My first car was a 1962 black Rambler Classic with red interior. It’s pictured in the 1967 snow storm in my blog “I walked 20 miles in two feet of snow.” Not a great picture since half the car is covered with snow. I looked for another picture, but could not find one. I bought it in used in 1966. My grandfather co-signed a loan for me to get it. That was the only car he would co-sign for at the time. I don’t remember the total price but I do remember my payments were $33.00 a month for 30 months. Doesn’t sound like much by today’s standards but I cleared about $40.00 a week back then. So it took almost one pay check a month to pay for it. It had a push button transmission. You pushed the drive button or the reverse button. No gear shift. Sometimes the buttons would fall in when you pushed them. This seemed to always happen when I was running late. I had to take the panel off with a screw driver and put the button back in place and then put the panel back on. I believe it was a six cylinder. I don’t remember much about the engine or what other mechanical workings. I don’t remember how many miles it got to a gallon of gas. It seemed like it did pretty good on gas.
In July of 1967 my mother, brother and I drove it to California. We had the car checked out by a mechanic before we left, but we still had some problems. It wanted to overheat in the mountains and crossing desert. The brakes went out in Long Beach, and we had to buy new tires in Arizona. Going to California we went through Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and to San Francisco, California We drove down the coast to Long Beach to stay with relatives. We came home through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and back to Villa Park, IL. The little Rambler with all its trouble got us there and home. There were places we went though where we did not see another soul for miles and miles. The express ways were spotty. There would be express way for a while and then it would stop and we would be back on a two lane highway again. We went though some mountain passes with hairpin curves, through the salt flats, and the Mohave desert. The car was not air-conditioned and the temperature in the desert was 120 degrees the day we drove though it. It never left us stranded anywhere.
It was a good little starter car for me. I had it about two years when I wanted something more flashy. My parents bought it from me, and I bought a 1965 Chevy Impala Convertible. My parents had the car for a few years after that.