HomePick of the DayFaux wood and a great stance, 1961 Rambler American custom street rod

Faux wood and a great stance, 1961 Rambler American custom street rod

The Pick of the Day is a highly unusual beach cruiser that stands out


If one-of-a-kind is what you’re looking for, here’s a Rambler American street rod that’s not only unusual in itself, it has been well-finished with unique details that really sets it apart.

The Pick of the Day is a 1961 Rambler American 2-door wagon advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Palmetto, Florida, and it certainly looks special, even funky in a surf-punk sort of way.

Rambler, Faux wood and a great stance, 1961 Rambler American custom street rod, ClassicCars.com Journal

“This custom beach cruiser is absolutely amazing inside and out,” the seller says in the ad. “The attention to detail is incredible and is everywhere you look.

“This wagon was soda blasted and has been painted in a beautiful dark-brown metallic on the bottom and burnt-orange metallic on the roof using Matrix paint. It is broken up by a custom pinstripe with some faux wood on the quarter panels.

“Inside, you are greeted by heated bucket seats, a custom center console with floor shifter, tilt steering column, woodgrain steering wheel and a Clarion AM/FM/CD player. Custom door panels have the Rambler logo raised for a neat classy touch.


“The trim on the inside is all painted in a faux wood finish and then satin clear coated, which not only looks cool but gives the interior a beachy woody wagon feel.”

Faux wood finish abounds on this cool Rambler wagon, as shown in the gallery of photos with the ad.  Even the rebuilt Rambler V8 has what looks like wooden valve covers and air-filter housing, with the center nut imaginatively disguised as a cork.  The actual gas tank under the rear has been faux wood painted.  A very cool effect, indeed.

“The AMC 343cid V8 engine is built and show quality in appearance,” the ad says. “The engine and transmission have been completely rebuilt and the block, heads and oil pan are painted in a beautiful bronze metallic that looks great in the engine compartment and underneath the car.


The engine has an Edelbrock RPM Air Gap intake and Edelbrock 500 cfm 4-barrel carburetor, with ceramic-coated manifolds and dual exhaust with glass-pack mufflers, which the seller says produces “a nice muscle car rumble.”

The engine is hooked up with an AMC automatic transmission and a Ford 9-inch rear end “with cruiser-friendly 2.50 gears.”  

“Four-wheel disc brakes provide plenty of stopping power, and a Mustang II-style front end with rack-and-pinion steering makes for a nice ride,” the seller adds.


An unusual Rambler to say the least, and it sounds as if everything was done with show-car quality.  The asking price is $32,995.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. If only Ramblers were made back then like this one. At the time Ramblers had no guts, slow to go type of car, made for little old ladies or grampa. People wanted 400 cublc inches or better back then and American Motors did not put that in Ramblers.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent Posts