Long ago in another life, I was fresh out of high school, and scored a good job that made neccessary a move to Bessemer, a town some 30 miles from the ‘rent’s castle. After a couple months in a "residential motel", I located a a little house thing in the expansive back yard of a larger house in Lakewood, a somewhat upscale area of Bessemer. The large house was occupied by an elderly lady and her daughter, who were related to one of my new coworkers, and thus my connection. I suspect that the little building was once quarters for a servant of some kind, though I never verified that. What I could verify was that the place was tiny. I have read that the average American home has become 55% larger since 1970, and as my dwelling in this place ran from late 1970 to early 1973, this is a good starting point. I was unrolling an expansive $50 a month plus utilities for this place, an appreciable sum in those days. The outside dimensions of this entire building were 18X18 feet, so allow for the thickness of walls, and you have an idea of the inside dimensions. I have tried to draw up a representation of the floor plan below, to scale +/- my ineptness. Here it is:
Now the Rambler thing. The fellow I was talking to today has a 22 yr old son with an odd thing for bizzare 1960s cars, and has scored a 1966 AMC-Rambler American station wagon that he is resurrecting. That started the nostalgia wave - at the time, 1970, I sold off my insurance-problem 1967 442, and rolled phat in a 1965 Rambler Classic 660 sedan.
Gross pollution - it was a carb, points-and-condensor engine that ran on leaded gas, and after a tune-up, was in perfect tune for probably about 100 miles, after which it spewed noxious environment-killing toxins at an increasing rate until the next tune-up, about 10,000 miles. It had no catalyst, no evaporative control, no PCV.
Death trap - It had lap-only seat belts, no airbags, no guard beams in the doors, no collapsible steering column, no crush zones in the frame, drum brakes all around, and a dashboard that was mostly metal, with sharp things and metal knobs everywhere. It rolled on bias-ply tires. The 1963 AMC-Rambler Classic line, only two years before this, was Motor Trend’s Car Of The Year. Times have changed.
Ramblers and I go back; a cousin of mine had a 1968 Rambler American in high school, and his mother was a Rambler fan, owning a string of them through the 50s, 60s, and 70s. My own Classic was eventually traded on a 1970 AMC Rebel, with 401 V8 and all the goodies, and yes, it had A/C…