Ramblin' Rambler

Roger Thompson of Port Orange FL owns this beautiful 1960 Rambler American “Super”. Found in 2009 in a barn on a small ranch outside of Phoenix, AZ; it’s four year conversion to “Hot Rod” took hundreds of man hours. Believe it or not, it was purchased from the original owner who’s title still reflected the original purchase price of $2410.

A brief history lesson is in order perhaps in that American Motors lasted just over 30 years, ending its production in 1987.  In 1878 Thomas B. Jeffrey built and sold Rambler bicycles in Chicago. He actually was the first of the three key players of the companies that created American Motors in 1954. The other two were Charles Nash and Joseph L. Hudson. Charles Nash started Nash Motors in 1916 and The Hudson Motor Car Company was founded in 1909. The merger of the Nash-Kelvinator Co and Hudson Motor Car Company created American Motors in 1954. The Hudson and Nash names would disappear in 1957 leaving the Rambler, as the Jeffrey family were the principal owners still. The Rambler American was first produced in 1958.

The Rambler American pictured here was the Super model because of the included arm rests, side view mirror and ash tray! It’s also Super motivated now because of the GM ZZ Crate 383 (450hp) with custom valve covers that include original Rambler emblems. A March Billet pulley system and polished A/C compressor and alternator adds a bit of polish! A B&M 700R overdrive trans (4 speed) with B&M converter and auto lock-up transfers the power to the S-10 HD Posi-Rear fitted with 3:73 gears. 

Suspension is handled by the Mustang II with adjustable coil-overs and custom leaf springs are hung out back. Headman headers, polished stainless steel exhaust and Borla mufflers gets the spent gases out the back. One thing of note is that all the stainless, chrome and bumpers are original except for a NOS Windshield. It’s painted Fleet Orange with a black and orange interior that mimics the original pattern. It still has the classic “fold-down into a bed” front seat but its upgraded in the “get cool” department with a Vintage A/C Under-dash mount unit, Ididit column and Classic gauges which keep tract of all the vitals. Note the original horn button set into the custom steering wheel. Not even in 1960 was there anything close to the Pioneer CD/XM radio with JL Audio speakers that belts out the tunes either. 

This car was meant to be driven Roger says and it runs and drives flawlessly on a set of Pacer chrome spoke wheels (15x6 front, 15x7 rear) shod on Firestone 165/80 15’s and 255/60/15’s rear. While this may be a Rambler it certainly doesn’t ramble along, it Rumbles! Cool ride Roger!

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