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X-Code 390: 1969 AMC Ambassador SST

For its 1968 model year, AMC began offering a trim package available for their Ambassador known as the SST, or Super Sport Touring, taking the luxurious aspect of the full-size car up a notch from the DPL level, which was previously the top-of-the-line offering.  The following year, the Ambassador got a redesign for 1969 that included a little extra length and wheelbase, with the SST like the one here on Craigslist remaining at the head of its class, but what’s even more impressive here is what’s under the hood.  The car is located near Charlotte, North Carolina, and if you’re an American Motors fan and have been on the hunt for a late-sixties sedan that packs a powerful punch, this one should deliver nicely.

We’d like to thank Barn Finds reader Brad for the great tip here!  Ticking the X-Code box got you a 390 V8 that’s more often associated with the AMX, and in fact, the seller throws out the idea of rebuilding the motor and putting it into a more collectible AMX instead.  But I say hold your horses, as the car it’s presently in isn’t exactly commonplace either, at least not with this powerplant.  I’m enthralled by the idea of a 300-plus horsepower AMC sedan, plus the engine is claimed to be running well and not smoking, so I’d probably just enjoy driving this around for a while before even thinking about different options, other than maybe pinpointing the transmission leak and addressing it.

This one’s not just a runner either, as the body remains in good shape as well and was given one respray some time ago.  The panels seem to fit properly and I’m not spotting much rust on the sheet metal, other than a few bubbles underneath the vinyl top, but fortunately, they don’t appear to be a very serious issue.  The car was also given a Ziebart treatment when new, a gift that keeps on giving, and the floors and trunk are also given a clean bill of health.

The interior is clean and believed to be original, and with all the years and miles gone by just about everything inside still looks about as fresh as one would expect.  I kind of like the under-dash lighting, a small but nice touch I wasn’t expecting, and the dome lamp is still functioning as well.  The seller also throws out the idea of turning this into a resto mod, but to look this good already I’d say leave it alone, although that’s ultimately going to be the next owner’s decision.  What would you do with this 1969 AMC Ambassador SST?

Comments

  1. eric22t

    well that didn’t last long, the cl ad has already been deleted.

    let’s hope the new owner doesn’t take any of the sellers suggestions.

    this is a beautiful ride. fix what needs fixing and keep right on motoring

    Like 17
  2. Mark

    Too rare too break it up, my uncle had a 65 his first new car 327 power

    Like 5
  3. Bob Washburne

    The CL ad is still up.

    Tempting…

    Like 3
    • eric22t

      so it is back up. it looks really good, plenty of paper and not a bad price either.

      i would want to lay hands on the roof 1st, but even that may be no worse than… pull the top, de-rust, lead in any craters/pinholes and then refinish

      and yes i would lead it not filler it. better adhesion and corrosion protection than fillers. it would also be way less work than skinning it.

      Like 4
  4. Michael Berkemeier

    Hate to tell you this but, that roof is Swiss cheese underneath that vinyl top…buyer will spend THOUSANDS to fix that correctly which will include finding a donor roof skin.

    Like 2
    • Gary James Lehman

      Negative crap is getting old.

      Like 2
  5. Pete Phillips

    Rare car. You’ll have the only one like it at any show you go to.

    Like 6
  6. That AMC guy

    Nice car! For 1969 the wheelbase ahead of the cowl was stretched a ridiculous amount to make the car “bigger” on the cheap, but they had not applied the real ugly stick to the 4-door sedans yet.

    AMC was still using upper trunnions for the upper front suspension when this car was built. Although parts are available they are expensive and good luck finding someone who knows how to work on them. (Full ball joint suspension came in 1970.)

    The Borg-Warner automatic transmissions in these cars have a ticking time bomb in them – the vacuum modulator. Modulators have been unavailable for a very long time and no one is rebuilding them. (The ones listed by the parts stores are wrong and won’t fit.)

    https://theamcforum.com/forum/bw-m11b-vacuum-modulator-availability_topic74574.html

    Like 4
  7. Chris

    Nice ride, I use to own a 67 rebel with the 343 under the hood, sure do miss her.

    Like 1
  8. VanillaDude

    This exact color with black vinyl top was highlighted in the 1969 AMC auto brochures. This car was a big deal. Hopefully, it won’t get trashed.

    Like 2
  9. Zen

    Neat car! I’ve never seen an AMC with tilt-wheel, or even velour interior. Would be a fun car to cruise around in. I don’t think it’s outrageously priced, which means it might find a good home.

    Like 1
  10. robj Member

    The original owner was a friends dad. This one is as original as they come.

    Like 1
  11. Roland

    I would keep it original way to nice to cut up

    Like 1
  12. Ben Scovil

    I was the previous owner of the car. I sold the car to the current seller in May for around $6700. Told me he was going to fix the leak in the AC system (convenient he mentions nothing about it) and give the front end a full rebuild like it needs. All he has done is slap a sticker on the air cleaner and replace the wheel covers. It’s a great car and no, the roof is not swiss cheese underneath. There are bubbles, but the car has been garaged most all of its life. The original owner owned the car until 2016. The second owner kept it under a carport until I bought it in 2019. I kept it under cover and under carport. Roof could not rot or become swiss cheese because it spent far less time in the rain than most anything else it’s age has. It needs a new vinyl top and the metal treated, but I assure you it is not rotten or crunchy in the slightest.

    Like 13
  13. Ben Scovil

    Also the engine does burn oil and smoke when you get on the gas, but the 390 still packs plenty of punch for being an original 143,000 mile car.

    Like 5
  14. PRA4SNW

    Listing is now deleted.

    How much were they asking?

    Like 1
  15. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

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