1960 Rambler American two-door station wagon

16 June 2021

This page is a placeholder for the restification of this lovely 1960 Rambler American Super station wagon. Worn-out everything, but well cared for over its life. Seats and carpet were redone long ago, then worn out again... 61 years is a long time.

I typically have a structured, project-oriented page for my cars, but apparently I'm not this time. I have a very clean plan in my head, which is: rock solid daily driver, no compromise on reliability. No modifications to the car's structure. "Restify", eg. originalish without restoration concerns. I'm using whatever I feel like using to solve problems. The interior and exterior aesthetic design are very clear in my head but too complex to render in text so you'll have to wait for photos.

The engine had too many problems to rejuvenate and I had a choice selection of parts so I built a 1965 195.6 OHV with all of the reliability/endurance mods I've worked up/learned about in the last 16 years. The reliablity mods will end up in the 195.6 OHV engine page when I get a round tuit (summer 2021).

The transmission will be Borg Warner M35 that the car came with. It's off for overhaul now, it's original condition unknown. Axle, stock 3.31.

Tires are huge, Toyo 215/75-15's on whatever wheels came with the car, fairly round, fairly non-bent AMC wheels, I think.

I was very lucky: this car was delivered in 1960 with the venerable (hateable) flathead engine, replaced in 1989 with a 1962 OHV and T35 transmission, and whoever did it did very good work. And found and installed a now-very-rare one year only 1960 OHV heater box (made of fiberglas). To which I've fit a late-model -- cheap -- aluminum heater core to replace the utterly unavailable part.

Brakes are stock -- 9 x 2 drums all around -- with the single-circuit master cylinder. All new lines, and self-adjusters installed on all four. Wiring is stock; some chopped-out wires replaced, a small fuse block for accessories added. LED lighting (with some odd fixes where filaments were used as logic elements).

The interior is my own.

A little maintenance goes a long way, and long term maintenance means a car like this still exists in viable condition after 61 years. Thanks to Diane and Daniel for the care, it shows.

Inspirations

Nash interiors, mainly for the seat pattern.

What I really want it to look like. Thanks Moebius.






The dealer delivery sheet.

Exterior

Interior

Doors and windows

Chassis



THE PLAN

I really like the early 50's Nash Ramblers with the full-skirted wheels like this 1952 Nash Ramber Greenbrier in Hemming's because they are just so odd looking. I'm not nostalgic, I like the alienness, very high quality, standard fasteners, flat panels and design simplicity. These pre-date me and I don't think ever seen one on the road.

But the Greenbrier's interior-rear is just great, design-wise, and it is evident here that the 1958..1960 Ramblers are exactly 1952, 1953 cars with minor restyling.

Moebius.

THE PAST

Documents

It is a boon to have this original dealer delivery sheet. Originally a flathead (OHV was an extra-cost option), the engine was replaced with a used 1962 OHV which was rebuilt (.010 over bearings, standard bore) in 1989 (from receipts). The front fender brace was chopped out in the usual way, but a factory bolt-in brace from a 1960 OHV car was installed, holes drilled in the chopped-out stubs of the cut brace. (1960 (only) factory OHV cars had a removable brace; all other years had it welded in.)

These were not inexpensive cars. A 1960 Chevy Impala Sports coupe was $2600. My 1968 American was $1865.00. `

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