Cheap Classic: 1968 AMC Ambassador DPL

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I’ll be honest; after looking this car over I was amazed at the price you could obtain it for. Listed here on eBay for a buy it now of only $1,400 but you could try an even lower offer, as bidding is at $500 with a reserve. This 1968 AMC Ambassador DPL may not be perfect, but it sure isn’t bad! I have a thing for this vintage Ambassador due to many memories of my Grandfather having one, although his wasn’t as pretty a color. This one is located in Abington, Massachusetts, but you wouldn’t know that from looking at it; it’s been a southern car except for 10 years in storage up North.

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It’s apparent that a cat shared the storage with the DPL at some point. A piece of trivia: this was the first use of the iconic AMC paddle type door handle (copied shamelessly by British Leyland later on).

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Yes, those really are largely rust free rocker panels on a 60’s AMC product. Miracles do happen! Did you know that the DPL stood for “Diplomat?” Interesting considering that GM’s Opel Division used that as a nameplate. Maybe that’s why AMC introduced the SST trim level above the DPL for 1968.

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As you can see, AMC was pretty aggressive with its advertising at the time. Of course, no one actually comparison shopped a DPL with a Rolls Royce, but you’ll notice they worked in derogatory references to the Ford Galaxie and Chevrolet Impala in the same ad.

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The interior is where this car shows why the price is what it is. The dash and steering wheel really need some help. But remember, it’s only $1,400 (or less)! It does have air conditioning, but it’s not currently installed. More trivia–this is one of 9,362 DPL sedans produced in 1968.

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This is the wonderful AMC 6-cylinder that stayed in production for so long, in this case in 232 cubic inch form. Although I’m really leery of that battery cable routing and glass fuel filter location (!) as a while I’m pretty happy with what I see under here. I think I could find the budget for a re-routed version of each! Since the ad doesn’t claim that the car will start and run now, I’m guessing there will be some clean out work needed, although what look like recently replaced components give me some hope that apart from a good fuel system purge it might fire right up! I’m sure the brakes will need some work as well, but again, components look pretty recent, and parts are available if you need them. Do you think you’d want to drive this great DPL? I would!

 

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Imagine the poor schmuck, working as a night watchman at the cranberry marsh for 25 years, finally buys an AMC Ambassador “Diplomat”. (whistles, like the Pontiac “Executive”) Truth be known, who ever ordered this “Diplomat” was still pretty frugal, and went with the 6. Be a big car (and 6 passengers) for a 6 to lug around. And it has vacuum wipers, ( might want to be ready for that) and we all know what happens to those when the motor is floored ( which is where this gas pedal would be all the time) Nothing fancy to see here folks, just a good ol’ Rambler.

  2. angliagt

    I could think of a lot worse ways to spend $1400 (or less).

  3. RicK

    My ’71 Gremlin came with vacuum wipers (same as a ’57 Lincoln I had, but that’s another story) anyhow they were great except for yes they did quit when you mashed down the throttle foot feet (which was a frequent annoyance given all the rainfall here in NW Washington State). Old Ramblers still aren’t worth much, don’t know why that is, they’re not bad cars and this one looks to be in pretty decent shape considering its almost 50 years old. The color on this one even though apparently original looks suspiciously similar to the Chestnut Red color found on early 60s FoMoCo products

  4. Glen

    I’m curious as to why there isn’t a shot of the front grill.

  5. PaulieB

    Also for sale on craigslist.. with a grille shot.

    https://nh.craigslist.org/cto/5828901532.html

    • Glen

      thanks

  6. Jubjub

    This would be a truly decent and cool driver with a Jeep 4.0 engine and O/D trans swapped in.

  7. Tom Driscoll

    I owned a ’68 ambassador, same color and absolutely loved that car. Mine was the SST, it had a 343, posi rear end, tilt wheel, ac, etc Drove great, super comfortable, and reasonably quick. A couple cool things about these cars, you could take the headrests off and recline the front seats so they would be flush with the rear seat creating a big comfy bed. Sometimes I would drive around town like that (high school), bad idea. The SST also had large daytime running lights inboard in the front grill…way ahead of their time!

  8. Alan (Michigan)

    Has to rank high among cars having the strangest dashboards.

  9. JohnJ

    This car seems to be sitting too low. I always liked the Ambassador.

  10. Brian S.

    Just an update on this car. I own it! From what I understand, it was sold to someone in NY, then abandoned on a city street where the NY police had it removed. It looks like someone started working on it, but never finished and just left it. It then showed up on an auction site being auctioned off by the NY police. I ended up getting it for $250! I also had to pay about $200 in fees (bidding, storage, etc), but that’s still under $500! The body is in pretty good shape with drive quality paint. The rockers, fenders, quarters, trunk, etc. are all rock solid. I pulled the carpet and found the front floors are rotted, but I’m taking care of that. The interior is rough. I’ve picked up a used set of seats that should look a lot better than what was there. I got the engine running, but not sure if I’m keeping it a 6 or swapping in a V8 (an AMC V8!). I’m in the process of replacing the front suspension and have already swapped the front drums to discs. I’m hoping it will be back upon the road soon. I’m going to try to attach a picture so you can see how it looks at this moment. Thanks for a great site!

    Like 1

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