Jeff L 1966 American Motors Rambler Classic 770 2dr Hardtop Coupe

My first drag race

In 1957 my grandfather a Nash Rambler dealer, in Ironton, Ohio, was in the hospital in Columbus, Ohio at the OSU Medical Hospital. He had suffered a serious heart attack, and they had found esophagus cancer as well. The whole family was going to make the trek to Columbus to see him. My mom, my grandmother, aunt and my little brother were driving our new 57 Rambler Cross Country Wagon. I was riding with my uncle and my dad in my uncles Ken's 56 Nash Ambassador Custom, with the Packard V8. He had a cousin who worked for Packard "improve" the performance a bit, with a Caribbean 2x4 intake and some other modifications, That Nash was FAST!

We were cruising along on Ohio Rt 23 toward Columbus,( this was an early 4 lane and pretty straight ) My uncle had a lead foot and we had left my mom behind quite a while ago. all of a sudden a car whooshes past us. It's a 57 Pontiac Bonneville. My uncle say he cant do that, and my dad said no he couldn't, so the race was on, Uncle Ken poured the gas to the big Nash. WE gained on the Pontiac quickly and rode his tail through a small town, Then uncle Ken made his move, he floored the Nash, and all 8 barrels of High Test started pumping. Now this is before seat belts and I'm sitting between dad and uncle ken on a big bench seat, and I'm watching the speedometer climb I see 100, then 110, finally 120, and the Pontiac is way behind, so he lets up. Uncle Ken is kind shake as he slows down, I'm having the time of my life. Very soon here come the Pontiac again, flying past us. I said you gonna get him? Uncle Ken says no I beat him once, and I need a beer, so we pulled off at a roadside rest and while he and dad are having a Weidemann, and im having a grape Nehi, he comes Mom and the other part of the caravan, and of course I cant wait to relater the big drag race story. My grandmother and aunt gave him a ton of crap for doing it, But not long after Uncle Ken sold the Nash, I'm sure due to my aunts badgering, So he got a Rambler.......... a silver 4dr hardtop called a Rebel. Whos say you cant keep mama happy and have fun too.

6 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Kim IN July 11, 2014 at 19:35
    So kewl to see this story in print, that I've heard many times from my hubby!!
  • 2
    Shanna Georgia July 11, 2014 at 19:45
    Nice story
  • 3
    Rob Lowe Dallas July 11, 2014 at 20:34
    Great story, I know those are the moments you always remember...
  • 4
    joe melvin oregon July 11, 2014 at 20:57
    That was a story I didn't hear. Uncle Ken was a neat guy. Thanks Jeff, I love hearing about the family!!
  • 5
    Elmer Illinois July 12, 2014 at 09:16
    I have a similar story , not a race per say but how fast a 56 Olds Rocket 88 could go. My dad and another guy were letting me a16 year old drive.
  • 6
    Dave Schafer Ohio July 12, 2014 at 00:36
    Great story, and well written. You knew my Mom, so as you can imagine I was in a few growing up. The one I remember clearly was leaving Amelia High School racing someone to get to Frishes.....that was around 50 years ago.

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