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Sporty 6-Cylinder: 1966 Rambler American Rogue

Before Nissan gave the name Rogue to their smaller SUV for 2008, American Motors applied that moniker to the Rambler American’s 2-door hardtop. The Rogue replaced the 440-H in 1966 and would stick around through the retirement of the American in 1969. It would see production of just 21,860 units over four years, with 1966 being its best year at 8,718 copies. This ’66 edition looks to be a very restorable car and is located in Duluth, Minnesota. The no reserve auction here on eBay has reached $5,016.

American Motors was one of the first manufacturers to get to the compact car market, introducing the Rambler American in 1958 ahead of Ford, GM, and Chrysler by two years. It would be the second time the American name would be used as predecessors applied it to their cars in 1954-55. The American was the last car in 1969 that AMC marketed under the Rambler banner. The American was always a factor – and sometimes the winner – in the annual Mobil Economy Run. The successor to the American was the Hornet, a more modern-looking car than the squarish American (and was also a recycled name). Thanks, Steve McKelvie, for the production data.

This 1966 American Rogue doesn’t look as though it will need a ton of effort to be quite the looker once again. The red paint has worn thin in several places, but it doesn’t seem as though rust will be a major factor in its future. The brightwork will need a bit of work as the front grille and rear bumper have dings in them. We’re told it was previously owned by a doctor and has accumulated just 60,000 miles over the years. The car currently sports a set of Torq Thrust wheels by American Racing, but the seller has retained the originals which will come with tires and wire wheel covers.

We’re told the car runs and drives great, but it’s currently running off a marine outboard gas tank. The auto’s original gas tank has been repaired but not reinstalled as yet by the seller. The car has an inline six-cylinder engine, which would be either 199 or 232 cubic inches. The Rogues could be had with a V-8 engine, but its main purpose was to look cool, not be a muscle car. The shifting is done via an automatic transmission and the car recently received a tune-up, which we assume is at least spark plugs and a carb cleaning. AMC products of the 1960s don’t command the same big bucks as the more popular makes do, so a clean American, Classic or Ambassador from this era can sometimes be great buys.


  1. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    Great find, I happen to know someone in “The -Luth”, I wonder if they’ve seen this car. IDK, for a “Rouge”, it’s pretty plain. I remember Rouges that were pretty fancy, and they didn’t have a 6 popper either, but I’d have no problem with it today. Rambler Americans( like Falcons and Valiants) were throw away cars. I had a ’64 like this, typical $100 car for the era,( 70’s) and discarded when the front suspension rusted clear. At the AMC reunion couple years back, a guy from Ohio( also named Howard) had a blue ’67 Rouge, 343, 4 speed, it, to me, was the nicest car at the show, and I told him that.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo John H

      That is a sharp Rogue, Howard. It would certainly catch my eye at any show.

      My father was a Buick man until the early ’60s, then started buying Ramblers … who knows. Although it might have been because the new Buicks wouldn’t fit in the garage.

      Like 2
    • Avatar photo Rick

      If your wife wouldn’t spend so much on rouge you’d have more to spend on the Rogue. ;)

      Like 0
  2. Avatar photo Mike

    Who wants to “Make America(n) great again”? Lol

    Like 7
  3. Avatar photo Joe Haska

    I really like this car for some reason, not sure exactly why, probably because it is in a condition, that it is a blank canvas and could become,what ever you would like it to be. Fully restored original car, a resto-mod for the Hot Rod Power tour or just a great fun driver.

    Like 1
  4. Avatar photo FordGuy1972 Member

    Cute car that would make for a nice, economical daily driver with a little work and paint. I’d definitely lose the aftermarket wheels, they look out of place on a modest little car like this.

    Like 3
  5. Avatar photo JoeBob396

    Nice car. It would make a fun driver. My mom bought a 4 door 64 in 64 and I hated driving it. Funny how 54 years perspective can make things change.

    Like 0
  6. Avatar photo Bob19006

    The AMC 199/ 232 straight 6 (later versions 256 and Chrysler Jeep Wrangler variant after 1988) was all new around 1965 and stood the test of time through the end of AMC in 1988 and continued in production by Chrysler in Jeep Wranglers I believe into the early 1990’s. That engine must have powered well over a million cars, Rambler Americans, Classics, Ambassadors, Marlins and AMC Hornets, Concords, Spirits, Rebels, Matadors, Javelins, Eagles and Jeep Wranglers.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo That AMC Guy

      I’m pretty sure the 4.0 six was used in the Jeep Wrangler until 2006.

      Like 1
  7. Avatar photo Mike Robinson

    My Daddy was an American Motors mechanic for decades. Ramblers were the only vechiles allowed in our family cuz Dad could get parts easily. My first “Real” car was a 1967 Rogue red on red w/ 290 V8, 4bbl carb & BorgWarner T-10 4spd tranny. I bought the car from the dealer Daddy worked w/ in 1968. I loved that car!! Used to eat regular mustangs all day long! Hard to beat a high performance model though. Kept it until 1980 until county regulations would not allow it in yard w/o tag & insurance & I could not afford that at the time. I still dwell on those best years of my life.

    Like 0

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