Sunday, February 14, 2016

1963 Rambler Classic Six 660 4-door Sedan

"The only car with the Best of Both: Big-car room and comfort . . . small-car economy and handling ease . . . plus All-New Beauty! It's All New . . . All Beautiful . . . All Rambler!"

Upon first sight, this car left us puzzled: "Rambler" lettering on a fairly modern car? The Rambler name, we knew, wasn't used anymore since 1969. Turns out that this car, which could well have been produced in the early 1980s, was built already in 1963. Back then, this was an extremely progressive design. Especially if customized like our pictured car: at first glance the Rambler looks pretty original. But look closer and you'll notice integrated bumpers and flared rockers that didn't exist in 1963. These skillfully applied modifications contribute to the Rambler's modern look.

But even without these bumpers, the design of the Rambler seemed to be years ahead when presented in late 1962. Created by outgoing chief designer Ed Anderson and his successor Richard A. Teague, who added the final touches to Anderson's well-proportioned proposal, the Rambler looked the part and was instantly awarded "Car of the Year" by Motor Trend magazine. The designers applied curved side glass and a very clean body section to achieve a fairly monolithic look. The concave front grille, a 1963-only feature, added a nice modern touch, too. The progressive design was complemented by an "Advanced Unit Construction" chassis: the monocoque body featured novel "one-piece uniside" door frames that combined 52 parts of the previous model into one single steel stamping, effectively reducing weight and improving rigidity and door alignment.

AMC didn't fare too bad in these years, since it had focused on the compact Rambler in the latter 1950s, rather than competing with the fullsize cars of America's "Big Three". The emerging compact car boom swept the company to the the fourth place in the industry ranking by 1960 — an amazing achievement for one of the last "independents" still standing. The same output, however, was only good for a sixth place in 1963: by then, the "Big Three" had introduced their own compact cars and produced significantly more cars overall.

3 Kommentare:

Frank said...

I wonder what's under the hood? I know drivetrains were often changed to whatever was available.

Anonymous said...

My BIGGEST questions is, how did a post-embargo American car (1959-later) end up in Cuba??

Cubanclassics said...

You'd be surprised about the number of "post-revolutionary" cars on the island. There were a few "import waves" (most notably Peugeot 404 and Ford Falcon from Argentina, or the ubiquitous Russian Lada), but quite a few Cubans were sent to work outside the country and could officially import private stuff upon their return. If they could afford it, that is. Maybe the Rambler arrived on the island that way.