Really Red: 1961 Rambler American Custom Convertible – Sold?

by | Mar 2022 | Classifinds, Topless Thursday

April 21, 2022 Update – While this “Classifind” expired recently, given the seller’s past history we suspect may not actually be sold yet.  For now, we’re labeling this ride “Sold?” However, we will keep an eye out for an updated listing. In the interim, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

March 16, 2022 Update – After a one-month hiatus, this all-red 1961 Rambler American convertible just resurfaced in a fresh listing.  While the pictures and description remain the same, the seller reduced their asking price from the original request of $17,000 to $15,500.

January 26, 2022 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” unless we come across a replacement listing.

Do you think the days of finding a freshly restored classic convertible for less than twenty large are long gone? This freshly restored 1961 Rambler American Custom two-door convertible most recently listed in March 2022 on Craigslist in Upland, California (Orange County) is proof you can. With too many new parts to list that include all new brakes, tires, and transmission, there is a lot to like about this all-red beauty.

Currently offered for $15,500 (the original ask was $17,000 or best offer), comparing that price against the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 “Very Good” estimate of $11,000 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $18,400. Unfortunately, despite our repeated attempts over the past two years to convince them to provide estimates, the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool continues to ignore these vintage Ramblers.

With the U.S. experiencing a recession during the late 1950s, American Motors Corporation (“AMC”) was nicely positioned with its Rambler line as demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient cars increased.  To keep that momentum rolling, AMC launched the heavily restyled second-generation Rambler American line for the 1961 model to compete with the “Big Three’s” new offerings (think Falcon, Corvair, and Valiant) launched the prior year.  While mechanically identical to the 1960 model, Anderson’s restyle resulted in a car that was three inches narrower and shorter in its exterior dimensions with an overall length of 173.1 inches yet still increased cargo capacity. The second-generation Rambler American shape earned the nickname “Breadbox” which was a welcome departure from the “bathtub” comments of the previous generation which dated back to the early 1950s.  For 1961 AMC added a four-door station wagon and a two-door convertible such as the example featured here to the model lineup.  Convertibles featured a power-operated folding top with roll-down door glass, rather than the fixed side-window frames of the previous Rambler design dating back to 1954.  Passenger room increased from five to six when equipped with the front bench seat.  The straight-six was modernized with an overhead-valve cylinder head for higher-grade models, but the base cars continued with the flathead engine.

The King Rose Archives YouTube channel features this vintage, no sound footage of George Romney driving the all-new Ramblers at the 1961 launch event. (Note: the convertible is shown about halfway through):

With a freshly restored car needing nothing more than new carpet installed (that also is included as part of the sale),  there is a lot to like about this 1961 Rambler American Custom two-door convertible, especially when it’s small enough to fit in most garages will providing room for four.

Here’s the seller’s description:

6 cylinder overhead valve engine, new automatic transmission, power steering, all new brakes, new tires and wheels, fresh paint, fresh interior, nice convertible top, new carpet interior, new boxed in carpet in the trunk, AM/FM cassette player (still works)

Runs and drives great… thumbs up!!! everywhere

Show or go: what would you do with this restored 1961 Rambler American Custom Convertible?  Comment below and let us know!


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