(first posted 2/15/2011) I run into former Curbside Classics constantly, and from time to time their stories change enough to warrant a follow-up. In fact, we’re going to make a new series out of it: CC Follow-Up. Let’s start with this 1961 Rambler Cross Country Wagon, whose circumstances are not quite as happy as they were the first time around. In fact, this is as much a heart breaker as it is an axle buster.
The last time we visited (and wrote its CC) this quite nice original wagon was basking in the sunshine in front of its owner’s house a few blocks from mine. It had been his father’s car, as is so often the case. And it was running like a top. Things do break, and the first was their marriage. The owner packed up the Cross Country for the Cross-Town trip to a cheap apartment.
The reason I know this is because after I ran this CC, a reader contacted me desperately wanting to buy this Rambler. It was exactly like his childhood family truckster, right down to the red color. He was desperate to take it in, and give it a good home in a garage in Kansas.
When I saw the Rambler reappear here in the Whiteaker District, I nosed around, found the owner, and told him about the eager buyer of his Rambler. He was very torn: his left brain told him the Rambler needed and deserved a good home out of the rain. His right brain couldn’t let go. Guess which one won?
Sure enough, when I saw it again a few months later, it was looking even more forlorn: it had busted an axle, as this rear wheel was not the beneficiary of an early AMC experiment in four wheel steering. So there it sits, all winter, and before long the moss and lichens will be starting a garden on it.
So do we condemn him for not giving up the Rambler to a good home, or sympathize with his inability to let go of an heirloom?