The Original SUV: 1959 Rambler Six Super Cross Country Wagon – $8,500

Sep 2020 | Classifinds, Wagon Wednesday

The Eisenhower recession of 1958, while a moderate and quick one, had new car shoppers wanting smaller car offerings than the Big Three offered for 1959. With the Falcon, Corvair, and Valiant compacts still one year away, American Motors offered the right size car at the right time with its Rambler Six line.  A prime example of AMC’s lineup that year is this driver-quality 1959 Super Cross Country Station Wagon listed over the weekend here on Craigslist in Zelienople, Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) where the current caretaker is hoping to get $8,500 for it.   Using the Collector Car Market Review as a guide confirms the private seller has their Rambler priced between the #4 “Fair” estimate of $5,025 and the #3 “Good” appraisal of $9,025 before any accounting for any equipment deductions.  If you are serious about buying this Cross Country, you can start the conversation by emailing the seller.  When you do, please remember to mention you saw his coupe featured here on GuysWithRides.com.

In this April 2017 Hemmings Classic Car article, Jim Donnelly provides a historical perspective of the 1959 Rambler line, an excerpt of which we captured below:

“American Motors had a history-making year of sales in 1959. There were four basic model ranges: American, Rambler Six, Rebel, and Ambassador. In the Rambler Six line, AMC bequeathed a simple new egg-crate grille with a gap between the grille and the hood where “RAMBLER” was spelled out in stand-up block letters. The Six line was further divided into Deluxe, Super, and Custom levels in ascending order of trim. Supers, like our feature car’s Cross Country, were distinguished by a script callout in the rear door near the tip of the missile-shaped side trim spear. The Super Cross Country turned out to be the second-most-popular model in the Rambler Six range, with 66,739 examples produced, topped only by the Super four-door sedan, which rang up 72,577 sales units in 1959.
 
Power came from American Motors’ base engine, a cast-iron straight-six with OHV architecture. It displaced 195.6 cubic inches and boasted a robust compression ratio of 8.7:1. That translated into 127 horsepower at 4,200 RPM, the solid-lifter engine being fed by a single-barrel Carter Type YF-2014S carburetor. The transmission is a three-speed manual, backed up with overdrive.
 
1959 was the year that American Motors Corporation built and sold 386,414 new automobiles, a record performance year for an independent manufacturer, and the highest annual sales total ever achieved by any independent in industry history. That same year, AMC president George Romney got his face on the cover of Time magazine, which lauded him for his commitment to smaller, less-dramatic cars that were more economical to buy and operate.”

We love watching old sales training film strips such as this 1959 Rambler example currently posted on YouTube:

While the need for a new rear wheel bearing the seller mentions will likely have you hauling this Rambler back to your garage, it appears this example is an otherwise driveable wagon you can drive while slowly making improvements as time and budget permit. The seller doesn’t provide pictures of either the interior or engine, so we would push him for those before moving any further with negotiations. The rust-perforated tailgate causes us some concern as we would really look at that area in more detail to confirm the extent of damage and repair needed. Luckily, brand new windshields are available to replace the cracked unit.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

One of a kind….1959 Rambler station wagon. Runs and drives just fine. The stock straight-six engine runs well. The underside is in good shape. Needs some tlc on minor body rust, cracked windshield, and a rear-wheel bearing
Please word your reply so that I know you are not spam…”

Do you have a Rambler Cross Country story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

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