(first posted 7/2/2015) My two-door sedan jag continues unabated. It’s now motivated me to go back through all of my own photo files to seek out every two door sedan I’ve ever shot curbside. Here’s one of my favorites; it sums up everything why these Ramblers were so loathed by kids like me at the time: They were so freaking ugly!!
As I look at this rear end shot, one I hardly ever take of cars, I almost can’t believe this is really…an American car from 1962, a place where Gran Prix and Lincoln Continentals roamed. It’s just so oddly shaped and poorly proportioned; it looks like something cobbled up in East Germany for the really big wigs or such. Der Dorkburg Grosser Kommodant.
Poor Ed Anderson (AMC’s Head of Design); he had to somehow keep this ancient body shell, which dates back to 1955, looking vaguely modern. And 1962 was the end of the road for it, thankfully; in 1963, a totally new (except for all-to many suspension and drive train components) Classic arrived, which allowed us all to enjoy a collective sigh of relief. That left just Studebaker stumbling along trying to perpetually dress up an antique body shell.
Never mind the styling; the really odd thing about this car is that AMC decided to spend the money to create a two door on this body shell after seven years, and then only for one year (1962), as this venerable structure would finally be replaced by the (mostly) all-new 1963 Classic and Ambassador. A total of 27k of these two doors were ever built. Was it worth it??
Yes, there’s a six under the hood, AMC’s ohv conversion of their flathead six dating back to the pre-war years. And in this case hooked up to a Flash-O-Matic automatic (Borg Warner). Now that made for a truly exhilarating combo.
I can just hear its wheezy nasal exhaust as the 196 cubic inch six leans against the torque converter, which tended to convert seemingly too much of the engine’s torque into…nothing. Alchemy.
Woe be to you if you had to ride in the back seat of one of these to school…not…cool.