`57 Nash Rambler Rebel: Was it the First “Muscle Car?”

November 16th, 2022

My out-of-state client recently engaged me to complete a pre-purchase inspection and appraisal of this 1957 Nash Rambler Rebel four-door hardtop. With just 1,500 assembled, the `57 Rebel was the second fastest American production car behind only the `57 Chevrolet Corvette with Ramjet fuel injection. Nash installed its slightly warmed over 327 cubic inch V8 engine from the full-size Ambassador body into the mid-size Rambler body to come up with the Rebel, which had a special exterior paint scheme and came fully loaded save for three options (automatic transmission, air conditioning, and continental tire kit). Coupled with a Borg-Warner three-speed manual transmission with overdrive and a 4.10:1 rear differential final drive ratio, this was one quick car back in the day. In fact, some consider it to be the first true “muscle car,” which predated the `64 Pontiac GTO by seven model years. What do you think??