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Cheap Patina: 1963 AMC Rambler American

63 Rambler convertible 1

Rich in patina, and in running shape, we certainly like the looks of this Rambler American. This American made short wheel base convertible could be a very fun and interesting project. We think it would be an excellent preservation with an engine swap with some period correct details to give it a 1960’s hot rod appearance. Or it would be a good restoration vehicle, or even a fun to play with car at the asking price of $2,950. Find it here on craigslist out of Atlanta, Georgia.

63 amc rambler convertible 3

The interior on this Rambler is a little rough, but it does run and drive. The dash looks to be in fine shape and the rest of the interior looks to need a total restoration. The body of this Rambler looks straight, but it is obvious there is surface rust present. The exterior trim is not currently on the car, but the seller has mentioned some items are off of the car, but included with it.  The only part of the body that looks concerning is the lower front valence of the car. It looks a little shabby, but it isn’t exactly clear in the photos. This Rambler features a 195 cubic inch inline 6 cylinder with an automatic transmission. We think this Rambler would be fantastic with a stick shift V8 combination, and some vintage style mag wheels.

63 amc rambler convertible 2

The mind wanders with all the possibilities for this Rambler American. The price is just right, and the condition isn’t deplorable. If you bought it, you could drive it home! What a deal.  We really like the styling of this American resembling that of a Ford Mk1 Cortina, but a little bigger all the way around. Cheap, stylish, and convertible we just struggle to come up with reasons to not bring this home. What would you do with this American? Restore, rat rod, Daily drive? The options seem limitless!


  1. Midwest Jeff

    Swap out the front seats with anything that fits from the local salvage yard. Place original seats in storage. Drive…and smile!

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  2. 68custom

    I love this car, would be nice to slap a 343 or a 390 in there restore the interior and go cruising! disc brakes as well.

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    • Rich Truesdell

      @68custom, great that you didn’t suggest dropping in a small-block Chevy. AMC V-8s are plentiful and cheap with many go-fast parts available.

      While I prefer the 1964-1969 Americans and Rogues, I’d invest some sweat equity to prep the body for a $1,000 Maaco paint job in a color I liked that was close to a color AMC offered in period, then work on the interior.

      Above is the upside potential of the 1961-1963 Rambler Americans with their “bread box” styling, a restored 1963 station wagon in red (probably would be a good color for this ragtop).

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      • 68custom

        I love SBC’s but nothing wrong with AMC motors!

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  3. Eric Dashman

    A modern v6 and automatic should be fine (get one out of an Astrovan or other GM), some supension upgrades, disk brakes, and A/C.

    While the body does look pretty good, despite the ‘patina’, I’m guessing that the top and its mechanism are in dire need.

    I don’t see any great value in keeping this original. As with all AMC cars of that vintage, there’s a certain ‘je ne sais pas de quoi’ to their appearance. In fact, that would seem to be Nash Rambler’s/AMC’s stock in trade (Metropolitan, Pacer, Gremlin, AMX, what am I leaving out?).

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      Us AMC’ers care very much about originality, like any othe fans of a make. Who wants a bastardized car with the wrong makes engine in it?
      Not many and your resale price will go down.

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      • Eric Dashman

        Wasn’t thinking about reselling. Every time I see “Oceans 11” (the new one) with Brad Pitt driving that Falcon convertible, I want something like it and this Nash Rambler convertible fits the bill perfectly. Not something you see every day.

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    Nothing wrong with the original 6 cylinder engine. Too much work modifying for an AMC V8. Not needed here. The factory put it there for a reason. Freshen it up by resealing it. I would doubt that the bottom end would need a thing and wouldn’t touch it. The men at AMC built these to last and were a good honest car. I would do a valve job in compliance with cheap no lead fuel. Lastly I would followup and use a quality diesel engine oil 5W40 or 15W40 as I do in all my vehicles because of the anti wear capability and that includes the wife’s 2015 (Don’t get me started on oil. Just to say I won’t let the manufacturer or the government tell me what type of oil to run in it 0W20 = a joke)

    There isn’t a seat in the world made for another car that would adapt and look normal in this old tub. These recline all the way back to make a bed. Sort of thing one expects to see in a Nash or Rambler. They could be pulled and recovered in OEM material or something close. Here local I could get the whole interior done with door panels and carpet for around $800. or less by a skilled Amishman. He could replace the top and install it for about $600 too.

    Also you will notice the console between the front seats with column shift with the snazzy aluminum trim. Sporty!

    As with any project there will always need to be an exit strategy. Whether you will NEVER sell it your family will because you won’t be able to shift it in overdrive and cruise on into heaven. So taking a running car and pulling the motor and installing a GM ughhh! V6 making it not run until you figure it out if ever doesn’t make the most sense. When you do you have just another modified car and the value will take a hit as mentioned. The only way maybe it wouldn’t is have a famous builder build the car like Chip Foose if you can convince someone to get it on Overhaulin. Or just write a check. Personally I wouldn’t want to spend $150K+ to find out. Just put the GM V6 in a Nova.

    Lastly this is a convertible. The body looks great. Look it over good. These are a unibody. They rust where you cannot see usually in the front frame rails and along the rockers. As long as it is as good as it appears the sky is the limit for fun and reliability.

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    • Loco Mikado

      My thoughts would be to get a newer 258 6 or better yet a 4.0 and put in it. The listing doesn’t say what engine is in it but it is most likely the 90hp flathead 6. Even if it is the OHV version(both flathead and OHV have the same displacement as the OHV engine is a converted flathead which first came out in 1930’s) The totally new 6 that AMC came out with in ’64 is a much better engine by far. It has 7 main bearings and lasted in one form or the other until 2006, 42 years. The low end torque of the newer 6’s would definitely leave the smell of burning rubber. This car is also a cleverly redesigned 1950 Rambler which was brought back as the 1958 Rambler American then redigned again for ’61. AMC got 13 years out of basically the same car which Studebaker did also as the same frame and basic body is used them from ’53-’66. The last generation American came out in ’64 and was based heavily in the ’63 Classic. If it were mine I would try and find a 3 speed overdrive transmission to install behind my newer 6. Then i would try and find a Twin Stick console which is a floor shift console with 2 shift levers, one the gear shift and one for the overdrive. Picture above of what the interior done and twin stick would look like. With the engine and transmission combo as stated above one could have a quick car and a car with good economy(25-30mpg) in a reliable little package. Now all I have to do is win the lottery.

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  5. Rick

    I’d restore it and make it over to resemble the one driven in the TV series “Third Rock from the Sun”

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    • Howard A Member

      Hi Rick, that’s the 1st thing I thought. That show was hilarious.

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  6. bruce estus

    bruce estus. I own a rambler america 440 h ok. its a two door hardtop dark green and white top. like the big streeding wheel and those nice big bucket seats ok too. it has a 3 speed auto ok and a console looks like a mustang one they used a lot of other cars stuff ok. einjoy the ride and that nice vent side widows ok. thats it.

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  7. Steven C

    Couple of sheepy seat covers and i would rock it as is.

    Like 1
  8. stillrunners

    Nice price on a convertible in pretty good shape – we’ve had these in our family…..goood little runners. Like and buy !

    Like 1

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