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    Rambler American (3rd gen) 1964-1969

    The Rambler American is a compact car that was manufactured by the American Motors Corporation (AMC) between 1958 and 1969. The American was the second incarnation of AMC's forerunner Nash Motors second-generation Rambler compact that was sold under the Nash and Hudson Motors marques from 1954 and 1955.

    The American can be classified in three distinct model year generations: 1958 to 1960, 1961 to 1963, and 1964 to 1969. During the entire length of its production, the car was sold under the Rambler brand name, and was the last Rambler named automobile marketed in the Canadian and United States markets.

    The compact Rambler American was most often the lowest priced car built in the U.S. It was popular for its economy in ownership, as was proven by numerous Mobilgas Economy Run championships. After an optional second-generation AMC V8 engine was added in 1966, it also became known as a powerful compact performance model that also included the 390 cu in (6.4 L) version built in conjunction with Hurst, the 1969 SC/Rambler.

    A special youth-oriented concept car, the 1964 Rambler Tarpon, was built on an Rambler American platform that foretold the fastback design of the 1965 Rambler Marlin, as well as future trends in sporty-type pony cars, including the 1968 AMC Javelin.

    Third generation
    For its third generation, the American emerged with what would be its only completely new design. The entire line was treated to neat and trim lines with pleasing simplicity (compared to the more boxy predecessors) with characteristic tunneled headlights with a simple horizontal grille between them. The Rambler American's wheelbase grew by six-inches or 152 mm (to 106 in or 2692 mm) and the interiors were made more spacious. The station wagons in the restyled 1964 series came with four doors and gained 17% more cargo space compared to the previous design. They all featured a new roll-down disappearing rear window for the bottom-hinged tailgate. Full coil front springs along with soft rear leaf units, gave the new American an unusually smooth ride, better than many larger domestic cars. The new models also incorporated various parts and components (such as doors) that were interchangeable with AMC's larger cars. In essence, the new body was a shorter, narrower version of the previous years new Rambler Classic.

    The new styling was the work of designer Richard A. Teague, who would go on to design the 1968 Javelin and AMX. Teague selected the front-end design developed by Bob Nixon, who would later be put in charge of AMC's small car studio.[38] Many viewed the newly designed station wagon as the best looking of any American wagon, with its new trim lines, with ample passenger, and cargo room. Led by the top-line 440-series convertible, they were arguably the 1964's most attractive Detroit compacts. Car Life magazine titled its road test of the 1964 Rambler American: "The Original Plain Jane Compact Car Just Got Back From the Beauty Parlor".

    1964
    In addition to the top-of-the-line 440 models, the cheaper 330 and 220 models were also available, and Rambler American sales soared to a record 160,000-plus. he old 195.6 cu in (3.2 L) I6 was a gas stingy champ in the Mobil Economy Runs and available in 90 hp (67 kW; 91 PS), 125 hp (93 kW; 127 PS), and 138 hp (103 kW; 140 PS) versions.

    However, American Motors focused its marketing on the economy of the new models, an advertising of a kind that was previously only popular during the Great Depression.

    1965
    The 1965 Americans were little changed, but were advertised as "The Sensible Spectaculars". his was part of Roy Abernethy's strategy for AMC to shed its "economy car" reputation and take on the domestic Big Three automakers in new market segments. here were few changes to AMC's smallest models, as Abernethy pinned his hopes for recovery not so much on the low-priced Rambler American as on the medium and higher-priced Classic and Ambassador lines.

    The 1965 models were the last year for the venerable flathead six available in 90 hp (67 kW; 91 PS) or 125 hp (93 kW; 127 PS) versions. It was the last flathead engine to be used in a domestic U.S. car.

    The year also saw the introduction of an entirely new 232 cu in (3.8 L) overhead valve straight-6 engine.[45] This 155 hp (116 kW; 157 PS) engine was available on any American model equipped with an automatic transmission. American Motors would use this modern straight-six design through 1979, with a smaller 199 cu in (3.3 L) version being used only during 1966–1970. The same engine was later available in a larger 258 cu in (4.2 L) version (used from 1971 to 1989) and the fuel injected 242 cu in (4.0 L) versions that debuted in 1987, known as the Jeep 4.0, which Chrysler would continue their production after its purchase of AMC in 1987, all the way through 2006.

    The 440 trim was available as a convertible and it was the most affordable U.S.-made open body style with prices starting at $2,418. It was available with twin individually adjustable and reclining front seats or buckets with center console. It was one of the best convertibles on the market, but it lacked some of the sporty features that buyers wanted such as a V8 engine.

    The company's series of "Love Letters to Rambler" advertisements included "ordinary user testimonials" about the economy and reliability of their Ramblers, rather than in pursuit of buyers in the whole compact car market segment. This strategy was copied ten years later by Datsun.

    Rambler Carrousel
    The 1964 Chicago Auto Show featured a special version of a top-of-the-line American named the Rambler Carrousel on raised rotating platform. The 1965 show car exterior was finished in "Turquoise Fireflake" and a white leather interior with turquoise carpeting, instrument panel, and slim bucket seats. Other features included die-cast aluminum road wheels and AMC's console-mounted Twin-Stick manual transmission.

    American Motors made specially trimmed, production-based show cars and the Carrousel was one of three concepts displayed for 1965 at the Chicago Show: the Rambler Tarpon fastback and the Rambler Cheyenne station wagon.

    1966
    As the automobile marketplace in the U.S. was moving away from economy towards performance and luxury vehicles, American Motors began removing the historic Rambler name from its larger models. However, the American and Classic models retained their economy car marketing image, as well as their traditional nameplate. To cement this image, a Rambler American was again the overall winner in the Mobil Economy Run. The mid-trim level 330 model was dropped, leaving the top 440 and base 220 models in the lineup for 1966. The top of the line model, available only as a two-door hardtop, saw its name changed from 440-H, to Rogue.

    The American models were facelifted for the 1966 model year with more squared-off front and rear styling. The front of the car was extended three inches (76 mm), that increase allowed the optional air conditioning to be installed with the new 199, and 232 in-line six-cylinder engines, which were longer than the previous 195.6 versions.

    A completely new 290 cu in (4.8 L) "Typhoon" V8 engine was developed by AMC, it was introduced in the special mid-1966 Rogue model. Available in 200 hp (149 kW; 203 PS) two-barrel carburetor version or producing 225 hp (168 kW; 228 PS) with a 4-barrel carburetor and high compression, the new engines utilized "thin-wall" casting technology and weighed only 540 pounds (245 kg). The newly powered Rogue came with a 3-speed automatic transmission or a floor mounted 4-speed manual, and made the car "suitable for the Stoplight Grand Prix."

    American Motors' new engine design would expand in power and applications across the company's passenger cars, and eventually in Jeeps. The engine continued to be assembled through 1991 for the Jeep Grand Wagoneer; long after AMC had been sold to Chrysler in 1987.

    Source: Wikipedia

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