Rambler drove for UK sales

The Rambler Clas­sic was built and sold by Amer­i­can Mo­tors Cor­po­ra­tion (AMC) from 1961 to 1966

Rutherglen Reformer - - Motors - Ian John­son

THE US car in­dus­try had ex­port sales in its sights in the 1960s and the UK was cer­tainly part of the grand plan.

One of the most in­ter­est­ing mod­els to reach our shores was the Rambler Clas­sic 6, spear­head of the Amer­i­can Mo­tors drive to in­spire Brit driv­ers.

The Clas­sic 6 had more chance than most be­cause of its in­ter­me­di­ate size and, for an Amer­i­can car in the UK, rea­son­able price.

It was on the stand at the 1963 Earls Court Mo­tor Show with a quoted price of £ 1,514, much cheaper than the Ford Galaxie and Ply­mouth Fury.

The prob­lem was that the same money could have bought a Daim­ler 2.5 V8 or, for a hun­dred or so pounds more, a Rover P5 3.0-litre.

But if you had a transat­lantic view of things, the Clas­sic 6 was one of the more sen­si­ble Amer­i­can op­tions.

For a start it was not mas­sively pow­ered with a 3.0- litre six­cylin­der en­gine turn­ing out 127bhp with the choice of three-speed man­ual, over­drive or au­to­matic trans­mis­sions.

The Clas­sic 6 fea­tured a top speed of 96mph and an econ­omy read­out of 25mpg, which was about the norm for some British larger cars.

In its home coun­try the Rambler was a win­ner for AMC from the 1961 to 1966.

It even won a Car of the Year award in the US in 1963.

The Rambler was the fo­cus of a new man­age­ment strat­egy at AMC which de­fied the de­trac­tors with its em­pha­sis on eco­nom­i­cal and com­pact- sized cars achiev­ing a sales to­tal of 370,600 ve­hi­cles in 1961, lift­ing the Rambler to an un­prece­dented third place in the charts be­hind Chevro­let and Ford.

A brave ef­fort in the UK which was al­ways rather ret­i­cent over Amer­i­can cars. The Clas­sic 6 was never go­ing to be a race­away win­ner against such strong home-built cars but its de­sign phi­los­o­phy was such that it did blend in here far more than most US cars on of­fer at the time.

SLEEK The1963 Rambler Clas­sic 660 wagon

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