An H of a Car! 1965 Rambler American 440-H

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This red Rambler is a top-of-the-line 1965 Rambler American 440H and it’s in Hannacroix, New York, a mere 17 miles south of the capital in Albany. It’s listed on eBay with no takers on the starting bid price of $1,250! There is only one day left to get your bids in. The seller says that this car is being relisted because of a non-paying bidder. Having been shafted on at least two, if not three, online car purchases in the last month, I know his frustration with the system. Just think what a great world it would be if everyone just told the truth, plain and simple.

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I really like these third-generation AMC Ramblers but, then again, I like all Ramblers and AMCs, so that’s not too surprising. I can do without the bolt-on hood scoop since I like things original, but I guess it isn’t horrible looking; it could be worse. That scoop would go away in the first 1.7 minutes after the shipper dropped this car off in our driveway. The seller mentions that this Rambler has some “backyard bodywork” (that sounds like a TV reality show) spots that need help, and the whole red portion of the car has been plasti-dipped. I would want this car to be a jewel box so I’d chip away (literally) at the bodywork and turn it into an OEM-looking 440-H jewel. The seller says that the 440H is a pretty low production car and they’re right, but they still made 8,164 of them in 1965.

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The car looks solid but there is no mention of rust and there are no underside photos, no trunk photos, etc., so your guess is as good as mine on whether it’ll need major bodywork or just a few touch-ups here and there. I’d want to see the trunk for sure as the seller mentions that the previous owner, presumably the one who did the bodywork and the hardware-store red paint, also put a Mustang gas tank in the trunk in a wooden box. The original tank is still there, or it comes with it, but obviously it must be rusty or plugged or who knows why they did that. Be prepared for some fuel system work on this car. But, it has a new carb and five new tires! Hey, you have to take your small victories when and where you can in life. Also, the rear wheel cylinders were rebuilt, but there is no mention of the other 90% of the brake system. I’d plan on just changing all of the lines, shoes, drums, lines, etc.

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The interior will need some work but parts of it are nice. That isn’t original-spec carpet so you’ll probably want to change that. And, you’ll want to strip this interior out to the bones anyway to check out the floors anyway so you may as well just order actual, fitted replacement carpet. This car has a column-mounted automatic, as you can see, it’s not the floor-mounted twin-stick with the floor console. The seller says that this is a running car that drives but will need some tinkering. It seems to be a pretty accurate statement just in looking at the photos. Things like that clump of hanging wires on the far left in the interior photo and the Mustang gas tank in the trunk give me a little hesitation, though.

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In 1965, AMC came out with a new 232 cubic-inch inline-six that they would use all the way until 1979. This, however, is AMC’s 196 cubic-inch, straight-six because the VIN starts with a “P”.  This car could very well be a nice winter project for any AMC or Rambler fan out there. If it goes for the opening bid of $1,250 and even if it takes another $3,000-$4,000 (not counting your labor, of course), it could be a nice one. Are there any fans of Rambler Americans out there? If so, how would you restore this one, weekend driver or OEM masterpiece?

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Comments

  1. BradL

    Rip those plates off and burn them!

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  2. Mike

    Sean Connery on “Celebrity Jeopary” would ask “Who’s Myra Trod”?

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  3. Anthony Rodrigues

    Need some pictures of the under side and trunk if he is going to get anyone to bid on this… Would an AMC V8 bolt up to the automatic?

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    • boothguy

      It can be done if you have a later V8 donor car but its not a simple bolt in on the 64-5s, the later cars have more room. Big issues are space for radiator and exhaust. I have a 64 with an AMC 360 4spd built with factory parts but those parts are getting pretty scarce these days.

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    • Loco Mikado

      But I wouldn’t want to trust the air cooled automatic. Only original V8 cars have transmission coolers.

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  4. Nick G

    It’s a Mercedes-box, without the goth grill!

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  5. Drew V

    Personally,I like the Mustang style scoop on the car and if I was closer and could give it a good going over would be a buyer…

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  6. jaygryph

    Cute little car. The Ford lookin’ scoop sorta works on it I think.

    I’m rather amused to see the single throat Holley with the glass float bowl on it. Those bowls are kinda hard to find nowdays at swapmeets but do show up. Pretty neat to be able to see what’s going on in the carb. Shame they don’t make them for the bigger 4bbl carbs.

    That would be a fun little classic beater, the price isn’t outrageous if it runs and drives and it’s quirky enough you won’t see another one at the cruise in.

    Really, I think it’s a pretty fair price for a neat little car.

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  7. chad

    like da carb, pricy’n hard 2 come by right now (esp w/glass bowl).

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  8. Rustytech

    I always like this body style Ramblers. Small, light and clean. Being from NY I would want a close inspection on the body and underside before making any bids. If all’s ok can you spell SCrambler?

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    • Howard A Member

      Hi Rustytech, this car is 17 miles south of “OOHLbany” (love you guys accent) Not to worry about an inspection. After a stay in upstate NY ( apparently, anything north of the “city” is upstate) it seems the NY DOT will inspect it for you. They seemed to have one of the most rigorous inspection programs in the country. Why, if we had that kind of program in Wisconsin, half our vehicles wouldn’t pass. I like the SC clone idea.

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      • leiniedude

        My mailing address is Alllbany Wis. Named after the Big Apple. I sure am glad we don’t have that tough of an inspection program. Years ago while loading my canoe on my Cherokee, I stepped on the rear bumper and boom. Both of us ended up on the ground. My 91 Civic work rig rear bumper rusted off right in the driveway! It is now fastened on with threaded rod. Lucky for me on both counts. Both vehicles looked very nice and only a little rust now on the Civic. If you have never lived in the rust belt you would shudder when you pull up to a stop sign and have to drive over a mound of salt left when the spreader truck took off. Rust never sleeps.

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      • whippeteer

        They don’t inspect for rust, just safety equipment.

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      • Howard A Member

        Hi whippeteer, that’s true, but the friend I was staying with near Kingston, had a mid-90’s Dodge pickup, that was extremely rusty underneath, and nobody wanted to pass it, because it seemed unsafe, even though, it passed the emission test. Very few rusty beaters in NY, I noticed, unlike Wisconsin.

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  9. Jeffro

    Isn’t that a Cobra Jet scoop off a 69 Torino? Doesn’t matter, looks like a fit on this AMC.

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  10. bill

    I’d own this if it was in fl. can you say 289 4speed w/ a 9in rear?

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  11. Jim Mc

    @ Rustytech – these were AMC’s “Valiant” attempt to compete with Chrysler. They knew they couldn’t touch Ferd or Gee-em.

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  12. Kent Morris

    Here is what can be done with this car given enough time, effort and money. This one took me two years, but it was worth it.

    1964 Rambler American 440 convertible with a 1968 290 V8 and a 904 auto tranny.

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  13. Ken

    Had one of these and luved it … nick named it “Sherman” after the tank.
    Lived Ontario Canada and salt in winter brutal but Sherman’s underside took the sand and salt spray no probs. It was the front fenders that went 6 inches fwd of windshield as a rubber strip was wrongly hidden in there and caught all… then in front of rear wheels those panels rusted through above the galvanized sills.
    Me luved the car and would gladly go after this one… in fact really want same vintage convert but the war departments says gotta sell sumpin else 1st as 3 in lane and one in backyard a bit too many for her liking

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  14. Rocco Member

    OK, nobody mentioned what a 440H Rambler is, so I have ask.
    What is a 440H Rambler? I never heard of one.

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  15. Kent Morris

    Rocco, a 440 Rambler signifies the top trim level within the American line, American Motor’s compact car. 220 was entry, 330 the mid level and 440 the top trim. H was hardtop.

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    • Rocco Member

      Thanks Kent, for your quick response. I’m always receptive of new knowledge.
      Like Benny Hill said: “Learning all the time”. Seriously, thanks.

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  16. Howard A Member

    I can see Scotty is back at the buttons. I had a car exactly like this, only a ’64. It had a voracious appetite for oil.( I used to buy that “reconstituted” oil in those 5 for $1 packs) I think the glass float bowl is cool too. No question whether it is getting fuel. Such basic cars, and I remember the 6, quite possibly worn, when you floored it, it just a little louder, but didn’t really pick up speed ( for a while) I saw a guy ( Named Howard also), from Ohio at the AMC reunion in Kenosha couple years back, with a ’67 Rouge, 343, 4 speed, and I tell you what, that was the nicest American I ever saw, and I told him so.
    http://www.velocityjournal.com/images/full/2011/539/ra1967americanrogue53941564.jpg

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  17. Jake

    Well either no takers again or the seller took an offer.

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  18. LD

    A do-able project, not easy to find, always like this body style. I had a glass bowl on my 62 Sunbeam Alpine & the bail broke, backyard solution in photo, wood block needed to cushion the glass
    LD71 😄

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  19. whippeteer

    Too bad it’s gone already. I could have had a friend there pick it up for me. It would have been a great work on it as you daily drive.

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  20. david

    A 440, not a 440H unless someone removed top and front fender trim and filled holes before paint

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