The only American automaker whose 1958 sales had not declined happened to be the only one featuring homemade smaller cars. American Motors Corporation, a company born out of the desperate 1954 marriage of two failing veteran car makers—Hudson and Nash—doubled its sales, from 91,469 in ’57 to 186,227 in ’58. The cars that did the trick were the Rambler, built on a 108-inch wheelbase, and its newly introduced little brother, the Rambler American, built on a 100-inch wheelbase with the body dies from the original Nash Rambler of 1950. Most American cars at that time were riding on wheelbases of 115- to 130-plus inches and often weighed a half-ton more than the 2500–3000-pound Ramblers.
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