California Car: 1964 Rambler American 440H

California seems to be the magic land for vintage cars. Say that your car is/was from California and that’s it, not much else matters, you know that it won’t be all rusted out. This 1964 Rambler American 440H is from California and it stayed there until 2008 when it moved to its current home in Mishawaka, Indiana. It’s listed on eBay with a bid of just under $5,000, but the reserve isn’t met.

There are a few dings on this rust-free California car, but apparently not enough to keep the bidders away, or enough to allow the seller to let this one go for a rock-bottom price. The right front fender looks lighter to me, but maybe it’s a shadow playing a trick on things. One explanation could be that the original “exterior color is gold and new color is a greenish gold which was painted once in the 1970’s but the cream paint is original.” Give me original-spec any day of the week, but I’m odd that way.

1964 was the first year for the third-generation Rambler American and this body style would carry through until this model ended in 1969. The seller mentions an 8-inch crack in the windshield but says that all of the other glass is fine. The 440H was the top 440 trim level, and they were above the 220 and 330 cars.

This is one nice-looking interior, and car, in general. One thing missing is the famous twin-stick transmission, this one is a column-shifted automatic. The seats may have been recovered, according to the seller, but the door panels are original. I would say that most definitely at least the infill fabric isn’t original, but it looks fine. The trunk looks clean and rust-free, at least without peeking under the mat.

This is AMC’s 196 (195.6) cubic-inch inline-six and I’m assuming that it’s the 138 hp version that was standard on the 440H models. The seller says that it “runs, drives and shifts great.” I’m guessing that the reserve will be around the NADA average value of just under $8,000. What do you think this one will sell for? Have you found California cars to be in better condition than cars from other states?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Rich Truesdell

    I’ve owned over a dozen 1964-1969 Americans and Rogues, love’em. This one looks especially nice. I’d love to make a run at it but it’s now in Indiana. I might talk with the owner before he sells it, get some high-res photos to use in a future issue of Legendary America Motors Magazine.

    https://legendaryamericanmotors.com/

    • Rich Truesdell

      Here’s one of my favorites, a 1969 Rambler 440 station wagon, a 290 V-8 car, done with a B-Scheme SC/Rambler treatment. I wish I still had it. I loved taking it to shows as no one had any idea that it was a “tribute.” I had a faux American Motors press release on the car, saying that 100 would be built in addition to 1,512 two-door hardtops. I dated the press release April 1, 1969, April Fools Day. No one ever realized my little joke.

      My first car was a 1965 Rambler American 440H two-door hardtop, a 232 I-6 with a floor-mounted auto shifter. It was kinda cool back in 1972.

      • angliagt

        Rich,

        I love those AMC cars! There’s a guy I know,
        who has a 2door Ambassador.It’s a Charcoal color,with
        a Black vinyl roof,with period mags on it.
        I thought he sold it,but when I talked to him,he told
        me he still had it.You should do an article on it.
        I also bought your magazine,& after reading it,gave
        it to him.I’m hoping he’ll subscribe.

      • Geoff Hale

        That is beautiful! I love it! Thanks for sharing.

  2. BRAKTRCR

    I had two 65 American wagons, one a 220 and one a 330. Loved them. Great cars. They didn’t particularly do anything fantastic, except start and drive. They were reliable and good on gas. Both of mine were 196 cu in 6 bangers, with 3 on the Tree. Always thought a AMC V8 would make them fun sleepers. Always liked the body style.
    Again, they were good cars, just a bit to ho- hum for much of America at that time

  3. Woodie Man

    Sweet lil car.
    I’m with you Scotttie……give me original any day of the week. That said time does tend to diminish originality.
    As for California, after forty years on the Left Coast I can’t imagine buying a car from another part of the country again. In the early (at least for me) internet days, I did it once in the late nineties buying a ’63 LeMans convertible from a guy in Oklahoma sight unseen but with pix that made it look great. (hahah). Arrived on a flatbed in Fontana with four flat tires and worse for the trip!
    Caveat Emptor! Dummy.

  4. JW454

    Very nice styling on this one. Back in the day, if the badges had said “Chevrolet”, they would have sold three or four times the number they did. I think GM “borrowed” a lot from this car when designing their 1966~67 Nova.

  5. Rx7turboII

    Is it me, and I know this is off topic, or am I the only reader getting these Phone locking spam messages only when reading barnfinds posts?? Very annoying! They always say I have been chosen to win a new iPhone 7 or something along those lines. I know that barn finds has advertisements but these literally lock your phone and make you go out of the post and back in in order to get away from it. It is literally only when I read posts from barn finds, never anytime else.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Rx7, become a member, and I don’t think that will happen and you help promote this great site. I had all kinds of weird problems before.

      • Howard A Member

        I think it has something to do with the advertisers, not BF’s directly. Membership eliminated a bunch of that.

    • Woodie Man

      Never had that problem. Try using Tor as a browser..

  6. Howard A Member

    You’ll get a smile out of every Rambler fan out there with this. The thing that continually blows me away, is I had this same car. Ok, it was a basic ’64 American, but 6, automatic, and aside from the fancy seats and console and trim, it was the same car. Yup, another $100 car in the ’70’s. Good city car, used a quart every 100 miles on the highway. My old man had an American wagon, that, are you ready for this, he decided we needed a toilet in the basement, so we dug BY HAND this 4x10x10 hole through the block, me and my brother carried the dirt up the stairs in bushel baskets and loaded them into the wagon. 8 bushel baskets of dirt maxed out the suspension and we drove on the rubber blocks to a field to dump the dirt a mile away. We did that like a hundred times. Talk about slave labor. The Rambler never gave up. This car looks great, and yes, a bad color match on the fender. Some of these colors were tough to match. Great find,,,5g’s??? Wow. Sounds like a super deal.

  7. Squanto

    You need to stop posting AMC cars! A year from now nobody will be able to afford one and you will be ashamed of yourselves! Now please, show us fifty or sixty overpriced 1969 Camaros that look as if they were parked at the base of Mount St. Helens on the afternoon of the event. (The younger kids will have to look that up)

    • GP Member

      Good one, I like it. Just in case AMC price sky rockets, I have a 1965 Classic 550 with 26,000 mi. Keep posting B.F.

    • Howard A Member

      May 18, 1980,,,, KABOOM!

  8. kelly g.

    my best friends grandparents stored their ’64 American at his house, locked up straight six and all. We drug it around the yard with his k5 blazer popping the clutch repeatedly, and it finally broke loose and fired up! Wish they had kept it. We had a blast driving it around the yard for a few days.

  9. Joe

    I am an AMC fan and I am pleased to know that so far no one has said: It’s only a R-a-m-b-l-e-r. They were for many years considered to be a Rodney Dangerfield brand where I grew up in Southern Indiana.

  10. C Carl

    Sweet lookin’ Rambler. I’m a sucker for the straight six and it’s a good color too.
    As a California car guy I’d like to make a black plate observation. In 63 they issued the first black plates and in mid 69 they started the blue plates. Lots of Y and Z series black plates on 69 mustangs. Black truck plates lasted into 71 or 72. I’ll let you do the alphabet math but MET on a 64 doesn’t look right.
    Nice wagon parked at in-n-out.

  11. David

    NEWS FLASH! Not all us Californians live miles from the coast where rust is
    common.

  12. Paul S.

    I had a 1964 440H when I was in college back in the 1970s. Just like this one except the two tone body was a light beige. I even had a different colored right front fender since the one that was on the car when I bought it was rusted through and I found a replacement in a junk yard and when it was repainted it did not quite match the rest of the car. The interior is exactly the same. I still have a set of keys from the car at home.

    • Michael Shook

      Some eyes arenot meant for color matching, as is the case of this beauty. Not only is the rf fender too green, but the door has also fallen short of a true rematch. Too light on the silver, or the wrong silver base, shows the door to be a bit too dark to match the supposed original rear quarter panel color.

      • Michael Shook

        Actually, due to ambient light on this side of car, I’m more convinced that the color fault is not in the front fender, but in the blend in of the door color to the rest of the body. I won’t even bring up interior seat cover mismatching color, ie; near impossible.

  13. Brent Mazur

    Great looking car. The styling was a dramatic improvement over the previous generation.

  14. Scotty Staff

    Auction update: this car sold for $7,050!

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