Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Rambler is a barn-find blast from the sixties past, and looks like the fire chief’s car too. Your job will be to decide if its price is a red hot deal.
Despite what certain people claim, sometimes too much really can be just enough. That was obviously the case with yesterday’s double your VTEC 2000 Prelude which had a lot more than junk in its trunk. An engineering school project, and hence better than your typical hold-my-beer backyard project, it was still too wacky for its asking price, and it fell in an overwhelming 90% Crack Pipe loss.
I think it’s about time that we give the crazy a rest and look at something that’s as not-crazy as you could imagine; a car that’s both as American as is name implies, and possibly as comforting as a hot bowl of chicken soup and a hug from your mom. Or maybe a hug from your best friend’s hot mom, whatever floats your boat.
This 1964 Rambler Classic 660 is the quintessential American mid-size sedan of the sixties. This kind of car was the Camry of its day; simple, solid, and unpretentious. It competed against the likes of Ford’s Fairlane, Chevy’s Chevelle, and the Dodge Dart, and was originally championed by Mitt Romney’s dad.
George Romney was president of American Motors Corporation from 1958 to 1962, and under his management the company pushed the value-driven Rambler as a cost-conscious option to (in his words) the Big Three’s “gas guzzling dinosaurs.” The effort turned around AMC’s fortunes, but before the company could take Romney’s vision even further, he left both AMC and Wisconsin to become Michigan’s 43rd Governor.
This 1964 Rambler Classic still embodies that vision, however. It’s a mid-size sedan with a stout 287 CID V8 that was originally good for 198-bhp. Not only is this a mid-sizer, but as a 660 it’s also a mid-trimmer.
The ad says that it was restored a decade ago - to the tune of 18,500 American dollars. Those are the good kind, and not those undeniably tasty but practically worthless as a mode of exchange IHOP dollar pancakes. The current owner says he pulled it from a barn and affirms that every nut has been turned and every bolt torqued. Well, actually the ad says that somebody named Avery did the torquing. Way to go Avery!
The odometer says 20K, but who knows how many trips around the horn that has made, and actually, who cares now that Avery has done his job. The paint is new (ten years in a barn) as is the interior (ten years in a barn), and the seller avers that there is no rust or Bondo to be found either inside the car or out. Hopefully for his sake one of those dogs in the pics isn’t named Bondo!
That paint makes the car look like it may have been driven by Mayberry’s fire chief, but the white over a contrasting hue is appropriate for the model. The matching steelies and dog dishes are nice touches too.
What’s not so nice? Well, that 287 apparently will need a new water pump pretty soon, and if you’re a stickler for a clean driveway be advised that, according to the ad, both the engine and transmission weep like a teen girl watching A Fault in Our Stars.
Then there’s the title which, while clean, is apparently several decades out of date. That’s more of a hassle than anything else, depending on how big of a dick your state’s DMV likes to be about such things.
For a while there, hipsters were buying up all the sixties iron that their grandparents discarded years before. I think they’ve moved on to something else - although I’m not cool enough to know what - making it once again safe to buy these kinds of cars. To buy this one, you’d need to be flush to the tune of $4,000, or have something with a motor in it to trade. We don’t do that, so let’s focus on the cash.
What’s your take on this barn find Rambler for $4,000? Considering the description in the ad, does that sound like a decent deal? Or, for that much, would you just… ramble on?
H/T to bbbdang for the hookup!
Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your Kinja handle.