Nearly Road Ready: 1968 AMC Rebel SST

The 1968 model year was the most successful for the Rebel SST Hardtop, with 9,876 cars rolling off the production line. Due to their susceptibility to rust, a great many of those cars have since disappeared from our roads, but this one could return to the roads in the right hands. Located in Osteen, Florida, it is listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN price of $4,000 for the Rebel, but there is the option to submit an offer.

Like so many cars of this era, rust was the greatest enemy of the Rebel. However, this particular example has not suffered as badly as most. The worst of it seems to be confined to the passenger side quarter panel and the trunk floor on the same side, along with some in the driver’s floor. The rest of the car looks quite clean, with just the occasional ding and dent to be attended to. It appears that all of the exterior trim is present, including those cool SST bullet inserts on the quarter panels.

As the owner points out, the majority of the SSTs from this year were fitted with the 290 engine, but this one sports the 343ci V8, which delivers 235hp. Backing this is an automatic transmission, while the car also features power steering and power drum brakes. The good news here is that not only does the SST start and run, but the owner feels that with a carburetor rebuild and a bit of tuning, this would be a driver. The owner also found some receipts in the glove box that indicate that the engine was removed at some point in the early 2000s and was treated to new gaskets. The only bad news is that the car doesn’t come with the wheels that are on it in these photos, but it will be supplied with some rollers.

The interior is going to be another place where restoration is required, but it actually isn’t as bad as it looks at first glance. I agree with the owner that the door trims look quite good, as does the dash and the vast majority of the plastic trim throughout the car. However, your shopping list is going to include seat covers, a headliner, carpet, and a dash pad. Once restored, it should look quite nice in there.

Rust issues have certainly culled SST numbers over the years, but even with these decreased numbers, the SST still remains a pretty affordable classic. One of the greatest criticisms leveled against the SST Hardtop when new was that the styling was considered bland when compared to its competition. That is a bit unfair, as the styling is really quite simple and clean, and I think that it has aged quite well. You can buy a really good example fitted with the 343 engine for around the $17,000 mark, and that makes the asking price for this particular car seem quite reasonable for a project.

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Comments

  1. Fordguy1972

    A pretty good car to start with and if the rust is only confined to the areas mentioned, not a bad shell overall. I like the styling; it’s a simple and clean design. While the 343 is lacking a little in the hp department, I’m sure you could improve on that if you were so inclined. Freshening up the interior will be fairly costly but for the price being asked, there’s enough room left where you shouldn’t be upside down when you’re done. If the new owner can do a lot of the work himself, it really is a bargain.

    A fairly scarce car, it should stand out in a sea of Mustangs and Chevelles. Good luck to the new owner.

    13
    • Blyndgesser

      A 401 would fit perfectly.

  2. Jack M.

    Maybe if you dropped the body shell over that zero turn lawnmower you would have something really unique!

  3. Duaney Member

    Wow, never seen rust like that in a western Rebel. I don’t think these cars were at all “susceptible” to rust, it’s just that this car was in the rust belt where everything rusts away fast.

    • That AMC Guy

      Indeed. A prospective buyer will want to carefully check out the underside. I’ve seen AMC cars that didn’t look too bad up top but underneath the unibody “frame” rails were completely rotted out. Also on these the troughs underneath the front fenders tend to rust out.

      1968 was the first year for AMC’s paddle-style door handles on Rebels and Ambassadors. Also while 1967 Rebels were still badged as Ramblers, the name was dropped for 1968 in the US and (I think) Canada.

  4. Troy s

    Looks pretty cool actually, a lot of fastbacks in ’68 and racy lines from Dodge/Plymouth, that’s a tough act to follow. Yet the simplicity of the design here would make for one tough looking street machine. They can keep the rims.

  5. Graham Line

    Higher compression, headers, slightly bigger carb and electronic tuning will wake up the 343. A little work on the heads would not hurt. Think of it as an AMC Road Runner.

    But the interior and rust are going to be a lot of work.

  6. stillrunners

    Not sure if the rust free one here locally is still in the wrecking yard….sadly they put another car on top….most likely keeping it covered some what.

  7. Saul

    That sort of rust, most confined to the passenger side, is usually the result of the drive wheel doing all the work on icy, salt covered roads. I’ve seen the rear bumpers of cars rusted from the inside because of blown-in corrosive brine. Without thorough washing after every winter season, any old car will lose its floors, quarters and inner fenders. The trunk may also be suffering from a bad seal around the rear window. Adhesives and clips back then ain’t what they are today!

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