Mid-Mod Classic! 1964 AMC Rambler Classic 770

In 1961, Richard Teague became principal designer at American Motors. He became a Vice-President in 1964 and, for a little while, things began to look up… After some time at General Motors, in the early ’50’s, Teague signed on as a stylist for the difficult, waning years at Packard. As that company disappeared, he moved to Chrysler, along with many of his fellow designers. In 1959, he joined American Motors Corporation. As a result of his experiences, he was known in the industry for his ability to do a lot with a little; by subtly reworking existing pieces, reducing the overall number of components, simplifying assemblies, massaging sheet metal to work with last-year’s chassis or using the same components on multiple models, he was able to set a high mark for American Motors Corporation. As a testimonial, AMC’s Classic line was chosen as Motor Trend’s Car of the Year in 1963 for its innovation in design, technology and manufacturing. In 1964, a car carrying the successes and innovations from 1963 was born. Here is an incredible example, found in this listing here on eBay from West Milford, New Jersey.

The two-door hardtop was added to the Classic line in ’64. Clean, clean, clean styling makes this a timeless design and oh! the glass! We don’t need no stinkin’ rear-view cameras! And the hardtop! We don’t need no stinkin’ B-Pillar! Is there anything so easily and reliably happy-making as riding in a hardtop on a summer night with all the windows down?

A goodly amount of chrome and stainless trim wrap all the way around the Classic’s streamlined body. In addition to the trim all being present and apparently undamaged, the original paint is simply awaiting some elbow grease! Check it out: there is no rust to be seen. In fact, the owner claims that there is no rust whatsoever on this car, and to look at these pictures, not hard to believe. Actually, quite easy to believe, given that the use of more galvanized steel in the ’60’s, along with AMC’s “Deep Dip” protective bath (which they had developed in 1958), has resulted in a remarkable stock of rust-free, mid-century American Motors cars. I would love to be the guy who hits that super straight, un-pitted bumper with a bottle of chrome polish!

Look at that giant door! As legend has it, the two-doors were not really seen as the sort of car that an AMC buyer would be interested in, these shoppers being traditionally thought of as frugal, level-headed, browline-wearing coupon-clippers. Regardless, and with wild abandon, the Rambler 770 design team recklessly added a clock, a padded dash and visors, full wheel covers, and foam seats as standard equipment. You add these extravagances to lots of nice chrome and stainless detailing in the interior and you’ve got yourself a very handsome ride.

Clues to finding this motor sitting inside are found in the subtle V-8 emblems on the front fender panels, and yes, here’s the 287 cubic inch, 198 BHP V-8; a small-bore, 2-barrel carburetor version of their miraculous old cast-iron 327 V-8, which was still offered in the up-line Ambassador.  Out behind this engine is the wonderfully named Flash-O-Matic, 3-speed, column-shift, automatic transmission, followed up by…hold on to your history books…a torque-tube driveshaft! Another groovy feature is what AMC called “Tri-Poised Power”, which was said to cradle the engine at three points, arranged around the assembly’s center of gravity, providing freedom from vibration and a reduction in noise. On this car, steering and brakes (seller says) are both power-assisted, so that helps smooth the roll, too. All of this is probably why the seller boasts that it “drives like a dream”! The engine bay features a new aluminum radiator and what appears to be new hoses, belts and alternator. Apparently, a tried and true way to win a little gas money (or go for pinks if you’re really confident) is challenge an un-American Motors person to find the dipstick…

Currently, this Buy-It-Now listing is being watched by 43 sets of eyes and garnering an average of 9 views per hour. That’s a lot of eyeballs! There are many devoted AMC lovers out there and really, for any classic and especially a super-clean Rambler Classic that you can drive home, the $7,300 asking price is mighty attractive!

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Comments

  1. elrod

    Nice sales pitch! Never knew I secretly wanted an AMC! No B pillar look is indeed stylish. Still giggling at the word “goodly” :)

    • Llewellyn Keller

      I bought a used ’67 Classic 770 wagon about 1975 for $600. It had an ugly 2 tone green on green paint job, but was a very good car. Roomy, reliable, and fast – with a V8 engine. I don’t recall what the cubic inch displacement, or the HP was, if I ever new, but it was quick, and handled well compared to the other junker boats of the period that I had owned. The Rambler was comparatively compact and light in weight. Marginally better mileage too – maybe 14 MPG compared to 12 MPG for the other boats. I sold it without a thought – Ramblers wrre not fashionable – but missed it later.

  2. SAM61

    Very nice, comprehensive writeup! Less is more, I’m sold…just need the 💰

    Thourough detailing, preserve and enjoy!

    • Llew Keller

      About 1975, I had s ’64 770 wagon with the small V8. It was surprisingly quick- I assume because the car was light. It seemed compact compared to the Detroit behemoths of that era, even the mid-sized cars from GM and Ford. And it was roomy – full 6 passengers plus a lot of storage behind the back seat. IIRC, I paid $500 for it. Nice car.

  3. Lounge

    Love that speedometer!

    Officer: Do you know how fast you were going?
    Me: …. mmmmm about 70-somethin’

    • Llewellyn Keller

      I bought a used ’67 Classic 770 wagon about 1975 for $600. It had an ugly 2 tone green on green paint job, but was a very good car. Roomy, reliable, and fast – with a V8 engine. I don’t recall what the cubic inch displacement, or the HP was, if I ever new, but it was quick, and handled well compared to the other junker boats of the period that I had owned. The Rambler was comparatively compact and light in weight. Marginally better mileage too – maybe 14 MPG compared to 12 MPG for the other boats. I sold it without a thought – Ramblers wrre not fashionable – but missed it later.

    • Llewellyn Keller

      No – the Rambler Speedos dropped the zero, so you could tell the Officer, I was going “7 something.”

  4. David Frank David Frank Member

    Fun write up, informative too! It makes it difficult to feel “unAmerican”, but what’s “browline-wearing?” This is going to be a great car for the new owner!

    • Karl

      Browlines are those Mad Men kind of glasses that everybody was wearing in ’64! Kinda nerdy looking back from here, although popular again…anyway, the top part, above the glass is heavier than the other sides…so looks like a brow. Maybe picture Malcolm X?

  5. BOP-Owner Member

    Absolutely love it!

  6. Richard Fortney

    dipstick, oil fill too, loved this comment about AMC’s

  7. Luke Fitzgerald

    No money, if it’s as good as claimed

  8. MRE2ME

    I have to chime in. That was an inspiring Write-Up. That roofline reminds me of the American 2 doors. I like.

  9. Loco Mikado

    I would love to own this car having 5 ’63-’66 Ramblers over the years. That said my first piece of advice to any new owner of a ’63-’66 Rambler with a V8 is to change the timing chain and gears. They are a weak point of an otherwise very dependable and long lived engine. I had mine go in my first ’63 at 86,000 miles and it bent all 16 pushrods.The pushrods and timing chain were replaced and all seemed to be well. But oil consumption and blowby steadily got worse as when the plastic parts of the failed timing chain and gears plugged up the rings. I had the engine rebuilt with new rings, rod & main bearings, cam bearings and a valve grind. The engine required no boring or oversize rings, the same cam was used, the oil pump rebuilt and the engine was thoroughly flushed. It soldiered on until I totaled the car in an accident at 144,000 miles. The Flash-O-Matic transmission was still working good having never been serviced or rebuilt.

    The reason the American you referred to is so similar is they used a lot of the larger Ramblers body stampings.

  10. Jamey Flynn

    I have a 64 Classic 660. I love the car. The 287 runs good. I put a newer intake on it after I Fab up a couple of 1/2 aluminum plates and welded them to 2nd generation V8 intake ( 290-402) after modifing it and put a 4 barrel carb on it. I like the all metal dash myself but each to their own. I’m going to put a disc brakes on it. I would have put a picture on here but I couldn’t figure out how

  11. Michael Jones

    My first car was a 1964 Rambler Classic with a 258 straight 6 and a column shift 3speed automatic.I loved that 50.00 car and haved been an avid AMC guy ever since.It was red on red,with the amazing split bench seats that folded all the way down,a prize for a make out crazy 16 year old. I am now looking for a 1960-1968 Classic,Nash Rambler,or an Ambassador Station wagon to customize in a way that I hope will be 1 of a kind… lifted onto a Dodge Ram 4×4 1500 chassis with a 5.7 lite Cummins diesel engine.I want to build a tow ready, backwoods beauty that will also go well on the highway and catch the eye of everyone.

  12. Jochim Stroesner

    Ramblers had a spotty reputation in Canada as a last choice .Urban legend has it that they used Ford ,GM or Chrysler factory seconds parts.The reputation was kind of undeserved also and they were the kind of cars that “Aunt B” drove even though she loved her Studebaker.

  13. dr fine

    The doors on the American were supposed to fit the Classic. But I’ve heard that the late fifties “deep dip rustproofing” was a propaganda campaign, and Ramblers continued to rust too easily until the new bodies were introduced.

    • Rambler Time

      Amc car bodies WERE fully dipped in rust proofing solution up to the roof, right up to the last 1988 amc eagles. From 1980 on they had an extra system calked Ziebart factory rust protection where they had additional processes in prohibit and reduce rust. This included galavanized metal in all body panels. Fyi

  14. Gerry in Ohio

    In the spring of 1964, when I was sixteen, my mother purchased a new Classic 660 hardtop from Harry and Carl Rambler in Mariemont, Ohio. It had a dark blue bottom, white top, with dealer installed under dash air. It was a tight, wonderful, comfortable car (the seats front and rear had the best padding of any car I’d ever been in up to that time, and the fronts reclined). Within a few months, the dealer had to replace one valve as the 287 had developed a miss, but after that the car was trouble free. I drove it to college in the early 1970’s for two years after my military discharge. Sadly, it was hit broadside by a truck and totaled with about 130,000 miles in the fall of 1972. The styling is elegant and timeless. If I didn’t have too many cars already, this one would be at the top of my list.

  15. chad Member

    had a 440 American convert. (’64?) w/a silent/vibration free straight 6.
    A big square box –
    this 1 has it all over the other for style…

  16. Marc Montoni

    I had a yellow 64 Classic hardtop with 287/AT back in the early 80’s. I was a broke college student and it went the way of all metal in ’83-ish.

    I recently acquired another one. I’d been searching for a V8/Twin Stick version of this car for about twenty years, and finally found one.

  17. Russ B.

    I bought this car. Luv AMC. Russ.

    • Karl Derrah Karl Member

      Awesome, Russ! Congratulations and many happy returns!

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