1of 294: 1968 AMC Rebel SST Convertible

By 1968, American Motors offered only one convertible across all its product lines and it would be in the Rebel intermediate. The Rebel shared its platform with the more upscale Ambassador, which rode on a longer wheelbase. The number of these drop-tops built was relatively low and even lower with a 343 cubic inch V8 and 4-speed manual transmission. The seller’s car checks all these boxes but is in rough shape from sitting for quite some time. It can be found in Spencerport, New York and is offered here on eBay where the opening bid of $5,000 has not yet been made.

The Rebel nameplate would be used three times by AMC. First in 1957 as a specialty model that was something of an early muscle car. Then as a sporty version of the Classic in 1966 with bucket seats, special trim and a revised roofline. The following year (1967) it became the company’s entire mid-size series, replacing the Classic altogether. It would be called the Rambler Rebel in ‘67 but by 1968 the Rambler part of the name was dropped as AMC was moving away from that moniker. The Rebel would stick around through 1970 only to be replaced by the Matador for 1971 in another revolving door move.

As the sole convertible in the AMC portfolio for 1968, they built exactly 1,200 ragtops, with 823 of them being the high-end SST model. Drilling down further, it looks like 294 of them were assembled with AMC’s mid-line 343 V8 and the seller believes that no more than two dozen of them likely had the 4-speed manual. However you cut it, there weren’t many like the seller’s car to begin with and perhaps just a few remaining today.

The seller acquired this Rebel from a family friend of the original owner in Pennsylvania (note the license plate). It wears its correct Caravelle blue paint but there’s no indication if its original or a repaint. While the seller indicates the car to be solid overall, there is corrosion apparent in the quarter panels and floorboards and some evidence of prior patches are there. And there’s a nice dent in the driver’s side front fender. The convertible top has no canvas remaining, which means there was little there to protect the black interior over the years.

We’re told the engine, transmission, 4-barrel and other mechanical components are all as the car came from the factory. The seller has not tried to start the Rebel but does say the motor will turn freely by hand. The car wears a combination of Rebel Machine and Cragar wheels right now and those will not come with the deal. Instead, the seller will substitute some plain steel wheels with tires that will at least hold air. The seller says the car is currently in dry storage and he hadn’t originally planned on selling it, but as an AMC fan himself he’s got more projects than time and this one must go after all.

Besides the car, the seller has a collection of parts for sale that will fit this automobile as well as other AMC products, but they will be listed for sale separately and not a part of this transaction. The 1968 Rebel convertible would be the last that AMC would market until 1985 after it had joined with French automaker, Renault. That car would be the Renault Alliance.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Sure is an odd combination. Generally, AMC Rebel’s were bought by, um, well, non-gearheads, is the best way to put it. A Rebel convertible with a 4 speed was not something a drag racer would want, and the only reason one would equip it as such, is to burn rubber and row through the gears. Most Rebels I saw were anything but. Personally, I think this car would benefit much more with an automatic, and would attract a larger audience. Joey Snowflake doesn’t want a 4 speed.They were great cars, made in my hometown, the 4 speed,,,meh, not so much.

    Like 4
    • Edward

      You must not remember the 1970 Rebel Machine. 390 CID 356 posi and a slap stick trans. I owned one and am sorry I sold it.

      Like 1
  2. AMCFAN

    AMC was advertising big in 1967 that they were in the racing business. The new 343 V8’s the largest displacement were being put in Rebels and everything else. For one year only the American. It wasn’t uncommon to see the Grant Rebel SST blown funny car. It was big news and in all the rags including Popular Mechanics. The Rambler Funny Car. Articles and advertising were everywhere announcing the Chevy eater from Grant Industries. For any true Rambler/AMC enthusiast it was the start of things to come only to get better.

    With all of that I believe there were quite a few Rebels with three pedals. AMC was in image change mode. For instance only two 67 American 343’s were actually ordered by someone off the street. The rest were built by the factory and sent to the dealers. Most of them were used on the strip as their intended purpose.

    The car above bothers me. A PA car with a seller from NY. Does it have clear New York title in the sellers name? Are the missing parts included? Actually is there a list of what one gets with it or what it will need? Don’t fall for the if you don’t see it it ain’t here jazz. Due diligence.

    The fact that the seller has intended on restoring it and has all the parts to do do but is bailing on the project. BUT is willing to sell you anything you need (at his price) after you buy the car. Teases with Machine wheels but says you wont get them for paying $5000 for his tub.

    Neat car but lets be real. It will need everything. In the car world and anywhere else. Rare does not equate to value. Keep in mind NPD doesn’t have catalogs. No one does. The cost to put back together WILL be far greater than it will ever be worth.

    My advice if you need a Rebel. Just spend the money on a 1970 Rebel Machine. Drivers have sold on ebay for what you have in parts alone ……. the guy may have one to sell you also.

    Just an arm and leg more.

    Like 14
    • Howard A Member

      Growing up in “Ramblertown”, yes, the advertising went all out, with wishful hopes, but in reality, it fell on deaf ears. You’d NEVER get a person that bleeds blue, to buy a Rambler. The only ones that had reason to equip a Rambler this way, is it must have been an employees car and like the Ford/Chevy folks, Rambler owners wouldn’t drive one, and were very dedicated. Many of my neighbors and family friends worked at AMC, and you wouldn’t catch them pulling into work with any other make. Maybe they got a price incentive, or watched their car being built ( hey Louie, that’s my Rebel coming down the line, put a couple extra lock washers on the trunnions, will ya’? You got it, pal) You could say, while maybe not as popular, Rambler owners that wanted anything remotely similar to the Big 3,, “settled” for cars like this, and they were every bit as good,it was just a brand thing. Same goes for this car. Someone that has any ties whatsoever with AMC, this is a super find, and to a Rambler nut, a ’67 Rebel ragtop, 4 speed, well, I just can’t say how rare it is, to us AMC freaks, that is. Parts may not be as dismal as AMCFan makes it to be. Couple years back at the AMC reunion, in the swap area, there were all kinds of AMC parts, at a price, of course, but in a car like this, you have no business even starting a project like this on a budget. 4 speed aside, not to sound redundant, but a “Machine” is an entirely different crowd. I’m telling you, as unique as the car is, it’s the 4 speed that will limit sales today on a car like this..

      Like 6
      • Dave

        “I was going as fast as a Rambler goes
        I could feel the speed from my head to my toes
        Oh, now I know how Richard Petty feels”

    • RLS

      In 1967 I bought a red 2 door American brand new, 199 ci and automatic. Parked next to it at the dealership was a gold American looking like mine, dog dish hubcaps, blackwall tires except it had a 343 badge on the rear quarter panels and a four speed. I always wished I bought that car.

  3. Arthur

    With Chrysler having bought AMC 34 years ago, I could see this car getting a Hellcat, a new convertible top, and a custom chassis with Viper suspension.

    Like 1
    • AMCFAN

      Howard do agree the mass fell on deaf ears. Nothing changes right away. Look at the Covid shot we are being offered now. What is one to think.

      I had one of the 343 4 speed 1967 Rambler Americans. Some say only 12 were made others say 56. Performance wise these were faster than the GTO. The result was too few made to spark a memory.

      For 68 the biggest engine for an American was the 290. Many felt not to over shadow the Javelin and AMX when the the world took note of the new Javelin and AMX with optional 390 power.

      The Covid is a game changer. You send the american workforce home for several months or more what do you think a large percentage is up to? Working on car projects. I waited six months on a bushing kit. NOS AMC spring perches pre covid $20. During covid everyone sold out I paid $160 for two because I already ruined mine rebuilding my front suspension. So Howard the parts problem is pretty real. I am in a big one now with a Javelin.The stuff at swap meets are usually a hodge podge of left over dealer stock from 70’s/80’s believe me has been picked over to death unless you are working on a 74 Ambassador you are good.

      Arthur Nice but never going to happen. No one is going to buy this and put a Hellcat in it. Chrysler bought AMC. Doesn’t make a match in heaven. An AMC is in no way a Mopar. Owners cant keep stock Hellcat Challengers on the road. Spending say $100K on a motor and chassis for a convertible very unlikely especially an AMC

      Like 1
  4. OIL SLICK

    I see all of the curmudgeons are out in full force. This car is very rare and just waiting for some love. I wish I had room for her.

    Like 16
    • AMCFAN

      Sorry OIL SLICK for a bit of reality in these troubling times. I know it doesn’t seem to be appreciated by those who are really NOT in the market for another classic car project.

      Hopefully someone with the means can use the wisdom. Its what makes this site fun. The verbage comes from someone that has had many AMC’s through the years and currently in the middle of one now. The lack of parts is going to be a reality that sadly isn’t going to be known until it’s tore into. I know Eddie Stakes has been looking for a Rebel Convertible top for 10-15 years.

      Perhaps this is why the current flipper is not making any attempt other than moving it along. Then again why don’t you make room?

      Like 1
    • That AMC Guy

      Looks kind of of rough but my ’67 Rebel convertible (343 with automatic) is rougher looking but still enjoyable to drive. I see this ’68 also has manual drum brakes. Kind of scary combined with the big V8. The ’67 still says “Rambler” on the hood and steering wheel. As stated in the description that was dropped for ’68.

      Give it the TLC it needs, fix that floor, and have a ball. Part of the fun is almost no one knows what a Rebel is at this point in time. Pointing to the “Rambler” lettering on the hood only increases the confusion for most people! If I had a buck for every guy that thought it was some kind of Dodge I’d practically have the money for the bodywork and paint it needs! :)

      Like 3
  5. David Bailey

    Having grown up a mile from huge AMC HQs on Plymouth Rd. in Detroit, I was an AMC fan as well. I thought the style of this generation Rebel predated the look of the 1968 Plymouth RoadRunners. Nice looking cars, ran pretty good, too.

    Like 9
  6. 433jeff

    The pic of the rusty floorboard makes me go hmmm

    Like 2
    • Gary James Lehman

      Show it to your wife.

      Like 1
  7. mpower

    I came across one of these a few weeks ago at a junk yard. I had a feeling it was rare, but didn’t think it was this rare. It may have been in worse condition than this plus I think the engine was missing.

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