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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Noonday Rambler: 1962

Noonday Rambler: 1962

Glistening from a wash, wax and chrome polish job by sixteen-year-old me, our 1956 Rambler station wagon basks in the sun on the ramp of our garage on Walnut Avenue in Larkspur, California on a summer day in 1962. I'm sure I was paid something whenever I did this, but I actually enjoyed it; in fact, I always volunteered. I recorded my effort this time by clicking off three shots with my Kodak Brownie Starmite, using Perutz black-and-white 127 roll film. Fun auto fact: since we bought it from a Hudson dealer, our Rambler was Hudson-badged; it and Nash badges were discontinued after the 1957 model run. View full size.

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We're Gonna Need a Bigger Station Wagon

Made a trip from Amarillo to San Angelo, Texas in the same car, in the very same color. Mom and us four kids rode with Berniece, the wife of Dad's business partner, and her 6-year-old daughter Glenda. By the time we got to San Angelo, every one of us kids had been bitten by Glenda at least twice before we got to the motel. We spent the whole two weeks of that vacation hiding from Glenda.

Llicense plate tag

The CA plates in 1956 had the year stamped into the plates, front and rear.

[Had this photo been from the back you'd see a 1962 validation sticker applied between CALIFORNIA and 56 on the rear plate. - tterrace]

Polo Green Hash, and trunnions

With the Nash/Hudson merger, and the rebadging of cars, the cars acquired the nickname "Hash" for a time. As for this car, shows the colors to be Polo Green (code P-75) with a Frosty White top (P-72).

[Ours left the factory solid green; the dealer (Priola Motors in San Francisco) talked my father into having them paint the roof, reasoning that it would help keep the passenger compartment cooler. I remember the white chipping off a bit around the edges over the years, and it never could get a real shine. -tterrace]

PersonFromPorlock's comment on the front end could be related to the trunnions. While most other carmakers used upper and lower A-arms with kingpins, (switching to the use of ball joints around the time this car was made), Nash/Rambler/AMC used a split upper arm with the upright in between (having the coil spring above it), and a trunnion containing a bronze bushing and thrust bearing holding the arm halves to the spring perch above and to the knuckle below. The 1956 models like this one used upper and lower trunnions; later, the lower one was eliminated, replaced by a ball joint, like on our '66 American. AMC continued to use an upper trunnion up until the early 1970s, when they finally went to an all ball joint setup. Periodically lubricated, the trunnions should last indefinitely.

Here's a good treatise on assembly of upper trunnions, specifically for the '63-'64 Ambassador and Classic.


"Stick out your chest like you owned a Nash."

Billboard copy, sergeant to recruit, 1950s.

Ed Anderson

and Bill Reddig were the guys who designed this car, for model years 1956 and 1957. It was offered as one of the first muscle cars in 1957 as the Rebel.

My first driving experience!

I learned to drive in one of those 1956 Rambler station wagons, owned by a neighbor. It had a three-speed shifter on the steering column, if I remember correctly.

I had driven a Ford tractor, but driving on a road at speed was WAY different.

That car was a chalky baby-blue and I can't say if the seat folded down. I also had forgotten how pretty that front end was.

I love that emerald-green paint job, tterrace. Class!


Colorize it, it makes me more nostalgic for Grandpa's red and black Buick Roadmaster.

[Better yet, the real colors. -tterrace]


Do you know how much that baby weighed?

[2992 lbs. - Super Cross Country 4-door wagon. -tterrace]

Had A Friend

...who had one of those; I remember that the upper a-arms tended to break, letting the attached front wheel assume strange geometries. He wouldn't get rid of it, though, because the front seat folded down into a bed.

Ah, youth!

About that front tag

So tterrace, what's up with the 56 year on the front tag if this pix was from 62'? Was the front tag not necessary in California then and thus was just historical decoration?

[California supplies yearly renewal tags for the rear plate only. -tterrace]

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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