Lux-Economy 1966 Rambler American 440 Convertible

“Well there’s something I hadn’t thought of.” This went through my head when I saw the ad for this 1966 Rambler American 440, another good catch by tipster TJ. It’s available here on eBay for a starting bid of $10,000 or as a straight-up buy at $21K. There’s more than a week to go in the auction, which closes next Monday at 8am. If you win, be prepared to find your way to Rochester, NY to collect the car. Oh, one more thing: it’s a convertible!

The Rambler American line ran from 1958-1969, with the 1966 being part of the last of three generations. Especially in the early days, the model lineup was known for being economical to purchase and thrifty to run. Rambler frequently won the Mobil Economy Run, as in the 1966 3130-mile test going from Los Angeles to Boston. This 440 is equipped with a 199-CID 6-cylinder, and you’ll shift gears on the column. That might prompt you to think this a lightly optioned car. You’d be mistaken. The car has a range of options and accessories including a push-button radio, remote driver’s mirror, wire wheel covers, a compass, vanity mirror on the passenger’s side, and more, including various bits of exterior chrome trim. Mechanical upgrades include power steering and electric wipers. The seller offers a long list of such items in his ad, if you’re interested in getting the whole picture.

What this car also has is ownership provenance. The current owner has had the car for 31 years, and he restored it in 1992, then took it to one of the big meets, the AMC Nationals, where it won second in its class. (He unfortunately doesn’t say what that class was, though the plaque is pictured.) It has subsequently been driven a few hundred miles a year. The odo is inaccurate, but the car has about 45,000 miles on the clock. He gives a full account of the interior, exterior, and mechanical restoration, which was extensive. What’s not mentioned is bodywork, aside from that the color was changed from Apollo Yellow to Antigua Red. Photos show that there is no trace of the original color anywhere, and the condition as pictured backs up the seller’s information about the car’s condition. The one flaw noted is that the power steering is leaking ever-so-slightly.

What’s not to like? If you jump in at, let’s just say, $15,000, you’re going to get a car that is fit for thousands more miles and smiles, and that it would cost double that or more to put as right as this one is. So whether you show it, cruise it, or just use it as a fun extra car, you’re going to be rewarded for your acuity in picking up a beloved piece of American, and “American,” automotive history.

Comments

  1. That AMC guy

    Beautiful car! Unfortunately these were not very well appreciated by the buying and driving public when they were new.

    I guess the original owner liked to row his or her own gears and wanted maximum fuel economy with the base engine. Note that first gear is not synchronized on these. Most popular setup would have been the 232 six with Flash-O-Matic transmission.

    As you say this car is pretty well equipped for its time, even has the optional electric windshield wipers! Quite rare. Also very rare to see the hood emblem in place and in good shape. Most of these cars lost the emblem early on. Seeing the overall condition despite being from Rochester NY this car obviously has not been driven in winter.

    Like 8
  2. Troy

    I like it, my concern would be parts available if something broke

    Like 1
    • DON

      That’s true of any old car , especially low production models

  3. Bob19116

    I had a red 1964 Rambler American convertible from 1979 to around 2000. It had the older reliable Nash designed 196 CID OHV engine, auto trans and vacuum wipers, no power steering or brakes. Turning was multiple arm over arm movements. I read that the all new AMC 199/ 232 engine block was a couple inches longer so the 1966-1969 Americans had a slight front extension. You can see even with the longer engine compartment that the engine has about 1 inch of clearance at the firewall which is fine. A lot better than when years later the GM wankel engine was shelved and AMC had to put their straight 6 engine in the short front end Pacer by tunneling the fire wall back for the back 2 cylinders. This newer six with 7 main bearings was also a great engine made in several displacements from 199 to 232 to 258 and finally as the Jeep 4.2L used for many years through the 1990s after Chrysler bought AMC-Jeep in 1987.

    Like 4
    • Howard A Member

      The 2.5 4 cylinder in my Jeep, I believe, is an offshoot of the AMC 6 cylinder too, minus 2 cylinders. When I got a thermostat, it said “application: AMC/Jeep, 4/6 cylinder, 1967-1995”. I don’t mean to boast, it’s a gutless thing, but was used in countless applications, like Jeep mail dispatchers and proven a tough motor, I hope..

  4. JT Member

    Great car, I hope it finds a good home.

    Like 5
  5. Greg Staisiunas Member

    Nice.

  6. Chuck Dickinson

    The major downfall of this car is the hideous interior. It’s reminiscent of the seatcovers which used to adorn nearly every car in the late 40s/early 50s. Nowhere close to original, which is a real shame as it lets this car down greatly.

    Like 1
    • Bob19116

      I agree that the seats fall far short of the trendy designs in most of the 3rd gen Rambler American convertibles. My red 1964 had really cool youthful red and white vinyl upholstery and matching door panels.

  7. Kenneth L Putney

    Had the 2dr with a 232/ auto. Could not kill the engine. When I sold it to a neighbor they said it was the best running car they ever had with great gas mileage.

    Like 2
  8. CJM

    Starting bid exceeds the market value, BIN price is a pipe dream! And don’t get me wrong I love Ramblers but let’s be real.

  9. bone

    “restored ” in 1991-1992 but it was yellow ,now red , the black interior was replaced with awful brown and red and what I hope are only seat covers .thats not what I call restored !
    And on a nit picky bit, the 199 air cleaner should be black

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