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Thread: AMC Ambassador (7th gen) 1969-1973

  1. #1
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    AMC Ambassador (7th gen) 1969-1973

    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.

    Seventh generation
    1969
    In 1969, the Ambassador received a major restyling, with a 4-inch (102 mm) gain in overall length and wheelbase. The 122-inch (3,099 mm) wheelbase was accompanied by an increase in front and rear track from 58.5 to 60 inches (1,486 to 1,524 mm). The front end appearance was revised with new quad headlight clusters mounted horizontally in a new molded plastic grille. The grille itself was blackout with a chrome horizontal bar that connected the headlight clusters. The hood was redesigned to accommodate the grille's raised center portion, and it faintly recalled Packard's classic grille/hood combination. Richard A. Teague, AMC's Vice President of Styling, had worked at the luxury car manufacturer before joining AMC. Parking lights were rectangular and mounted horizontally in recessed wells in the front bumper, just beneath each set of headlights. The entire front fascia leaned forward slightly to lend an air of forward motion to the car's appearance.

    At the rear, ribbed rectangular taillights were mounted inboard the Ambassadors rearward-thrusting rear fenders. Square ribbed marker lights of similar height were mounted at the trailing edge of each fender side. The deck lid had a slightly higher lift over. The base and DPL models had no decorative panel connecting the taillights while the top-line SST versions featured a panel painted red to match the taillights. Station wagons saw vertical wraparound taillights replacing the previous "hooded" units, which were not visible from the side. The 1969 AMC Ambassador was a smooth, powerful, well-proportioned sedan that did not look like anything else on the road.

    The interiors were upgraded and a new deeply hooded dashboard clustered instruments and controls in front of the driver. There was an increased emphasis on luxury-type trim and features. The base model two-door hardtop was dropped for 1969.

    The 1969 Ambassador stressed luxury, with the marketing tagline developed by Mary Wells Lawrence at the Wells Rich Greene agency, tying the car's value, "It will remind you of the days when money really bought something." The combination of rich velour upholstery, individually adjustable reclining seats, standard air conditioning, and the longer wheelbase were highlighted in advertisements with Ambassador's posh"limousine" ride at an economical price. One aspect of this new advertising theme included many AMC dealers inviting prospective customers to call and request a "demonstration ride", in which a uniformed chauffeur would arrive at the prospect's home and drive them around in an Ambassador SST sedan. AMC's efforts worked, and Ambassador sales shot up again.

    Not only did AMC promote the 1969 Ambassador as having a "limousine" ride and deluxe appointments, but Chicago auto leasing executive, Robert Estes, had the Armbruster/Stageway Company convert Ambassadors into real 24-foot (7.3 m) limousines riding on a 158-inch (4,013 mm) wheelbase. Known as the Royale Stretch Limo, one was owned by the State of Wisconsin as the official vehicle for Governor Warren Knowles. The conversions were unusual in that they did not keep the stock rear doors—as is typical in most limos. The back doors were welded shut and the Ambassadors were lengthened by inserting a section just behind the original B-pillar that had an entirely new central door in this center making a large opening for entry and egress. Four-inch (100 mm) steel "I-beams" bridge the expanse created by stretch. Power comes from the "AMX" 315 hp (235 kW; 319 PS) 390 cu in (6.4 L) V8 engine backed with the BorgWarner automatic transmission and a "Twin-Grip" limited-slip differential with 3.15 gears.

    From their experience with supplying the U.S Postal Service with over 3700 right-hand drive Ambassadors in 1968, American Motors thereafter exported fully assembled RHD Ambassadors from the United States to right-hand drive foreign markets, including the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

    1970
    For the 1970 model year, the rear half of Ambassador hardtop coupes and sedans was treated to an overhaul that was also shared by the intermediate 1970 AMC Rebel. On hardtop coupes, this restyling resulted in a sloping roofline that saw upswept reverse-angle quarter windows. The belt line kicked up at the point the hardtop's rear windows swept upward, and tapered back to the fender end, meeting a new loop-type rear bumper.

    On sedans, the roof line showed a slimmer C-pillar, squared-off rear door windows, and met a belt line that kicked up beneath the trailing edge of each rear door window. The belt line tapered back to the same rear fascia as the hardtop coupe's. This rear fascia contained a new ribbed taillight lens that stretched wall-to-wall and included twin square white reverse light lenses in its center.
    Station wagons received no change to their rooflines, doors, and rear fascias. However, all Ambassadors received a new extruded aluminum grille at the front, featuring several widely spaced bright horizontal bars with one wide, body colored horizontal grille bar extending to each headlight cluster. The 290 cu in (4.8 L) V8 was replaced for 1970 by a new 304 cu in (5.0 L) V8 engine. This 210 hp (157 kW; 213 PS) at 4400 rpm and 305 pound force-feet (414 N⋅m) of torque at 2800 rpm was the standard engine on all DPL and SST models. The 343 cu in (5.6 L) V8 was also supplanted by a 360 cu in (5.9 L) engine available in either 2-barrel, regular gasoline, or high-output, 4-barrel, premium fuel versions. The 4-barrel "AMX" 390 cu in (6.4 L) V8 engine was optional, producing 325 hp (242 kW; 330 PS) at 3200 rpm and 420 pound force-feet (569 N⋅m) of torque at 3200 rpm.

    Source: Wikipedia
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 04-05-2020 at 02:06 AM.

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    1971
    Following the previous year's redesign, the 1971 Ambassadors received only minor changes and improvements. The marketing tag line for the year was the underdog asking, "If you had to compete with GM, Ford and Chrysler, what would you do?"—that was answered by AMC including more features, advantages, and benefits for buyers of its cars compared to the models from its much larger competitors. This was reflected by shuffling the Ambassador models for 1971 and by including more equipment in the standard feature list. The previously nameless base models were dropped, as the sedan-only DPL trim line was relegated to base model status, and a new top-line Brougham trim line was added above mid-line SST models. Both SST and Brougham models came as hardtop coupes, sedans, and wagons.

    The DPL came with AMC's new 258 cu in (4.2 L) 150 hp (112 kW; 152 PS) Inline-6 with seven main bearings. All the SSTs and Broughams featured the 304 cu in (5.0 L) V8 engine with 210 hp (157 kW) as standard. BorgWarner's "Shift-Command" automatic transmissions were standard equipment across the line. Two of AMC's 360 cu in (5.9 L) were optional; an 8.5:1 compression version with a two-barrel carburetor or a high-compression four-barrel V8 that required premium-fuel. The previous "AMX 390" V8 gave way to a new 401 cu in (6.6 L) 335 hp (250 kW) V8 as the top engine option.
    Styling changes consisted of a new fascia up front. It featured headlights contained in their own chrome pods separate from, but flanking the new grille with a bright rectangular surround, with rounded edges. The "natural" cast pot metal grille insert was recessed and featured a bright vertical bar pattern. A second set of parking lights was added outboard of the headlight clusters, and they were integrated into the fender extension to eliminate the need for separate front marker lights.

    Taillights on hardtop coupes and sedans still ran wall-to-wall, but the twin backup lights were moved from the center to further outboard—approximately eight inches in from either fender side. Once again, the wagon received few changes at the rear, but added a new design for its optional woodgrain side trim, which filled in its upper bodysides. Its lower edge flowed downward aft of its peak at the leading edge above each front wheelhouse, in similar fashion to the Buick Skylark's side "sweepspear" styling cue.

    Ambassador base models were offered to fleet buyers with various police, taxicab, and other heavy-duty packages. Governments and police departments in the U.S. historically used standard-size, low-price line four-door sedans. Equipped with the 360 or 401 engines, the base Ambassadors saw use as police cruisers and support vehicles.

    1972
    Minor changes greeted 1972 Ambassadors, as AMC's biggest news for the year was the addition of the innovative AMC Buyer Protection Plan, that included the industry's first 12-month or 12,000-mile (19,000 km) bumper-to-bumper warranty. This was the first time an automaker promised to repair anything wrong with the car (except for tires) and owners were provided with a toll-free telephone number to the company, as well as a free loaner car if a warranty repair took overnight. This backing also included mechanical upgrades to increase durability and quality, such as the standardization of electric windshield wipers on all model lines, replacing AMC's vacuum-powered units, as well as better interior trims. By focusing on quality, the smallest domestic automaker was profitable for 1972, earning US$30.2 million (the highest net profit achieved by AMC since 1964) on $4 billion in sales.

    The base Ambassador DPL model was canceled, with three body styles now available in SST and Brougham trim. Fleet purchasers could order plain Ambassadors in Police Pursuit Vehicle (PPV) or Special Service Package (SSP) versions. A six-cylinder engine was no longer available; thus, Ambassador became a V8-only car for the first time since 1964. This made the Ambassador the only volume-produced American car that included air conditioning, power brakes, automatic transmission, and a V8 engine as standard equipment; all while being priced less than the Big Three's full-sized cars. The base engine was the 304 cu in (5.0 L) with two 360 cu in (5.9 L) or a 401 cu in (6.6 L) versions optional. The engines were designed to operate on regular grade, low-lead, or unleaded gasolines. All were based on the engine designs responsible for AMC winning the 1971–1972 Trans-Am Series. The Borg-Warner transmission was replaced by the "Torque-Command" (TorqueFlite) three-speed automatic sourced from Chrysler.

    Styling changes on the 1972 Ambassador were limited to a new crosshatch cast metal grille with bright trim and new integrated fender extension mounted side marker lamps on the front. Brougham station wagons included a roof rack, rear air deflector, as well as 3M "dinoc" woodgrain trim on body sides and tailgate.

    A Popular Mechanics magazine survey after driving a total of 1,000,000 miles (1,609,344 km) found Ambassador owners were pleased with their cars, describing them to be "very comfortable to drive and ride in" with handling listed as a top "specific like" by half of the drivers. A very high percentage (92%) would buy one again. Although the Buyer Protection Plan was listed by only 8.5% as a reason to buy an Ambassador, owners valued the smaller AMC dealers that "had more time to be courteous and to pay personal attention to customers."

    Source: Wikipedia
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 04-05-2020 at 02:09 AM.
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    1973
    The SST models were dropped from the line, as all 1973 Ambassadors now came in one high-level "Brougham" trim. Ten popular items including an AM radio, power disk brakes, tinted glass, and whitewall tires were added to the already extensive standard equipment list that included air conditioning, V8 engine, and automatic transmission. The Ambassador line "maintains its reputation as one of the industry's most completely equipped cars." Multiple improvements in quality were designed to reinforce the new "Extended Buyer Protection Plan" exclusive to AMC cars that provided complete maintenance coverage for two years or 24,000 miles (38,624 km). The automaker's marketing campaign shifted to stress quality in a "we back them better because we build them better" advertising with particular emphasis into the Hornet, Matador and Gremlin promotion, while the Ambassador received got individual support with the tagline "you get standard equipment, the luxuries you'd normally have to pay extra for."

    Model year production for AMC increased 25 percent, outperforming the industry average production increase by 75 percent, with only a slightly changed product in the showrooms.

    In range rationalization to a single trim available in two-door hardtop, four-door sedan, and station wagon body versions, the styling changes for the 1973 Ambassadors were minimal. Heftier front and rear bumpers were included to comply with new U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulations that required all passenger cars to withstand a 5-mile-per-hour (8 km/h) front and a 2.5-mile-per-hour (4 km/h) rear impacts without damage to the engine, lights, and safety equipment. Ambassadors complied with the regulation by incorporating a stronger front bumper equipped with self-restoring telescoping shock-absorbers. Designed to "give" as much as 3.5 in (89 mm), it jutted slightly forward from the front fascia and incorporated flexible trim matching the body paint. This bumper also featured a more prominent horizontal rubber guard at its upper portion near the grille, thus eliminating the need for a pair of vertical chrome bumper guards that was optional before. The rear bumper gained vertical black rubber bumper guards that also replaced a pair of similar and previously optional chrome bumper guards. The grille gained heavier horizontal bars and headlight bezels took on blackout trim in their recessed portions.

    Source: Wikipedia

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