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Remarkably Preserved: 1971 AMC Ambassador Brougham

Over the years, I’ve come to admire American Motors even more because they really were the underdogs of underdogs against the mighty “Big Three.” They did quite a bit with very limited resources and didn’t blink twice about competing in the luxury arena. Although their top-of-the-line Ambassador was about 5 inches shorter and a not quite as wide as their competitors, AMC still offered a stylish and comfortable alternative that still looks good five decades later. This is one of the nicest examples of a 1971 AMC Ambassador Brougham 2-Door Hardtop that we’ve ever featured here on Barn Finds. It’s currently residing in Guttenberg, Iowa and is for sale here on eBay with an asking price of $21,900. The Dealer, Dave Brown Classic Rides, is also willing to listen to offers. I’m giving Rick Helmes an “A” for this AMC tip. It’s a beauty.

Ambassadors had been restyled for 1970, so little changed for 1971 and they still came in three models: a 2-Door Hardtop, 4-Door Sedan, and 4-Door Station Wagon. The Dealer does a great job of providing photos, but not so great in sharing the car’s history or how a 52-year-old car can be in almost “like new” condition. The car’s build sheet shows that it was originally delivered to Hannay’s AMC & Jeep in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Royal Maroon metallic paint is an attractive color and has a beautiful shine. The white pin striping compliments the optional white vinyl top on the sporty “fastback” that looks to be in good shape. Based on the photos, I’m not seeing any issues with the chrome, trim, tinted glass, lenses or anything. It was also ordered with the optional rear bumper guards and wire wheel covers.

AMC promised “limousine-like luxury for six passengers,” and the Ambassador’s cushy interior is both attractive and in remarkable condition. In trying to one-up the competition, All Season Air Conditioning came standard on Ambassadors. Other options on this luxury hardtop include power brakes, power steering, Adjust-O-Tilt steering wheel, and Speed Control. Like the car’s exterior, it’s hard to find any faults with this interior. The seats, door panels, carpet, instrument panel, and dash look great.

Under the hood – no surprise – is a very clean and tidy engine bay. Another option ordered on this Ambassador was the 360-cubic inch V8 that could generate 245 horsepower when new. It is mated to a Shift Command Automatic Transmission. The mileage is listed at 57,000 and based on the overall nice condition of this Ambassador, inside and out, I’m believing that’s the original mileage. Of the 41,674 Ambassadors built for 1971, only 4,579 would be Brougham hardtops like this one. And this has to be one of the nicest examples out there.


  1. TomP

    Omg, that looks like a new car.

    Like 34
  2. Tony Primo

    Or as we would say in Canada, she’s a beauty eh!

    Like 34
  3. Ignatius J. Reilly

    Has the requisite tissue box holder mounted under dash. Why are these so popular as a NOS accessory? Kinda ugly imho.

    Like 4
    • Will Fox

      My folks never did like tissue dispensers in cars, so we had to rely on our shirt sleeves!

      Like 27
      • John Eder

        Your folks should have shopped at Goodwill and installed a shirt sleeve dispenser in their car.

        Like 30
      • bogus

        Fast food napkins!!!

        Like 13
      • David

        My parents decided the cavernous glove compartment was the place to put anything that didn’t already have it’s own place.

        Like 1
    • Bub

      The little woman would get pouty if he didn’t stop for ice cream.
      Him: “Now now, dry your eyes. Scoop or soft serve?”
      Her: (reaching for snot rag)
      “You mean it?” Slides across the bench seat to snuggle up.

      Like 10
  4. PaulG

    Certain cars on here, most from the 50’s through the 70’s evoke many memories for me; this one was a good friend’s choice, in emerald green. His family owned Ramblers and Studebakers and he followed suit.
    After he purchased this at 18 years old around 1975 his nickname became The Ambassador!
    RIP R.D.

    Like 25
  5. Cooter Cooter Member

    Wow this car is a beauty! My picky side says keep & store these grandpa wheels and tires and locate a set of Javelin rally rims & nice set of tires. Then add dual exhaust. Either style you prefer, you’ve got something nobody else will be showing up in!

    Like 35
  6. Dern Blanstin

    Beautiful condition. They were ugly cars back then and even uglier today…..

    Like 8
  7. Kurt Member

    Somebody really loved this car, show some respect eh?

    Like 49
    • michael knapp

      I have one word for this car, WOW! So cool to see these come out, hope it finds an owner to show it wqual love. mike j knapp of st joseph,mo

      Like 4
  8. Rick

    I owned a ’67 Ambassador DPL hardtop with a white vinyl top and a similar burgundy body color. This one here is a beauty.

    Like 14
  9. Robert Levins

    Oh my God – I’ll take it! A 360 too, my favorite color combo of all time, AND – it’s a “hard top coupe”. It’s in unbelievable condition for a 1971 which brings the biggest question – how did they do it. This car checks all the boxes for me without a doubt. If it runs as good as it looks, the price is “spot on “, give or take a little. I probably won’t ever see another 1971 burgundy hard top 2-door ever again. But who knows, with all the classic cars hitting the market…… I still can’t believe it has a 360ci! Thanks Barn Finds! Great article!

    Like 25
  10. That AMC guy

    I have a ’71 Ambassador that I bought back in the early 1990s for $500 but it’s not nearly as nice as this one which looks like it just rolled out of the showroom. (Did someone bring it back from 1971 in a TARDIS?)

    I have the same engine and transmission but no cruise control or tilt wheel. Like this example mine has the optional electric wipers which use a Prestolite motor that is unobtainium, though there are places that can rebuild them.

    Although lacking some other options my Ambassador does have power front disc brakes. The master cylinder on this one with equal sized chambers suggests it has drum brakes all around. The HVAC controls in these cars are as confusing as you’ll find anywhere with multiple levers and a temperature control knob for the AC.

    I personally like the way these 2-door models look, aside from the crazy stretch ahead of the cowl that AMC used to make the Ambo “bigger” than the Matador. It was the 4-door sedans that got hit badly with the ugly stick. (Wagons kept the same body they started with in 1967.)

    The 1972 models brought significant upgrades such as Chrysler Torqueflite transmission replacing the ancient Borg-Warner unit, standard electric wipers, and modernized HVAC controls.

    Like 20
  11. Stan

    Great Car Great Comments… 🤔
    How about Howards .02 🙌

    Like 10
    • HoA Howard A Member

      Hi Stan, nice,,( in case some tire of my windy posts),,but briefly( ya right) this was known as the “Kenosha Kadillac”,( “K” instead of “C” to avoid legal problems) and was the best we had to offer. I read, the 360 was the most popular motor across the entire line. This car is very similar to the old mans 1970 Ambassador, 390, ex forest ranger car, with all police gear. Did great burnouts.

      Like 3
  12. Cooter Cooter Member

    They were born in the wind tunnel and developed for the IROC racing series. After GM halted production in 02, IROC series went away. Ugly as they are, they’re very buildable if you want all out power for the drag strip and not break the bank.

    Like 7
    • Cooter Cooter Member

      Sorry replied to the wrong car!

      Like 4
      • Stan

        Haha right on Cooter 🍻

        Like 2
  13. Grape Ape

    Perhaps always garaged? Only nice day drives? Think the vehicle looks good. Wouldn’t mind taking it for a spin.

    Like 6
  14. Nelson C

    Everyone needs an edge. Longer warranty, better corrosion protection or, as in this car, standard equipment air conditioning. You had to go pretty high into the food chain to find a domestic with air in the base equipment list. Of course you still had to order (not delete) a radio, tinted glass and every power assist. For that matter AMC was just getting around to having electric wipers to compliment their Weather Eye heater that they pioneered.

    Like 9
  15. Robert Stevens

    The condition is stunning. It’s hard to believe the true mileage isn’t far far less. ❤

    Like 6
  16. Kevin

    Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder! Looks way better than a mid seventies matador 2 door, now those were pretty bugly…. But again, someone loved and drove them.

    Like 5
    • Grape Ape

      My dad’s mom had a Matador Brougham dark red with a black vinal top. She loved the car, except it didn’t have much clearance according to her. Don’t know if she was hitting RR tracks at speed or what, never spent any time in the car, fortunately for the style in my mind. Maybe once a ride, was like get me outta this car.

      Like 1
  17. Kenneth L Gaar

    All that’s on this AMC laugh of luxury could be had as standard equipment, and more, on a Coupe DeVille or a Mark lV. And let’s not forget the modern mechanical engineering. Okay.. nice looking vehicle of no importance and worth little.

    Like 1
    • t hofstad

      The Coupe DeVille had a base price of $6,270
      Lincoln Continental Mark IV base price $8,640
      Ambassador Brougham coupe base price $3,999

      You could buy 2 for the price of the Mark

      Like 12
    • Robert Stevens

      But to my mind it is much more interesting and worth more for precisely the reasons you listed. I drive a Cadillac CTS that is absolutely loaded with options. All the normal ones plus. So what. Everyone expects that. But this Ambassador with these options is a rare bear.

      Like 9
  18. bill tebbutt

    That lead-in photo, 3/4 rear, shows the best of the body style in my view. I think it is just gorgeous….


    Like 14
  19. Ed P

    Gorgeous car. The maroon color and red interior make this one stand out.

    Like 8
  20. Old Man

    I learned to drive in a ’65 Ambassador.

    Like 6
  21. JB@1025

    We had a few of these in our motorpool when i was in KTOWN Germany(1972) but had a 6 with 3 in the tree softly sprung and wallowy even when almost new.

    Like 1
  22. Norman McGill

    Interesting car. AMC didn’t have the luxury reputation but this looks like a luxury car for sure. Has a bit of Pontiac in it as well as some Mercury too. I like it.

    Like 6
  23. Randy Anderson

    Omg 😱 this is the luxurious a m c car I’ve ever seen in the ambassador series besides the amc concord that came out and that car was considered as luxurious too back then!

    Like 2
  24. PRA4SNW

    If this goes for the asking price, could it be a record Ambassador sale?

    Like 2
  25. Grumpy

    Nice ride
    Has A/C
    Just needs that 390 some duals and abit more tire but other than that it’s a really cool deal
    I like it I love it a lot
    Unmarked CHP car

    Like 1

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