1911 Rambler Model 65 7-Passenger Touring

Today’s car is a 1911 Rambler seven passenger touring car that is believed to be the only survivor. I saw this car at the Annual Horseless Carriage Show in Arcadia, CA. The car is finished in Dark Brewster green with a luxurious black leather interior. It is powered by a 45 hp 431 cu in, four-cylinder T head engine, with single updraft carburetor. It is mated to a 3-speed gearbox. Slowing this beast down are mechanical drum brakes on the rear wheels only! The front suspension is semi-elliptical leaf springs with friction shock absorbers. The rear suspension is a combination of quarter- elliptical and semi-elliptical leaf springs with AV Telescopic dampers. It appears that you could have ordered the car with either left or right hand drive. It has Acetylene headlamps and kerosine running lights and still carries its original porcelain license plate issued from Laredo, TX a 113 years ago.

When I hear the name Rambler the Fifties Ramblers that were produced in El Segundo, CA after WWII come to mind. The early 1900’s Rambler name is where the 1950s Rambler name comes from when Charles Nash bought the Thomas B. Jeffery Company of Kenosha, Wisconsin in 1919. Rambler was known as a high-quality, high-end, upper-mid-priced automobile that was built from 1902 – 1916. The Rambler name was dropped in 1914 and rebranded the Jeffery, to honor Thomas Jeffery, who died in 1910.  

This example was originally purchased by Silas N Johnson, a prosperous Coca Cola and Budweiser distributor who lived in Laredo, TX. Johnson expressly ordered this car with a wider stance to suit the local roads. The MSRP was $3,050.00. It was the large tires, 40×5″ wheels that made it next to impossible to get tires. This contributed to the early retirement of this Model 65. Johnson retired the car to storage and there it remained until 1963. That year, the car was sold to Karl Binner, who kept the car for 33 years. In 1995 it was sold to Clyde Stevens of Farmington, Utah and then to Ray Gibson of Turlock, California. Mr. Gibson finally embarked on a 3 year restoration completed in 2008. The car received a class award at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. In 2010 it was purchased by Rick Eagen of Evergreen, CO, in whose ownership It was awarded a Best in Show at the Saratoga Springs (NY) Invitation Concours.  

This very rare beautifully restored luxurious automobile is larger than life. What a great car to take to Concours d’Elegance, Cars & Coffee events, or sharing your car at a brass era car show with other enthusiastic like minded car friends. Thank you for riding along. Frank 

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40×5′ wheels with 41x 4-1/2″ tires.