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Old 05-30-2009, 07:23 AM
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farna farna is offline
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To be honest, you'll probably get a lot more attention and positive comments at the roadster show. Some AMCers would see what you've done as making a barely driveable car into a nice daily driver, but there will always be those who take one look and scowl because you "ruined" a really nice Rambler. But there are those types for all makes! I've seen people shudder when seeing some street rods, and heard comments like "if they'd put that much effort into restoring the car it would be a real beauty" when looking at a really nice rod.

I even shuddered looking at a rod once, but it was a 1930s PACKARD!! The owner saw me and asked how I liked it. I said something like "you know, this thing would be worth a small fortune restored". He replied that it was way too far gone -- the frame was damaged, no engine or trans, it was really just a shell with no glass or upholstery, seat frames, etc. He told me he considered restoring first, but price a genuine Packard straight eight with trans. But no one wanted to give him much for the body, though a few wanted things like the fenders. So he clipped the frame and stuck a Pontiac V-8/TH-400 in it, and a custom interior. Looked sharp, but a Packard of that vintage IS a recognized Classic...

I do hate it when some rodder takes a perfectly restored car and cuts it up though. I mean a car that's worth a reasonable amount in restored condition. The little Rambler just isn't worth much restored or as a survivor, no more than when rodded at worst, and generally a good bit MORE when rodded, so I definitely don't mean you! Someone bought a rather rare 37 Lincoln Zephyr a few years back that was already restored, just needed a little detailing to show. They cut it up to make a rod. It was a nice rod, but... The guy was proud of his work and took it by the original owner's home when he was done. The PO looked at the car, turned around and walked back in his house, closing the door behind him, without saying a word. The rodder couldn't understand what the problem was, not with all the "improvements" he'd made. Even if I were buying a good car to rod, I don't think I'd take it back to show someone what I'd done to their work. Few people who restore cars understand why a rodder would want to take a beautiful classic and cut it up, making something else out of it. I can respect that. If the car had been in need of lots of work to be a good showable restoration I can understand cutting it up, but a near perfect car ready to show? I passed on several Rambler wagons that were in really great condition before finding one to stick my EFI six in. I wanted to build something, not restore, but I didn't want to mess up a good restorable car either.

That's just MY feelings on it -- I'm not criticizing anyone! I'm a firm believer in individual freedoms. It's YOUR car, do what YOU want, doesn't really matter what I think about it as long as YOU like it! I really like what you're doing with the Rambler here. Nice modern drivetrain with few mods to the body and suspension. If someone wanted to in the future they could pull the modern drivetrain and put it back to original along with a parts car, or in this case just a few parts. But I think it's a really nice blend of old and new. You made the little Rambler into a nice driver, whereas the old original 196 L-head (or even OHV six) is a bit under powered for today's driving, and requires a good bit more maintenance. Plus a few parts are hard to find, like the water pump. That's a show stopper, and has to be ordered. Can have it in a week, but there's a couple different versions and parts houses often mix them up. Took me three weeks to get one once, that's when I decided I didn't want a 196 as a DD. I was in the USAF and my hobby car had to serve as my second car (meaning MY primary car, family car was pretty much the wife's) or I couldn't have a second one -- moving three around the country was out of the question! I could stand being stranded somewhere 2-3 days waiting for a part, but longer could be a problem!
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