Eric Brockmeyer's 1962 Rambler American - Hemi Powered
(from Volume 18, Issue 207)

Eric Brockmeyer is a designer by trade, and does design renderings and illustrations for hot rod builders and individuals around the country. He received his Bachelors degree in Industrial Design from the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, and went to work designing boats for Sea Ray until his hobby of drawing hot rods became viable enough to make a full time gig out of it.

Eric always thought a 1961-63 Rambler would make a cool hot rod ever since he saw one at a cruise-in along A1A the weekend of the Turkey Run in Daytona several years ago. So when Eric spotted an ad for a ‘62 Rambler American 2-Door Sedan for sale in Sanford by the original owner for a mere $1,500 he snagged it up. Originally the car was equipped with a flathead 6-cylinder with a three on the tree, so it was not a pleasure to drive, was very underpowered, and the transmission was a nightmare. Eric wanted a drivable hot rod so he contacted Matt Link, a rod builder he had previously done some artwork for, and discussed dropping in a V-8 and upgrading the suspension. This, of course, led to completely stripping the car down and making a full blown hot rod out of it. The goal was to make a Rambler that felt and acted like the muscle cars of the 60’s and early 70’s. A “what if” AMC got together with Chrysler and decided to make a Hemi powered Rambler and offer it as a special edition. It could have been the first true muscle car.

Eric used his skills to provide Link’s Rod Shop in Ohio renderings of the car, showing the wheels, colors and stance. Obviously many things were changed from their stock configuration throughout the build, starting with adding an Art Morrison front clip with tubular control arms, plus power rack and pinion steering. The car has a Link’s Rod Shop back half with a 4-link on the 9-inch Ford rear end, 3.50:1 gears, adjustable coil overs, and Wilwood disc brakes. Link’s also fabricated a new firewall, inner fenders, core support, floors, rear wheel tubs, and rear seat base.

Under the hood now resides a 1955, 354 cubic inch Chrysler Hemi V-8 with a balanced crankshaft, Ross pistons, cast iron heads, aluminum dual quad intake, dual Edelbrock 600 carbs, and Moon cast aluminum valve covers. Link’s fabricated the exhaust using a set of Hot Heads headers, 2-1/2 inch exhaust pipes, Flowmaster mufflers, and ‘70 Cuda replica exhaust tips exiting from the rear valance. Shifting duties are handles by a GM TH350 automatic with a Hot Heads aluminum adapter plate.

The exterior has some changes as well, including shaving the gas door (which is now relocated behind the hinged left rear taillight), and filling the cowl vent. The grill utilizes the stock surround with a floating ‘63 Chrysler grille bar, the front bumper license recess was filled, and the bumper guards deleted. The shaker hood was actually the builder’s idea, suggesting it would go well with the Hemi engine. Eric thought it was a great idea, Link’s made it work perfectly, and it ties the concept together nicely. A set of Boyd Coddington Junkyard Dog wheels (18x7-inch and 20x10-inch) are wrapped in GoodYear Eagle tires (P235/45-18 and P295/40-20), and compliment the copper colored paint and flat black graphics by H&H Autobody in Ohio.

The Muscle Car theme carries over into the interior, which utilizes refoamed mid-sixties GTO seats. Eric provided a detailed rendering of the interior to Dan Weber of Weber’s Custom Interiors in Minnesota, and they crafted a masterpiece in black leather. That included a custom made rear seat, plus custom door and quarter side panels. The dash has been moved back 3-inches and smoothed, and was fitted with black faced Auto Meter gauges, two outlet vents, and the controls for the air conditioning system by Hot Rod Air. Though you won’t find a stereo system in the car, other interior items include a B&M shifter, billet Specialties handles and pedals, and a vintage Grant wood 3-spoke steering wheel.

Not only is the car very unique in concept, it also features quality craftsmanship throughout. Indeed, if AMC would have gotten together with Chrysler to produce a Rambler like this back in the early 60’s, you can bet it would have been a big hit! Eric’s version came 40 years later, and it certainly drew plenty of admiring spectators at the recent NSRA Southeast Nationals in Tampa....including us! CN