1911 Rambler Model 65 Seven-Passenger Touring
Offered by Gooding & Company, Amelia Island, Florida, March 9, 2012
The Rambler nameplate has a long and winding history that dates back to 1897 when Thomas B. Jeffrey built his first prototype automobile. Production started in 1902 and Rambler was instantly the second-largest American car company behind Oldsmobile. In 1914, Jeffrey’s son replaced “Rambler” with “Jeffrey” and the Rambler name disappeared for the first time. Jeffrey was acquired by Nash in 1916 and Nash re-introduced the Rambler as a Nash model in 1950. When Nash merged with Hudson to form American Motors in 1954, Hudson also shared the Rambler model. In the early 1960s Rambler became its own marque under the AMC corporate umbrella (Nash and Hudson were both unceremoniously killed by this time). Rambler disappeared in the U.S. for the second and final time in 1969 (it survived on dubious licensed built cars until 1983).
Well there’s your history lesson for the day. This particular Rambler is a Model 65 – the only one known to exist. It makes 45 horsepower from its 5.2-liter 4-cylinder T-head engine. But look at this car:
Look how large and imposing this thing is. This is the type of car you go out to a country house for a weekend in with six other people. Unpaved roads and grassy fields. And doing it before the Titanic sank – or at least before WWI. There are numerous examples in film to support my theory (A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy and Finding Neverland are two that come to mind. If you’re here from Twitter and wondering where the explanation is, well you’re looking at it).
I love big pre-WWI cars like this. In fact, I want an entire fleet of them. There are so many different makes to choose from. Collect them all. Whoever the next
owner caretaker of this machine is or will be, I hope they enjoy it as much as I am in my head.
Update: Sold $275,000.
Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Hershey 2019, $266,750.