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Rural American: 1964 AMC Rambler American 440

061916 Barn Finds - 1964 AMC Rambler American 440 - 1

This great looking 1964 AMC Rambler American 440 is in Sioux Center, Iowa and is listed on eBay with a current bid price of $1,000 and the reserve isn’t met yet.

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1964 was the first year for the third and last generation AMC Rambler American and they were made until 1969. This car looks as nice and solid as the average Iowan does, and is. It’s originally a South Dakota car and the current owner bought it with the intent of restoring it, but they say, “at my age I think I better let it go”.

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They say that it “has one small rust spot in right quarter and one floor board rust hole in the right front floor.” Other than that, it looks great, I think. I really like this sleek, new design, which was totally new for 1964. Here’s a 1963 AMC Rambler American for comparison. I wonder if this paint could be refreshed a bit with some rubbing/polishing compound and elbow grease?

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There are no photos of the dash at all, which is unfortunate. The 440 was the top-of-the-line model for the American in this era, and for the budget-conscious buyer there was also a 220 and 330 available. The seats will have to be reupholstered and I’m guessing that it’ll need a few other things on the interior, too, but that’s it for photos.

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This is a 3.2L, 196 straight-six. An overhead valve conversion of the standard flathead engine in the base-model cars gave the 440’s engine 125 hp, compared to the 220 and 330 models that came with a standard 90 hp. But, the 220 and 330 cars could be optioned up to the 125 hp engine. The top engine was standard on the top American model, the 440H, the one with the famous twin-stick and 138 hp. That engine also was available as an option on the lower-end American models. This car has a column-mounted automatic, but it if was a 440H it would really be a find. This looks like a nice project car for anyone into AMCs; hopefully most of the Barn Finds readers are in that group. How would you restore this one, back to stock or would you drop in a V8 and turn this little red car into a little red rocket?



    If you like living with a six and nothing wrong with that. Lots of testosterone at car shows. Many mods for the 232 to warm it up. Some have installed V8’s in these vintage 64/65’s but were never meant to have them. Lots more work then just suspension. The factory after time figured that they needed the convertible frame strengthening rails to prevent body flex. It was so bad that on the 67 343’s the windshield trim would pop out when continually beat on.

    The better looking more affordability priced at the moment 1966 American had factory 290 V8’s installed. They were of coarse the predecessor to the mighty and now pricey 1969 Hurst SC/Rambler. Next best would be a 343 4 speed powered American from 1967 only super rare and worth the price of admission IF you can find one.

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    • Blindmarc

      A kid that worked for me in the early 80’s got a 66′ with the 290 4v handed down to him as his first car. It would smoke my 67 falcon wagon that had a 289 4v.

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  2. Flip

    I had a 1966 4-door in high school with the 290 V8/4 barrel, 4 speed with a bench seat. Camaro and Mustang killer, love to have that car back..

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  3. RayT Member

    If I was going to hoist an SBC over a defenseless Rambler American’s engine bay and drop it therein, it would be a car from one of the first two generations, particularly the two-doors.

    For this one, I’d want to build a replica of the IKA Torino 380W!

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    • Steven C

      I want one of those argentine torinos bad! I’m not sure if it would be cheaper to make a replica or buy one and get it shipped here. I think the hard part would be finding the jeep tornado ohc 6.

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      • RayT Member

        Of course I’d prefer to head South and find a real one to bring here! From everything I’ve been able to find out, these were real road-burners.

        There would be plenty of difficulties, I’m sure. Seems likely parts for a U.S. Jeep “Tornado” engine wouldn’t necessarily fit the Argentine version — and I’m only talking about the basics, not the special 380W bits.

        But I do know American Kaiser enthusiasts have been able to get IKA-made parts in the past; I bought a set of made-in-Argentina tail light lenses for my own ’53 Manhattan. I’d love to try getting the necessary pieces to keep a real Torino on the road!

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  4. Craig MacDonald

    I briefly owned a ’65 American and planned to use it to tow a retro-looking teardrop I built. Then I discovered these cars came with an air-cooled aluminum auto transmission. Who thought that was a good idea? Mine was gone within the month.

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  5. Alan

    This is definitely a 440H. Twin-stick was optional.

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    • Scotty G Staff

      Really? That’s good info, Alan, thanks much. I wasn’t positive and didn’t want to say yea or nay on it being a 440H and open a can of worms.

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  6. Jeff DeWitt

    My Grandfather had one much like this, also red with a white top, but his had Twin-Stick and AC. GREAT little car, he taught me how to drive a stick in it.

    If I had one of these and the engine went south (especially if it wasn’t rebuildable or not original, I’d swap in a late model (well 90’s) Jeep 4.0. Basically the same engine and not only more appropriate but a much MUCH better engine than just another boring SBC.

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    • paul lehman

      not the same engine at all. The 4.0 and the 232/258 are the same. The 195,6 came out in 56 in the Nash era and was a revamped flathead. The 232 came out in 64 but only in the Rambler Typhon.

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      • Jeff DeWitt

        Even if it’s not the same engine it would still make a lot more sense than a SBC.

        But thanks for clarifying that, I know a lot about Studebaker engines, AMC’s not so much (obviously!).

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  7. Roselandpete

    These vintage econo boxes have a certain charm.

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  8. Kent Morris

    Back in 2007, I bought a convertible model of this car unseen. It arrived as a rusty mess, but someone had started a 290 conversion. So, after hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars we created what would have been a ’64 Rogue V8 convertible. It is always the hit at car shows and out-draws the high-end mainstream cars, so this one is definitely worth rescuing!

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  9. Terry

    My first car was a 440 wagon. Great little car. And lay down seats too.

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  10. Hide Behind

    The lil 6 is a scrap pile relic, and although I did rebuild a few, right in body, the cost and boost in hp to replace with newer 6 is well worth it.
    The vaccum wipers, old fuel pump can be rebuilt.
    Early Americans can be v8 converted with new front crossmember, we mocked up and made jig for replacements and some AM C nut in Auburn Wa. still does them.
    Wheel bases, front and rear, widened out after 64, throw away stock itty bitty bolt pattern front spindles, for larger AMC, and counts on years but maybe minor spring locators of Plymouth Duster Valiant and Darts easy done, 8 3/4 with either large or small Chrysler autos, need but redrill tranny mount holes works.
    Manual T-10 AM C or Small block Ford bolt patterns same just change Ford for AMC input shaft and Bush the too la
    Light weight switch new cross member any AM C newer castings, size cast near motor mount, V 8 will plunk right in and even 290 2 brl moves em.
    Easy to work on with rear quarter panel liking to flex inward, we reinforced by glassing interior of trunk side panels to insure stability for new paint.
    Any serious torque need engine torque straps and sub Frame ype connectors until 1968.
    Lots of parts in Arizona yard

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