360-Powered: 1972 AMC Ambassador Brougham

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

For 1972, AMC dropped its 6-cylinder engine for the Ambassador so the 304 V8 was now standard. And, as if an orangeish-red Ambassador wagon wasn’t cool enough, this one has an optional 360 V8! This 1972 AMC Ambassador Brougham Wagon is on eBay with a $10,900 buy-it-now price. And, it actually looks nice enough to have that asking price not seem too shocking. Of course, you can also make an offer. This air-conditioned beauty is in Phoenix, Arizona. Yes, it’s orange/red, it has a 360, and it has AC. It’s hard to argue with that combo.

This car really looks like it’s orange to me, but the seller says that it’s Trans-Am Red, an actual AMC paint color for the year. Whatever it looks like or whatever it’s called, I personally love it. I can think of only one thing that I would have wanted on this car and it’s so superficial that I hesitate to even mention it (power windows).. The painted rims and factory caps look fantastic and for a Phoenix car the “wood” trim doesn’t look overly-faded. I can’t imagine that there is any rust on this car, but there are some areas on the bottoms of the doors that look suspicious.

There’s a reason why this car is in such outstanding original condition. Yes, supposedly it’s all original. The original owner, who is now 89 years old, stopped driving it in 2008 but has continued to keep it garaged and regularly serviced and maintained, and driven, since then. That’s a good thing. I have noticed recently that a 2002 car that I don’t drive in the winter and barely even put 50 miles a year on has started to need rubber parts just from age. I would think that on a 1972 car, some things will need to be fiddled with such as regular wear parts and soft bits: rubber parts and bushings and things like that.

There is no word as to if the AC still blows cold or not, but anything can be fixed and it’s the ultimate option on a big wagon like this. How many of you were stuck in the back seat or in the rear compartment of a station wagon, sitting on vinyl seats, as your dad drove the family across the country in the middle of the summer. And, how many of you wished that he would have popped for the AC option? I thought so.

Zoom-zoom! This optional 360 V8 has either 175, 195, or 220 hp. A 401 V8 with 255 hp would have been another great option – probably the most valuable one for this car. Remember that the next time you’re ordering your new Camry or Kia: always get the biggest engine available, if there are even optional engines anymore. The seller says that this car is “a true time capsule, runs and drives better than new, new tires installed, and just installed new muffler, car had original muffler till last week!” Amazing. This looks like a very desirable car: the wagon market is trans-am-red-hot right now, and that AC and 360 V8 are nice features to have. What are your station wagon memories?

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  1. sir mike

    Nice looking AMC SW…like the CB radio…very period

  2. XMA0891

    In college owned a ’72 Gremlin that was also in this “red” color – Same color interior, same steering wheel, same dog-dish hubcaps and color-coordinated steelies! That was a great car; this is a great car! Nice find!

  3. whippeteer

    Even with AC, if you’re in the back, you’re toast. Literally! They didn’t have front and rear air back then and usually the only vents were in the front.

  4. That AMC guy

    Looks like the thermostatic heater control valve has been bypassed, so the heater core is always full on – surprising on an Arizona car. Not much of the AC reaches the rear-facing 3rd seat in these (if so equipped) since there are no rear air conditioner outlets.

  5. Nova Scotian

    It’s in wonderful shape. Maybe I’d swap in a set of large chrome mags out back and spook the back windows,..for sun protection. That fake wood on the panels is history. Only thing left if to have it professionally painted midnight black…maybe a black adhesive vinyl to preserve the paint. Cool rig.

  6. Nova Scotian

    …and if anyone turns on that tank of an air conditioner, you’d loose 70 hp right out the gate. I’d disconnect the leach.

  7. PaulG

    Was originally a FL car… It’s in the ad.
    The eBay ad photos were shot in FL…
    At least that explains the condition of the di-noc

  8. Alexander

    One look, and I heard the distinctive background music from “The Brady Bunch”……
    Okay, might not be the right model of car, but show of hands, everyone–how many of you thought the same thing? I can see this being bought by someone to rent out for TV/film work easily!

  9. ROTAG999

    I like it !

  10. Randy

    I have no real experience with AMC cars, but the engine compartment looks very red, while the exterior looks orange? Color change/repaint?

    • sir mike

      Pre base/clear coat paint…single stage paint…called fading when you don’t wax it very often.

  11. Chebby

    This is cool, but that recent yellow ’73 for half the ask was a better deal.

  12. DweezilAZ

    AC was standard on AMC Ambassadors from 1968 on.

    Parents had a 72 Ambassador Brougham four door sedan in Cordova brown with matching brown vinyl top.

    Still a good looking car all these years later. And yes, the AC does cool the rear passengers.

  13. Jubjub

    I was in a rinky-dink, chrome and vinyl child seat in the back of one of these…but pre-Malaise, when Margie, my mom in her bright red, square pleated, synthetic coat, rolled into the Marathon station across from Ayr-Way and asked for five dollars with of premium.

  14. PaulieB

    Only one question.. why the dog dish wheel covers? It’s an Ambassador!

    • Steve in MD

      Dog dishes are pure class…

  15. carnutdallas

    Sold! to moi’

    • carnutdallas

      ….and dang’it the seller probably paid $5K based on internet research. Curse you Barn Finds! Ha – LOL. Oh well. Hope I can flip in a few years for more myself 😉

      • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

        Hey!! Congrats, carnutdallas! Please let us know what it looks like when it arrives, if it hasn’t already.

  16. Larry Kooker

    I recently rescued my grandparents 72 Ambassador Broughm with 360 from old garage where it has set for almost 30 years! It is orange with white vinyl top and it’s a 2 door! Pretty clean yet, was still on 14 inch bias ply tires (all flat) Not for sale real keeper! Working now to get it in car show condition so wife and I can enjoy! Will try and get pics on soon!

  17. Carnutdallas

    Please send pics back to this. I have subscribed to it for follow-up. Car should be in my possession until next week.

  18. Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    This beauty was sold to none other than Barn Finds friend and fan, Carnutdallas for $10,900! Congratulations! I hope that it’s as nice in person as it looked online.

  19. Carnutdallas

    Thank you! I did get a better deal though 🙂 Trying to get picked up this weekend. Cheers!


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