George Romney's Personal Rambler Classic Is For Sale

Illustration for article titled George Romney's Personal Rambler Classic Is For Sale

I have an unexplained soft spot for American Motors. Perhaps it’s the underdog thing or just that they dared to be different for different’s sake. Maybe it's because they teamed up with Renault in their later years to make things that looked good on paper yet were terrible in reality. Whatever the case, if I had the means, there's a Rambler for sale that gets me very interested. 

As I’m pretty sure everyone is well aware by now, George Romney, Mitt’s father, was a former American Motors head before he went on to be Michigan’s governor. George is largely credited with invigorating the company through the use of the Rambler brand and cars like George Romney's personal 1964 Rambler Classic are examples of how good AMC was in the early '60s. 

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From the seller: 

George's oldest Son said that George wasn't normally attached to cars, but this one was different.  George had a special bond with this car because he felt he contributed more to these 63-64 cars than at any point in the past.  While he left American Motors to become Governor of Michigan in 1962, George had worked directly on the development of the '63/'64.  George held onto this specific car and had a friend of the family store it for a number of years. This was unusual for George, as he normally didn't become attached to his cars like he did with this one.

Illustration for article titled George Romney's Personal Rambler Classic Is For Sale


Even if it weren't owned by George Romney, this is an amazing example of a supposedly un-restored Rambler Classic. The seller said Gorge Romeny donated the car to the Chrysler Museum shortly before he died in 1995, but during the Carpocalypse it was auctioned off.

Illustration for article titled George Romney's Personal Rambler Classic Is For Sale

And today, we can marvel at the Rambler's neat lines, the great color scheme inside and the fantastic-looking speedometer. Compare it to a Ford Falcon or, dare I say it, Chevy Corvair of the same year and I am fascinated by this the most. 

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The auction ends Feb. 22 and I have no idea what a Rambler Classic normally goes for, but I'd wager this is the most pristine one out there and it's got all of the heritage. 

DISCUSSION

Bad72AMX
Bad72AMX

What an awesome car. This was one of the first cars Dick Teague had a hand in styling, and his (usually) clean lines are well demonstrated here. Very clean, modern looking car for the time. This car helped AMC's full line win Car of the Year in 1963, and it also helped make the Rambler brand number 3 that year as well, selling more units than Chrysler, Pontiac, Plymouth, and all the rest except Ford and Chevrolet. 

George Romney managed AMC perfectly, recognizing that targeting niches, creating new markets, and offering value and reliability was the only was to take on the big three. He also led AMC to cost saving measures that saved millions.  For example, the compact American,  mid sized Classic, and upper-intermediate Ambassador all shared the same doors, which saved millions of development, production, and supply chain costs. 

George Mason took over, tried to go head to head with the rest, and nearly killed the company by 1970. His first giant mistake was taking the American-based Tarpon, which could've been a viable alternative to Mustang and Barracuda, and shifed its styling to this larger platform, which did not appeal to many people. Had Romney remained at the helm, I believe AMC may still exist.