Santa, Please? 1965 AMC Rambler American 440-H

By 1964, AMC had redesigned their Rambler American line and it was quite a stylish and much-needed update. This 1965 AMC Rambler American 440-H is quite a car, complete with a twin-stick manual transmission. This jewel is listed on Hemmings with an asking price of $8,500 or offer and it’s located in Westwego, Louisiana.

The current owner has had this car since 2012 and they have put 15,000 miles on it since then. That’s a pretty hefty amount of miles for a collector car. I have a car that I’ve owned for 15 years and I haven’t even put 15,000 miles on it yet. Thankfully, the factory wheel covers come with the sale along with other spare parts.

This car isn’t 100% perfect, but I don’t know if they were 100% perfect coming out of the factory in 1965 either. In 1966, the 440-H – a sportier model which had certain features above the top-line 440 model, such as a little boost in horsepower, bucket seats, and a center console – became the Rogue. The Rogue was a much more-sinister name, but this still wasn’t a tire-burner of a car, at least until 1966 when a V8 was available. 1965 was the last year that AMC offered a flathead-six, the last flathead engine offered by a US car company.

Like the exterior, the interior is about as nice as any third-generation AMC Rambler American that you’ll probably ever find. There appear to be some punctures or tears on the side of the driver’s seat bottom, but other than that things look fantastic inside. And, there’s the twin-stick, oddly with no detail photos of what is arguably the most famous feature that these cars ever had. This manual transmission was configured to shift similar to a 5-speed transmission with 1st gear, 2nd gear, 2nd gear+OD, 3rd gear, and 3rd gear+OD.

The 1965 440-H models automatically got the highest-horsepower six-cylinder engine, AMC’s 195.6 cubic-inch inline-six with around 140 hp. In 1966, a 290 V8 with either 200 or 225 hp could be had. The seller “just rebuilt the head and it runs drives and stops well.” This is about the nicest example that I’ve seen. Other than having a V8, this one has everything that I’d want in a Rambler American. I’ve been a reasonably good boy this year, Santa!

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Comments

    • redsresto

      Thanks for the link. Love the quote “Real sports car action!”

  1. SC/RAMBLER

    Didn’t AMC also have a twin stick automatic in the Rebel around 1957 or 1958? Pretty cool idea on a stick shift though with a flathead 6 sport would be relative. Not a speed demon for sure.

    • ramblergarage

      No twin stick in the 1950’s. Rebel had a 327 and later 250V8 with auto or 3 speed with OD.

      • SC/RAMBLER

        Ramblergarage you are right. I just rechecked article in special interest auto,1997, and the twin stick being referred to was in a 65 Ambassador.

  2. Wayne

    AMC flathead six? I don’t think so.

  3. stillrunners LAWRENCE Member

    Nice car….dad bought a new wagon in 1964….we went all over camping in that one. The aunt decided to buy one as well….in this color but a four door.

  4. Loco Mikado

    This must be an early ’65 because the later ’65’s came with the 232 six. Nice car.

  5. Wayne

    Scotty, obviously you had different options in the USA than in Australia. We only had ohv in Australia. Although when I checked your Wikipedia link it states……….. “Rambler models, whether badged Hudson or Nash, used the Rambler 195.6 cu in (3.2 L) OHV six.”

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      I believe the confusion here is in ’61, Rambler updated the flathead with OHV, but still retained the same 195.6 displacement. I think all the 6 cylinder motors were available in ’65. Believe it or not, some customers still wanted the flathead. Anybody?

      • 77Vette

        My Dad bought a 1965 American with the flathead 6 new in 65. Handed it down to me in 75. I drove it a year and bought a Camero. I gave it back and he drove it until 1980 and sold it. Only option was an AM radio. I like this car and it’s twin stick.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Wayne, my apologies, I assumed that you were talking about US cars. I can 100% positively guarantee that without a shadow of a doubt the flathead was available by AMC in 1965.

      To quote Mr. Pat Foster, “I just double-checked my 1965 Rambler Data Book- the one dealers were given- and yes, the 90-hp flathead six was standard on the American 220 and 330 models.”

  6. BRAKTRCR

    I had 2 1965 American wagons. The first, my Grandpa bought new in 65, when he passed, I got it in 73. It met it’s demise when an oncoming 62 Cadillac turned left directly in front of me. The Rambler got the worst of it. That was a “220” model. It had the 196 cu in 3 on the tree, with overdrive, and got about 28 mpg.
    The next 65 wagon, was a “330” model, which also had the same engine, and trans with overdrive. The difference between the two was a chrome strip down the side, and a luggage rack. That was in the late 80’s, and my kids sold it for a song a few years ago. They weren’t using it, so it went to a good home.
    They are excellent, reliable, simple to work on, and enjoyable cars. Slow, don’t corner, but still fun. As far as engines go, I thought the flathead was done in 64 and the 232 came along in 67, but could be wrong.
    Where is Howard A these days?

    • Loco Mikado

      The 232 came out in 1964 originally in a special version of 2 dr hardtop Classic named the Typhoon. From Wikipedia

      “American Motors unveiled the Typhoon in April 1964. This mid-1964 model year introduction was a sporty variant of the Classic 770 2-door hardtop. This special model was introduced to highlight AMC’s completely new short-stroke, seven main bearing, 145 hp (108 kW; 147 PS) 8.5:1 compression ratio 232 cu in (3.8 L) “Typhoon” modern era inline-6.

      Production of this commemorative model was limited to 2,520 units and it was only available in a two-tone Solar Yellow body with a Classic Black roof, and a sporty all-vinyl interior for US$2,509.[19] The car also featured a distinctive “Typhoon” script in place of the usual “Classic” name insignia, as well as a unique grille with black out accents. All other AMC options (except engine choices and colors) were available on the Typhoon.

      The engine became the mainstay six-cylinder engine for AMC and Jeep vehicles. It was produced, albeit in a modified form, up until 2006. The 232 I6 engine’s name was soon changed to “Torque Command”, with Typhoon to describe AMC’s new line of V8s introduced in 1966.”

  7. Classix Steel

    No thanks on a six banger for the price.

    Pool your money elsewhere for a real muscle car like the javelin if going AMC!

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      Actually, a car like this makes the most sense, for a rare classic. The 6 would be easy on gas, the shifters would be fun ( for a while) and Javelins will come and go, but coming from where these were made, and American’s were VERY popular, I never remember seeing one with the twin-stick. Being a stout AMC fan, I knew this option existed, but never saw one. It wasn’t the most sought after option, probably because most people didn’t know how to use it. Plus, it was a $145 dollar option( or $1,100 dollars today), an expensive option , considering these were economy cars, and people bought them as such.

      • On and On On and On Member

        Agreed. If this were a ragtop I’d be on a plane to New Orleans to take a look-see.

  8. Rube Goldberg Member

    Great to see these cars from my yesteryear pop up. I had a ’66 like this, not near as flashy, with the 199 and automatic. A gutless thing that used a quart of oil everyday if I took it on the highway. It was one of the many $100 beaters I threw away. The old man had a wagon, we used to haul dirt ( in 7 bushel baskets every trip) for a bathroom my old man dug in the basement. We must have took 20 loads of dirt, with the tail dragging, and it took it. BTW, did you know, the front and rear bumpers are interchangeable? Great find.

  9. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    A cool car for sure! Now about that shifter. It looks to me like the shift pattern is an inline pattern as opposed to the H pattern I am used to seeing. Another thing I don’t understand is the other button on the shifter lever. I did not see it in the Hemmings ad or Dave Mc post, thanks Dave. Looks like a line lock. Maybe a replacement for a bad overdrive switch? Thanks for any help and a Merry Christmas to all! Take care, Mike.

    • Joe D.

      The switch was a shortcut to kick off the overdrive.

    • Barry Perque

      That is right brother it is a line lock type switch and it is for the bad original switch on the shifter. I really like my 440H American but I have many projects that need my time so the Rambler just like the first car I ever owned in 1968 has to go. Thanks and Merry Christmas to you.

      • Rich Rothmund

        Where are you Located and how much are you asking

  10. BRAKTRCR

    Just an odd thing I don’t see discussed… on the air cleaner of my first 65, from the factory, it had a decal TRI-POISED POWER. Of course my buddies teased me saying it must be TRI POWER. I never understood what Tri poised power meant… I guess when I get to Heaven, I’ll spend a day with Dick Teague, and he can tell me AMC stories all day

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      It was their system of mounting the drivetrain on three points. The only reason I know is from researching it for a previous post!

      • BRAKTRCR

        Thanks Jamie, I truly have been wondering that for 45 years… dang I’m old

  11. Mike H. Mike H

    B-O-I-N-N-N-G-G-!-! Oh boy. . .

  12. Dave T

    If I had a car such as this, I would have no problem putting 3K miles a year on it. I personally have cars to drive, not just sit in a garage and get driven a couple of hundred miles a year.

  13. Randy R.

    Just sold a 1964 rambled 440 convertible. Red with white top. Sold for 6500. Fun to drive, not peppy but enough for a cruiser. Guy came to southern and drove it back to Cleveland

  14. John L

    ATTENTION: That rebuilt head creates a real risk of increased cylinder pressure upon ignition, which very frequently blows the rings. It’ll run that way, but will use a lot of oil and the consequent blow-by will carry a lot of oil OUT the breather on top of the valve cover. That oil will coat in engine compartment and, not infrequently, that blown out of the engine oil will end up coating the windshield in less than 100 miles.
    When you bid, consider the cost of a pulling the engine and fitting new rings. A full rebuild would seem warranted, while it is out.
    Nice looking car, but may be a hole to pour money into.

  15. Wayne

    Scotty we were mostly behind the USA with regards to engines, I never thought a flathead would be available that late over there. We didn’t get V8 options in Chevs here until around 1963. Wishing you all a great big happy Christmas. I hope you don’t get the PC crap of “happy holidays” that is creeping in here. All the best.

  16. Maurader

    Man, I was all excited when I read the title of this article. Whew knew that AMC offered a 440 V8 with a Hurst shifter in the Rambler American?

  17. jesus bortoni

    I guess I’m showing my age in several ways. I don’t consider these “cute”. To me, they are beautiful. And too, I’d rather have one of these or other Ramblers than, let’s say, a Lamborghini.

    Like 1
  18. Paul Gray

    I love my 64 American with 5.0 Ford engine and drivetrain rescued from scrap yard.

  19. chad

    Pop gave me a car in ’69? A 3rd gen American (’61 – 3?). Looked much older than 5 – 8 yrs. Boy was that thing square (built in a square shape & seen as “only for squares” by the other kids). But man! it was a convertible! Straight 6 ran so smooth’n quiet – when it stopped at the only light in town, folks thought it stalled out it ran so quiet. Plenty big inside for the 170 inch WB.
    Bein a dumb kid I’d jump off the porch, 1 bound across the trunk, & launch into the driver’s seat like a cowboy mount. The paint showed no more the loss as by then it was flat (white) & lost it’s sheen.

  20. charlie Member

    My mother (who did not learn to drive until she was 55) had a ’68 Rogue (same car, bit different trim) with the 289 V8. She was FAST. “It just wants to go 60mph all by itself” she claimed. And she only drove on secondary roads, never on a divided highway. That replaced a ’60 Corvair which had the disadvantage of “it wants to go slow” but was much better in snow. I drove it once in a while and found it to be very driveable and remarkably roomy.

  21. SC/RAMBLER

    Charlie that was a 290 AMC engine, 289 FORD engine. Just for the record.

  22. charlie Member

    Thanks, what was the Studebaker V8 of the 50’s/60’s/ somewhere around that? Chevy was 265, then 283, then 327, 350 and 396 were different blocks? Hemi’s were 383 mostly?

  23. Barry Perque

    Very cool to read all these comments a nd questions I like this site. Thanks

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