Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Coulda been a Rebel!

Contributor Max encountered a film shoot on the island of Manhattan recently. Waiting for its cue was this sweet little jukebox:
Every car from the '50s should be a shade of aqua!
This is a 1957 Rambler De Luxe 6 in Bermuda Green. This was the lowest trim level, most economical car Rambler produced in '57. In fact the Rambler 6 boasted the highest MPG of any domestic car that year.
*In New York State you can register your classic ride with a matching set of license plates as long as they're from the same year as the car. Since the ride is wearing 1958 plates it must not have been titled until the turn of the calendar year. This is definitely a '57 as opposed to '58 though as the newer cars had quad headlights. 
This car is in perfect shape! Every inch looks like it just drove off the dealership floor. Those are the poverty caps you got if you went for the cheapest car they make.
The huge wraparound back window made visibility some of the best in the business. Dig that R gas cap! Boo hiss on the 1980s-era rear deck speakers.
This car was smartly designed in that it is a unibody. Unlike a traditional body on frame the unibody incorporates the metal shell into its structural makeup. The result is increased rigidity and (they claim) safety. Side impact crashes were helped by the door pillar being a part of the overall frame. The rocker panels were referred as Battleship Box Girders! Sounds safe anyways.
Everyone's always talking about the '57 Chevy but there was a hardtop version of this exact ride called the Rebel that was the fastest American production car that year! The Rebel was a lightweight 6 pillarless body outfitted with a 327 V8. Every one of them had a gold accented side trim piece and metallic paint. Being a big block in a mid size body meant that the Rebel makes a good claim to be the very first muscle car (I know you Buick Skylark and Olds 88 fans will say different but those were huge cars).
I love the unique frumpiness of the '50s Ramblers. To have a single car that claims highest gas mileage and top speed for the year depending on the engine alone is remarkable. The fact that there are no fins and barely any chrome made this perhaps the most subtle car for 1957 as well. To have a base model grocery getter in such spectacular shape after 60 years is just insane. Hats off Rambler!

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