help matters either.

        Like 0
  5. ChingaTrailer

    Trying to pass this off as a Texas car is similar to people selling 70 year old Bentleys that spent the first 35 years of their lives in rainy, wet England as Callifornia cars, simply because they’ve been registered there for the last 20 years, long after the near terminal rot has set in. But people keep trying . . .

    Like 5
    • dirk feldspar

      This car is too far gone to fix….sell it for scrap

      Like 1
  6. Gary Bain

    My first cat a 58 station wagon. 3 in the tree with overdrive. Fun car. High school. I want very nice to that car. Got it with a bad rear end. Went through 2 tranny’s before the engine blew up🤣. Great memories. Thank you

    Like 4
  7. Michelle Rand Staff

    My heart skipped a beat! Here is our ’60 Cross Country, we are second owners, had her ten years anyhow. “Normale” engine – which means pretty much slow as molasses. Much fiddling to keep her nice with slight improvements, and historically some reluctance on the road which appears to have abated.

    Like 18
    • DavidH

      The picture you have posted is the twin to the car I learned to drive in. Our dad was a Rambler fan. Thanks for posting.

      Like 2
    • MikeH

      Beautiful car. You must have been at an AMC meet, given the ‘57 Nash and the AMX in the background.

      Like 1
      • Michelle Rand Staff

        Yes, the AMC Rendezvous at a farm nearby. Super fun. I let a bunch of kids play in the car, who knows who you are going to influence? The girls sat in the back bossing their brother in the front – turn left, turn right! It was a gas!

        Like 3
  8. KFT

    Hey, that’s Joe Dirt’s family car.
    Maybe it still has some figurine clowns in it?

    Like 2
  9. Lon Sloan

    We had a 59′ and a 60′ wagon. They were both excellent cars. The 59′ have a posh button tranny and a under dash emergency brake release. Pink and black interior with a pink exterior and white insets on the sides, with a white top. I can’t imagine an uglier paint. We kept it for years, we called it the pink elephant. I’ll never know why my Dad bought. He worked for Warner Gear which later became Borg Warner. They made a terrific standard 3 on the tree and 4 speed manual transmission. The 60 was blue exterior and dark gray interior, no radio, rubber floor cover, no carpet and three on the tree. Back seat laid down and the front seats laid back with was great for traveling. Both cars last forever and were still in great shape with Dad passed them on. This find brought back a lot of good memories.

    Like 5
  10. chrlsful

    Just the “C” pillar/’v’ there in roof line (as they added the waggy to the sedan) to nit pick. Would have given these a “very” nice cept 4 dat…

    Like 1
  11. Vito Veccia

    I would do a normal restoration on it. It’s surprisingly in solid shape. Lots of marvel mystery oil, and plenty of patience will get that baby fired up again. So long as no one is around to breathe in the mosquito cloud after startup of course. Cars like that are fun to get going again. Just got to be weary of the brakes.

    Like 4
  12. robbert

    A lot of effort here. None the less a beautiful piece of art for the symphathetic restorer.

    Like 1
  13. Michelle Rand Staff

    Some of the styling cues on these Rambler wagons are so attractive. I like the “dip” in the roofline, which was said to relieve an otherwise boring length of roof. The window frames are fluted, I dig the pushbutton transmission (like my grandma’s New Yorker which I always thought was so swanky), the two-tone paint (on mine), the wind up rear window. The interior is very stylish, and then there’s the ‘bed’ feature…. Anyway, for a wagon, it’s one of my favorites. I hope this one finds a great home.

    Like 1
  14. dirk feldspar

    I bought a 1968 Rambler American wagon new; our first new car; the thing leaked like a sieve; rotted out all the carpet; The Back window fell out while we were driving; I sold the piece of Junk for $400 in 1972. Never again ANY AMC Product!

    Like 1
  15. Scott

    I drove a 61 Rambler wagon when I was stationed in North Dakota. Wagons were always available and cheap because people took care of them. Gas guage and wipers didn’t work. Ran a string through the wing vents for “manual” wipers.

    Sold it to a friend who blew the engine. Had a piston rod sticking out of the engine block.

    Fond memories years later of my 66 Rambler Classic 770. Two tons of American steel and a big V8. Always turned heads.

    Gave it to the Salvation Army when I bought an old house. Two restoration projects was like having two girlfriends.

    Like 4
  16. Sunshine

    The intact tail lights PLUS intact backup lights are nearly worth what this ’58 Rambler Cross Country sold for on eBay!

    Like 0

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