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BF Classifieds: 1970 AMC Rebel Machine

The Machine was a one-hit wonder from the creative boys at American Motors. Although they had the Javelin and AMX already to compete in the pony car segment of the muscle car craze, they didn’t have an intermediate to do battle with the Road Runners and GTOs. So, they gave their 1970 Rebel a potent 390 V-8 and a crazy paint job, but it only lasted one season. This particular Machine is rather weather worn and part of its engine is missing, but does that preclude it from a restoration? After all, only about 2,000 of these were ever made, depending on the source you consult. It’s available here on Barn Finds Classifieds and in Greensburg, Pennsylvania for $12,000.

While the Rebel name had been on Ramblers in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, it disappeared only to resurface in 1967 to replace the Classic. The AMC marketing geniuses took the 2-door hardtop 1970 Rebel and transformed it into The Machine, first giving it a white body with red stripes that went up the front fender and down the length of the body, and then a blue hood section that incorporated the combination functional hood scoop/tachometer. What could be all-American more than that! Solid body-color Machines would come later and could even be had with a vinyl top, but those are really scarce today.

The Machine got the 390 cubic inch V-8, AMC’s largest powerplant at the time, but this one was rated at 340 hp (beating the AMX that year by 15) and 430 lb-ft of torque. A Hurst shifter was attached to a Borg-Warner T10 4-speed manual transmission, although you could get one with an automatic as well. It was a beast! The suspension was fortified using rear coil springs off the Rebel station wagon and front and rear anti-roll bars. One source says that 1,936 Machines were built (1,340 with the red-white-blue paint) while another says the number was 2,326. Either way, that puts production of The Machine as low and the seller’s car in rare territory.

This Machine has about 60,000 miles on it but has been sitting (probably outdoors) for several years. We’re told it was resting on concrete, so the undersides are better than what the alternatives would be. The body is far from perfect with the presence of rust and crinkled sheet metal here and there. Two holes can be found in the front floorboards, but not big ones, and the trunk floor is okay even though the trunk lid is missing and a new one will need to be located. All of the chrome is present except for the piece on the front edge of the hood. The factory-installed tachometer in the hood scoop is still hanging around. The interior looks to have fared a bit better, although the carpeting is gone. There is a rip in the R-W-B buddy seat.

The next owner may have to source a new engine or at least a block because the one here is locked up. We assume its original to the car, so if it can be saved, that would be a plus. The original Hurst shifter and tranny are there as well as the twin-grip, but the seller is unsure of the gear ratio. The seller apparently has been a fan of AMC products over time, having also owned Javelins and AMX’s, but this is the last of those cars he’s had except for a ’70 Mark Donahue Javelin. If you check what these cars are going for online these days, you’ll find that its not uncommon for preserved examples to be in the mid-five figures.


  1. alphasud Member

    I really like the Rebel but you will need to be very careful looking this one over. Greensburg is part of the rust belt and cars did not fair well. Especially in the 70’s.

    Like 10
  2. Glenn C. Schwass Member

    We had both a 68 Rebel 4 door sedan and a wagon when I was a kid so I always liked these. It’s a shame it has a lot of rust. I don’t know how hard it would be to find an engine and trunk lid, but it would be fun to drive…

    Like 5
  3. Daniel Robinette

    I rode one once, the durn thing would fly…..

    Like 5
  4. Stephen Miklos

    What a shame the way this Rebel looks. And I believe the mileage. It looks like the pulled it out a river. So much rust!!! One look at the engine it’s toast! The person who buys this needs to be a real AMC person to get parts and put it together correctly. Since it was a one hit wonder!! I seen these growing up and they were fast. Good luck on the next owner. 🎅

    Like 10
  5. Jcs

    Very cool and rare cars that bring strong $$ when standing tall.

    Like 6
  6. Jeff

    At one time it was “A Dancing Machine”


    Like 2
  7. stillrunners

    It’s been up fer sale before…………

    Like 3
  8. Arby

    Gettysburg survivor?

    Like 2
  9. Tooyoung4heyday Tooyoung4heyday Member

    These aren’t very common to see, even here in Wisconsin. It’s a car worth saving, they were a nice intermediate. Just a shame it didn’t get the 401 which came a year later. These 390’s were nice still, lots of low end torque and forged internals. The difference in the Machine engine I believe was the cam profile versus the AMX and Javelin 390. This car being a 4 speed makes it a little rarer yet, most you see are auto equipped. Atleast most of the car is there. With the internet these days, you should be able to source parts for it. Otherwise the AMC community is usually very helpful to help preserve another dying car. It was hard enough having smaller production numbers originally and don’t want to see them go to scrap if it can be helped as to keep more going. Looks to have original wheels, be thankful for that as they are rare and/or expensive. Has hoodscoop with tach in place also obviously unique to car. Didn’t say if he has the air cleaner assy. to go with it but they can be had aftermarket if necessary. Engine should be rebuildable, lots of parts available both original and aftermarket. Hope it goes to a good home to get revived. Thanks for sharing.

    Like 9
    • Duane

      do have another 390 block that can go with the car to make the deal happen

      Like 0
  10. Danger Dan

    I’m disgusted with the previous owner, shame on you Car abuser! You could’ve done better for this rare AMC

    Like 14
  11. Arthur

    In a way, it’s too bad the original engine is in this car. With Chrysler having bought AMC for its Jeep line, a 3G Hemi would look pretty sweet in the Rebel Machine’s engine bay, though the car would need significant upgrades to make it work. In which case, it would be the world’s first Pro-Touring Rebel Machine.

    On the other hand, if the original engine can somehow be fixed, or if a duplicate 390 can be sourced, it would be nice if this car could be restored to original condition. Not every car has to be a Pro-Touring vehicle.

    Like 3
  12. Dave, Australia

    Top write up Russ.
    These tanks look similar to a Plymouth Road Runner in the front.
    Deserves saving, would turn more than a few heads at a Muscle Car meet.

    Like 3
  13. Howard A Member

    Just want to say, the Machine was NOT a “one hit wonder”. It was a variation on AMC musclecars, of which there were several. At the time, these were considered more of a joke, “what crazy concoction did AMC dream up this time”? They were a way for steadfast AMC fans to keep up with the crowd, but make no mistake, most ended up just like this, as after the novelty wore off, they became beaters, as shown. This an “ambitious restoration”, and at the “reunion”, there certainly was a big following, but many were clones and seemed to get the same recognition as the real ones. Be that as it may, this was one Rambler you didn’t just blow the doors off.

    Like 8
  14. Steve Clinton

    Kudos goes to AMC for the ‘Machine’ and the ‘Sc/rambler’ (which I prefer) in their attempt to remain viable. PLEASE, someone purchase this and restore it to factory specs (why do people always want to drop a different engine in cars like these?)

    Like 8

    I think the price is outrageous for a badly rusted Machine. Even though these are rare today the SC/RAMBLER was more rare only 1512 ever made compared to around 2000 of these. The Machine was much heavier than the SC/RAMBLER and therefore not as fast. Even more rare are the very few 1971 Matador Machine.
    It will take a lot of money to restore this car but well worth it.
    Atleast no said anything about a number matching engine. Only.have a tag on passenger side valve cover which is not in picture of engine.

    Like 3
  16. James Martin

    The amc guy who buys this needs to visit them Mopar guys and get some of what they are smoking. 12000 for a no deck lid option. And a motor that looks like it was a boat anchor. Wow rare car but not worth the price.

    Like 2
  17. Troy s

    Some musclecars became “rediscovered” it seems, after years of declining interest., especially with certain brands, but for us a younger guys The Machine was story book material. I never saw one, heard a story, but actually never saw one, anywhere…street, strip, cruising, shopping, out in the woods being shot at for target practice…zero. I’m disappointed too, with straight up blue paint I’d of considered it, no doubt in my mind. There’s rare and then there is few.

    Like 1
  18. Cody Bieker

    I wish this one was in a little bit better shape and was closer to Oklahoma. This is my dream car, but even with my knowledge and skills I would be in over my head on this one. I am a parts manager for a classic car restoration shop I know how hard it will be to find most of the parts this car would need to be made back to factory spec. One of these days the right one will come across my path for me to restore. Thanks for finding it and rescuing it sir.

    Like 0

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