Friday, January 29, 2021

Automotif CC...

I spotted this 1959 or 1960 Rambler American, looking a little down at the heels, parked out in front of a local mechanic's shop.

After the merger of Nash and Hudson created the American Motors Corporation, the "Rambler" name went from a model to a brand. (The president of AMC at the time, George Romney, later went on to run for governor of Michigan.)

The American was the cheap and cheerful compact of the Rambler line, riding on a 100 inch wheelbase, which was tiny in the era of tail-finned Wurlitzer behemoths. By way of comparison, the contemporary Chevy Bel Air stretched 119" between the axles, and a 2018 Honda Accord has a 111" wheelbase. The base motor in the first generation Rambler American was a 196cid flathead six putting out 90 horsepower, SAE gross.

The car, advertised as the cheapest car made in America, came in two trim levels. Plunking down $1,789 got you into the Deluxe, which was the base model, and $1,874 bumped you up to the Super.
"Super models offered a lot more for the modest $85 price premium including a comfy foam-cushioned front seat, front and rear armrests, two sun visors (in place of the Deluxe's driver's-side-only visor), cigarette lighter, map and glove-box lights, color-coordinated rubber floor covering, a trunk mat, two-tone interior door-panel trim, and an automatic dome light. 
Supers also sported stainless-steel windshield and belt moldings and rear-quarter windows that could be rolled down a few inches, all of which Deluxes lacked. Some folks who bought the Deluxe opted to pay a little more for a factory-installed package that included the armrests, right-side sun visor, and cigarette lighter. Those items could also be installed singly by the dealer."
For some reason, the photo, snapped with my pocket RX100 in the flat, watery light of a cold winter day, just didn't look right in color, so I noodled around with it a bit in Photoshop...

There. That feels more atmospherically correct.