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.
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.
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.
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.
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?