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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Restoring my AMC was more than fun; it was therapy

I was 19 years old in 2004, when I picked up my first Rambler after seeing it for sale on the side of the road in Homeland, California. It was a 1969, and I traded it straight across for my partially operational Ford Bronco II.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/magazine-features/restoring-my-amc-was-more-than-fun-it-was-therapy/
8 REPLIES 8
gpsuya
Advanced Driver

I'd keep it original. Sell the 383 Stroker. And if the AMC engine needs rebuilding, do it.
Rubbereyes
New Driver

I absolutely love everything you’ve done so far. Perfect colour, perfect wheel combination and perfect black trim on the windows. If the six is still running great and there is no need for speed then enjoy. Your probably right in that there may not be a need for an engine swap. Some sixes can be upgraded and tuned for a bit more HP but if you’re just cruising with your family then it’s perfect. Well done.
40deluxe
New Driver

Take it from someone who has had the exact same car, do not mess with the engine transplant.
You will be in the long run more pleased with a dressed out original engine. Everybody tries to make a muscle car out of these American Rambler that they redo. My brother did one also and said the same thing.You have had the body and paint done and it looks great, may be an overdrive trans but keep the engine you will be glad you did.
TR8_Driver
New Driver

Nice! I like the side-marker-light delete option, cleans up the profile. And the stance is perfect with those wheels -- great job!
JohnnyV8
Pit Crew

Nice story Mike. Nice car too! Indeed, working on a project car is more than just the obvious task at hand, it is therapeutic and also, it's being productive. Your handsome boys will also learn it's cool to build something rather than to destroy; it's about sticking to a project and finishing it. Lessons in life that go beyond just restoring an old car. Good job!
RickL
Advanced Driver

My Dad hauled Rambler/AMC's back in the 60's and early 70's. This is a really nice car. Not sure I would "ruin" it by putting in a Chevy engine. Maybe a 390 AMC, or maybe a small turbocharger on that 232 with a 4 bbl. Sure would add to the uniqueness of the car. Although unless you are going to drag race it probably would leave the 232 stock at a time of $5.00 a gallon gas.
ladycarlover
Intermediate Driver

Really nice looking car! My parents had a maroon Rambler station wagon when I was little. Lots of memories. My little brother and I got to play in the back when we made trips to see the relatives. How did we survive not using belts?! 🙂
WillieG12
Intermediate Driver

I had a 73 Hornet X hatchback purchased new. It had 153k when I (had) to sell it. 30k of which was pulling a 16 ft RV cross country. I know the buyer had it when it went over 200k. Great car. Loved AMC. My father had a boring but reliable 6 cyl Hornet for commuting. Ran it till it died.

My next car was a 68 Cougar XR7. I own one today - not the same one - has 130k on it and it is my daily driver. It is 100% stock and mint. I have had 12 offers to buy it at way over book value from DEALERS because it is stock and mint. Go try to find a 68 Cougar XR7 STOCK AND MINT.

Still looking for a 73 Hornet X hatchback in very good or better condition. Can't find one.

Keep the car. Don't ever sell that baby. Keep it mint. Do not modify it one bit. Should be like it was when it rolled out of the showroom. That's the value in a 50+ year old car.