$500,000!? 1965 AMC Rambler Ambassador 990

072816 Barn Finds - 1965 AMC Rambler Ambassador 990 - 1

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

Get your checkbook out and cash in your 401K, this 1965 AMC Rambler Ambassador 990 is supposedly a prototype and it’s priced accordingly. It’s located in Fairfield, Iowa and is listed here on eBay with a Buy It Now price of.. gulp.. $500,000! 

072816 Barn Finds - 1965 AMC Rambler Ambassador 990 - 2

I would normally expect that a $500,000 car listing would have a wealth of great photos, not just one fuzzy exterior photo and three fuzzy interior photos; call me a dreamer. This car, even without being a “prototype”, is a dream car for me. I love the fifth-generation, stacked-headlight AMC Ramblers; they’re my absolute favorite from this maker. The Ambassador 990 was the mid-level model in-between the base 880 and the top-of-the-line DPL, my personal favorite. There are 77,000 miles on this three-owner car, so I’m not sure if I somehow missed something on this being a rare prototype, seeing as how it’s racked up so many miles and has had so many owners, all while being so rare and valuable. But, as you all know, I’ve missed details in the past, so I must have missed something here.

072816 Barn Finds - 1965 AMC Rambler Ambassador 990 - 3

There are no engine photos but from the three interior photos and one exterior photo, and given the price, you can probably expect this car to be as close to being a museum piece as it gets. You can skip buying that Lamborghini with AWD for your winter car and the Ferrari for your summer car and just buy this AMC Rambler for the same price! There are almost 20 days left on this listing, so it’ll give you a chance to line up the funds. All kidding aside, I’m not sure what this car is, if it’s a rare prototype or not, but it sure is a nice car, regardless. And, I’m sure that the seller is honest and honorable. I would have guessed that maybe it was a typo and it was $15,000, not $500,000. What do you think, if this is a rare prototype AMC Rambler Ambassador 990, is it worth $500,000?

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Comments

  1. Brad Huston

    There’s not a car worth that kind of $ he better have pics and documents to prove it.

  2. trey

    This is great. Since the car is a 5 seater, and the flyer only lists a 6 passenger model, this is the only one. Nevermind the fact that this is a bucket seat option, this is clearly a prototype! Any AMC experts care to break down the build sheet for us?

    • Davnkatz Taylor

      I had a 1967 Ambassador convertible (bright red) and only real differences I can see is the gear shift knob (mine had a “T handle”) and an additional badge on the grill. Mine also had a V-8 with standard shift tranny. Would like to see the rear of this one. Oh, and different hubcaps.

      $500,000.00???? Heck, you could buy the whole company for that. LOL A prototype? I don’t think so! Every prototype I’ve ever seen had very little resemblance to a production model.

  3. 68 custom

    nice car and a good deal at 5k, he clearly has misplaced the decimal point!

  4. RayT Member

    I’d rock this baby with a BBC, slam it, tub the rear, put a tube axle in front, shave it, and add a Carson Top!

    And the green paint has gotta go. I’m thinking black, with a red/white interior!

  5. Blyndgesser

    Prototypes don’t usually have a VIN.

  6. Howard A Member

    I want to hear from AMCFan or AMCSteve on this one. I don’t see anything special about this car at all.( aside from it’s cool as heck) Images show many Rambler 990 convertibles with bucket seats and console. Something fishy here. Sorry.

  7. JohnD

    The listing disappeared as I was reading it!!! They seemed to make much of the 5 passenger/6 passenger distinction, but even the material they included listed the same model number as their car. As Trey said, must be the buckets. Rare? Ehh . . .Unique? Ehh . . . Valuable? No.

  8. Jon

    Really…LOL

  9. KO

    I clicked on the pictures and kept expecting them to clear up.

  10. Walt

    No deal without the original Fuzzy Dice !

    • Woodie Man

      On a Rambler in the sixties?

  11. Chris in Nashville

    Emailed seller…

    New message from:

    vehiclesbyseller(112Turquoise Star)

    Not sure if the seller has reconsidered his amount or not, but told me to contact him with offers $35K and up now. But here is a link to his site with more information on the car. http://prototypeclassicconvertible.blogspot.com/

    • Chris in Nashville

      After I replied that the decimal point might be I’m the wrong spot…

      New message from: vehiclesbyseller

      (112Turquoise Star)

      Well he feels he can get that and more! HE will not let me change the buy it now price only the price I can contact him at

  12. Jose

    Two too many zeros. If the guy really wants half a mil, tell him to keep it.

  13. mark

    Wow! Multiply the asking price by 10X, then give a 50% discount and tell the buyer what kind of a great deal they got………………………or one way to end up with a half a million dollars is start with a million and buy this car.

  14. paul

    I contacted the e-bay seller and they sent me this link, http://one-off-history.blogspot.com/ go to the link and see the pics

    This 1965 Ambassador 990 Five Passenger convertible with a 327 engine was originally bought by a Mr. Roy Stoddard, Jr. of Oskaloosa, Iowa in November of 1964. The car was titled in his business name, Tri-State Farm Stores, Inc. In August of 1974 Roy sold the car to Michael McFadden, also of Oskaloosa, IA. In late February, 1978 Mr. McFadden offered to sell the car to me, Al Lane, as he was moving to Wyoming and needed some money. At that time I was living in Sigourney, Iowa. I offered him a price based on what some of the local dealers said the car was worth, which he accepted.

    The car was actually built August 1, 1963 at the Kenosha, Wisconsin plant. I have the registrations from the original purchase and each of the transfers of ownership included. After I had purchased the vehicle, I went to have the car insured through my agent, Mr. Kenny Pfaff, who was an agent for State Farm Insurance. Mr. Pfaff indicated that the Omaha office had said that they had not or did not build this car according to records.

    A local manager from Century Motors, that was in Sigourney at that time, helped to take a full roll of film, used carbon paper rolled the VIN plate and the door plates and submitted it to State Farm. Approximately three months later they were able to issue insurance on this 1965 Rambler Ambassador 990. Shortly thereafter, on about June 20, 1978, I sent to American Motors Customer Relations Department a memo asking them how many of the 1965 990 convertibles they made. They replied to my memo that they made “one”. In about seven or eight days after I had sent the memo and received their reply, they phoned me asking where the car was and if I had the title.

    They proceeded to offer me any American Motors car that I would choose and they would pick up the car from me. I told them only under one condition – for them to tell me how it came to be that only one car was made. They never replied and I did not show interest in trading the car back to them.

    In August of that year, I made contact with Paul Bell, who was with the Vintage Auto and Antiques Museum in Mobile, Alabama. He was doing some judging at the Iowa State Fair and had agreed to stop in Sigourney to do an appraisal on the vehicle. He indicated that the paint work was extremely good and original; the bright work was excellent to mint; the glass excellent and original throughout and the appointments fitted with the original equipment to include all amenities including factory air. He indicated to me at that time to maintain the car in original condition at all costs and means. At that time, we did get $10,000 insurance on the car, based on Paul’s appraisal. It wasn’t until October 2003 that I decided to do some further investigation on this car. I was talking with several of the AMO Collectors Club members and they indicated that I should find the build sheet if it was in existence. I did find the location of it (it was under the carpet in the back floor) and took it immediately to have it laminated to protect the coloration. On the build sheet, it shows a build date of August 1, 1963. However, this car was not introduced as a five-passenger convertible with a floor shifter and all the appointments until the fall of 1965. Once the build sheet was found, it filled in a lot of the gaps.

    Click on either of these pictures to view the image close-up.

    Letter concerning how many 1965 Ambassador Rambler 990 Series Convertibles were produced

    • BOBv

      Your paper trail stinks, your build date is wrong, ( date shown is issuance of form) your bucket seats are simply an option on what would normally be a 6 passenger car

  15. Alan

    Pure silliness, in my opinion. The August 1,1963 date on the build sheet is the date the blank form was originally issued, not the production date. If it were the production date, wouldn’t it be printed in blue ink by computer, and not a printed part of the form itself?
    In addition, There’s nothing unique about this example to differentiate it from a regular production car.

    • BOBv

      for a one off car I sure see a lot of them on the web

  16. MeToo

    Sell it to Jay Leno. I can’t think of anyone else who would or could pay 500k for that.

  17. Dan

    500k will buy every other AMC still left in existence!

  18. Alan

    The H……. serial number indicates this car is a V8 1965 model year Ambassador, and it’s likely very far from the first one produced.

    http://amcrc.com/tech/carsn.html

  19. tbenvie

    At one time I owned the majority of AMC production records and compiled them into various spreadsheets to answer “how many were made” questions and I was successful in deciphering the codes in over 99% of the AMC build sheets. Most of this info can be found online at various club sites. The date of August 1, 1963 has nothing to do with a particular car-it is the date the buildsheet form was put into use. If there was no reason to change it for the next year it was not changed. If you look at the sheet you will see printing on the form, plus typed printing in each box. If the August 1, 1963 date had reference to the car then it would be in the typed font, not the printed form font. There were a few AMC “showcars” (not “prototypes”) for 1965. The Tahiti Marlin is one and it is currently in NY and has Body #1 from the AMC West line. The Carousel was Body #1 from AMC East line-I own these tags as the car was junked. This particular Ambassador is VIN H304761 showing it to be a late production car, probably May-June so way too late to be a 65 prototype. (The VINs would start with the Engine letter and 100001). As far as the production info AMC sent, I am afraid the person who looked this up looked at the MONTHLY numbers, not the END OF YEAR numbers. The correct numbers from AMC Final Build Sheet dated July 1965 for the Ambassador 990 series is as follows:

    6585-5 990 4 dr sedan-24,852
    6587-5 990 2 door convertible-3499
    6588-5 990 Station Wagon-8701
    6589-5 990 Hardtop-5034
    6589-7 990H Hardtop-6382

    I once met someone who had VIN 200001 and was selling it as Car #1. It was actually Car #100,000. A little research goes a long way.

  20. Blindmarc

    This site is a wealth of knowledge!

  21. Fred W.

    Tbenvie, thanks for sharing your knowledge and clearing this up for all. Big difference between “1 of 1” and “1 of 3500”.

    • SamM

      A difference of 2 or 3 zeros, I would think.

  22. SamM

    This has to be the fabled “Blurry 990” . This car was a study into the positive and negative effects of building a car slightly out of focus. many tests were done to determine the advantages of constantly squinting while looking at and (I would assume) driving the car in a day to day environment. This would also bring development costs down as styling isn’t as important if you cant see the car clearly. The lead designer on this project, a Mr Archibald MaGoo was thought to be both ahead and behind the times (depending on who you asked), and was also known as the inventor of the rarely seen “Bury Razzle Dazzle” camouflage used on naval ships and army division mascots.

  23. Scott G

    Having owned an Ambassador 990 convertible with a 327 I can tell you that with the 4 barrel carb it is a very nice car…. The build quality of the Ambassador as well as the trim was a far superior car then comparable vehicles being built by Ford or GM. This seller with his “Kenosha Cadillac” has listed this car before…. once about a year ago. This is not a prototype nor is is worth much… These cars trade when available between $12-18K in very good to excellent condition.

    The seller is a listing agent that takes money from honest hardworking people and promises them false tales of riches from their car. Look at their other highly inflated listings. They are in the business of collecting fees not selling cars.

    • Ed P

      It sounds like the selling agent is not the 5one being unrealistic. The owner of the car is the problem. The owner thinks this car is his gold mine. AMC did not make a lot of convertibles, so maybe he thinks this is the only one. We now know that is not true. He has a nice car for a fair price, but not $500k.

  24. David Wilk Member

    Great post , thanks Scotty. This has got to be my favorite Barn Finds post ever, really fun, and great comments all.

  25. Scott G

    Yes David. I would love to have an Ambassador convertible again. Really a highly underrated, under appreciated car. Great post with positive banter. Very enjoyable.

  26. Howard A Member

    That was fun. Sure got us talking. The PROBLEM ( oh, here it comes, no, hear me out) is, like Scott(y) sez, someone, who wants a car like this, and doesn’t visit these sites, with the clearly knowledgeable people that frequent it, go on their own, and buy stuff from these crooks. Obviously it’s worked before, that’s why they do it. Shysters are nothing new, and once watching an episode of “The Rifleman”, they portrayed a horse dealer that came to town, and this guy could have sold air conditioners to the Eskimos. He had what people wanted, and took them for all they were worth. And one thing for sure, it isn’t going end any time soon, as evidenced here. Shame, it’s a darn nice car.

  27. Dolphin Dolphin Member

    Not surprised the ‘prototype’ claim is bogus.

    Since when does a prototype have a build sheet?

  28. Woodie Man

    Poor owner…..thought he was sitting on his retirement…..oh for the days when great old cars were just cars……….

  29. david

    Found a 1965 Rambler 900 with the Ambassador on the front of the hood.It is a pretty much rust free Tx car. Back trunk underneath small rust in common known rust spot. I was going to get it but the guy didn’t have title and would not give me bill of sale.Serial number plate was missing on the Pass side shock tower. Found Number on frame by steering box. six numbers and no letter H designation. This is weird to me. looks like one of the numbers is barely visible. what’s going on here. any more places a # could be(trunk).

  30. Matt steele

    That there’s a funny looking ford

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