1960 Rambler American two-door station wagon

03 apr 2021

THE PRESENT

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... 61 years is a long time. The owner/owner's son redid brakes and freshened engine, but has now sat for some time again. But the engine shows no signs of the usual abuse, documentation of a prior full teardown of a used engine (hot tanked, machined, etc) and from the visible quality of work done, it is likely in as good/better condition than the donor engine I've been hanging on to. I'll likely pop the head to look, and if OK, clean the head reassemble and maybe have the oil tested before tearing into it.

The Flash-O-Matic (Borg Warner T35) condition is unknown, but no outward signs of grief or harm, but I assume at end-of-life. I will road-test before any intervention. Likely rebuild soon and I have spare cores.

Front suspension I am just assuming is worn out, and it has non-Nash shocks so the lower control arms are likely bent, but it's all intact, steers, etc. Brakes work fine, and new hoses (no one ever does the hoses). Original-looking wheels and tires holding air long-term, tires are too old to use but again, well cared for and all match.

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.

Here's the original delivery sheet! AMC was so generous, they included a fuel filter for free! Ummm thanks...




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 Greenbriers 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. The plan is to execute this, probably in another color. It is not a coincidence that this will be very inexpensive:

THE PAST

Documents

It is a huge 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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