The fact that this 1966 Rambler Rebel, listed for sale on Hemmings.com, is still around shouldn’t come as a surprise: Well-equipped or sporty versions of any car tend to have higher survival rates than the bare-bones models. Go to any AMC show, though, and you’re far more likely to see restored Rebels than you are ones left essentially untouched, like this example. That legendary straight-six is just getting broken in, with the odometer reporting 65,000 miles. The body shows some wear on the trunklid but no rust, and that interior might have suffered some sun fading but remains intact and clean. The only modification we can see is the addition of the modern radio and speakers. This nice Rambler shows how these cars were originally put together. From the seller’s description:
This Teal Rambler Rebel has a black vinyl hard top and Rambler hubcaps with teal accented wheels making this a cool Survivor Classic. This Rambler started its life at the Kenosha Wisconsin assembly plant as verified by the VIN. The original inline 6 with 3 speed automatic glides through the gears and is an original numbers matching survivor.
Success has many fathers. Failure is an orphan. Lee Iaccoca made sure everyone associated him with the success of the Mustang, but who is to blame for the Edsel? Digging into those stories illuminates business culture even today.One interesting anecdote, largely unexplored, is the question of where the American Motors Corporation V-8 that debuted in 1956 came from. AMC only came into existence when Nash and Hudson merged in 1954.
Neither marque previously had a V-8, though Nash had long used overhead valves. Hudson was well known for its powerful flathead straight-sixes. To compete in the mid-’50s, though, a company absolutely had to have a V-8.At first, it appeared that the solution was to purchase Packard’s new V-8 engine, which had debuted for 1955. A detuned version was available in both the Nash Ambassador and the Hudson Hornet for 1955 and part of 1956.
Unfortunately, the arrangement between the companies broke down, leaving AMC to fend for itself.In a remarkably brief time, AMC replaced the Packard engine with its own design, a 250-cu.in. V-8 that grew to 327-cu.in. by 1957, when it made a big splash under the hood of the compact-sized Rambler Rebel.
The Rebel wound up being the fastest American sedan that year—beating out the likes of the supercharged F-code Ford, the fuel-injected Chevrolet, and even the vaunted Chrysler 300C.
I’m a simple man with simple tastes. I like my action movies loud, my adult beverages cold, and my Ramblers to be a curious mid-century-styled blend of panache and performance with a specific mix of functionality and technology with select modern upgrades. I mean, you can’t really ask for much less than that, right?To keep from going stir crazy these last several months—and particularly since I messed up my shoulder—I’ve started going through all the boxes full of old stuff in the attic and basement. I came across my old models, which was great fun for a femtosecond, as well as a notebook full of ideas for classic cars as I felt they should have been built or as I would have built them had I a sugar momma and a garage that didn’t constantly get filled up with other projects.
Some of those ideas actually still hold up all these years later, which either meant that I had too much time to daydream the perfect setup when I was younger or that my daydreams really haven’t changed all that much.Take, for instance, my concept for a Rambler station wagon. I’ve always wanted a 1958-1960 full-/midsize Rambler wagon. Something about that stepped roof and reverse-slanted C-pillar appealed to me even before Nissan ripped it off for the WA60/JA60 Armada/QX56.
Sure, maybe it reduced total interior space by a cubic foot or so, and maybe it was just a way for American Motors to reduce tooling costs by sharing panels and interior structure between the sedans and wagons, but I still like it. That quad-headlamp front end always reminded me of the contemporary Chevrolets and Checkers, and while I don’t necessarily have anything against the flamboyant fins or wraparound windshield of the 1958 and 1959 models (and I wouldn’t kick one of those out of the garage for leaking oil), my preference lies with the toned-down winglets and conventional windshield of the 1960 models
If there were a single word to describe The Rambler Ranch it would be “eclectic”. In fact, its founder, Terry Gale, can aptly be described as eclectic as well.
Terry’s ultimate goal is to have a complete 1917 to 1988 Nash/Rambler/AMC history showcased, and not just of the commonly known automobiles, but also of the appliances, tractors, commercial & military vehicles; a goal which is now certainly within reach. He has also expanded to over 60 other makes and models of vehicles in addition his core focus, making the experience even more enjoyable
Some of the features of Terry’s amazing enterprise are:
Nash Automotive History (1917-1957)
The Nash History Center highlights cars dating from 1917 – 1957.
Not to mention every inch of the exhibit is littered with historical propaganda all produced by Nash/Rambler. (Ads, Billboards, manuels…)
This facilitly is also home to the one-of-a-kind PININFARINA (concept car)
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1920’s Sinclair Gas Station Replica
Come visit the Rambler Ranch ice cream & gift shop! Both housed in our old-fashioned Sinclair gas-station.
Featuring Rambler Ranch one-of-a-kind merchandise. (only available on-site)
Take a taste of our locally homemade ice cream flavors! Yum!
Or even get a photo at the pump! Totally RETRO man!
AMC HISTORY FROM 1958-1988
The AMC building features over 100 examples of original, unrestored vehicles. Spanning decades of both iconic design and technical innovation.
In addition to the 100+ AMC cars this building houses hundreds of petrolina memorabilia!
Kelvinator History Center
Kelvintaor was purchased by Nash in 1937.
Showcases vintage appliances.
see what life used to be like in the kitchen!
Featuring other automotive owned appliance companies…
Take in the lines of this 1955 Nash, and you’ll likely agree that it seems out-of-time, perhaps more modern than its year of construction would suggest. Indeed, it embodies the “long, low, lean” look that would become so popular by the middle of the 1960s. It’s subtle, tastefully trimmed, and, when compared to contemporary American sedans, a bit European-looking. That’s because it originated not in Kenosha, Wisconsin, but in Turin, Italy; its unique coachwork having been handcrafted by the artisans at Carrozzeria Pinin Farina
Station wagons were America’s “workhorses on wheels.” Today, they conjure images of outdated family photos, over-sized hairdos and unfashionable wooden siding. In 2011, Volvo – the leading premium wagon manufacturer – will discontinue the sale of its last wagon model in the United States.
There are some, however, who still cling to these vehicles and what they stand for in American culture. Wagonmasters, a full-length documentary film, offers glimpses into the lives of such wagon enthusiasts, and tells the story of the station wagon as it represents a changing America over the last one hundred years.
At its heart, Wagonmasters is a film about reconnecting with America’s past as one of its most memorable chapters comes to a close.
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