(first posted 8/15/2013. Fake tilt-shift focus added by me. Click on for larger size)
This shot posted at the Cohort by MoparMatt caught my eye, for two reasons There’s something about an older car like this in a contemporary urban setting that just really speaks to me; maybe because downtown Eugene just isn’t quite “urban” enough. Of course, these old Ramblers have become very hip too, right up there with early Falcons. But there’s another reason, because it reminded me of a somewhat similar Cohort sighting, this one in Boston:
Now we just need a sighting of a bathtub American in Manhattan.
It’s amazing how that Richard Teague design on the 68 continues to look modern today. My uncle bought the first of the third generation in 64 – a white on gold sedan and it was a great little car.
Ramblers were quite popular in the UK,they made RHD models,the big 3 rarely bothered to make RHD cars for the UK.As a kid in the 60s I think I saw more Ramblers in Britain than America!
Really?! I must keep an eye out, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one.
Both pairs of my Grandparents lived near a large USAF base so I saw a lot of American cars in Britain as a kid.We holidayed in America Ramblers were seen more often in Britain but I’ve not seen one at shows for a long time,the last one I rememberseeing was a Marlin
Yeah! Love that 68. When our family had a couple I was just the right height to fully appreciate the taillights and gas cap.
Still on my short list to own…
Is this the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh? Needs an “H”!
Two cities that have meant a lot to me…unlike the Rambler, alas.
FYI, there’s always an “h” in “Pittsburgh.”
The Kraut in me sometimes defaults to German spelling. Fixed!
As Matt notes, there was a push by the Post Office around the turn of the century to “rationalize” town spelling. Scarborough, ME, where my parents live, had to become “Scarboro.” Everyone made a stink and most places switched back, but apparently not all. End result, more irregularity than before!
So, likely the same with Teterboro (Teterborough) NJ? We have our own Scarborough here, east of (or part of) Toronto.
Not always…the one in Kansas is spelled without the “H.” But of course, that one isn’t nearly as well-known, or mentioned.
At my company, that’s an ongoing tagline when you tell people you’re going to one of the two. We usually add, “the one with (or without) an ‘H’ at the end!” 🙂
Pittsburgh had an “h” dropped it from 1900-1911 and added it again. You can tell the ages of a lot buildings around here by whether or not the “h” is in Pittsburgh. Also, Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are a treasure trove of old cars. Having lived in Toledo, Ohio, my guess is because of the state inspection. But there are a bunch of car guys here too.
In PA a rust hole through the sheet metal bigger than a Quarter will cause you to flunk the Statewide Safety Inspection. In New York rust holes bigger than that are allowed, but not sure what the limit is because vehicles can be missing a few square feet and they still pass. just know severe frame rust is a no-no. New York also has emissions testing statewide for 96 and up vehicles, but in PA it is a county by county basis.
So, due to these laws vehicles get passed between PA and New York depending on what is wrong, but sometimes the vehicle gets sent to Ohio or Michigan (where there are no safety inspections or state wide emissions testing), or somewhere else. Jersey no longer requires passenger vehicles to pass safety inspections so I bet some PA vehicles will head over that way.
In my younger days I owned a ’59 Ambassador and later a ’64 (Classic?) convertible. I was hip before hip existed!
There’s a Rambler a few blocks from me that I’ve been hoping to see a for sale sign appear on for years. For a Pennsylvania car, it’s surprisingly rust free, but I rarely see it moved, and it’s starting to look a little ignored. I seldom drive during the week, and other than a late 60’s Dart, I can’t think of a car I’d rather have as a semi-regular driver.
It looks like a Hillman Hunter from that view.
My parents had a fire engine red 68 Rambler they bought new. It finally went to the junkyard about 1990 or so. It had rusted so badly it was bent in the middle.
Re the tilt-shift focus – yes more toy-like, but it loses a lot of the magic of the original “older car in a contemporary setting”
A venerable design indeed, if not generic enough to stand the test of time. So much so it seems to be a favorite template vehicle for just about every typical roadway cross section drawing I have seen, to this day.
There is a Rambler American in the town where I work in upstate NY, same vintage and color, except with a painted white roof. It is perfect and very coooool. I’ll grab a pic of it when I can because I think it is awesome.
A classmate of mine had one of these when we were in high school. Steve’s was a convertible, black over red. The thing I most remember was that the switch for the vacuum windshield wipers was defective. This meant that to operate the wipers you had to get out, raise the hood, and then reconnect the vacuum line to the wiper motor. Just a little bit awkward in a sudden downpour.
I used to see one of these regularly in Charlottesville in the 90s – same yellow paint as the one above. With a strategically placed “Buy American” bumper sticker right above the Rambler American logo.
The favorite second car in Kenosha in the 70s. Every other kid in high school had one. My second car was a ’67 just like this one. I paid $650 for it in 1974. When I t-boned a Dodge van that blew a stop sign all the bondo fell off it.
“older car in a contemporary setting”
Strikes me the other way around… a contemporary car in an older setting.
I always thought of this vintage Rambler American as a reasonable alternative to a Chevy Nova, just not as stylish, but you can’t knock the practicality of the design!
These seemed to be much better built and more durable than Chrysler’s offering at the time. Don’t know about the Falcon, but to my eyes, Fords were largely invisible in those years, save for the 1968 Torino, which I went wild over. Yeah – I really did!
FWIW, I believe this model was the first American car to “feature” fixed rear glass in the coupes. I could be wrong, but I guess it doesn’t matter.
Sad being first in that department, IMHO, if that’s true…
Buddy of mine had one of these in High School.
I remember being very cold riding in it during the winter of 1981.
A Rambler? In 1968? Sorry, but I thought those cars were for dorks. Weren’t all the cool kids driving Mustangs by 1968?
Any cool kids here? Probably a few, but I have a feeling that quite a few of us were dorks back then. I know I certainly was. However, I would have much preferred a Dart or Valiant to a Rambler. Even us dorks sometimes have our limits. 🙂
I’m sure I would have qualified as a dork back then. The 1968-69 school year was my senior year in high school and I was the “proud” owner of a 1961 Ford Fairlane. I knew it was a crap box, it had the 223 six and Fordomatic, and I didn’t care. The most important thing was that I had wheels, and the freedom of movement that brings. Nearly all of my friends, mostly from working class families, had old cars as well. Working on your old, worn out car yourself was just part of life for most of us back then. I spent most of my 17th birthday (late December) trying to replace the starter on the Ford so that my friend and I could use it on a double date that evening. It took us probably 3 or 4 times as long as a professional mechanic would have but we got it done in time.
There’s a ’69 Rambler on the Northside of Pittsburgh, a few blocks from Allegheny General Hospital…across the park from my church…I should go and snap some shots. It’s still running and driven, I know that.
There’s an ad on utube that has a light blue Rambler American just like the one on top. A couple of airline stewardesses get off a plane in Phoenix, and get into a Rambler American. They head north up through Sedona , and they show the pretty woman shifting that 3 on the tree . Then they end up at Lake Powell , I think.
As plain as the American was, the Matador sedan easily managed to look significantly dumpier. There’s a simple honesty to the American’s design, the Matador lacked.
But what a great colour! And tinted windows! This is really in mint condition. My recollection is that Consumers Reports liked these, although obviously that didn’t save them.
The Matador looked a lot cleaner when it was a Rambler Rebel. The 1967-1969 Rebels were a clean design. (See Picture) The 1970 Rebel added the rear door “humps” near the back of the doors. Other American Intermediates added the rear humps around this time. In 1971 it became the Matador. I think the 1971 to 1973 Matadors were good looking cars. In 1974 they added the Jimmy Durante nose to the front It made the car UGLY in my opinion. I still like the looks of the 1967-1969 Rebels though. The look a like the 4 door Plymouth Satellites of those years.
Agreed, regarding the Rambler Rebel. Those ‘droopy’ (vertically compressed) wheel arches were a significant contributor to the dumpy looks.
Growing up we had a ‘64 Rambler Classic and a ‘67 Rambler Ambassador. Both ended up slipping the timing chain thereby bending all of the push rods. My brother and I called them “Rumblers”. That ‘67 would fly!
My parents owned a blue bathtub ‘59 American. By the late 60’s/early 70’s, they were terminally uncool. I blamed my high school social life – or lack thereof – on that car. In retrospect, I’m not sure the car deserved as much blame as I assigned to it back then. One good thing about that Rambler, it saved me from spending buckets of money restoring an old heap trying to recreate youthful memories.
September 16, 1981. Lundy’s Lane, near Niagara Falls, Ontario.