Rambler American Deluxe


Our web and worldly wanders sometime shore up a real gem. This weekend, spotted in the city, was an immaculate example of a car I had never heard of. It was obviously American – but its pristine condition made me think it might be a repro.

There was something, too, about the curvature of its panels, in combo with the muted offwhite paint job, that whispered of a kind of retro-progressive simulacra.

It was if this was a car imagined in the late 1950s for a 21st century reality.

Meanwhile, in this 21st century reality, this 1959 Rambler American (deluxe) foxed your correspondent. There was of course, the tiny hint of the owner’s hipsterhood – emblematic in the winged eyeball motif in the front window.

Now, according to who you ask, the Winged Eyeball is either Von Dutch or Rick Griffin logo deeply saturated in psychedelia.

In any case, whoever managed to own this pristine piece of everyman American motorhood deserves to be applauded!

The irony is, of course, that this sort of early compact car was at the time of its release one of the most deeply conservative cars one could buy. The men at AMC would never have dreamed that fifty odd years later it would be transmuted into an icon of hip.