I'm going to go with a fine patriotic machine this Fourth of July, a car literally named American. This little Kenosha coupe lives in Alameda's West End.

Kind of an interesting C-pillar/rear-window setup on this car; it's a little abrupt and the overhang is on the Corvair-ish side, but it looks good.

The '61 American came standard with a 90-horsepower six. The folks in Kenosha wouldn't build you one with a V8, but there ain't no no law says a man can't add V8 sap to his American. Is there?

Nice simple interior. I dig the oval speedometer, and three-on-the-tree is a fun way to shift. Of course, if you went for the automatic in your American, you got one of the all-time great transmission names: Flash-O-Matic!

Interesting to think that this car is the direct ancestor of the Pacer; AMC was good at quirky.

It's certainly got that distinctive late-50s/early-60s Rambler grille. This car looks pretty solid, needing only some minor bodywork and a paint job to really shine.

List price on this car was $1845. You could get the 2-door Ford Falcon for $1912, a Chevy Corvair for $1920, a VW Beetle for $1565, or (if you were completely insane marching to a different drummer) a Renault Dauphine for $1645, so the Rambler was priced quite competitively. And, damn, the Beetle was a steal!

Just the slightest hint of fins here- nothing flashy on a sensible Wisconsin car. Of course, some 304 or 343 sap wouldn't hurt...

Rambler Rogue? No, Renault Torino! [internal]