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My Grandfatherís Rambler
by Richard White                         

I was a teenager when my grandfather traded in his worn out 57 Chevy wagon for a brand new 1962 Rambler Classic.   He was in his 70s at the time and really wasnít driving much.  He used it primarily to run errands, drive my grandmother around town, and take the occasional drive in the country.  In 1969 he decided to hang up his keys, so he gave the car to my aunt.  It was a bit silly, because she had never learned to drive.  But she registered it in 1970 and 1971; I think she was just going through the motions  in case he changed his mind.  1971 was the last set of plates purchased for the car.  They were still in the trunk, having never been mounted, last year when I rolled it out of the garage.   

My grandfather passed away in 1979.  My aunt never got her driverís license and never did anything with the car.  Last summer she moved out of the house and asked us to take care of her belongings.   I backed it out of the garage for the first time in 35 years.

The exterior was pretty dirty as you can imagine.  I opened up the driverís door and looked at the odometer.  I was quite surprised to see that it only had 8021 miles on it.  I double checked to make sure the first digit was a zero.   While cleaning up the car, though, I found that the condition supported the fact that it was indeed only 8021 miles.

The tires were flat, but not completely.  We put air in the tires.  They held air (theyíre still holding air).  We pushed it outside after freeing the brakes.  I gave it a bath and then winched it up onto the trailer. 

Getting it running again turned out to be a pretty easy task.  I had it drivable in just a few short weeks.  Primary things tended to were the brake system, fuel system, and the coolant system.  After getting the car roadworthy Iíve driven it around the neighborhood but have not ventured far from home.  The only things preventing me from driving further distances are the tires and my unwillingness to put additional miles on it.  I donít believe all the tires are original, but they are 35+ years old and not safe to drive on.

The interior is like a time capsule.  My grandfather left the plastic sheeting on the front passenger seat and on the front doors.  Looking inside the car reminds me of what it must have looked like at the dealership in 1962.  It currently has 8143 miles on it and is a beautiful example of a well preserved car.