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5-29-21:

Well everybody, I ran across this little car and absolutely could not pass it up.  

It's a 1960 AMC Rambler American Super.  It's powered by a 90hp 195 cubic inch flathead.  It has a 3 speed "Flash-O-Matic" automatic transmission.  The previous owner is 71 years old and had owned the car for 8 or 9 years.  He pulled it out of a friend's personal junkyard (I'll upload those pictures later), where it had sat for more than 20 years. It was last licensed in Iowa in 1975 before the previous owner got it road worthy.  

So everything was wrong with the car.  The previous owner said he took that as a challenge. The car has a rebuilt engine, transmission, rear differential, carburetor, all new brake system, exhaust, new aluminum radiator, new tires, new interior (less headliner and dash), new gas tank, new battery, tune up, belts hoses, voltage regulator, new floors welded in, leaf springs re-arched, new shocks, and a few other things I've forgotten by now.  There's about 4,000 miles on the rebuild. It starts right up and runs perfect. The previous owner wanted to leave the original paint, or what's left of it anyway, which is exactly what I like. In 1958, which was the first year of the little Rambler American since the Nash Rambler in 1955, company members drove it from California to Florida at an average of 40 mph and achieved over 35 miles per gallon. I'm interested to see what we can get just putzing around town. I'll bet that we'll get over 20 for sure and maybe even 25 mpg.  Anyway, the previous owner was reluctant to sell it, but he was downsizing and had sold his Corvette and mustang before this. He knew that he would never get out of it what he put into it so I got it for a song. I got a darn good deal. It really attracts a lot of attention!  There's some rust and dents, but like I said before it's just the way I like it. I took the kids out for a cruise and each of them got a chance to drive it. It only weighs about 2,500 lb, so it actually has decent power.  It would certainly beat the Meadowbrook in a race.  The thing is so darn ugly that it's beautiful in my opinion. What am I going to do with it? Drive it of course....

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Edited by Worden18
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5-29-21: Well everybody, I ran across this little car and absolutely could not pass it up.   It's a 1960 AMC Rambler American Super.  It's powered by a 90hp 195 cubic inch flathead.  It has

hey what's not to like.....its a two door and true to the SPORT name...the rear aerial and twin mirrors add a nice touch.......these are getting harder to locate also...my latest is not an American..b

8-1: Out teaching my son how to drive back behind the industrial park (no traffic at all).  Stopped to wash the windshield and grab some snacks.  I had been driving at that point.  😊  

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1 hour ago, cheesy said:

Cool little buggy. My Dad started at AMC in 58, so he probably touched it.

I had an uncle that worked for AMC from 1959 to 1989. He may have had a hand on it as well...

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hey what's not to like.....its a two door and true to the SPORT name...the rear aerial and twin mirrors add a nice touch.......these are getting harder to locate also...my latest is not an American..but an America.....

 

 

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Edited by Plymouthy Adams
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My aunt had several Rambler Americans.  1960 like yours  a 62 which had the newer squared body, and a 63 wagon that she bought to support her catering and wedding cake business.  My cousin was only 4 months older than I and we did much of our practice driving in the 62.  It was a three on the tree and had overdrive which I don't remember ever using. I do remember with 3 people in the car it was woefully underpowered.  The 63 was a station wagon when loaded up to cater a party was basically a second gear vehicle unless you were on level ground.  Getting from 40 to 60 on the highway was a process of gaining momentum rather than noticeable acceleration.

 

There was a fellow around here that had a 59, he was working on putting a T bird turbo 4 cylinder in it, but I don't know if it ever got roadworthy. They are kind of a cute car, but with quirky engineering.  Good luck with it, it does look quite solid.

 

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9 hours ago, Plymouthy Adams said:

hey what's not to like.....its a two door and true to the SPORT name...the rear aerial and twin mirrors add a nice touch.......these are getting harder to locate also...my latest is not an American..but an America.....

 

 

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Plymouthy, what is it?  I like it a lot.  My son would want to buy it from you!😆

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Austin??

 

DJ

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Posted (edited)

Junkyard pics where it sat for 20+ years.  I'm guessing it stopped running and driving in 1975 when it was last licensed, and then at some point spent 20 or more years in this guy's personal junkyard. The latter is what the previous owner told me.  The picture with the battery is when he told me that he stuffed one in there just to see if the lights and blinkers would work, which they did.

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Edited by Worden18
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Some pics from today. It originally had rubber floor mats, those were taken out and replaced with carpet. He did a nice job, but I prefer the rubber floor mats.  The original ones were toast though.  The seats and door panels look pretty nice.  They tried to match it as close to the original as possible.

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Your interior shot of the steering wheel flashed back a couple memories primary was how wonderful the shift lever was on my aunts car,, and the 63 American we had in drivers Ed that had the stick shift.. learning on the manual was optional..  several of the local Rambler dealers kids when to high school in a three or four yearbubble, so we got rambler for drivers ed.

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19 minutes ago, greg g said:

Your interior shot of the steering wheel flashed back a couple memories primary was how wonderful the shift lever was on my aunts car,, and the 63 American we had in drivers Ed that had the stick shift.. learning on the manual was optional..  several of the local Rambler dealers kids when to high school in a three or four yearbubble, so we got rambler for drivers ed.

That is awesome! Never would have guessed...

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Yes this is a 1970 Austin America.....I recently bought this with engine and transmission missing.  That was fine by me as I  have a 1985 1275 engine with greater horsepower, better gearing and shifter mechanism.  The cars are quite big, roomier than a Rolls for that year.  The suspension is hydrolastic and is truly a great ride.  Disc brakes  and rack and pinion steering. 4 speed on the floor and bucket seats.  The engine I am slowing working it up a bit for the install....HP will be 30% over stock.    Plenty of parts are being custom made by me for the install.   I am making this a sort of nonsense build...and will have a lot of Timmized parts and features.  

 

Shot of the engine in case anyone would like to see it....the differential and 4 speed tranny is in the engine oil sump....the clutch is between the engine and the flywheel....rather unique if you not familiar with the arrangement.  The brass choke levers just arrived Saturday and I have cut one inch out of each and brazed back together so I will have top pull chokes and could not find any data on the H4s as original fitted to a competition only 1275 Cooper...this engine best Copper specs with a single carb and cast iron manifold...shown is the Maniflow LCB header system.  Something to play with....they fun to drive.

 

 

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There were two of those in our group of ice racers. One was basically a street car, the other was a former scca racing car which was gutted out and well past its use by date. Seemed as when I first started I was always dicing with them, a fiat 128, a 60s something beetle and a Hillman Imp.  I was running a 75 or so Subaru.  We didn't go faST but we had a lot of fun.

 

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2 hours ago, Plymouthy Adams said:

Yes this is a 1970 Austin America.....I recently bought this with engine and transmission missing.  That was fine by me as I  have a 1985 1275 engine with greater horsepower, better gearing and shifter mechanism.  The cars are quite big, roomier than a Rolls for that year.  The suspension is hydrolastic and is truly a great ride.  Disc brakes  and rack and pinion steering. 4 speed on the floor and bucket seats.  The engine I am slowing working it up a bit for the install....HP will be 30% over stock.    Plenty of parts are being custom made by me for the install.   I am making this a sort of nonsense build...and will have a lot of Timmized parts and features.  

 

Shot of the engine in case anyone would like to see it....the differential and 4 speed tranny is in the engine oil sump....the clutch is between the engine and the flywheel....rather unique if you not familiar with the arrangement.  The brass choke levers just arrived Saturday and I have cut one inch out of each and brazed back together so I will have top pull chokes and could not find any data on the H4s as original fitted to a competition only 1275 Cooper...this engine best Copper specs with a single carb and cast iron manifold...shown is the Maniflow LCB header system.  Something to play with....they fun to drive.

 

 

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I've never seen such a setup... very interesting!  Thanks for sharing.  Now on to YouTube to see if I can find a video of one to watch. 👍

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I did a quick look for a video on you tube that is an original advert for the hydrolastic suspension....I could not find it quickly but will post the link when I do....these little cars are being tweak with a number of retrofits...some very in depth builds....I wish but to pep it a bit, similar to what folks here do to the flatheads here....header, twin carbs and few other mild dress/performance features....just installing this engine I have had to overcome things like cable clutch to hydraulic, pot drive to Spicer joints, fuel pump changes, the added carbs and dressing them for fit to the firewall...same with header and still not quite locked onto the muffler I want.  The cooling system required a number of tweaks in porting and routing.  We all know the ever moving line in the sand on such retro fits but we that do them also know the fun it is to work these small details out and put them in play.  I am having fun with the build.  The trip to get the car and back home was a bit over 2000 miles....ONLY IF IT WERE CLOSER   is a cop out statement to me.....if you want it, dang it get it....!!!

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Worden I noticed than in my post regarding the shift lever, that Dr. Otto Korect changed WONKY to WONDERFUL.   That wasn't the case.  It seemed the other end was in a bowl of yesterday's oat meal.  Not the most precise mechanism.  Car had only about 25k when we were doing our practice driving. The city my aunt lived in had lots of hills, so an underpowered  car with a less than splendid shifter made for some intense driving for kids on a learn3rs permit.

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So do you have the early water/antifreeze setup or the later "airbag/gas type"??

 

Interesting to say for sure. Must have been easier to repair/replace than the the US autos with expensive) factory air bags- Later Lincoln and Cadillac's, etc.  with their air bag/coil overs with strut type that people replaced with way cheaper shock absorber/coil over type - more normal type setups-  .

 

A cheaper Citron hydraulic type  suspension used?? Not at all sure for as I am not into fern-en cars!  🤪

 

DJ

Edited by DJ194950
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Mine is still 100% stock and I service them with the 50/50 antifreeze.  Works like a champ....I also use a converted grease pump to service the system.   My buddy has an actual BMC service pump but he is a 4 1/2 hours away....I serviced a set up this spring for a friend who also has an Austin...along with repair of the HS4 carb.  He had let his set for a long spell...that is harder on them than driving them.  He had not pumped up the system I discovered since we put the newly made flex lines on the rear.   The different systems used on different cars seem strange only because of no exposure to them.    

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@Worden18 that Rambler is super cool, reminds me of a Willys Aero that  a neighbor had years ago. Also sort of looks like a Trabant, the East German car.

 

I like the patina (can I say that word?....haha) and it would also sure look good with a new coat of baby blue !!

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