1960 Rambler American Custom
Car buyers were displaying a growing interest in small foreign
cars. AMC covered that market with its imported Metropolitan, but
the Met was only a two-passenger car; for higher sales volumes an
automobile capable of holding four or five was needed. AMC
considered bringing out a revamped Metropolitan with a wagonlike
roof that provided interior space for four people but engineers and
product planners felt the limitations of the Met's 85-inch
wheelbase were too great. They believed a 100-inch wheelbase was
needed for the roominess that most buyers demanded. When they
explained that to management, Chapin recalled, "Grins lighted up
our faces. Why, we already have such a car,' one of us exclaimed.
'Our tools are still intact for the 100-inch Rambler.". Chapin and
then-chairman George Romney believed the small Nash Rambler, last
produced in 1955, provided a perfect compromise between a big
family car and a small import, so the decision was made to
reintroduce it in an updated version.
For consignment a car that is sure to get your tits in a wringer,
and wash all the apprehensions out of any doubt that the 1960
Rambler American is indeed a very cool car. This example was
completely redone in 2015 with new paint, several mechanical
brush-ups, and a complete engine rebuild. Think of it as a Nash
Metropolitan for 4, which the American public ate up with a spoon
due to the European cars gradually coming into the states, in all
their compact versions. Read on or you'll be left out to dry and
waiting on the line to snap it up!
Spending its life in the arid Arizona weather, it came East in 2015
and started out as a rust free restoration, with which all metal
was straightened, gaps minded, and sanded down for a now soaked in
beautiful bronze paint. Shades of the Metropolitan with the body
shape and some trimmings harkening to the Metro. Chrome headlight
bezels, a simple egg crate grille plopped into the center of the
front, a shiny bumper below and trim spear running from front to
mid door. A white top is making up the two tone, and plenty of
shiny trimmings surround all the glass. On the back flanking the
bulbous trunk are small rounded fin quarters which have mini
chromed bezeled cathedral style taillights. A nice central
badge/lock for the trunk lid, and another shiny chromed bumper
below. On all corners are body matching deep dish wheels with a
chromed 5 bolt centers complete with a round mini cap. A small
white pinstripe adds some bling to the wheels and rims the edges of
each wheel. A fine example of utilitarian efficiency and simple
design. Wash, rinse, repeat, then go for a spin!
The two tone interior provides a nice compliment to the snappy
exterior, and presents in bronze and white vinyl panels for the
doors and tuck and roll insert seating. Both door panels and seats
(a split bench for the front and a full bench for the back) are
presenting freshly washed and very clean. Bronze is reserved for
the inserts which show some tuck and roll, and the bolsters are in
white and bordered all around by bronze piping. Simple but
effective. Fronting all this bronze and white menagerie is a very
simple white painted metal dash. It has molded within it a short
steering column, a central single round gauge cluster, a few knobs
and switches, and invisible radio within a horizontal ribbed
aluminum highlight front panels and below a few aftermarket gauges.
Surfaces of all this dash and steering wheel are somewhat faded
show wear, and have some paint chipping off. Bronze carpeting is on
the floors and a white headliner, fairly tight, hangs above. " I'm
gonna wash that Nash right out of my hair...."
Keeping with the simplicity design, under the hood allows us to
seamlessly transition to the next cycle, and we note a 195ci inline
6-cylinder engine topped by a 1-barrel carburetor. On back is a
Borg-Warner Flash-O-Matic (gotta luv these 60's tranny names)
3-speed automatic. The rear axle is a 3.31 ratio. All ready for
another load of you and your friends to hop in and have some fun.
Previously noted this engine was completely rebuilt in 2015.
Some surface rust and patina are noted on the steel parts below,
but all is unremarkable as to any structural instability. Front
suspension which is independent has a set of drum brakes for
stoppers, and on back leaf springs and more drum brakes are seen. A
refreshed fuel tank is now on, and we are ready to go into the hot
cycle and a test ride!
She fired right up and took the full load of my foot to the
accelerator and we were off to the test track. Here it handled
surprisingly well with that large steel body overhanging the
smaller tires, had snappy acceleration, and solid braking on the
panic stop test. All functions were working beautifully and all I
had to do was add a little gas for this test drive cycle.
The conglomerate of Nash Kelvinator/AMC was not only producing
products for your home, but also cars, and these examples are
somewhat rare to see today. This is a fine example all buttoned up,
and problems ironed out, now looking a bit more modern, although
retaining its mid-century design charm. If you are interested, I
would get here sooner rather than later, as others may see this as
a more pressing opportunity to own an interesting classic and get
through the cycle prior to your arrival.
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special
interest automobile showroom, featuring over 600 vehicles for sale
with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle
barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown,
Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia
on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is
www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914.
Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the
vehicle in person.