1960 Rambler American Wagon

When I think about the cars of the 1960s, I think about the high-performance muscle cars from the Big Three automakers: Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. But these weren’t the only players in the car game. Today I want to talk about one of the other American car companies: Rambler.

While the Big Three were making ridiculously powerful passenger cars, Rambler was off doing their own thing. They created a little compact car called the American which was focused on value and practicality. It was a compact car that was affordable yet did not look cheap. It had an inline 6 cylinder engine and offered one of the best warranties available at the time.

They were popular cars in their day, but you wouldn’t expect to see one today at a convention for high-performance car parts. Well, that’s exactly where I ran across this 1960 Rambler American Wagon.

This car belongs to Bob and Jackie Rose,  owners of BRE Rods and Classics in Salida, California. This Rambler has been completely redone to modern standards while retaining a vintage look. It’s got a new small-block Chevy V8 engine and automatic transmission where the old straight six used to be.

The handling has been upgraded too, with a Mustang II front suspension and a custom 4-bar rear suspension with JRI coil-over shocks. It also has Wilwood disc brakes, Classic Instruments gauges, and a thumpin’ stereo from ARC Audio.

It’s easy for me to imagine a car like a Mustang or a Camaro being fast – those cars were cool from the start! But to take something like a 1960 Rambler American station wagon and make it into a fast, good-looking ride, well now that’s something worth writing about!

Engine and Driveline
Small Block Chevy Engine
Turbo 350 Transmission
Front Runner pulley system
Narrowed Ford 9″ Housing

Suspension, Brake, and Wheels
Mustang II front suspension
BRE 4-bar rear suspension
JRI coilover shocks
Race Line wheels
Wilwood 4-wheel disc brakes

Body and Exterior
Paint and body by Bob Cole, Long Beach, CA

Classic Instruments gauges
Sky Drive GPS
Interior by CG Customs, Modesto, CA
ARC Audio by Raul Gois