David O 1967 Rambler Rebel Mariner Wagon

Surprising Wagon

Being disabled is rough. You need a car that can haul your wheelchair and a weeks worth of grocery's at the same time. Being an old car buff, I convinced my lady we needed and old wagon and not the 1998 Chevy Malibu we had. It was just getting to hard to get the wheelchair out of the trunk and that wheelchair was about all that trunk would hold. So we started looking. Mostly on Craigslist but in local papers and such too. She would find a car on Craigslist and I would tell her no because it didn't have a picture of the car for sale. I wasn't interested in even looking if someone didn't put a picture of their car in their add. Well, she kept at me and soon found a 1967 Rebel wagon for sale about 35 miles away that, of course, didn't have a picture. By this time the Chevy was starting to make some funny noises from the front axle so we were getting kind of desperate. We drove the 35 or so miles from Shelton Washington to Bremerton Washington and soon came to the house with the car. The garage door was open and there sat this neat little mid sized blue and white wagon. I had told my lady that once we saw it we would not stop and just drive away. With no picture in their ad I figured we were going to look at junk. From what I could see of the car from outside, we stopped. The gentleman selling the car was very nice and told us his wife had had enough and wanted the wagon gone. We looked the car over and realized she was a totally original survivor from 5 decades ago. We got a history from the gentleman who said it was a Mariner wagon and something special. We just wanted a wagon and so this would fit our bill. Then we got the bad news, no title and previous owners had passed on. He didn't have time to fix it up what with a wedding coming up and just didn't have the time to chase the title anyway. We told him all about the Chevy and asked if he would trade straight across. We explained that our only income was a disability check and we just didn't have the money to buy the car we needed. He agreed, but there were some issues with the car that would need attention before we could drive it home. While the Stater of Washington and us chased the title my son and I spent 3 or 4 weekends in this gentleman's garage working on the Rambler, he was always very accommodating and just wanted the wagon gone. As we worked on it, we noticed some masking tape on the inside of the glovebox door telling us that the little 290 V8 had been rebuilt less than 500 miles before. We pulled the wheels and found new brake pads that had not even been worn in yet on all four corners along with new wheel cylinders and a couple of new lines. It took about a month to finally get the title back for the car in our name and to get it ready to make the journey back to its new home. We did the car swap and off we went. Since then she has been our daily driver for over a year now and has never let us down. She starts on one crank, doesn't smoke or leak and drives just great. Her first car show she was in she took "Best Rambler". Over the past year we have done a bunch of research on her contacting national and local AMC groups and can only find one other Mariner wagon in existence and that is in the Rambler Ranch museum in Colorado. We work on her on the days I am well and my son has been at my side the entire time. I guess we got pretty lucky to find her.

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