Q: Hello Greg, I really enjoy your column every week. I want to tell you about my very first car that I got when I was 17 years old in 1970. I just got my license and my mother and father took me out car shopping in April of that year. We finally found a 1967 AMC Rambler with the larger 232 cu. in. six cylinder engine. It only had 24,000miles and the cost was $1,400 straight sale (no trade-in) dollars. Yes, prices back then were a lot cheaper.
The larger six-cylinder engine made the Rambler a pretty fast car considering its weight. My car was medium blue with a white painted top (no vinyl). The car had a lot of chrome and a solid steel grille that couldn’t be knocked out. This small Rambler rode much better than some of the larger cars back then. Visibility was excellent all the way around, too.
As for room, the little Rambler could easily fit five more people in comfort. You see, the automatic transmission shifter was on the steering column and you could also fold the front seats down to make a bed. It was very easy and comfortable to drive. It was always good on gas, too.
My uncle had a larger Rambler called the Ambassador. It was a 1966 model and he bought it brand new. His Ambassador was a beautiful Emerald green with green carpet inside. His Ambassador rode better than some of the Cadillacs and Lincolns back then and was powered by a V8 engine that made it a very fast car. It also had the steel solid grille in it, (unlike many of the plastic grills today that break).
I am 63 years old now and how I wish I would have kept my small Rambler American. I would love to take it to the car shows and show it off! It is sad that American Motors went out of business many years ago. If AMC ever came back into business I would be the first one in line to buy a brand new Rambler.

I haven’t wrote a hand written letter like this in years and thank you very much Greg for all the memories you give us each week. Richard Cromheecke, Palmyra, N.Y.
A: Richard, thank you so much for your hand written letter. I am glad to be able to comment on your AMC Rambler American, which by 1967 indeed did come with the larger 232-inch overhead valve six-cylinder engine.
Back in 1964 AMC rolled out a new modern-era overhead valve (OHV) six cylinder that first appeared in a 199-cubic-inch size on some of the 1964 models. This new Rambler six would then grow to the 232 in 1967 and then 258 inches later on. Every Jeep through 2006 used a smaller bore (242-inch) version of that 258 six, so it is one tough engine. In my time, I enjoyed three 258 AMC powered cars including my new 1974 AMC Hornet X, my new 1976 Gremlin X and my current 1980 Concord DL, the latter which as only 28,000 original miles that I purchased about 18 months ago at a great price. (The old American Motors’196-inch inline-six produced from 1952 through 1965 in both OHV and flathead versions was still installed in many models too exhaust old inventory).
You mention your Uncle’s Rambler Ambassador, which was AMC’s full-size luxury offering based on the Matador chassis. It was quite a nice car and indeed offered the full-size comfortable ride and all the amenities of the day, including those fold down seats you mention. Back then, the teens were more than happy to borrow dad’s Ambassador or American instead of the Chevelle SS396 or Mustang 390 GT for the weekly Friday night date at the area drive-in.
I have to admit that based on the number of letters I receive, overall, the most dedicated enthusiasts past and present are those of the American Motors/Rambler family. And as Richard mentions, if by some wild and crazy reason AMC resurrected from the auto company cemetery, I do believe that many customers would come their way, especially to see the all new mid-size “Lazarus X.”
In ending, I want to let Richard and all my readers know that entry into the wonderful world of collector cars and car show participation ala an AMC/Rambler purchase is entirely doable in this day and age. Matter of fact, I am sure you can find a nice 1964 to 1967 Rambler American for an attractive price, which means four digits instead of five. There are many Ramblers selling for $6,000 and less that will make fine show cars right now.
Thank you Richard for your great letter and have a happy Thanksgiving. And let us know if you ever buy an AMC in the future to attend the car shows because you are never too old!

— Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and other Gatehouse Media properties. He welcomes reader questions and input on auto nostalgia, collector cars and old time racing at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, Pa. 18840 or email at greg@gregzyla.com