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Thread: AMC Ambassador (5th gen) 1965-1966

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    The Ambassador was the top-of-the-line automobile produced by the American Motors Corporation (AMC) from 1958 until 1974. The vehicle was known as the Ambassador V-8 by Rambler, Rambler Ambassador, and finally AMC Ambassador during its tenure in production. Previously, the name Ambassador had applied to Nash's "senior" full-size cars.

    The Ambassador nameplate was used continuously from 1927 until 1974 (the name being a top-level trim line between 1927 and 1931); at the time it was discontinued, Ambassador was the longest continuously used car nameplate in automotive history.

    Most Ambassador models were built in Kenosha, Wisconsin. They were also built at AMC's Brampton Assembly in Brampton, Ontario from 1963 to 1966. Australian Motor Industries (AMI) assembled Ambassadors from knock-down kits with right-hand drive from 1961 to 1963. The U.S. fifth generation Ambassadors were produced by Industrias Kaiser Argentina (IKA) in Córdoba, Argentina from 1965 to 1972, as well as assembled by ECASA in Costa Rica from 1965 to 1970. Planta REO assembled first-generation Ambassadors in Mexico at its Monterrey, Nuevo León plant. Fifth and seventh generation Ambassadors were modified into custom stretch limousines in Argentina and the U.S.

    Fifth generation
    1965
    No matter how much success the new Ramblers achieved in the marketplace, Roy Abernethy was not completely satisfied. Using the experience he gained as an outstanding salesman as a guide, Abernethy closely looked at the direction that American Motors' competition was going and decided that the company would be much more successful if its products competed more directly with the Big Three. He would achieve this by pushing all AMC vehicles further upmarket among the various market segments, shaking off the company's economy car image, and offering vehicles once again in all three major American car size classes: compact, intermediate, and full-size. The American and Classic were strong competitors in the former two segments, so for the 1965 model year, he set his sights on turning the Ambassador into a proper full-size car by stretching the Classic's wheelbase and giving it much different styling. The general sizes of automobiles at that time were based on industry standard wheelbase lengths, rather than on the vehicle's interior and cargo space. The 1965 Ambassador represented a fundamental shift in corporate ideology, a shift away from primarily fuel-efficient vehicles, to bigger, faster, and potentially more profitable cars.

    Although the Ambassador rode the same platform as its 1963–64 forebears, the 1965 models looked all-new. American Motors' designer Richard A. Teague styled the 1965 Ambassador with panache and gave the car an overall integrated look. Motor Trend magazine agreed, calling it a "strikingly handsome automobile." Built on a 116-inch (2,946 mm) wheelbase four inches (100 mm) longer than the Classic, Teague extended the beltline level from the stacked quad headlights to the vertical taillights. The new Ambassadors were as attractive as anything built by AMC's Detroit-based competitors, and with a list price of around $3,000, few could quibble about the cost of ownership. New disc brakes with a power brakes were optional.

    The Ambassador received longer, squared-off rear fenders with vertical wrap-around taillights, taller decklid, squared off rear bumper mounted low, and squarer rear wheel arches. At the front, the Ambassador again sparked minor controversy with its new vertically stacked quad headlights, which were slightly recessed in their bezels, as they flanked an all-new horizontal bar grille. This new wall-to-wall grille projected forward, horizontally, in the center, to create an effect somewhat opposite to 1963's grille treatment. The front end design provided a bold, rugged appearance.

    Once again, the Ambassador’s entire extra wheelbase was ahead of the cowl, meaning that interior volume was the same as the intermediate-sized Classic. Another new body style debuted in the Ambassador lineup for 1965: an attractive new convertible offered as part of the 990 series. This was the first time a convertible was offered in the Ambassador line since 1948. All Ambassador body styles (except the 990-H coupe) offered seating for six passengers, with coupes and convertibles having the option of buckets seats with center console and floor shifter. The Ambassador 990-H was an up-scale two-door hardtop model, available only in 5-passenger form.

    Ambassadors also saw an expanded list of trim lines, convenience options, and engine choices. The 990 and 990-H models were back, while 880 models were the new economy leaders in the 1965 Ambassador line, but even the $2,512 price for the two-door sedan was not attractive compared to the models with better trim, buckets seats, and special interiors.[23] Ambassadors came standard with AMC's new 232 cu in (3.8 L) Inline-6 engine, which was the first time since 1956 that an Ambassador was available with six cylinders. Far more popular in the Ambassador, however, were the two time-tested 287 and 327 cu in (4.7 and 5.4 L) AMC V8 engines.

    American Motors' management decided that the Ambassador could once again accept a standard six-cylinder engine, since its full-size competitors (e. g. Bel Air and Impala, Ford Custom 500 and Galaxie, as well as Plymouth Fury) came with six-cylinder engines as standard equipment. They therefore appealed to a wider range of customers than the Ambassador was getting. Also, since the Classic was now smaller and styled differently, the Ambassador six-cylinder would not threaten to cannibalize Classic 6 sales, which were the company's sales volume leaders. The changes were on target as sales of the repositioned Ambassador more than tripled.

    Motor Trend magazine tested an Ambassador convertible with a Twin-Stick overdrive transmission and found it commendably economical, averaging 16.4 mpg‑US (14.3 L/100 km; 19.7 mpg‑imp) over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) run, and noting that ... "Traveling comfort was the Ambassador's biggest selling point, along with its exceptionally powerful Bendix duo-servo drum brakes ...With the thin bucket seats that recline, driver and passengers can enjoy a high degree of riding comfort... Many passers-by commented on the car's good looks... Our summary: a nice, comfortable, quiet, well built family automobile that rather neglects the performance market."

    Source: Wikipedia
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 04-05-2020 at 01:39 AM.
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    1966
    For 1966, minor changes greeted the Ambassador range. The V-shaped horizontal louver spanned unbroken between the headlamps and the effect was continued with twin rectangular trim pieces attached to the side of the front fenders at their leading edges by the headlamps. The effect was repeated in the new vertical wraparound taillamps with the top-line models receiving a twin set of horizontal ribbed moldings across the back of the trunk lid that simulated the look of the front grille. Hardtop coupes received a redesigned roofline that was angular in appearance with an angle cut rear side windows and rectangular rear window. The backlight no longer curved and wrapped slightly around the C-pillars. The changes made for a more "formal" notchback look that was popular at the time.
    Station wagons also received a new roof (that did not have as pronounced dip over the rear cargo area) as well as a redesigned tailgate and optional simulated woodgrain exterior side panels. Available with two-rows of seats with a standard bottom hinged tailgate with electric, fully retracting rear window or with an optional rear-facing third row that featured a left side hinged rear door, with a regular exterior door handle on the right side. All station wagons carried a Cross Country badge.

    The 880 served as the base model line. The two-door sedan was the price leader at $2,404, but finished with the least sales for the model year. The more popular and better trimmed 990 models were available in sedan, wagon, hardtop, and convertible versions. Options included a vinyl roof, wire wheel covers, AM/FM radio, adjustable steering wheel, and cruise control. A new luxury DPL (short for "Diplomat") two-door hardtop debuted at the top of the range.

    The DPL included special lower body side trim, numerous standard convenience items such as reclining bucket seats upholstered in brocade fabrics or optional vinyl. An optional interior trim featured houndstooth fabric and included two throw pillows. The DPL model was aimed to compete with the new, more upscale trimmed Plymouth VIP, Ford LTD, Chevrolet Caprice and Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.

    The 232 cu in (3.8 L) I6, as well as the 287 and 327 cu in (4.7 and 5.4 L) V8s remained in the line, but transmission selections now included a new console mounted four-speed manual. Most Ambassadors continued to be ordered with automatic transmissions.

    Motor Trend magazine tested a 1966 DPL equipped with a 327 engine that "definitely has snap we hadn't felt before" and even with an automatic transmission experienced "healthy wheelspin from both rear wheels [because of the Twin-Grip limited slip differential]... Subtle changes in this year's suspension, which include longer shocks and different springs, have a pronounced effect on the way the car feels and handles. Most welcome is the improved steering response. The car has a new feet-on-the-ground feeling, and body lean seems to have been reduced. The ride remains very good... As before, the interior's the outstanding feature of the Ambassador. Its quality is such that other luxury cars, even higher priced ones, could well imitate it..."

    Perhaps the biggest change, however, was that the Ambassador lost its historic Rambler nameplate, as the car was now marketed as the "American Motors Ambassador" or "AMC Ambassador". Abernethy was again responsible for this marketing move, as he attempted to move the stylish new Ambassador even further upmarket. To him, that meant that the Rambler name, and its economy car image would be eschewed to give the car a clean slate in a market that was turning away from economy and toward V8 performance. The evidence suggests that Abernethy was on the right track with moving the Ambassador upscale to compete with other manufacturers' luxury models as sales of the AMC's flagship jumped from 18,647 in 1964 to over 64,000 in 1965, and then in 1966 they went to more than 71,000. Although the Ambassador accounted for a mere fraction of total passenger car sales in the U.S., it was an important step in bringing the AMC's products in line with what the consumer of the day wanted.

    Source: Wikipedia
    Last edited by Man of Steel; 04-05-2020 at 01:56 AM.

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