HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1969 Rambler American, appealingly clean and simple

Pick of the Day: 1969 Rambler American, appealingly clean and simple

The 2-door sedan appears to be a cherished example presented in very nice condition


There are two kinds of car collectors: those who dig old Ramblers and those who don’t, with the higher percentage falling in the latter camp (not including such performance outliers as Rambler Rebels, etc.)

I find myself in the former group of enthusiasts, among those who appreciate the offbeat lure of a post-war domestic brand that’s not a member of the Big 3.  The quirky styling of ’50s Ramblers can be unique and appealing, although the brand had gone a bit more mainstream, stylistically, by the late 1960s.


The Pick of the Day is a 1969 Rambler American 2-door sedan that looks very clean and semi-original.  I say “semi” because the simple three-box shape looks to have been shorn of its factory trim – shaved, as the hot rodders say – which makes it appear stylishly subdued.  Some might disagree, but I think it’s a good-looking little car.

The Orlando dealer advertising the Rambler on ClassicCars.com does not mention any custom bodywork, other than to say it’s had a repaint in its original shade of Memphis Blue, complemented by a blue cloth bench-seat interior.  So it would appear that a previous owner appreciated Ramblers, or at least this particular compact car. 

rambler, Pick of the Day: 1969 Rambler American, appealingly clean and simple, ClassicCars.com Journal

The advertiser, by the way, just calls it an AMC Rambler in the listing without noting the American nameplate.  Could be because that no longer appears anywhere on the car.  Although, the dealer does appear to understand the Rambler appeal.

“Long has there been a cult following for brand names of vehicles, but none have been quite as unique as the AMC community,” the seller says in the ad. “Competing with big names like the Chevy II and Ford Falcon, the Rambler had a reputation of being the hip alternative to mainstream offerings.”


The Rambler is powered by its correct 199cid OHV inline-6 linked with a 3-speed column-shifted manual transmission.  That’s not a powerhouse by any stretch but most-certainly adequate power for stressless highway cruising.

The dealer says the car is mechanically up to date and ready to go.

“Recent work done to this vehicle include new fuel lines/filters, new crank seal and timing cover gasket, new tires, entire brake system, restored gauge cluster, new water pump, installed electric fan, remanufactured carb and much more,” the ad says.


The asking price for what the seller calls “this wonderfully unassuming 1969 AMC Rambler” is $12,000.

To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. I love these old Americans. I had one almost exactly like the one in this article, except mine was brown. I picked it up around 1983 for a mere $500. As you say, it was a perfect car to drive to work each day and run errands.

  2. 3 ON THE TREE—- After one day of that (slow) drive down memory lane I would have had enough..
    Every gear / shift would be a long painful delay.
    I can hear it (not) reving in my head now.
    Tachometer?? He put that in for a joke.
    You could use a wristwatch.
    But you would be so struggling with the (no power) steering – you wouldn’t notice the pedestrian passing you by.

    • Lol – you’ve never driven one of these – you can turn that wheel with one hand. Never needed power steering…sounds like you need lessons on shifting too.

  3. Side marker lights were first required beginning in 1968. This is supposedly a 1969 model but I don’t see any side marker lights, at least on the right side. What’s up?

  4. If you notice, the park brake handle is NOT broken off! Very unusual. I had basically a fleet of these during my car collector days in the 90’s. I think, 12 or 20 or so. The 232 was the best engine, 7 main bearing and it would really perform with the 2 barrel. You could run them out of oil and they would not blow up, just stop rotating. New bearings and away you go. The Jeep 4.0 liter was a ‘kindacopy’ and was very lively in Comanche pickups as well as the Cherokee. The original Rambler 6 was typically paired with either a 3 speed manual or the Borg-Warner T35, a version also used in Volvo’s but with steel tubes in the valve body. I used to use the Volvo tubes in my T35 rebuilds. Very tight tolerances in the T35’s and if you have ever worn the clutches down far enough in a T35 and it flipped the return spring, you would be stuck in both forward and reverse at the same time, uh oh. Turning off the engine would stop the pump but unless you wanted to destroy the case and sprag you might as well pull the driveline. My 67′ trans was air cooled and took about 7 minutes to remove. Easy to work on, used the best parts from AC-Delco, Ford starters, body mechanical workings from Mopar and ingenuity from Hudson, Studebaker and Packard. The Newer block V8’s were a ‘Buick-style’ engine design with the front distributor tilting the opposite direction. Also a version of the AMC V8 was used by Rover-TC but was fuel injected. The amazing AMC V8 had big block horsepower, small block size and in-between stroke. I owned 5 of the SC/Rambler Hurst ‘Street Competition models and each had various updates to destroy the egos of poor Mustang, Camaro, Roadrunner street racers in downtown Portland, Oregon who had the bad luck of pulling up next to me. My broken off Cherry bomb exhaust would really echo in the downtown building corridors and the motorcycle cops would run everyone out of town after it got real loud. The power to weight ratio on the Hurst SC was the secret. Like a 454 in a Nova. One of my more monster SC’s had 4:56 gears and you could take off in 4th. Punch it at 45 and it would do a circle. Scary but when you are 18, I was invisible to the reaper but not the police. With all those races on 205, Broadway, 82nd, 122nd, never got a ticket. However, the insurance was another matter. The AMC enthusiasts know and AMX and Javelins were the sporty version of the same power plant system. My Javelin had a 140 mph speedometer I checked the operation of while racing a Jaguar. I-205 towards West Linn I pushed in the clutch with the needle facing 6 o’clock (150mph) and coasted across the bridge up hill and took the West Linn exit. Adrenaline, Driving a Drug.

  5. Although I usually don’t admit to anyone, my first car was a ’66 American. A black two-door post sedan that was visually even more plain Jane than this one. I got it for free (our neighbor down the street just wanted it out of her back-yard), got it running, and sold it for $400 – which was enough to add to my saved-up lawn-mowing money to buy myself a ’66 Triumph TR4-A. It was the last domestic car I owned for most of my adult life – but I still search the classifieds for a super-clean original one. Their survival rate seems high – as they were almost always purchased by little old ladies who just wanted four wheels and a (bench) seat for not much money.

  6. My dad had a 68 3 on the tree learned to drive and took my drivers test in it .
    He offered it to me and I turned him down I regret it every day.

  7. I currently own a 69 Rambler 2 dr, and it is a blast to drive. The reason you don’t see the American badge is because they dropped that for the 69. It was only called American up till 68. Food for thought


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