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Old 04-05-2018, 09:36 PM
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pplace pplace is offline
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Default 1958 Ramber American

This week I started on a brand new build in the shop.....a 1958 Rambler American! I'd say hands down, this is one of the best looking cars ever produced! Well, maybe not....but I hope to change that!!

For those that followed my '49 Mercury thread, you've already seen a preview of this project. I had also mentioned at the start of that thread, that I wanted to be up front so everyone was aware of the fact that it was known and planned that the '49 Mercury build would go on the backburner during the duration of this Rambler build.

The difference between this build thread and my previous build threads posted on this forum: This will be "live time" as I'm just getting started on it in the shop. However, with that said, the customer did bring me the Rambler over a year ago so I could do the initial measuring needed for the full custom chassis that he had build by a chassis fabricator. After the measurements and such were figured out, the car left the shop until our scheduled start date.....the first week of April 2018!

One interesting / challenging thing about this car and build is the fact that it is a uni-body. With what we have planned for chassis, stance, wheels, engine, etc. I will basically be gutting all of the floor, cowl, engine bay, etc. and re-building it to fit the new chassis and engine......it'll be big undertaking for sure.

This first grouping of photos is of the car as it came to me last year in preparation to measure for the custom chassis. The customer asked my opinion of what we could do to improve the looks of the car and make it "turn some heads" I've attached a factory ad that I started with and the initial concept I came up with. (I'll explain a bit more "rough" plans beneath the posted picture)

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View from the left front

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View from the left rear

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View from the rear. These are pretty small cars. Length is one thing but they are so narrow!

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View from right side

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View from right front

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View from front

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View of the engine and engine bay.

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A factory ad drawing that I based my initial concept off of.

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A rough idea of where we are headed with this project.

The biggest visual change is the roof line. The rear half of the factory roof in all honesty is just plain goofy looking!! I've shortened the roof up, slid the rear glass forward and slightly laid it down. Removed the B-post and turned it into a hardtop.

The second big visual change that needed attention was the rear wheel opening. Again....odd! It seems as if designer "A" designed the front wheel opening and designer "B" designed the rear wheel opening and they didn't compare notes until too late!ha I've changed the rear opening to mesh with the front, but dropped the opening a bit lower in order to help give the car a slightly more "slammed" stance by tucking the rear wheels deeper.

We have plans for custom bumpers, headlights, taillights, etc. but for the initial concept we just focused on the above items to get a good visual for our goals.
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Last edited by pplace; 04-05-2018 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 04-05-2018, 10:34 PM
Turbo57 Turbo57 is offline
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Customized it is looking good, if you make it that way it will be super
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Old 04-06-2018, 04:20 AM
Gojeep Gojeep is offline
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Be interesting for sure.
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:13 AM
Fordor Fordor is offline
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I'm going to be following this one. This is going to be another neat project by a very talented individual. Love your concepts.
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Old 04-06-2018, 03:53 PM
John Buchtenkirch John Buchtenkirch is offline
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Style wise a challenge for sure. To me the car is begging to be sectioned. If you look at photo #5 there seems to be way too much metal above the front wheel opening. The roof already seems low compared to the height of the body below the belt line. Definitely agree with your thoughts on the different wheel openings. I tip my hat to you for taking on this car…….. one that many people said looked like an up-side-down bath tub . ~ John Buchtenkirch
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Old 04-06-2018, 06:03 PM
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pplace pplace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Buchtenkirch View Post
Style wise a challenge for sure. To me the car is begging to be sectioned. If you look at photo #5 there seems to be way too much metal above the front wheel opening. The roof already seems low compared to the height of the body below the belt line. Definitely agree with your thoughts on the different wheel openings. I tip my hat to you for taking on this car…….. one that many people said looked like an up-side-down bath tub . ~ John Buchtenkirch
I can see where you are coming from with that observation. I've always personally liked a bit of the quirkiness of the early Rambler and Nash styling. The unique upside down tub as you say is almost a trademark. I also think the lowered front wheel opening is something that screams Rambler or Nash also. If anything, slightly raising the front wheel opening could a be compromise without really changing the overall look / feel of the car.

The ugly roof profile in the rear and the rear wheel opening were just too far out there not to correct. As the customer and I agree...We are both after a vehicle that when finished, people will walk around and know it's changed, but what exactly?! (As far as body mods)

Also I'm not 100% certain how much room I'll end up with yet in relation to the top of the engine / hood clearance?! We may need every bit of height to keep the engine under the stock hood.

I'll know a lot more about body proportions and looks once I get the body ready to set over the chassis eventually. Thanks
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Last edited by pplace; 04-06-2018 at 06:36 PM.
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