1962 American Springs Rambler back from the past is amazingly revived after 33 years


What’s the first thing you think about you hear the words “barn find?” I usually picture a vehicle covered in a layer of dust thick enough to cover the worn-out paint and the surface rust. Because that’s how most cars emerge out of long-term storage. And you can only assess their actual condition once you get them cleaned up.

Most of the time, it’s worse than expected, with the dust and grime hiding severe rust issues. But sometimes dirt can also conceal a nice survivor that can be returned to public roads without a full-blown restoration.

The Rambler American you see is one of those classics that looked hopeless upon exiting the barn and morphed into a relatively nice rig after a much-deserved wash.

Rescued by the folks over at “WD Detailing,” this Rambler was last on the road in 1990. And because it was parked in a wooden barn that didn’t provide optimum protection from the elements, it merged coated in dust on the outside and packed with rat nests inside. It was the kind of barn find you wouldn’t want to start working on without overalls, goggles, and even a mask.

In fact, given that the Rambler American isn’t all that desirable, most people wouldn’t have bothered to save it. Fortunately enough, though, our hosts wash and detail everything they can get their hands on, so this Rambler got an unexpected second chance at life after 33 years in improper storage.

And the process revealed a nice survivor that could run and drive for a few more years without a restoration.

Granted, the paint is far from perfect, the interior needs a few bits and pieces, and the floor has a big hole behind the passenger-side front seat, but the Rambler is mostly complete. And as a welcomed bonus, it still has the original engine under the hood.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Rambler American, it was produced from 1958 to 1969 by American Motors Corporation (AMC). But the nameplate was actually born in 1950 under Nash Motors and established a new segment. Yes, the Rambler was America’s first successful compact car.

Discontinued in 1955, the Rambler was revived by AMC in 1958 using the same Nash platform. However, the company gave it a significant makeover for the 1961 model year, removing the visual connection to the original bathtub-style version.

The drop-top you see here is part of the second-gen Rambler, which remained in showrooms for three years.

While the video doesn’t mention a model year, I’m pretty sure we’re looking at a 1962 model. How do I know? For starters, it has transparent turn signals, which means we can rule out the 1963 version, which came with amber lights.

And it can’t be a 1961 model because it comes with a “400” badge, which AMC introduced in 1962 as a replacement for the Custom trim.

But is the 1962 400 Convertible a rare version? No, it’s not. AMC sold no fewer than 125,676 Rambler Americans that year and records suggest that almost 13,500 left the assembly line in this configuration.

It’s not very valuable or desirable either, but I think it’s a cool and somewhat exotic alternative to the “Big Three” compacts from the era. I’m talking about the Ford Falcon, Chevrolet Nova, and Plymouth Valiant.

Well, if you’re in the market for a Rambler American, our host wants to give this two-door drop-top away for free. You just need to follow a few simple steps that you’ll find in the first-wash video below.

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