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Patriotic Muscle Car: 1970 AMC Rebel Machine

As an independent, American Motors chose its battles carefully, especially when it came to performance cars. A case in point is the 1970 Machine, a one-year-only version of the mid-size Rebel. Production numbers were low and a little more than half of them are thought to have had white paint with the same red and blue graphics that are on the seller’s car. This restored example has been used sparingly since its rebirth and is available through a dealer in Allen, Texas. The current bid is $50,300 here on eBay and the reserve is still waiting to be cracked.

AMC designers wanted to make a statement with “The Machine” and that’s probably an understatement. The cars all had a 390 cubic inch V8 that produced 340 hp, a slight uptick from that of the 2-seat AMX of that same model year. A Borg-Warner 4-speed manual or an automatic were the two transmission choices. According to the 1970 Rebel Machine Registry, only 2,326 Machines were assembled although other sources believe that to be slightly optimistic. We see these cars pop up from time to time here on Barn Finds, but they’re usually at the project or “save me” stage.

We’re told that this vehicle has only had 1,500 miles added to the odometer when it was cosmetically restored a decade ago. The engine was treated to a rebuild less than 1,000 miles back and an upgraded camshaft was added to the mix, so it’s likely a bit peppier than it would have been new. Throw in a rebuild of the rear end and clutch and The Machine should be ready for anything you want to throw at it. The seller believes this car to be numbers matching, but that’s not a guarantee.

The interior is what came from the factory, so it was not refreshed with the rest of the car. And judging by how well it presents, that would have been time and money wasted. The muscle car comes with a clear title from California but is now located in Texas, so there’s probably a story behind why that is. If you like muscle cars that are different than the rest of the pack (aka a Chevelle SS 396 clone), why not get yourself a Machine – if you can find one as nice as this one?


  1. Retiredstig Member

    Someone has to say it “There is no such thing as a ‘numbers matching’ AMC”! Come on Russ, you should know this.

    Like 10
    • AMC Retiree

      Maybe the owner should check the “numbers” to see if they are “matching” LOL

      Like 5
  2. Driveinstile Member

    This looks nice. I always thought that these were a great alternative to a Chevelle or 442. Someone out a lot of work into this Machine hope it goes to a good home. ( Wish it were mine)

    Like 17
  3. Sam

    My dad Special Ordered a 68 Rebel SST. Blue, Black Vinyl Top. 390 4 Factory Duels. She was a runner, Got taken out in 71 by a 70 Lincoln that ran a red light. Mom smoked many of the big boys with it. Got a new 71 Matador. Biggest Piece Of Trash On 4 Wheels. FUTLESS 304

    Like 8
    • Rick

      Well, those d-u-a-l-s helped mom win some d-u-e-l-s, at least while it lasted. ;)

      Like 5
  4. Joe

    So just my humble opinion……way, way, too much bid on this one already….I know this country’s in an enormously inflated state already……but a reserve set over 50 large is crazy for this car……..they say there’s a sucker born every day……..

    Like 14
    • steve

      One sold in January for $121,000.

      Like 21
      • Joe

        Wondering how many drinks that buyer had……..Lol!……..

        Like 1
  5. Euromoto Member

    Ordinarily, muscle cars are not my thing, but I find this one compelling. The stance, that squared-off snout, those cool steelies, and the ram air scoop…the car looks very purposeful. The paint is over the top, but that’s the charm. Also, love the hood mounted tach and the vertical mounted radio with the control knobs on top. All in all, very unique. If I were ever to consider adding muscle to the stable, this just might be it.

    Like 20
  6. Old Man

    i miss amc!

    Like 31
    • AMC Retiree

      Yup, I do too…When they tore to plant down, I felt as if my heart was being ripped out…

      Like 13
  7. angliagt angliagt

    I love unusual cars like this.
    One of the few American cars I would own
    if I could afford one.

    Like 13
  8. Jim

    Fresh from the dealer floor, The Machine could (with the 4-speed) manage a 14.44 second 1/4 mile (at 104 mph), and it could do the 0-62 mph dash in 6.4 seconds. Not many unmodified cars in the USA could match these figures, and it would be years till similar numbers became commonplace.

    Like 19
  9. eric22t

    ya know, my dyed in the wool mopar love is taking a HUGE KNOCK right now.
    i might just hafta change camps.

    this is a SWEET ride.

    the only non mopars in my life were all amc 2 keeps and one rambler american w/ a straight 6, 3on the tree, no power anything and seats that turned into a queen sized bed. (i miss that old girl)

    i do believe the ask is out to lunch but oooh if i hit the lottery…

    Like 8
  10. Major Tom

    Not an a/c car but has the center dash vents of an a/c car?

    Like 1
  11. PaulG

    It’s listed for 84.5 on their website

    Like 4
  12. Twohot Dodge

    Used a wrecked one of these for the power train in a 70’s Gremlin it was stupid fast but a lot of fun 🤩 if only I knew what I had!

    Like 6
  13. Joe S.

    AMC and numbers matching are words that dont go together. Next you’re going to tell me its a big block 390!

    Like 4
  14. Greg

    I have to agree with Joe. Unless you’re talking about the 69-70 AMC Hurst Super Stock AMX of which only 52 were made, l can’t see this AMC commanding that kinda coin.there are other AMC cars just as rare and better looking for less than half of what this car is going for. And yes I miss AMC too. The One I Had.

    Like 2
    • JLHudson

      SC/Rambler goes for about the same money as a Rebel machine. The difference is the Rambler looks way meaner and will whip the Machine in the 1/4.

      Like 0
  15. Heartbreaker AL

    In this day and age any AMC is a collector piece. I say let the debate rage on by the “experts” if it makes them feel like they know something nobody else does. This car is a piece of American history! I’ve been a classic engine builder in S. Chicago for 50 years, I’ve seen quite a few AMC’s they are well built and as classic as any other ride out there.

    Like 5
  16. Steve Mehl

    One of these machines in excellent condition can be found in the famous Kerchner family collection in Spring Grove, PA. At least that was the case when I last saw it on their property around 1995.
    These cars are rare, unique looking and part of something that no longer exists. I like my 3 AMC cars but I can’t see even a mint condition Machine going for $100,000 or anywhere near there.

    Like 0
  17. Ronald Member

    I love having the only AMX or AMC product at car shows in my area. AMC dose not get credit for what they did on their limited budget. Check out Motor Trend Magazine, June 1970. AMC produced the first American mid engine sports car, the AMX3. You can look at casting numbers and part numbers and determine if the drive train is correct for any AMC vehicle, but there is no numbers matching.

    Like 1
  18. Heartbreaker AL

    The cost or value of any collector car is dictated by the owner, seller or dealer. It reflects their desire to sell, or their immediate need to sell.

    Like 1
  19. Greg

    Thanks Ron for that info about that publication. I remember it and l had a Javelin SST just like the one in that publication same color same car. I will try to see if l get that publication from Motor Trend. It would be great to see her again. Thanks my friend.

    Like 0

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