The Romney Legacy: A Rambler American

My father was a fan of George Romney, both as an auto exec and politician.  Romney's appeal as an auto industry captain was his innovative simplicity and defiance of the Big Three gas-slurping, art deco, tailfin leviathans.  Romney was a champion of the American Motors Rambler lineup-- cheap, functional, utilitarian small compacts touting fuel efficiency. Ramblers also enjoyed the reputation as boring econo-boxes with quirky engineering -- the "E-stick" transmission, a 3-speed manual with a hydraulic/electrical clutch but no pedal, and stainless steel bumpers.  My father, until then a Chevy man, was smitten.  A new 1962 Rambler American convertible appeared in our driveway on a Saturday morning. Iconoclast and anti-climactic all wrapped up in a single package.  Who but George Romney would have dared flirt with the absurdity of a Rambler convertible -- -- matching a 127 hp six-cylinder-powered nerd-mobile with pretensions of pizzazz?  Oh, the inhumanity...(Read Full Article)

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