Monday 30th June 1969
The last of 4,204,925 Ramblers was produced, ringing in the final hour for the storied car line. The Nash Rambler had originally been developed by George Walter Mason after World War II. Mason realised before anyone else that the postwar “seller’s market” would evaporate once the market was again saturated with cars. He predicted the difficulty that independent car companies would experience once they were faced with head-to-head competition with the Big Three’s advantage in their core markets. It was Mason’s plan that to compete with the Big Three, the independents needed to market a different product. He developed a number of smaller cars, including the Rambler, the Nash-Healey (a collaboration with British Healey), and the Metropolitan. None of the cars managed to capture the American market. But years later, after Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson merged to become AMC, the Rambler finally caught on as a sub-compact car. George Romney, Mason’s protege, coined the term “gas-guzzling dinosaur” to describe the Big Three’s products. Romney led a personal ad campaign promoting the AMC Rambler as an efficient, reliable car. His campaign was immensely successful, and the Rambler was able to single-handedly keep AMC alive during impossible times for independents.