Dusty Gold: 1963 AMC Rambler Classic 550

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

Dust is such a damaging substance, especially for vehicle finishes. Yet, when a dusty, dirty vehicle shows up for sale it can command more money seemingly because of showing that dust still on it. This may be one of those cases. This 1963 AMC Rambler Classic 550 is wearing 21-years worth of barn dust, which is how long since it’s been driven. It’s listed here on eBay with crazy bidding that has topped $7,000 and the reserve isn’t met! It’s located in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

This car is in amazing condition, but you have to wonder what the break-down’able (I just made that up!) (crickets) parts like hoses, belts, bushings, etc., are like after 54 years, even with hardly any use at all, and no use in the last 21 years. The seller says that even the tires are original on this 31,743-mile car.

1963 was the first year of a redesign for the second-generation Rambler Classic. It was a good enough car to gain Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award in 1963. They were AMC’s first all-new car since 1956 and the 550 was the lowest trim-level, below the 660 and 770.

The seller says that the interior is in mint condition and it sure looks like it is. Could you imagine if a car company offered this interior color today? People would lose their minds! What happened to black, gray, and tan?! zzzzz…

There it is, you assumed that this wouldn’t be a V8 car and it isn’t. This engine sure looks like it has more than 31,743 miles on it to me, like it’s led a hard life in those 31,743 miles, but it runs great, according to the seller. This is AMC’s famous 195.6 cubic-inch inline-six, a tried-and-true power plant with around 125 hp. A 198 hp, 287 cubic-inch V8 was available in mid-1963 and I can’t imagine what the bidding would be on this car if it had that engine. What is the hammer price going to be for this car? Could the bids possibly reach $10,000 for this low-end, dusty Rambler Classic?

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  1. rustylink

    a lot of scratch for what it is at the end of the day – a low end 4dr Rambler. I am thinking that $7K is all the money for this one no matter how original..

  2. nessy

    I do not believe this car is really worth over 7000 and yet, the reserve is still not met. Come on. Sometimes, a seller will put a very high reserve just to see what kind of action he gets, then he has a friend or two bid the car up so it’s looks like it’s worth more than it really is. If you look at the bidders, it seems like only two people are going back and forth with the bidding. Maybe I am wrong, I hope I am but this happens alot on Ebay and it’s not cool. Oh, he could wash the thing first.

  3. DAN


    • Rx7turboII


  4. Howard A Member

    Great find, price,,,wow! You know, that may be faded paint, not dust ( why aren’t the tops of the fenders dusty,) and the engine just doesn’t look like 30K. Maybe. Pretty basic car, IDK, nostalgia, up the ying-yang, actually driving it, well, Scotty could fill us in on that. Not the best. Love the car itself. I’m a total AMC fan, but I always thought, there were nicer cars in 1963 for Car of the Year.( little kickback to M/T from Rambler, perhaps?) ’63 Riviera comes to mind,,,

    • BillyT

      Somebody’s beer belly has cleaned the dust off the fender tops and front apron.

  5. Anthony R in RI

    131,743 miles on this one for sure

  6. edh

    It’s like 7 minutes from my house and I have no desire at that price to look at it.

  7. Dan

    The bidding is over…you have won the car! You get it transported to your house. You drive it around the block. You think “well, that wasn’t very exciting”. You park it, and start noticing everything you have to do to it. Six months later it is up for sale again.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Dan, pretty close and sadly, the process repeats itself. Reason I said, “ask Scotty”, is he test drove a 1960 Rambler, I believe, that underneath, wasn’t much different than this, he said, it was all over the road, funky brakes ( not like the 4 disc on the Subaru) and the road and engine noise were bothersome. And these old cars always seems like you are going up hill.

  8. Jim Mc

    Less than a grand for that 2-dr Olds with the 215 V8 and over $7K for this?

    I like both cars, but the Olds is worth the eight hours to the UP. This Rambler at this price is not worth the hour-fifteen. Nessy might be right, some shill bidding could very well be going on.

  9. Fred w.

    Price doesn’t make sense- nobody likes 4 door Ramblers that much. Shills.

    • Mike Williams

      Fred dared to say it, shill bidding. I remember owning one, I thought it had a rod knocking and pull the pan(big job) to check the bearing. It was ok, turned out to be worn points and the timing went bad causing heavy detonation.

  10. Boss351

    What is going on with the bidding? It is at $7,100 and the reserve is not met.
    Someone must really love that color green or there is friendly bidding on eBay.

    Too much for a base level AMC Rambler Classic. Also, please wash it so we can see if the paint is faded under the dust. Why no dust on the top of the front fenders?

  11. Loco Mikado

    I bought one like this in the mid 70’s for $35.00 after I totaled my ’63 660 Classic with a v8. Bought another one in the early 80’s for $200.00. Prices seemed to have gone up but this verges on crazy money.

  12. Don

    Well Scotty I think the guy must be stone,dable to want that much !

  13. GP Member

    My 1965 Rambler sat for about 30 years and with 25,800 miles on it the engine looked real bad. Them old cork valve cover gaskets started leaking right away and all you had to do was start the car, let it idle for awhile and shut it off. The oil ran down all over. Mostly gravel roads and oil, Didn’t take long to look like crap.

  14. Jerryl

    My great uncle was a rural mailman in southern Indiana and had this car in goldish brown color. He got a new one every year for his old plus $500. It was always covered in dust inside and out in the summer time. Rubber floor no carpet in the 550 which was the cheapest Classic model.

  15. Jamey Flynn

    I have a 1964 660 2dr with the 287. It’s light blue. It runs great has a little over 70k on it. I didn’t pay anything close to that for it. Its in better shape or at least as good as this and a 2dr. Your right about how it’s stops. I’m putting disc breaks on it. The thing is you have to like AMC to like these cars. I really only like up 1970 after that not so much. There were some but not many that caught my eye. Really you don’t see these cars no more. I wanted something different. I’ve had a lot of muscle cars and so does everyone else. You just don’t see the old amc and I like people asking what it is. They were great date cars because the seats laid flat with the back. None of the other cars did that.

    • Loco Mikado

      Jamey Flynn, first of all if the timing chain and gears are original and have not been replaced, you should have done that yesterday. It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when they break. Yours is in the danger zone. The V8 is an interference engine and when the timing chain goes it takes a lot of other things with it. Only on 60-66 V8’s because of nylon than steel. Also the nylon gears when they go put all kinds of little bits of plastic through the engine that plug up your oil control rings, If I had replaced mine before they went out I could have saved myself $400.00 in 1972 money($2,400-2500. today)getting the engine rebuilt afterwards. There would have been no reason to do so if the valve train hadn’t been hammered and oil rings had not been plugged up with nylon from the timing chain and gear failure.

      As far as the brakes I used semi metallic linings that worked great. Too good I guess as I got rear ended 3 times in the car, and also got backed into twice when I was stopped behind the other vehicle. 7 accidents in 9 years and non of them were my fault.

      BTW if you are looking for either air shocks or heavier duty that what is listed ’55-57 Chevrolet rear shocks interchange nicely. Found out this in ’70 by looking at the printed interchange books which I believe have gone the way of the dinosaurs.

  16. Bruce Fischer

    I wonder how many people will REALLY come up with that $$ for this car.Bruce.

  17. John

    Ad says not driven in many years. But, looks like new wires and cap. Looks like new oil filter. Someone’s been working on it. Fenders’ dust probably wiped off by mechanic who was under the hood.
    I watch for these. I’m a fan of them. Have had a few. Have one now. They don’t bring that much money.
    Presume, it went 100,000 miles not acknowledged.
    Brakes were never very good.

  18. jaymes

    too many doors, the fake dirt makes people go crazy, better things to spent that much on imo

  19. William Pigford

    I inherited the family car and went to college in a 63 660. It was a V8, a 327, not a 287. I thought the 327 was the only V8 available in 63.

  20. Loco Mikado

    Yours had to be a 287, they look the same except the 287 was blue and the 327 was red. When the 63’s first came out the Classic was 6 cyl only, you could only get the V8 in the Ambassador. The dealers were complaining about no V8 for the Classic so the 287 V8 was a 63 1\2 year option. Why a 287 V8? The only difference between the Classic and the higher priced Ambassador was trim level and the 327 V8 option. To not dilute the Ambassador line they came up with the smaller 287 V8 for the Classic. Before ’62 and after ’64 the Ambassador was a bigger car. ’62, ’63 and 64 are the only years that both the Classic and Ambassador were on the same size body, only trim levels and the 327 V8 were the difference.

  21. Pig Man

    You learn something every day. We always thought is was a 327 because that was the only V8 listed in the owner’s manual. I guess now you’re gonna tell me Santa Claus isn’t real. Spoiler! It was pretty fast, and the reclining seats were great!

    • Loco Mikado

      Found this today

      • Loco Mikado

        And This

  22. Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Staff

    Auction update: this car was bid up to $7,200 but it was a no-sale! Whoa..

    • John

      Fortune saved the high bidder from a bad decision!

  23. John

    I suppose I need to run out and get an alarm installed on my 63 Classic 770. I had no idea it went up over 250% in value in the 2 years I’ve had it. If I keep it another 10 years, with a compounded rate of growth, it’ll be worth about what my house will be worth. And. mine is much nicer. Is the sky the limit?

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