CC Outtake: 1973 Rambler Matador Hearse – Not Necessary?

To follow on from yesterday’s hearse posts, here is one that was seen at the Picnic at Hanging Rock car show which is held each February near Woodend, Victoria about an hour north-west of Melbourne.  There are several things about this car and its setting that I could comment on, but which one of them is “Not Necessary”?  Click through to find out…

If you guessed that it was a reference to the 1975 Peter Weir film “Picnic at Hanging Rock”, based on the 1967 Joan Lindsay novel, congratulations!  A hearse would not have been necessary because the schoolgirls in the story simply disappeared.  I am guessing that the second-most common response may have been the CRM-8 number plates which some may regard as a little 0ff-colour.

You may also have wondered about the use of the Rambler name; as outlined in a previous post on Australian Ramblers the use of American Motors in Australia would be rather incongruous to say the least, especially when the cars were assembled locally by Australian Motor Industries (AMI).  Matadors were built from 1971-1977, all with the 360 V8 and automatic transmissions.  They didn’t build hearses though; there were a few body builders who did that but I don’t know which one was responsible for this Rambler.

Hanging Rock is quite an interesting place, being formed when some magma exiting a volcanic vent cooled to create the distinctive cracking.

The formation’s official name is Mount Diogenes and technically it is the large boulder suspended over the path accessing the ‘rock’ that is called Hanging Rock, but it is so over-shadowed you will rarely even see Mt Diogenes on maps, usually in favour of the Hanging Rock Reserve.

Of course there are other nearby ‘hanging rocks’ also, usually on directional signs pointing to the real thing.  You have to love people who take things literally!

Back to the car for the final factoid; the 16×7″ alloy wheels come from a late-1990’s Ford Fairlane Concorde limited edition (680 built).  I wonder if they are similar to a type used on the Crown Victoria?  These would have an offset of near zero, or about 3.5″ backspace.


Further Reading:

Car Show Classics: AMC Rambler Club At Melbourne’s Federation Square