Baby Brother To The Scrambler: 1969 Rambler Two-Door

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As the baby brother to the AMC Scrambler we recently featured, this 1969 Rambler two-door offers a lot of the look for a lot less of the price, just as it did at the time. Despite having some pretty serious rust bubbles at the bottom of both doors, most of the rest of the car is solid. It’s for sale here on eBay where bidding has not yet met the reserve.

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As straight as this car looks, I doubt that it has ever been in an accident, and the car has many signs of having been well-cared for. The current seller is planning on customizing it if they don’t sell it. I’m not sure if this is intended as a threat like the “I’ll crush it if someone doesn’t buy it” threats, but honestly I’m more interested in the car’s history and why it’s for sale than what anyone planned on doing with it.

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At least the previous owner was enthusiastic about the car based on the custom front license plate! I like how clean this design is, and the blacked out grille looks very appropriate, although it may or may not be original. The small center caps and steel body-color wheels are one of my favorite looks for a 60’s car like this and are very period-appropriate.

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I don’t think this is the original upholstery, at least I couldn’t find one like this online. However, it does seem to be of fairly decent quality, and a good upholsterer could replace or match the fabric sections without replacing the entire set. I found the colored spokes and the embroidered American flag on the carpet further evidence that the car had an enthusiastic, if not preservationist owner, and there are a lot of original records with the car including the original bill of sale dated April 26, 1969 (my fifth birthday!). The ad states that the car runs and shifts well, but offers few other mechanical condition details.

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Although they haven’t included any engine pictures, the seller thoughtfully includes a picture of what they consider the worst rust; the underside of the hood. I’m not sure if it makes sense to try to repair this or find another hood and doors. What do you think, and would you be interested in being the person fixing this find?

 

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Comments

  1. grant

    Hood and doors should be easy to replace, this looks like a nice car.

    Like 1
  2. sir mike

    This takes me back…girlfriend then wife then ex-wife’s parents had one of these.Good smaller car of the period.Never any problems with it.Good in snow with snow tyres.This one has aged better than the ex..

    Like 1
  3. Scotty G

    I saw this one yesterday and, like 99% of “AMC” (AMC / Rambler / Hudson) products, I fell in love with it. I thought that the under hood shot was an under-rocker-panel shot and was thinking, dang, but I would think that a person could find a hood somewhere, maybe, possibly? I totally agree on these wheels being my favorite for 60s vehicles, and, for me, almost any other era, too.

    Dempsey Ward, one of the coolest names of all time! And, this is pretty ignorant (big shocker, coming from me), but I didn’t know that Florida vehicles would rust out like that. Although, I guess it almost couldn’t be any wetter and more humid there, and then there’s the salt water. Ok, I just answered my ignorant question.

    I wonder what the reserve is on this car, $4,000? Maybe more? A perfect example of this car would now probably bring $7,500 or more, wouldn’t it, especially a 2-door? Nice find and a great car.

    Like 1
  4. RayT Member

    I like it too, but have to admit I’d want to spiff it up a bit: find a Jeep OHC inline-six, mix with sidedraft Webers, install manual transmission, leather interior and the appropriate fancy trimmings, and create an IKA “Torino” clone!

    I’ve wanted one of those since I first saw a photo.

    The rust is a good excuse to not do that. Also budget. Also shop space.

    Always thought these were very attractive cars.

  5. Howard A Member

    It’s hard to believe, these are the same cars ( this and the SC) Last year for the Rambler name and the American. This was the lowest priced car in America in 1969, (AMC always tried to keep it within $200 of a VW) and judging by that bill of sale, whoever ordered it got absolutely no options. If it’s rusted under the hood, it’s rusted elsewhere too. Where are the numbers and needle on the speedo? This was one basic car, for sure.

  6. geezerglide85

    I had a twin to this car back around 1980. Paid $250. for it drove it for a year and sold it for $250. Mine was an automatic, ran great and was god on gas. As for the seats I think they are the original seat but maybe different cloth inserts. When I got mine the seats were shredded, pretty common on these. I got junk yard seats from an Olds 98 conv. black vinyl with center armrest. I had to trim a couple of springs to get the rear one to fit but they looked great. Front Olds seat was only 1 inch wider than the Rambler seat ! Could the hood on this car possibly have been replaced with a junk yard hood at some time? Rest of the car looks Pretty good.

  7. Jim

    I also looked at this on a big monitor, the trunk floor looks odd and I think I see bondo peeking out, the ribs pressed into the sheet metal shouldn’t start and stop. The door skins you could make patch panels and repair the framework but the poor hood looks bad, like NYC salt on the road in winter bad. If the doors and good are bad I’d be suspicious of other areas. For the price not a bad little car. Who fudged the speedo? LOL, never saw that before.

  8. jim s

    i to think if the rust is just what is shown this would be a nice driver. but this car also runs the risk of being used to make a clone/hotrod even if it gets a new owner. if my family had not bought the nova, back in the day, i might of ended up driving something like this. great find.

  9. Jim

    I’m just curious, when you say “runs the risk of being used as a clone or hot rod”, are you thinking it should be left stock? I’ve always made my cars the way I want, either with small tweaks to radical surgery. I’m not being critical I’m just trying to understand why a lot of guys want them to be left the way they came off the assembly line.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Jim, that’s kind of an inherent problem with cars like this. There just aren’t a lot of people nowadays that want a basic Rambler American, especially one with “issues”. Back in ’69, many folks just wanted a basic, no frills car and this, along with many others, fit the bill perfectly. Since then, we’ve become accustomed to options that were unheard of in ’69 ( I believe this car still had vacuum wipers) and unless there’s a certain attachment to a car like this, not many will bite. If it was a pristine example, that would be a different story, but it’s not, and most assuredly will become a parts car for SC clone. I’ve had several Rambler American’s, and they were good cars, but just not something I’d want as a daily driver today.

      • jim s

        yes, well stated. thanks

    • jim s

      yes i would like it to stay stock. but not enough to bid on or buy it. and i do not know anyone who would be interested in it. as always the new owner gets to do what they want with it. the reason why i like them stock is that is how i remember them from ” back in the day “.

  10. Jim

    I can understand that, you’re feeding your memories. Why not go for it? It could be fun to drive, life sucks some days, you’re allowed some enjoyment.

  11. AMCFAN

    For the nearly $19K selling price of the project SC/R that recently sold will make this seem like a steal. It is a great alternative if you take in consideration that it is not a hardtop. It does not have a 390 V8 and 4 spd. and many of the features that make the SC/R unique.

    You are going to get a good honest car. Adding a 258 2bbl and 904 from a 72 up Gremlin or Hornet would be cheap enough.Change the ring and pinion and you will have a little powerhouse. Another neat swap is a 4.0 EFI Jeep which is a de tuned 258 and add it to the Rambler with a manual trans.

    Better still if you want a factory V8 Rambler American they are out there. The first Americans with V8 were in 1966.and you could get a 290. In 67 you could get either a 290 or 343. In 68 it was back to only the 290 as not to upstage AMC’s new performance cars the Javelin and AMX. The 290 continued for 69 in the standard American.

  12. Panman

    I’d drop a 390 or 401 with the T-10 4-speed and a V8 AM 20 posi rear end…..

  13. Jim

    There’s nothing wrong with the AMC engines, every trip to the track there’s a few giving everyone a run FIR their money. I think they get passed over because as my buddy says at every swap meet “you can’t swing a dead cat here without hitting a few dozen chevys” it’s a simple game of numbers for the aftermarket, if the big three make a million engines a year and the little guys make 80,000 they are going to concentrate their resources to bring in the biggest profits. You can probably buy more aftermarket parts for AMC now than you could 40yrs ago. It’s a shame a lot of good cars got overlooked or thrown away cause they didn’t have a big three nameplate. I have a friend who specializes in building drag and road race foreign cars, he built a straight six 2wd jeep with a turbo, runs 6-8 lbs of boost regularly for about 8,000 miles, on teardown it was like new inside. His plan is to market kits to off road, desert and eventually street use. They are good motors.

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