My husband seems to have a "classic car addiction"! Recently we added a 1958 Rambler Custom 10 Station Wagon to our fleet. Let me tell you, this is a hunk o' iron!!
Back in its day, this station wagon was probably not the top of the line as far as cars go. They were used as family car, and when they died they went to the junkyard. So today, there aren't too many of these "survivor" cars around. The ones I've been able to find have been beautifully restored, and even those are scarce. Our '58 Rambler is NOT one of beauty, but it IS one of nostalgia. Considering the paint is 50 years old, it doesn't look too bad! The interior is original with very few flaws; the most serious being on the seat of the driver's side, but even that would be a minor fix if we find the right material. It comes with a radio that needs a few seconds to warm up, and push-button automatic transmission.
If you don't have good upper body strength, forget about climbing behind the wheel of this car. You'll get a workout every time you turn the wheel! There is absolutely no power steering, the steering wheel is gigantic, and the car feels like driving a tank! To top it off, seat belts were unheard of back then. And the wipers work on a vacuum system that sometimes go like they go like hell, and other times they shoot up to wipe the windshield, then stick. Ahh, the quirks of an older car!
We put a small amount of money into the engine to get things lubricated and in running order, but other than that and a lot of elbow grease it hasn't been too costly. People are always stopping me/us whenever we take it out for a drive. As you can imagine, there are just a few older gentlemen that have nostalgic memories of the "good old days". But just as many younger people stop to admire "the beast", as we've come to call it. In fact I had a couple follow me until I parked at a department store, just to tell me what a cool car I had.
Restoring it to showroom quality isn't our plan for the Ramber. There is something so perfect about the "history" this car represents just as it is. To me it represents a simpler time, and I'm pretty sure that's the attraction for everyone else in these troubled times.