When discussing mid-1960s American vehicles, it is common for iconic nameplates like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette, and Dodge Belvedere to come to mind. However, it is often overlooked that American Motors Corporation (AMC), the fourth-largest US automaker at the time, also produced noteworthy cars. This is a shame because AMC’s automobiles were not subpar. In fact, by 1965, the company had introduced several notable vehicles that deserve recognition.
One such vehicle is the Rambler American, which made American Motors a key player in the compact segment. The Rambler American was introduced in 1958 as a spiritual successor to the Nash Rambler, beating both the Ford Falcon and Chevy II Nova to the compact market. While it may not have been America’s first compact production model, the Rambler American pioneered the high-performance midsize segment, which would later be known as the muscle car market, with the Rambler Rebel.
In this article, we will focus on one of the finest third-generation Rambler American models that I have come across in recent years. This particular model stands out not only for its impeccable condition but also for its rare color combination. If you are unfamiliar with the Rambler, it debuted under the Rambler marque in 1958 and underwent redesigns for the 1961 and 1964 model years. Production continued until 1969, with the second-generation compact boasting radically different styling.
For the 1964 model year, AMC took things up a notch by giving the Rambler American a simpler yet sportier look, tunneled headlamps, a longer wheelbase, and a roomier interior. The engine lineup also saw significant upgrades, including new inline-six engines and the introduction of V8 powerplants for the first time. The third-generation Rambler American, including this two-door hardtop, was part of that generation.
What makes this specific Rambler American model special is its original order in the color “Montego Rose,” a metallic, pink-like hue. This color, one of 13 available options for the 1965 model year, is rarely seen today. It was not popular at the time, and AMC discontinued it before the start of the 1966 model year. Therefore, this color option is one of a kind, available for only one year.
But what sets this Rambler American apart even further is its matching interior. The light pink hue extends to the cabin, creating a stunning three-tone finish when combined with tan and brown. While personal preferences may vary, this color combination is mesmerizing.
Now, one might wonder whether this Rambler American is an unrestored survivor or a restored classic. Judging by its impeccable condition, both inside and out, it is safe to say that it is a restored classic. The attention to detail and craftsmanship is evident, making this AMC beauty a top-notch rig that could win prizes at any classic car concours event. So, let’s set aside the early Mustangs for a moment and focus on this extraordinary gem.
While it is confirmed that this Rambler American is a 440 trim (evident from the extra chrome on the fenders), there is no information available regarding its engine. The year 1965 marked the final year for the flathead six-cylinder engine, and it was also the first year for the brand-new overhead-valve straight-six. The latter produced a respectable 155 horsepower. It is worth noting that AMC did not offer a V8 engine in the Rambler American until 1966.
In conclusion, the mid-1960s American automobile market was not limited to the well-known nameplates from the Big Three. American Motors Corporation (AMC) deserves recognition for its impressive lineup of vehicles, including the Rambler American. This particular third-generation Rambler American model, with its rare color combination and meticulous restoration, stands out as a true gem in the classic car world. It is a testament to AMC’s commitment to innovation and quality during a time when they often get overshadowed by more popular brands. So, let’s appreciate the beauty and significance of this extraordinary AMC creation and celebrate its rightful place in automotive history.