View Full Version : Not a Rambler

11-09-2005, 08:51 AM
I know this has been discussed before, but why is it that the general public think Studebaker's are Rambler's? I know my cars pretty darn well, and I can't think of one Rambler that resembles a Studebaker, or vice versa.

Yesterday, I took my Cruiser to a muffler shop to have them check on a rattling noise. The car was on the rack and the mechanic said "yeah, we don't see many of these old Rambler's anymore". Yeah, I'll bet...that's because it's a STUDEBAKER!

Then last night I pulled into McDonald's and walked inside. I barely made it through the door when some guy from the back of the restaurant hollered out "hey buddy, what year is that Rambler?"

It happens all the time. The only OTHER model it's been mistaken for was a Nova. I don't even see that resemblance.

Sorry I'm "rambling", but it AIN'T A RAMBLER! Does this only happen to those of us who drive Lark types?

Mark Anderson
1965 Cruiser


11-09-2005, 09:55 AM
The Rambler American was a bit "Lark like", and I think that's were it comes from.

Studebaker On The Net http://stude.com
64 GT Hawk
64 R2 4 speed Challenger
63 R2 4 speed GT Hawk
53 Street rod

11-09-2005, 11:32 AM
Maybe its becasue they both end in -------er ;)

55 President, BUGSPRT
58 Silver Hawk, DRGNHWK
62 Champ Longbox - OldAndInTheWay

11-09-2005, 11:50 AM
I think JDP's right,there is some superficial resemblance. But many of the non-car people public see your car,they know it didn't come from a big three factory, and the first thing that comes to mind are Ramblers.
My Father once owned a 59 or 60 Rambler staion wagon that had a smallish flathead six and three on the tree. It sure was a slug but the body seemed to hold up to our harsh winters and salty roads better than most. The reason I remember it so well is that was the time(about the late 60's) that my Mom got her drivers license with the Rambler. When the instrutor asked her to stop on a hill and then pull away she stalled the engine.The instructor happened to know what a pig these cars were to drive as he had one too,so he gave her the license anyway and said "anyone who can drive that car HAS to be a good driver"
A few months ago I was perusing E-Bay and came across a 59 Rambler wagon with the six and 3-speed, no other options save the heater.
I sent the ad to Mom and asked her if she'd like to have her old car back, she said "Just leave that thing where it is"

11-09-2005, 12:58 PM
IMHO, the styling of '64-'66 Lark types is similar to '63-'64 Ramblers and '60s Chevy IIs. Of course, I don't see how they can be confused, but many non-car people confuse cars that are not even as similar in style as these are.

11-09-2005, 01:26 PM
I don't see any resemblance, so I don't really think that has anything to do with it.

Here's a 63 Rambler American (62's were similar):


Here's a 64:


Here's a 65:


How about a 66:


My 65:


I guess because I'm a car guy, I don't see how people mistake these for Ramblers unless the resemblance is they have 4 wheels:)

Mark Anderson
1965 Cruiser


11-09-2005, 02:20 PM
Even though those AMC's are not to bad looking, they sure come off as butt ugly next to your Stude.
But thats just my tinted glasses(G)

11-09-2005, 02:25 PM
Back somehwere in the 60's I rember telling my dad who was looking for my first wheels,. "Oh, Dad ANNNYYTTHING but a Rraaammbler!"

55 President, BUGSPRT
58 Silver Hawk, DRGNHWK
62 Champ Longbox - OldAndInTheWay

Blue 15G
11-09-2005, 02:28 PM
Back in '68 when my brother had a '62 Rambler Ambassasor, he picked up a guy he recognized who was hitchhiking. As they travelled down the road, the guy remarked "This is a pretty nice Lark".

I forgot all about this story until the subject came up on the thread.

Why does it happen? I don't know. Maybe it's because most "Big 3" car people lump all the smaller companies together, in their minds.

11-09-2005, 03:10 PM
I've heard our 60 LArk referred to, numerous times, as a Rambler.:(

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

11-09-2005, 03:37 PM
I think you've hit the nail on the head. Maybe they're lumping the orphans together and Rambler just comes to mind.

Hey, next time I see an Oldsmobile or Plymouth, maybe I should say "nice Rambler"


quote:Originally posted by Blue 15G

Why does it happen? I don't know. Maybe it's because most "Big 3" car people lump all the smaller companies together, in their minds.

Mark Anderson
1965 Cruiser


11-09-2005, 06:18 PM
I've never heard anyone call my Lark a Rambler. I have, however, heard people say that my Lark is a foreign car, probably German. A guy, trying to impress his girlfriend, said that to her.
Another thing we have to remember is that a major part of our population never even heard of Studebaker. So it's imperative for us to get out there with our Studes and educate our public.

11-09-2005, 06:53 PM
I remember the first time I told my late Mother that I bought a Studebaker. It was a 1964 Cruiser. Her reply: "You never could tell if those cars were coming or going!"

A few years ago at the national meet in Madison a guy with a 1960 or 1961 Lark had a license plate on the front that said "This is NOT a Rambler!" I suppose the 1963-1964 Rambler Classics and Ambassadors and 1964-1965 Lark-types sorta kinda look similar but then again...not really! I drove a 1964 Classic 660 as my every day car a few years ago and certainly felt my 1964 Cruiser was the better car, but I do like AMC products and have owned a few.

--1963 Cruiser

11-09-2005, 07:33 PM
I think Rambler was the first American made unibody and I know they were the first with curved sideglass in the doors, greatly increasing interior space. They were a well made car but never had a great parts distribution service.

I still prefer my Studebakers but, when I see someone driving a well maintained Rambler, I do consider that person a kindred spirit.

11-09-2005, 09:28 PM
The "curved side glass" story is interesting. When AMC redesigned their large Ramblers (Classics and Ambassadors) for 1963 there was a terrible argument both for and against curved side glass. Finally Edmund Anderson, head of styling, won. The basic 1963 body design was supposed to last AMC until 1969. Anderson's argument was most Big 3 auto makers would have curved glass by the mid-to-later 1960s so Rambler had better design that feature in now, in 1963, to meet the competition as the 1960s wore on. This is noteworthy because in the very early 1960s the only other car besides Rambler with curved side glass was Lincoln. During the Romney-Anderson years AMC and Rambler were very far-thinking. George Romney knew that AMC could not keep up with the Big 3 by restyling Ramblers every 3 or 4 years so he had to look ahead to future trends. After Romney went into politics and became governor of Michigan AMC under Roy Abernethy hit the skids. Like some in Studebaker management, Abernethy could only see a few years in the future. Interesting to note old Roy was a former Packard executive....

Ramblers, like Studebakers, were great cars. Hard times tarnished both names.

--1963 Cruiser

11-09-2005, 11:45 PM
From the photos posted, it appears the 64-65 Ramblers borrowed the Lark's rear quarter panel styling, and the post-63 Larks did change to a longer grill with less height than the classic Hawk/Lark grill shape. These style similarities (similar, that is, to people who were not well aquainted with either the Larks or the Ramblers) is what I think led to the confusion.

I did like that one-hit wonder song by a band called Diesel in the early 80's, though, I think it was called "Frisco in a Rambler".

1955 1/2 Ton Pickup (image link below)

11-10-2005, 12:04 AM
We must keep in mind that as car nuts, specifically Studebaker nuts, we'd know the difference between Studebaker and anything else. Many people lacking our enthusiasm and knowledge wouldn't know a Studeaker or a Rambler if it came up and bit them on the rear end. If a Studebaker bit them on the rear end at least they'd know whether it was coming or going!

11-10-2005, 10:50 AM
True enough Steve! Now everyone....I challenge you to go out and differentiate between the cars built today. Who's "Soap-on-a-Rope" is who's?

--1963 Cruiser

Circa 2040: "HEY! It's a Mercury Monterey MINI VAN from the 2000s!"

big jim
11-10-2005, 05:02 PM
for the life of me i can't remember a Jaguar that looks like an Avanti but lots of people call it a Jag

11-11-2005, 01:59 PM
The pictures posted are of the small Americans. I was referring to the regular sized Classics when I said that '63-'64 Ramblers had a similarity in style to '64-'66 Lark types.

Avanti design was based on the two most acclaimed designs of the time, the '61 XKE and the '61 Continental.

11-11-2005, 03:15 PM
I suppose[B)], but I've got a copy of an old Motor Trend where they compared the Rambler American and the Studebaker Lark and did a side-by-side comparison.

quote:Originally posted by studegary

The pictures posted are of the small Americans. I was referring to the regular sized Classics when I said that '63-'64 Ramblers had a similarity in style to '64-'66 Lark types.

Mark Anderson
1965 Cruiser


11-11-2005, 03:26 PM
A question for you guys who know Rambler trivia:
Which AMC cars in the '60s used the same waffle-pattern cardboard headliner material as the '63-'66 Wagonaires and '63-'64 Avantis? This was cream colored with a silver dot design printed on it. I'm looking for some large pieces from a Rambler sedan or wagon to put in my '65 Wagonaire. There sure isn't any Studebaker NOS material around, and the Rambler people I have talked to laugh at me, too. Dave Thibeault tells me that if I can find a big enough piece, he can get fiberglass replicas made. Maybe somewhere out in a dry southwestern junkyard is a Rambler with a waffle headliner not eaten by mice, curled by damp, or destroyed by loading 2x4s into the car.

I was once told that a Stude owner interested in getting more material had tracked down the company that made it originally. When asked about making some more, the company owner screamed over the phone that Studebaker had screwed him, wanted nothing more to do with the stuff, and hung up.

And, yes, I am asked frequently if my '65 Wagonaire is a Rambler. Unless, of course, it's parked near an old Jeep Wagoneer (also designed by Brooks Stevens)...

Gary Ash
Dartmouth, MA
'48 M5
'65 Wagonaire Commander
'63 Wagonaire Standard

11-11-2005, 05:20 PM
I know for certain the 1964 Classics had the fiberboard headliner because I had one. I'm somewhat sure the 1963 Classics also did. I don't know if Ambassadors or Americans came with them or not.

--1963 Cruiser

11-11-2005, 05:30 PM
Motor Trend compared the Lark and the American as sales competitors, not because of any similarity or dis-similiarity of style. The Motor Trend comparisons were done to compare two, or more, cars that the same buyer might be considering the purchase of (new). This has nothing to do with what the general public now perceives as similar styling.

11-11-2005, 10:18 PM
Those Rambler pictures are beautiful! I had a 1965 Rambler American 2dr 330. It was sweet. I even put ghost flames on it. Bought it when I was 14. I'm sad that I sold it. If I find another one, I'll buy it.

11-12-2005, 08:15 PM
It isn't just Studebakers that get mis-identified as marques they are not.
The most common question I get when people ask about my Studebaker is
"who made Studebaker?"
"Studebaker made Studebaker," I answer.
"No, I mean was it a Toyota or a Chevy, or what?"
(I haven't been called a Rambler yet, but then my car is a 1952 Land Cruiser).

My other car (a 1960 Edsel) has been called everything in the book from a Pontiac, to a Customized Galaxie, but mostly gets called a Canadian Ford. (Canadian Fords say Meteor on them, not E-D-S-E-L).
I've even had people argue with me that it was whatever they decided it was.
On both cars I get "but it was MADE in Canada, right?"

I just smile.

11-13-2005, 07:59 AM
Yesterday I tried to tell a guy my Hawks engine couldn't be called a 'big-block' or a 'small-block',because 'Stude only built one size block... He asked me the size,I said '289'.He said'then it has to be a small block'.Ya just can't argue with some of these people!
I can see some resemblance between the Larks and Ramblers,and a few months ago I saw a Rambler alongside the road for sale.At first glance,I thought it was a Lark.I slowed the bike down real quick,then realized I was looking at a 'LARK WANNABE' !!!

Home of the Almostahawk

big jim
11-13-2005, 12:16 PM
back in '63 I belive i rember an article in car and driver outlining suggestions for Studebaker to up date their vehicles. one thing caught my attention..they suggested (with 289 block) building a 401 cu in engine..i think i'm remembering that right.. it is a large
hunk of iron.

Dick Steinkamp
11-13-2005, 12:57 PM
quote:Originally posted by 52hawk

Yesterday I tried to tell a guy my Hawks engine couldn't be called a 'big-block' or a 'small-block',because 'Stude only built one size block... He asked me the size,I said '289'.He said'then it has to be a small block'.Ya just can't argue with some of these people!

Home of the Almostahawk

From an external dimension and weight standpoint, the Stude V8 would be closer to a Chevy BB than a SB...but like you say, it's tough to put the Stude V8 into categories developed for Chevy V8s (in a lot of respects, many would add <g>) when they only made one basic casting.

For a little fun, have the guy categorize the new World Products 454 CID (A Rat among Mice). http://www.worldcastings.com/