Brougham, Bro: 1973 AMC Ambassador Wagon

Back in the late-1970s, my best friend’s parents got a new Ford LTD II “Brougham” and he called it a “Bro-Ham”, not realizing that it wasn’t really pronounced that way. I still refer to Broughams as bro-hams to this day. It’s a good thing that none of you have ever latched on to something like that and carried it through the decades (or, have you?). This bro-ham is actually a 1973 AMC Ambassador Brougham Wagon and it’s on Craigslist with an asking price of $3,500. It’s located in beautiful Prescott Valley, Arizona. Speaking of that, the seller says that the AC doesn’t work, but at least it’s a white car so it won’t soak up as much sun as a black car would. Thanks to Pat L for sending in this find!

You can see that there’s some bodywork to do, even being in bone-dry Arizona. I know, I know, parts of Arizona get rain and snow like the rest of us do! And, even in the dry parts of the state, other things on vehicles suffer, like rubber and plastic parts, so it’s not always wine and roses in the desert southwest when it comes to vehicles lasting forever. The seller says that it needs bodywork and paint. It looks good in this one photo but the rockers look a little suspect. Yes, you guessed it, there are only two photos in the ad, despite Craigslist offering up to a dozen or so free images, for free, that means no charge (free!) for more than two photos (free!). Ahh.. that felt good, ok, back to the car. I know that I’m preaching to the choir, again. It’s always better to give too much information in an online vehicle listing than not enough information, but the latter is more often the case, unfortunately.

So, about that one interior photo – here it is! She looks good, no? I love those built-in/hidden head rests. And, of course, that great, bright, beautiful light blue color. The condition of things, other than the dirty and/or faded carpet, looks great here. Although, the seller says that it has new carpet, hmm.. that sure doesn’t look new to me. I don’t see a crack in the top of the dash, can that be? I would sure ask the seller for a boatload of additional photos if I were serious about this car. But, from what is shown, things look pretty good, maybe even worth a $3,500 gamble? I mean, if a person were an AMC Ambassador wagon fanatic and just had to have it now. This car has a 360 cubic-inch V8 with a four-barrel carb and it drives great, according to the seller. The front seats “lay down”, so this isn’t a car that you’ll let your teenager drive. It’s an 8-passenger car, but of course there are no other photos of the interior showing anything but this one of the front seat. In any case, what do you think of this one? Is there enough info here to make a decision?

Fast Finds


  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    Boy I do not remember that front end treatment at all. But the interior looks great. I always felt that AMC’s interiors were always more interesting than the big 3’s.

    Like 1
  2. Don

    Nice wagon ,sporty steering wheel for a wagon 😌

    Like 1
  3. geezerglide85

    does anybody know how AMC got away with not putting those big ugly bumpers on like all of the other 1973 cars? Seems like the ’73 Ambassadors and Matadors looked the same as the ’72’s

    Like 1
    • Rabbit

      On a 72, the rear edge of the bumper would line up with the parking light. On a 73, the bumper was moved about 3″ forward (note the fillers) and bolted to the frame through elongated slots, rather than round holes. That way the car could take a 5 mph impact & push the bumper back without hurting the frame. In 74, the ugly bumpers were made mandatory, front & rear, unless they used waffling behind, like on a Firebird.

      Like 1
  4. Sam

    I think 1974 was the pivotal year for the 5 mph bumpers? Sharp wagon…would have gone well with our 1976 Matador bro-ham fastback coupe. My mother wanted a Pacer wagon. We ended up with a 1977 Olds Delta 88 sedan…more room for a family of 5.

    • Karo

      Front bumpers got big in ’73, rears in ’74. Just look at a Ford Torino from ’72, ’73 and ’74 and you can see the whole ugly procession.

  5. Todd Zuercher

    I’m assuming that the ‘beautiful’ description for Prescott Valley is sarcasm? The hills surrounding the area are beautiful but the town itself is not. We Prescottonians have a beautiful town though!

    • Scotty Staff

      Hi, Todd. No, I love that area, no sarcasm involved what so ever, other than in the lack of photos in the ad.

      • Todd Zuercher

        I guess it is a lot nicer than a lot of other areas in the country. I really like Lonesome Valley (which stretches from Dewey/Humboldt northwest through Chino Valley) but I don’t like it with all the houses on it.

  6. Leon

    Looks like 50s Plymouth. Hubcaps ??

  7. dj

    It didn’t take much efffort. Just ask and he sends them to you.

  8. dj


  9. dj

    I’ve tried posting them but it doesn’t work.

  10. glenn

    worth every penny

    Like 1
  11. That AMC guy

    I own a 1971 Ambassador SST wagon similar to this.

    These are very comfortable cruisers and can haul quite a bit. Being a 1973 model this one will have niceties like electric windshield wipers, Chrysler Torqueflite tranny, and more modern HVAC controls. (’71 has vacuum wipers, Borg-Warner trans, and confusing multi-level heater/AC controls.)

    These have a huge stretch between the firewall and front wheels. This was so AMC could make the car bigger without extensive retooling. You’ll practically need a football field to make a u-turn!

    Most of these cars rusted away years ago so this is practically a unicorn.

    Like 2
    • That AMC guy

      Oops, that should have been “multi-lever” HVAC controls. The older models have, counting the levers and AC temperature knob, like 5 or 6 controls you need to manipulate to operate it.

      The AC systems on these are pretty basic. Should not be difficult to get it working again. A nice upgrade would be to replace the ancient York 2-cylinder compressor with a more modern and efficient type.

  12. Bruce Fischer

    I bought one off e bay from Gatlinburg T.N. I live in Sevierville T,N, guy said I could drive it home after I bought it and looked at it it had a bent tie rod so it wasn’t drive able Got it home, replace it and had it alined up. Repainted it white and had Time Bandit across the windshield. That wagon would get up and go. Bruce.

    Like 2
  13. JRATT1956

    Nice looking car. but the ugly chrome trim down the side needs to go. What were they thinking? It looks like a kit that J C Whitney would sell. Not helping the looks of the car one bit.

    • Mike H. Mike H

      Normally this car would have had Di-Noc (or its equal) inside of the space created by the perimeter trim down each side. I’ve seen these with the wood low like this one, or higher up and closer to the beltline.

      Like 2
    • Mike H. Mike H

      Here’s one with upper wood trim. Note that the bisecting line is the same in both configurations.

      Like 2
      • Rabbit

        That’d be a ’72. Note how the rear edge of the bumper aligns with the parking light. In ’73 they moved them forward to comply with gov’t regs for 5mph front bumpers.

        Like 1
  14. John B

    Brougham actually means a limousine with an open driver’s compartment. An antiquated term no doubt. I seem to remember TV spokesmen in the 1970s car ads pronouncing it “brohm” with a long O sound. Just sayin’…

    Like 2
    • M

      As a Brit with no idea what the correct pronunciation was I am glad you left that comment as I was going to have to ask…..thanks

      Like 1
  15. Bob C.

    Yikes! I had one of these back in high school. 360 engine with 175 horses. Still a lot of low end torque in that beast.

    Like 2
  16. Bob C.

    Oh, by the way, those lay down seats were good too.

    Like 3
  17. M/K

    bro ham, how about fire chicken or thunder turkey? yea wierd s¥!t sticks with a lot of us

  18. Karo

    This looks like a good buy to me. I would replace the woodgrain, fix the A/C and maybe install the correct wheel covers and leave it at that. AMC put a lot of value into its cars and this one reflects how hard the company was having to pedal just to keep up with the Big Three.

    Like 1
  19. Jubjub

    Interesting to see the ’72 and ’73 side by side like that. Funny as I’d never realized the difference but knew there was something I didn’t like about some I saw. With that said, the ’72 is the more visually successful.

    Leon: I was thinking the same thing about the wheelcoversor maybe even Citroen.

    Here’s the one we grew up with.

    Like 1
  20. Angie Lynch

    We bought this to use as our company car! We restore vintage trailers and this beauty might even pull one some day!

    Like 1
  21. rcpaulsen

    I had a 72 Ambo wagon with the 360 back in the late 70s. Then in the 80s, I had a 1978 Matador wagon, also with a 360. GREAT cars! I was looking for a Rebel, Matador, or Ambassador wagon a few years ago when my F-150 died, but no luck. I would have snapped this one up in a heartbeat at that price if I’d found it. Unfortunately, it’s now 2020 . . .

    Like 1

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