The Mystery Of AMC’s Winged Warrior

1969 AMC Rebel 500

Reader JCW sent this interesting AMC in, but sadly we didn’t get to it in time. It’s such an intriguing find though that we just had to feature it anyways! Why is this AMC so interesting? That’s a great question and I’m glad you asked. You see, before Chrysler introduced their winged warriors, the Daytona and Superbird, AMC engineer Rod Snyder built this Rebel 500 for the ’68 NASCAR season. Well at least that’s what the seller claimed. If it’s true, this was the first car to get a massive wing for race use. Supposedly the design was patented by AMC. And the seller claims Chrysler had to obtain rights to use the design for their own race cars.

1969 AMC Rebel 500 Nose

This car is interesting on so many levels. While it would be incredible if AMC beat Chrysler to building a winged warrior, there are a lot of questions here that need to be answered. Before we go any further, there is one massive question I have to ask! Why does no one seem to know anything about this Rebel 500? Wouldn’t someone at AMC, Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth, or NASCAR know something about this car if it had been built by AMC? I’m sure there are prototypes out there that no one remembers or knows about, but if a deal was struck between Chrylser and AMC to use the wing design, that would be pretty big news.

1969 AMC Rebel 500 Restoration

The seller doesn’t give us much information to go off of. Supposedly it was housed with permission from Chrysler in the AMC Museum in Manitoba, Canada. They also claim the car was restored by Rod “Rambler” Snyder between 2009 and 2011 and have photos of the restoration. Problem is, this seems like a poorly done restoration, especially for something done for a museum. There is also one other major issue, that nose. That neat aero front end, well that was taken from a different car and grafted on during the restoration. It certainly doesn’t help this car or the story. Looking at this photo collage of the restoration, I think it looked far better without the new nose. And what’s the story with the wing in these restoration shots? Something seems fishy here to me.

1969 AMC Rebel 500 Wing

I want so badly to believe that this car was built before the Superbird and Daytona, but the lack of documentation and the questionable restoration work has me doubting the story. Wouldn’t it be incredible if it really is true? Of course if it were, what has been done to it now would be a tragedy that needs to be undone. So what do you think, does this story hold any water or is someone just trying to cash in on a dream? Has anyone seen this car at the AMC Museum in Manitoba?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Rabbit

    More strangeness…..First, that’s an Ambassador, not a Rebel,and that nose looks like it’s off a ’91 Dodge Daytona.

    Like 6
    • RODNEY SNYDER Sr

      the ambassador and rebel are the same from the fire wall back

      Like 1
      • Regular Joe

        No they are not. Different taillights and rear panel and even the width of the axles is not the same in most years. Looking at this it is definitely an Ambassador. And no, it is not and never will be anything from a factory. Just a nice customized 69 Ambassador.

        Like 1
      • thomas f

        look at the collage pics – definitely 69 Ambo – see the taillights?

  2. JACKinNWPA Jack NWPA Member

    Custom, kinda cool but custom. in the restoration photos there are no before pics. just in primer photos. looks like some kind of 80’s Mopar import headder and an 80’s trans am spoiler,maybe a Pontiac scoop?

    Like 2
    • brian

      looks like an 88 -91 dodge daytona nose

      Like 6
  3. AMCSTEVE

    This car came up for sale awhile back and has been debunked by the AMC community. The front end is from an 80’s Charger. I like the car but not the BS story this guy spins. I’ve been an active AMC guy for 36 yrs and we all in the hobby know what they made and didn’t by talking to the engineers and workers from the AMC plants.
    They are starting to die off now but everything is well documented.

    Like 9
    • Joseph Burke

      That would be an 80’s Daytona, not a Charger. The FWD Chargers never had hideaway headlights.

      Like 7
  4. Dj Mcquaid Member

    Compare the front end to a 90’s dodge (front wheel drive ) Daytona ES………this car is not from the 60’s .,………..

    Like 5
  5. Blindmarc

    AMCSteve is our resident guru. If he contests the story, than it is what he says:

    Like 4
    • Howard A Member

      I agree. If you’ve done something for 36 years, there’s an excellent chance you’re good at it. I’ve been an AMC fan most of my life as well, and never heard of this either, but that doesn’t mean something like this couldn’t show up. I think it’s neat.

      Like 2
    • Rodney Snyder

      I am the real Rod RAMBLER Snyder , the the sole builder of the REBEL 500
      I sold the car on EBAY I gave the new buyer all the info as to why I built the car
      in the manner that you see it now.
      Boy was I suprized when I saw the bull crap that he was trying to pass off about
      the car all I ever printed in my add when I sold the car on EBAY was that i might
      did it like you see it now.the nose is from three Dodge Datonas all the rest is
      69 ambassador
      I was 74 years old at that time my e mail is (7t2javelin@gmail.com)

      Iam RAMBLIN ROD

      i

      Like 16
      • piper62j

        So, Rodney… why didn’t you say something about the car earlier????

        Like 2
      • mo

        this just popped up in the Jacksonville fl newspaper with pics – no details but just curious reading about maybbe a scam

        Unique 1 of 1 car. 1969 AMC Rebel 500, big wing car with all the muscle. Complete and clean and no rust and well maintained. Drive anywhere. $29,000. 904-327-1097

  6. troy

    Im from Manitoba, I’ve never even heard of the museum, never mind the car, but Im not a big AMC fan.

    • RODNEY SNYDER Sr

      SORRY ABOUT THE DELAY BUT I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL SIX 6 TIMEs AFTER I SOLD THE CAR . I ONLY FOUND OUT ABOUT THE LETTER WHEN A FRIEND SENT IT TO ME >BUT THE DAMAGE TO MY NAME WAS ALREADY DONE.I SAVED THAT CAR FROM THE CRUSHER TWO TIMES I CONTACTED THE PERSON WHO BOUGHT THE CAR FROM ME AND ASKED HIM WHERE HE GOT THE INFORMATION IN THE AD ON EBAY AND HE SAID IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A JOKE .THE CAR is REAL A DREAM OF MINE.THE NEW OWNER IS DELUSIONAL THE LETTER IS ALL A FARCE

      Like 9
  7. CARHUTER
    • jim s

      and that answers that question. thanks for the link.

      Like 1
  8. Franke

    Cool, reminds me of the 69 Trans am prototype a guy has been trying to sell for $90000, complete bs ….although this guy may not be delusional.

    Like 1
  9. DrinkinGasoline

    The original Rebel was such a sharp, serious car with clean lines.
    Why put a Ken doll’s head and arms on a G.I.Joe body?
    I just don’t get it.

    Like 2
    • Charles

      Great post! Good job!!!

      Like 1
  10. piper62j

    Still a cool car..
    Great find.. Nice car..

  11. Fred C.

    The nose looks like a 1989 Dodge Daytona with a filler panel to make it wider.

  12. Howard A Member

    You’d think Planet Houston AMX would have known about it. Seem to be the foremost authority on AMC.

    Like 4
  13. CARHUTER

    I have posted here twice, I don’t understand when the facts are presented comments keep flowing anyway- IT IS NOT REAL- the nose is from a 90’s Dodge Daytona! Last time I posted the exact address of an old used car lot and 7 more comments came in guessing where it was, why?

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Because We are like a bunch of old car guys meeting every morning at McDonalds for coffee, discussing what keeps all of Us alive !
      It’s what keeps what We love alive.
      CARHUTER….arrogance is an undesirable trait in any venue.
      Ya know what they say…If you don’t like the program, change the channel. It’s all about choices.
      Who needs cream or sugar ?

      Like 5
      • Howard A Member

        Thanks, DG, right on!!! :)

        Like 1
  14. piper62j

    Carhuter. It’s the system… We don’t always get successive comments and there are many of us out there that don’t understand or know different makes and models.. Hence, we make our comments based on what knowledge we have and what we read at the time..

    You, who know more and have access to information unknown to us, are the gurus of this site.. We truly admire what you contribute..

    Thank you..

    Like 4
  15. DrinkinGasoline

    Here’s a successive comment… I do understand and do know the difference between makes, models and their designations but still do not see any harm in folks commenting on what they know, do not know, or simply offering an opinion. All should be welcome.

    Like 1
  16. Javelin Jeff

    I ate drank and slept AMC during the 80s and 90s,,,no such animal was ever factory built for racing,,AMC didn’t get involved in Nascar in 68,,only Trans-Am racing with Javelins happened in 1968

    Like 4
  17. amc musclecars

    The claims of this car being an AMC built Nascar competitor is total BS. An AMC enthusiast built it a while back and it has been on and off ebay multiple times and could not hit even $5K in bids. If someone believes any of this nonsense I have a bridge across the Everglades you may be interested in.

  18. piper62j

    Drinkin… Hear! Hear!

    You dah man… :)

    Thanks

  19. Tim

    The huge wing on the superbird was mainly because the trunk had to open for the car to qualify for racing.

    • BW

      Tim, that line about clearing the trunk is total BS. The Chrysler engineers placed the wing at that height to get ‘clean’ air for downforce.

      • Lynn Dockey Member

        Tim is right, the trunk had to clear the wing, I’m certain the height helped with the aero but it had to be tall enough that the trunk could open so the inspectors could find the nitro bottle in the trunk.

  20. Justin Johnson

    My grandpa Chuck Mashigan was head of Advanced Styling at AMC. I assure you this car is completely fake!

    Like 5
  21. Weston

    The front end looks like a Monte Carlo ss. Or a Pontiac aero coop, or a dodge Shelby, dodge Daytona

  22. Scot Carr

    ~
    From DT comments – 8-6-2012.
    The submission was in the form of a price inquiry. ‘how muchwill you charge to burn the pictures, crush the car into a tiny unrecognizable ball and never speak of it again?’
    . admire his imagination and creativity, his skill and craftsmanship have overcome substantial challenges, not to mention courage and individualism necessary to ignore popular sentiment.
    . Some scoff but this gentleman had the fortitude to complete what he started. very resourceful. AMC Javelins under Penske/Mark Donahue beat-up on all of the Trans-Am competition, winning the series title in ’71, ’72, and ’75. the marketing slogan went, ‘It will remind you of the days when money really bought something.’
    . thanks to Daily Turismo
    ‘It will remind you of the days when money really bought something.’

    • RODNEY SNYDER Sr

      thank you very much !!!! i tried to buy the car back but the guy that had the car on ebay and wrote up the farce ad would not sell it back to me

  23. JohnWeissensel

    Pretty terrible custom job. Such a waste of car. Would’ve been better to keep the car original

  24. Dolphin Member

    The first race car with a wing elevated on mounts was Jim Hall’s Chaparral 2E, which won at Laguna Seca in 1966 with Phil Hill driving. Before that they were pretty much just spoilers mounted on the body at the rear, but the earlier Chaparral 2C had a moveable spoiler/wing that could be flipped up by a lever in the cockpit. I think that was the first flip-up spoiler/wing too.

    Like 1
    • Mittlemotor

      It was done 10 years earlier, in May of 1956 when Swiss engineer/driver Michel May added an elevated movable wing of his own design to a Porsche 550. It was outlawed fairly quickly.

      http://type550.com/racing/drivers/michel-may/

  25. Charles

    Nothing wrong with a custom car as long as no one is trying to pass it off as something it isn’t.

    Like 3
  26. Joseph Burke

    This car isn’t even an AMC Rebel. Those are AMC Ambassador taillights.

  27. duke

    thats a dodge front end on this car-it is a real nice custom job of putting this together-however i would believe if AMC had such a car they would have tried to campaign it in NASCAR

  28. Mike O'Handley

    Well, there is an AMC in Manitoba – the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs – but they do not have a museum. The fellow should have done a little more research on how he was going to spin his story before throwing AMC Museum in Manitoba out there because it took all of two minutes to debunk. It’s too bad, some sucker is going to fall for the story and pay this guy a bunch of money based on a fraudulent story.

  29. Mike O'Handley

    CARHUTER,

    People visiting here don’t know you or your background. Why would you think they would accept your word as gospel? They won’t, any more than all of them will believe what I posted about the AMC in Manitoba above. Folks will do a little more digging around the net and in the end come to their own conclusions. Who knows? They may even prove you and I, and a lot of others here, are completely mistaken and the car is legit. I doubt it; but stranger things have probably happened. There’s no reason to get into a snit about it.

  30. Elliott Member

    Immediately upon looking at this creation, I thought, “nice job grafting a 90’s Daytona front end on this”, but then FRAUD! FRAUD! FRAUD! :-)

  31. CARHUTER

    I am getting attacked and called arrogant, all I did was a little research and added a link about the car that I found. I never said I know it all, it is not my link nor my words and the problem is no one reads complete paragraphs and then they attack. I will make it a point to never help answer any questions in the future. In the case of the old used car lot in Pennsylvania I had been there twice so I pulled up Google Maps and supplied an exact address, to be helpful and after the address and exact location was posted I watched as continuous guesses were made as to where it is? I am just very confused and discouraged from ever helping solve any mysteries here that’s all!! An old saying NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED! I will make it a point not to read any posts anymore here!

  32. piper62j

    Carhutter……You’ll be missed.

    Like 1
  33. Mike O'Handley

    CARHUTER

    Folks are just responding – and kind of mildly too. You’re taking it way too seriously. I highly recommend anger management counseling. It helped my wife. I’m now able to sleep without fear of waking up minus some plumbing.

    Like 2
  34. Jim

    As a kid I watched NASCAR races with my dad and uncle or alone religiously, I have no memory of any AMC NASCAR entries in the 60’s. That’s also a fairly new front nose on the car Firebird/Trans Am of a combination of others, it’s too modern a style. Build it, put it on EBay and someone will buy it! He should just build it and enjoy it, not shovel a load of crap at everyone, its kind if insulting. Anyone want to buy a 1991 Hudson Hornet? They only made one!! Give me a few weeks and some bondo, I’ll get it ready LMAO

    Like 1
  35. Ron (Florida)

    I know that front end anywhere, even if it’s stretched and tweaked, that’s a late 80’s Dodge Daytona front clip.

  36. j d

    Shame! We had a ’68 Rebel 343-4v premium fuel. It was an ex-Boeing Seattle test mule. It was a first car to four girls. Probably a collectible car with an interesting history.

    Like 1
  37. John Newell

    Whatever the truth of the story, this is a beautiful car. It’s not a fake in terms of what you see is what you get. There is no museum in Manitoba. This car wasn’t in it. But the photos of the build look real to me and the work done looks first class. The car was an Ambo but rebuilt as a Rebel. AMC did use its dealers as extensions of the factory floor. That part is what makes the story somewhat believable. Rebel Machines were campaigned by dealers that were given to those dealers for free by Head Office but no money for campaigning the cars. The dealers had to finance the campaigning – that was the deal for them getting the car. So AMC did do some strange things that can be difficult to believe.

  38. John Newell

    I think it’s too bad people jumped all over Carhuter when what he did was what everyone else was either too lazy to do, didn’t know enough to do it or didn’t have the knowledge he had to do what he did FOR US. I’ve been the target a few times myself and it doesn’t feel good to get kicked in the teeth while trying to do a good turn. That’s one of the nasty things about the net.

    Anyway, this car is still a pretty cool car in my estimation. It was never a NASCAR, never intended to be a NASCAR. It apparently was intended as a spoof and just as apparently, the spoof WORKED.

    Like 1
  39. Birdman

    1. I grew up in Manitoba–lived there for 25+ years–never heard of such museum.
    2.I Googled “Manitoba Museums” and in Wikipedia there is only 1 listing for an automobile museum ( http://mbautomuseum.com/ )but it is not an AMC museum.
    3.I also Googled “1968 AMC winged race car” and nothing
    4.I am in total 100% agreement that the front nose is with out a doubt off a 80’s or 90’s area vehicle…just look at those turn signal lenses…

    I feel sorry for any poor schmuck who gets conned into buying this thing as a ” piece of history”.

  40. Neal

    I’m sure the seller would be happy to provide a certificate of authenticity;)

    PT Barnum was right!

  41. John Newell

    I don’t think anyone is going to get conned into buying this car as a piece of AMC history – at least not as described. Selling it that way would leave the seller open to a charge of fraud once the truth was learned. That in turn would lead to jail time.

    But I’d buy it for a reasonable price on its own terms simply because I like the car.

    In my view, that car was the direction AMC needed to go and didn’t because they couldn’t. They were alway too strapped for cash.

  42. Jim

    I’m sorry if I offended anyone with my last post, I know it was pretty direct but it suits the situation.

  43. Jim Dunne

    There are some amazing stories about special orders and deals from AMC. Seems like a quality car with lots of quality work put into it. I ran into a guy at a local car show who worked for Micky Thompson. We were skeptical until he showed us his car. 1964 Ford Galaxie with 427 SOHC. The Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt 427 program cancelled MT’s program, but it was def a piece of history!

  44. Noel

    Rodney Snyder is a good guy, who accurately represented the car when he originally put up for sale. I made contact with him back then in consideration of trying to purchase it. I think he did a great job creating something he envisioned, but unfortunately has had to live with the consequences of daring to be different. Like ice cream, we all have our favorite flavors. Kudos Rodney!

    Like 1
  45. ICEMAN from Winnipeg

    AMC museum in Manitoba? Who can provide details?

    • RODNEY E SNYDER

      RODNEY SNYDER HERE 7t2javelin@gmail.com there is no AMC MUSEUM IN MANITOBA. THE man THAT I SOLD THE REBEL 500 TO WAS A BIG LIAR WHEN HE TRIED TO SELL CAR . HIS NAME IN RAY DIAZ THE LAST email thatI have is chief56super @aol.com LET ME KNOW IF YOU MAKE CONTACT THANKS ROD

  46. Bill W

    No AMC museum in Manitoba, but there is a car museum in Elkhorn, Manitoba. Has been around since 1967, and the oldest car in the collection is a 1908 REO. The museum has a total of about 100 cars, all donated by farmers and others in western Manitoba.

    Was there in 1973 when the newest car they had was a 1958 Studebaker Scotsman.

  47. Blaine Hertzog

    I personally am friends with Rod Snyder and saw him build this car from an old Ambassador that sat for many years. He sold me and installed the motor for my SC/360 Hornet that he ran in his circle track car. He is a fantastic craftsman and a great friend. Just tell him he can’t do it and he will prove you wrong every time. What he posted is the final truth. No mystery here at all. Let it go people. There is only one true story and it’s Rodney Snyder’s.

    Like 3
  48. Eddie Stakes

    Hey folks, when the 69 Ambassador “Rebel 500” custom first appeared, people asked me about it. Mister Snyder was not selling it, someone else was and I called bs on it on facebook, including my own group. No, no mystery here, didn’t document it. Someone was out to make some quick dinero off mister Snyder’s creation. He is a extremely talented individual and if you still on here mister Snyder I like your vision. And admire your work. AMC was involved in NASCAR in 1968 see PRESS PHOTOS on my site on Huggins NASCAR Javelin (and his winnings!) I do hope this car eventually finds a good home! Without the drama! http://www.planethoustonamx.com

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