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10,220 Miles! 1969 American Motors Rambler 440

Most of us know the Rambler American, a car that came in three generations with three distinctive designs. The last generation was a sleek car, at least when compared to the first two somewhat stodgy designs, and it had a different name. This 1969 American Motors Rambler 440 can be found listed here on eBay in beautiful Healdsburg, California wine country, and the current bid is $5,200.

The third-generation American was made for the 1964 through 1969 model years, at least in design. The 1969 models were renamed to eliminate the “American” portion of the name and were instead the American Motors Rambler Basic, 440, and Rogue. This mid-level 440 appears to be in amazing condition and it’s not surprising given that it’s an original owner car, it’s been stored in a garage, and only has 10,220 miles on it!

The 440 model came in a four-door station wagon and a four-door sedan as seen here. Given this car’s incredible history of being with the original owner since day one, and having been stored inside when not in use, not to mention only having a bit over 10,000 miles, I was hoping that it was all original. That’s not the case, as per the seller’s description of it having been “Completely gone thru from top to bottom, everything done to original state. Receipts for all work done by professional techs to bring back to new condition when purchased off showroom floor.”

It appears to be Butternut Beige Metallic outside with a Frost White painted top, but the interior looks like a silvery-tan color that I can’t nail down from what would have been available in AMC cars for 1969. One of you will know. Whatever it is, the seats look great both front and rear. Oddly, though, we don’t see one photo of the dash at all, no dash, no steering wheel, no glove box area, nothing.

The clean engine is one of two six-cylinder models, but the seller doesn’t say which one, and there isn’t a VIN in the listing. The standard engine was AMC’s 199-cu.in. inline-six with 124 horsepower, but a 145 horsepower 232-cu.in. six was optional. They don’t say how it runs but I’m assuming that it works great as they say that everything has been brought back to “new condition”. Have any of you heard of this last-year Rambler model?

Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Thanks Scotty. I kind of like it, for its straight-line styling (compare it to today’s swoopy styling, especially on SUV’s) and its utter simplicity. Would be fun to putter around town with it.

    Like 31
    • Ron Strzelecki

      Had a 69 440 wagon from 1979-1982 as a 2nd car. Great driving, riding, comfortable. The bigger 6 had enuff power. Very economical.

      Like 1
  2. HoA Howard A Member

    As a professional photographer, it must be frustrating to see what people submit as photos, but we must remember, for many like me, I take poor pictures too. The author has a hankerin’ for Ramblers. Whether one will ever grace his driveway, time will tell.
    The Rambler American was the standard issue beater. Growing up in Milwaukee, I never remember any of these new. They all seemed to adorn the back row of “Trader Jims”( or whatever) and last stop before Ace Auto Salvage. Usually a clutch issue, that was a pain to change, but a backyard, a stout tree and 4 buddies, it could be done. $100 bucks tops, and you drove it home. It was a vast improvement over other $100 beaters, like a VW, or a Falcon, and if the front wheels didn’t break off, one had a good car with good heat, always started, provided much needed transportation, until a better car could be had. THEN they were scrapped. Great find, and for once, I believe the mileage. Remember the story of the guy in my town that has a ’63ish Caddy with 2200 miles! I saw it, so these are out there, sadly coming to light as the owners finally die. Oh well, someone will get a great car here, and I suppose that’s what it’s all about. Call me weird, but I’d take this over the Testarossa anyday.

    Like 26
    • Greenhorn

      This one is the deal of the month!

      Like 9
      • HoA Howard A Member

        Hi Greenhorn, I didn’t mean to be rude on the Marlin post. Many here know I’m the BIGGEST Rambler/AMC fan, it’s just the Marlin was the laughing stock in our neighborhood. Us 10 year old kids knew what we were talking about( cough), anyway, welcome to the site!

        Like 8
  3. Daniel Wright

    My parents had a 68 and I am pretty sure that is original seat material.

    Like 5
  4. Rick

    “We don’t see one photo of the dash at all, no dash, no steering wheel, no glove box area, nothing.”

    Maybe the dog got tired of gobbling down homework and tried some new fare.

    Like 6
  5. Bob C.

    My Grandfather had a 68 2 door sedan the exact same color. The side rear windows were stationary and it had a rubber boot windshield washer.

    Like 5
  6. geezerglide 85

    I had a ’69 base 2dr, w/ a 199 and auto. trans. I paid 250 bucks for it in about ’79 or so. My original el-cheapo seats were shredded so I hit up a small local junkyard with tape measure in hand. 1967 Olds 98 convertible. The front was only 1 inch wider than the Rambler. They were black vinyl with a center armrest and the backs were like bucket seats. I had to trim a couple of springs in the rear seat to fit around the wheel wells. My original seats were black and white with white door panels and a black dash. A lot of people remarked that they didn’t know those old Ramblers came with such nice interiors. I drove it for a year and sold it for 250. Got my money back.

    Like 10
    • Larry

      The 1967 Olds 98 was 80 inches wide. The 1969 Rambler was 70 inches wide. Hard to believe that the seat from the Olds would fit in the Rambler.

      Like 4
      • geezerglide 85

        Maybe the Olds had thicker doors, plus a couple of inches for the arm rest and power window switches. I was really surprised, I measured it twice, the back seat was probably a little narrower because it was convertible. Except for the Olds emblem on the rear speaker it looked almost factory.

        Like 1
      • Jeff

        The doors on the Oldsmobile were a lot thicker than a Ramblers which cut into the interior volume of the Oldsmobile

        Like 0
    • Larry

      So, a 63.5” seat (that was the hip room in a 1967 Olds 98) fit inside a car that was only 70” wide? I can’t believe the remaining 6.5 inches is enough for space between the seat and the doors (both sides) plus the width of those doors (both of them). The math doesn’t add up. Did you use a pair of rear seats from convertibles?

      Like 0
      • geezerglide 85

        Nope front and back seat from the convertible never did get the six way power hooked up.

        Like 0
      • Jeff

        Hip room is from interior door to interior door excluding the seats and gap between the seats and doors

        Like 0
  7. Jim lucas

    Jim l. We had 2 a 1964and a 1966. My brothers first cars. 199 six cylinder. 3 on the tree. He ran the daylights out of those cars. Especially the 66. Put one clutch in. Probably from trying to smoke the tires . Other than that nothing. They were tough little cars. We also had a 1968 ambassador. Also one tough car. 343 engine with loads of power.

    Like 2
  8. Ashtray

    I had a 1964 Rambler, 2 door hardtop with a 3 speed and overdrive. It was red, with the 287 V8 engine.
    I suppose it was about as sharp as a Rambler could be, lol!

    I have a huge porcelain RAMBLER dealer sign for sale, along with others, if anyone wants buy it?
    I’m moving into a condo and I am selling all of my signs. 2 Coca Cola, one button sign, the other large flat double sided that hung on outside of store with yellow circles on the bottom, made in 1939, DX-Sunray 1955-57, ISO-VIS, Piedmont cigarette 1912-1915 era, Philgas, PURE oil sign, RC Cola, WESTERN AUTO with tail still attached, etc.

    Just my oponion!

    Like 5
    • John S Dreibelbis

      AMC had the best 6 cylinder OHV engine of Ford, GM, and AMC from 1953 until 1970. They ran and ran. AMC cars were affordable and reliable family transportation.

      Like 12
      • Bob19116

        I’m fairly sure that Rambler Americans through 1965 had no V-8 option until they later modified the engine compartment and put in their new 290 small block as an option. (All AMC V-8s through the end in 1988 were the same small block offered as 290, 343, 390 and then as 304, 360 and 401. Your 1964 was probably a mid-size Rambler Classic with the old AMC/Nash V-8 available as 287 or 327 cid.

        Like 2
      • Bob19116

        AMC straight cast iron 6 cylinder engines were all durable engines. That includes the Nash designed 196 and the all new in 1964 engine that was available as 199 or 232 and later bored to 258. The same engine was further upgraded to the Jeep 4.2L and was a Chrysler-Jeep engine for years after buying out AMC-Jeep in 1988.

        Like 3
      • JoeNYWF64

        The chevy strait 6s of the later ’60s have 7 main bearings & was the only 6 installed in CARS that had no timing belt OR chain – that is what i would want in a walking dead world. lol
        I know of several that are still kickin in old cars after more than 54 years of use with no repairs.
        Ford’s bigger strait 6’s had no belt or chain as well, but were only put in trucks, i believe.

        Like 0
    • Gary J Lehman

      do you still have the Rambler sign?

      Like 0
  9. James owen

    My first car was a 69 rambler American 440 4dr with a 290v8 loved it!

    Like 2
  10. Richard Isenberg

    Absolutely love it. Simple but so cool for next owner. 232 was a great little motor

    Like 5
  11. John clemson

    I think the 440 was the top shelf 4 Dr and the Rogue was a 2 Dr

    Like 4
  12. Mark

    I had a Rambler Rouge with the 290 ci. with the 4 speed factory. A lot of my friends laughed when I drove it home. The laughing stopped when I beat my buddies 390 Mustang. Wish I would have kept it. Very fast little car.

    Like 1
  13. Chinga-Trailer

    Let me interject my observation – paying any sort of serious money for this is stupid because as soon as you drive it, every additional mile devalues it, and if you’re not going to drive it, what’s the point? It was probably 30+ years ago that the Forest Grove (Oregon) auctioned off a similar low mileage Rambler at the annual Forest Grove Concours D’Elegance. I looked the car over – I was amazed at the surface rust “all over” and flash rust under the hood. Low miles does not mean great shape – I wouldn’t drive this or the other low miles Rambler until all the rubber in the brakes, cooling system etc were replaced

    Like 0
  14. JCH841

    I took my road test in my Grandmother’s 69 Rogue. The flat square body and the notchback rear window made parallel parking (what’s that?) easy. Had the 232. That drivetrain outlived my Grandmother and the front fenders. Being a NY car, the road salts finally ate through and there would be spray from the tires in the rain.

    Like 4
  15. Karl

    I believe those are 232 badges on the front fenders.

    Like 2
  16. RH FACTOR

    Valve cover looks like a 232 to me…

    Like 3
    • Travis Jon Powell

      I love Rambler Americans. They’re such a clean designed car. Just because it’s a sedan, I certainly wouldn’t kick it out of my driveway. Not sure how much 232 I could take though. How light ARE these cars? Hmm.

      Like 2
  17. sixone

    Damn, how could they leave out one of the most important photos, the dash?! I like it, but wouldn’t even consider bidding on it if I couldn’t get my hands on a LOT more photos. The cars not “original” boys, it’s ‘gone over from top to bottom’, like refurbished is how the wording sounds. I like it, but for somebody else to take the gamble with seven grand for now.

    Like 2
  18. G R Reuter

    Basic transportation at its best. Simple, easy to drive, dependable, reliable, and fun to drive. These cars competed with the likes of the Chevy Corvair, Ford Falcon, and the Plymouth Valliant. They cost less, and usually had more stuff in it at the same priced big three cars had the same price. The big three crowd hated AMC cars and Studebaker cars because they weren’t Chevys Fords, or Mopar cars, but they sold well, had their own following, and for a poor person who needed a car that was reliable and not going to break you, it was a great choice.

    Like 4
  19. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: it was at $7,100 and the reserve was not met, but it sold at $7,101!

    Like 3
  20. Car Nut Tacoma

    Beautiful looking car. I’ve always loved pre-1970 AMC and Rambler cars.

    Like 0

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