Hooniverse Wagon Wednesday – A 1958 Rambler Cross Country Wagon

Welcome to a belated edition of Hooniverse Wagon Wednesday. 1958 proved to be a watershed year in America. After VJ and VE day, the American economy was booming with virtually limitless opportunities. There was the expanding suburbs, the building of the Interstate Highway system, and the car makers were producing cars at record levels. However, there was a crippling recession right at the beginning of 1958, which changed the American attitude about their automotive choices, and the biggest beneficiary in the changing of the car buying habits of the average American was American Motors. There were all new Rambler models for 1957, the large Hudson and Nash models were discontinued, and the Rambler American was (re) introduced with a price under $2,000. Our featured car was not all new, but it looked new for 1958 with the quad headlamp treatment in the front, and the tasteful fins at the rear, and help American Motors become the only domestic automaker to record higher sales over the previous year.

This is a 1958 Rambler Custom Cross Country 6 passenger wagon with low mileage on the odometer. According to the listing:

1958 Rambler Custom Cross Country Wagon, 76,000 miles, totally rust free Texas car, very nice original Alamo Beige and Cinnamon Bronze paint, excellent original matching interior, smooth 196 cu in 127 HP 6 cylinder engine, rare and economical 3-speed manual with overdrive transmission, air conditioning, AM radio, reclining seats, wide white wall tires, seat belts, roof rack, new brakes, water pump, battery, fuel pump, exhaust, tune-up, tons of spare parts, drive anywhere!

Asking price for this rolling piece of 50s Americana? $16,500. See the listing here.

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  1. $kaycog Avatar

    Very nice low-mileage Rambler. That's an interesting under-the-dash a/c.
    I like the old black and white pics of classic cars. This one was probably taken as the transport was heading out of Kenosha.
    <img src="http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c191/BobsEagles/1958Ramblersoncarcarrier.jpg"width="500"/&gt;

  2. Cretony38 Avatar

    I had a Red & White '64 American sedan. When my brother got out of the service. I let him have it. He didn't like it's old styling in the '80's too much so left it parked in front of the house rather than use it. Then somebody stole it. And he would see it driving around the city for the next year when he was on his bicycle. Just goes to show you; Ya cant keep a good American down.

    1. Deartháir Avatar

      We know all about a love of Ramblers 'round these parts. Particularly a love of '64 red-and-white Ramblers

  3. RichardKopf Avatar

    I have always loved the profile of this car.

  4. Alff Avatar

    Stylistically, 1958 was a let down in terms of American automotive design as cars made a prolonged transition from curves to creases. At least that's how it appears to a lifelong car nut who admittedly wasn't around then. I wonder if the Hoons of the day felt the same way.
    That said, my perception of the topic of this post has changed over the years – from oddly quirky to charmingly quirky.

    1. tonyola Avatar

      Yeah, 1958 was an odd year where fins, chrome, and gingerbread seemed to overtake American car styling. It's hard to think of a single 1958 car that looks better than its 1957 counterpart. The only possible examples are Mercury, which had a more unified front end/bumper treatment for '58, and Imperial, which got a cleaner grille and front bumper. Every other car was worse. The clean lines of the '56 Rambler were spoiled by fins for 1958. Here's the '57 for comparison.
      <img src="http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x66/LeeAStewart/Muscle%20Cars%202/HE1009-82624_1.jpg&quot; width=500>

        1. tonyola Avatar

          While at Ford, the famed stylist Alex Tremulis gained some notoriety by making fun of the '58 Olds – he took a photo of the car and drew a treble clef and musical notes on the rear fender trim. Another Ford stylist reportedly took an Olds in the Ford test fleet and re-arranged the letters on the hood to spell "SLOBMOBILE".

  5. Deartháir Avatar

    Those seat-belts ain't stock. Honestly, if you're going to add them, spend a bit of time and find a period-correct set. They're just as legal, but they look a whole lot better.