Weekend Edition – A 1959 Rambler Cross Country Wagon (the Ramshackle Rambler from Gas Monkey Garage)

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Opening up the Sunday Edition of the Hooniverse Weekend, and I thought I would start out with this thing. I found it listed on eBay, and it is the Ramshackle Rambler that was built on the Discovery Channel Show “Fast N Loud”. I don’t know about you, but these shows are starting to become irritating. They started out where you could get some interesting tips when it comes to maintaining your own car, but are now all over the top, in your face, lets see what crap we can build sensations. We will have a “Question of the Weekend” posting about this very topic, but for now, lets concentrate on whether this car is really worth the money…

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As you know, “Fast N Loud” is a show about a couple of guys who run a garage in Dallas called the Gas Monkey Garage. Richard Rawlings is the owner that doesn’t seem to get his hands dirty, let alone mess up his hair. Aaron Kaufmann, with his signature beard, is the man who gets-it-done when putting together some of the crazy projects the two of them dream up. Personally, this is a show that I have not watched a full episode of yet because I usually turn it off during one of Rawlinhgs’ rants the producers sprinkle throughout the show. And while I approve of Rat Rod Wagons, this one could have been finished off just a bit better, but what do I know?

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According to the listing:

This featured build from the first season of Fast N Loud was built from an Original 1959 Rambler Cross Country Wagon using an updated 4.8 liter Chevrolet V8 converted to carburetion using an Edelbrock Carburetor & MSD direct ignition. Driving a Ford 9” rear axle w/disc brake conversion & a limited slip differential through a modern & reliable 700R4 automatic transmission with overdrive for the best of both worlds (performance & fuel economy!). They used a Ron Davis custom radiator w/dual electric fans to insure a cool running motor even when stuck in traffic with the A/C blowing cold! Mustang II front suspension w/drop spindles & power steering controlled with Ride Tech Shock waves in front & air ride in the rear controlled by dual 480 compressors w/ dual 3 Gallon tanks for a smooth ride & good looks all controlled with a Ride Tech Modular controller to insure a consistent & programmed ride height! All this to accommodate the 18X7.5 & 18X8.0 TSW Forged alloy rims w/225-45 18 & 245-45 18 Toyos. The interior was built with new glass & felt runners, custom micro suede & floral pattern seat covers, a Lokar shifter & a custom steering wheel. The exterior has a great patina that took over 50 years to achieve so it was clear coated to preserve it.

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We bought this incredible Rat Rod from Gas Monkey Garage last summer and have had a great time with it. Now we are ready for something new, but the wife says I have to sell the Ramshackle Rambler first! It has plenty of power, drives well, and has great looking custom interior upholstery. If you’re looking for a unique ride, this is the one for you! We have put less than 500 miles on the car since the Richard and the GMG crew built it. I put 50,000 miles in the listing but the odometer is not operational and it stopped working well before the GMG crew got the car. The aftermarket A/C blows nice and cold, even in 100+ degree Texas summers.

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You have to wonder if there is a market for cars produced on these types of shows. They are finished with either the vision of the builder, or the vision of the one who commissioned the builder. Once the original owner of the built car is tired of the creation, you have to find the person with the same taste, and with nearly the same bank account. The problem here is that after the show airs, the buying public knows exactly how much was spent on the car in the build, and how much the first owner bought the car for. There is really no way the second owner will pay as much (if not more) that the original price. With that said, the top bid as of this writing is $18,000, with an unmet reserve. Will it be sold? Probably, at a substantial loss. These types of cars don’t appreciate in value. See the listing here: [sc:ebay itemid=”161074248887″ linktext=”1959 AMC Rambler Cross Country Wagon Rat Rod” ]

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27 responses to “Weekend Edition – A 1959 Rambler Cross Country Wagon (the Ramshackle Rambler from Gas Monkey Garage)”

  1. craigsu Avatar

    Swap out those TSWs for some more appropriate steelies and I'll take it off your hands. Price? Oh, no, you don't have to pay me to take it away, I'll do it for free!

  2. ToLiveNDieInNJ Avatar

    Attention rat rod builders! Stop camouflaging your automatic transmission shifters to look like manuals. If your left foot can't handle a little work, don't be a poseur.

    1. guest Avatar

      Amputees everywhere salute you, sensitive Sir!

      1. ToLiveNDieInNJ Avatar

        I never said there was anything wrong with an automatic, but it's lame to pretend your TH400 is a Muncie 4-speed.

        1. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar

          Agreed!
          I am one of those who can no longer use a clutch…for more than about 20 minutes…without being in tears of pain. If you break your left leg in multiple places, all compound fractures, yeah, you'll change the way you live.
          Automatics have their place, and they are getting better, even now. However, own up to it, don't try to camouflage it.

    2. Joe Fabeets Avatar

      That shifter has been around long before the modern rat rodding became a "thing".

  3. Brad Avatar

    "There is really no way the second owner will pay as much (if not more) that the original price,"
    I'm not so sure about that. First, the caché of being able to show your friends an (arguably) entertaining 45 minute version of YOUR car being built surely expands the potential buying audience, no? Secondly, as long as the show's ratings and name recognition are on the rise, I imagine the perceived value of their cars (and hell, GMG-related merchandise for that matter) will, also.
    Lordy knows Richard and Aaron could never have risked buying a wrecked Ferrari F40 before Discovery's camera showed up two years ago — whether the cars they build now sell or not makes NO difference, really: they're making a tv show… and being paid either way.
    I think these cars are a bit autographs of dead celebrities on eBay: you can invest in one simply to ride the coattails of their precarious 15 minutes of fame, if you like. Whether that's a good thing or not, I dunno – I don't think it really affects the hobby in general (beyond the predictable outcome of everyone with a rusty car in their yard suddenly convinced they're sitting on a treasure).
    I enjoy the show for what it is, and don't take it seriously. It's a fun hour, it has less "polish" than some of the other formulaic shows, and I enjoy seeing them leave the patina on old cars where they ought to be. What drove me nuts about Boyd Coddington's show, even if those guys were far more talented – was that wonderful Model A survivors were unceremoniously chopped and hacked to oblivion… it was really quite sad on a couple occasions.
    In the end, as long as this show continues to keep the content proportioned at around 8:2 (cars being 8, and guys goofing off being 2), I'll keep watching — and hopefully they'll continue to build fun rides that would've otherwise been in a landfill.

  4. $kaycog Avatar

    That interior is what nightmares are made of.

    1. BlackIce_GTS Avatar

      My grandmother's bathroom is made of nightmares?
      The rat rod concept of being built out of 'whatever was laying around' does not work so well if 'whatever was laying around' happens to be this cheap-looking steering wheel.

    2. MVEilenstein Avatar

      I'd still drive it, though.

      1. $kaycog Avatar

        Oh, heck, I would too.

  5. joshwebster84 Avatar

    Those are the most inappropriate wheels I have ever seen.

    1. Devin Avatar

      Well, second most inappropriate…
      <img src="http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploads2/thewheel1083367567.jpg"&gt;

      1. jeepjeff Avatar

        I hope they make those in a bolt pattern and rim diameter that fits the Audi S4.

  6. dukeisduke Avatar

    I caught one episode of F&L while on vacation last month, and while it was fun to try to guess what part of the DFW area they were visiting when buying a couple of cars, it wasn't particularly memorable otherwise. As cars like his go, I'd rather have it restored, or original.

  7. Batshitbox Avatar

    I hope someone in my neighborhood buys this. I could use a laugh.

  8. salguod Avatar

    Wrong wheels, both the ones on the ground and the one doing the steering. Keep the original steering wheel and either steelies & wide whites or the ubiquitous Torque Thrusts are better wheel choices.
    Wrong stance with the front tires so far up in the fender.
    Wrong sheen on the clear coat 'protecting the patina'. Patina doesn't have a shine.
    Wrong floral pattern on the seats. This one is close, and if the other things were right I'd be OK with it. It is a Rambler.
    Could have been interesting, but too many wrong choices in my book.

  9. Devin Avatar

    Being on a TV show might be the cause of the problems I have. The wheel sponsor wouldn't want their wheels scuffed up, and the steering wheel sponsor would also oppose their product in less than pristine condition, so you have this kind of interesting idea – something that looks old and worn but runs solid – kind of ruined by these incongruous shiny bits.

  10. njhoon Avatar

    I like this car. While if it were mine I would I would change the steering wheel back to original because I hate the one on it. The rest I'd leave alone or change over time. Kudos to the seller, he is dumping it at the right time. The show said he paid '20 k' if I remember correctly what he really paid remains a mystery so he should make some cash or break even.

    1. Jason Avatar

      I love this car, except like you for the steering wheel. It really is a beautiful one of a kind work of art and craft. I think the problem a lot of people have is that they have grown use to certain touchstones in their custom cars and aren't interested in seeing beyond them when something falls outside of their experience. But that's me. I also like bosozoku and totally stock classic pickups from the 30s through the sixties too.

  11. lilpoindexter Avatar

    Why anyone would choose a carburetor for a car built today is beyond me.

    1. scoudude Avatar

      Yeah just get the engine, trans, engine wirining harness and computer from the same donor rather than spending the money on the timing computer getting a mechanical trans intake and carb. There are a lot of places out there that will reflash the computer w/o the emissions and security features for only a couple hundred. They did do it on the Dodge truck they built recently.

  12. jeepjeff Avatar

    This is the Rambler Wagon bodied version of The Hotrod. It has a GM small block V8 mated to a GM transmission (in this case a, yawn, 700R4) fitted with a Mustang II front suspension and Ford 9" rear end. That's the engine swap and suspension formula to turn any car into The Hotrod.
    I cannot imagine any world where I would buy this vehicle, or any vehicle with this style engine/suspension setup. Certainly not for $20,000.
    Do I want a car like this? Oh ☠£‰∞☭€© yes. I would just feel super lame having someone else build it for me. Especially with an automatic transmission (yeah, sorry, Jim, I'm one of Those People) and a carb on an engine with a perfectly cromulent factory EFI system.

  13. Ramchackle Rambler Avatar

    "the top bid as of this writing is $18,000, with an unmet reserve. Will it be sold? Probably, at a substantial loss. These types of cars don’t appreciate in value."
    The top bid is now $23,000.00 and has met the reserve price. I am the one who bought it from GMG and now selling it on eBay. No, the Rambler isn't for everyone but it does turn heads everywhere I drive it. Others would have gone in a different direction with this build. I didn't hire Richard to build this car. Most of the work was done before I showed up at the garage, looking for an interesting car. It's not a restoration, not a rebuild. It is what it is. Just a fun, unique toy. Now someone else gets to play with it and can make any changes he/she wants to make it their own.

  14. White plains Avatar

    Crazy saw this car the other day in white plains ny,,..it does move
    So cool
    Wonder where it is off to or it's new home

  15. JoeKing Avatar

    Its still in WP..saw it today

  16. Jeremy Avatar

    Watching this episode, a $20k rambler with rust through in the quarters,etc.. the father and son got scammed, lol

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