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  • Quality replica built by Gaslight Motors in 1960
  • Four-horsepower Clinton engine
  • Electric lighting and folding top
  • Formerly of the Merrick Auto Museum Collection

Although curved-dash Oldsmobiles have most certainly been the most reproduced of old cars, they are certainly not the only. Another such re-creation is the Gaslight Motors Rambler, produced in 1960. A full-scale replication, it had a hand-crafted wooden body, like the original car. Power came from a four-horsepower, single-cylinder air-cooled Clinton engine located under the seat. An automatic clutch connects to a two-speed transmission with reverse. Final drive was by single chain to the rear wheels.

The cars had a 12-volt electrical system, with starter and generator, full lighting, and turn signals. A folding top was standard equipment. Brakes were internal, expanding on the rear wheels. Customers desiring to register their cars for street operation could order optional four-wheel brakes, which rendered them legal in Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, New Jersey, and Maryland. New Jersey also required the optional high-low beam headlamps, while California insisted on the windshield-and-electric-wipers accessory package.

Gaslight Motors Corporation, of Lathrup Village, Michigan, contracted the construction to American Air Products Corporation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which also built the “Merry Olds,” a scaled-down curved-dash Oldsmobile, during the same period.

This Gaslight Motors Rambler was acquired by the Merrick Auto Museum Collection around 2000 from William Chapman of Wauseon, Ohio. It remained a part of the collection until being sold in Fall of 2019. It is very tidy in gloss black with white accent striping. The seat is upholstered in black vinyl, all in very good condition, and the folding top is present. The car has the lighting package, parts of which appear to be sourced from Harley-Davidson. Neither the windshield nor the four-wheel-brake option is installed, however.

Now 60 years old, this delightful Gaslight Rambler is itself older than the car it replicated when it was built. This gives new meaning to the term “antique automobile.”To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/0520.

RM Sotheby's
5 Heron Square
United Kingdom
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