Tag Archives: amc

Promo Model: ’64 Classic 770 Cross Country Wagon

1964-Rambler-Classic-Cross-Country, AMC wagons, american motors, AMC, SavageOnWheels.com
Photo courtesy: AutoWeek

Like any car guy I subscribe to a lot of newsletters. I like to keep up on what’s new, what’s cool, what’s fast:), and collector cars, mostly from the the 60’s and 70’s. This week I received my AutoWeek newsletter, parused it, and low and behold came across this car. Now of course being an AMC geek I took a closer look at the ’64 Classic 770 Cross Country wagon. Since it usually was cash-strapped, AMC knew the could not go head to head with GM, Ford, and Chrysler so they found a segment the Big Three weren’t in. BTW, did you know that in 1962, Rambler was N0. 1 in station wagon sales?

This ’64 was built on the new Classic, which debuted in 1963, and was named the Motor Trend Car of The Year. The new Classic/Ambassador series was the third all-new Rambler and the second of true midsize proportions.  AMC stretched the standard wheelbase from 108 inches to 112 inches, while reducing overall length by almost an inch making for a lower, more modern profile. The wagon accounted for 34 percent of Classic sales. As a point of reference, the Audi A4 rides on a 110 wheelbase while the Cadillac CTS rides on 113 inch wheelbases.
1964 Rambler Classic Cross County Wagon, AMC, AMC station wagons, American Motors, SavageOnWheels.com
’64 ad from my collection

Like a lot of AMC cars it featured lots of innovations such as curved side glass, an industry first for any car outside the luxury class which contributed to a sophisticated look that was supposed to last a decade. “Uniside” construction, which reduced body stampings by 30 percent. Door openings were welded from two stampings rather than 52. All of this reduced the weight as much as 150 pounds for some models. Dual-circuit brakes, soon required on all cars, were carried over from ’62. In my research for this article, besides the ad on the left, I was able to find a radio spot done by Phyllis Diller. She sounds so young.

In the AutoWeek article by John F. Katz on 10/08/2012, he says the example above belongs to Bruce Ritchie, the second owner, “despite 72,000 original miles, seems to have time-warped directly from the Atlantic City showroom where it was sold brand-new. Look past the rocket-age instrument panel, and you see an interior that’s well-appointed and more upmarket in appearance than almost any contemporary midsize car. The seats are flat and soft, and the steering wheel large and close, but those quirks belong as much to the time as to this particular vehicle. The 196-cid, 127-hp overhead-valve six idles in silence and accelerates with a happy thrum. The steering is predictably linear, while the soft all-coil suspension convincingly replicates the ride (and body roll) of a much larger car. But that was precisely the Rambler’s appeal: big-car comfort and style at 23 mpg.” according to Katz.

While this is not a hot collectible, it is affordable. The car’s original list price was $3,233 and examples like this will go for around $7,900. Best of all, parts are available, and all one has to do is join one of the collector clubs, like the American Motors Owners Association, to find out where they are.

promo models, dealer promotional model cars, 1964 Rambler Cross County wagon, American Motors, AMC, SavageOnWheels.compromo models, dealer promotional model cars, 1964 Rambler Cross County wagon, American Motors, AMC, SavageOnWheels.comSo here’s my promo model, a two-tone, white over maroon. I’ve had this car for a very long time as you can see by the dust on it. I’m not sure if it was one my dad brought home when he worked at AMC or I bought it at a swap. I do remember seeing these at swap meets. Examples of good ones like mine go for around $50. I was only able to see one on eBay and the current bid was around $35. I did see a ’63 Classic Sedan with a current bid of $90. I have one of them too. A few years back, my dad and I were at the American Motors Owners Association event in Kenosha, where most of the AMC’s were built, and there were some vendors selling the promo models. I was talking to a couple of guys, one who was into collecting promo models year by year and all the colors they came in while the other was collecting just the wagons which I have. Thinking back now to when I was kid, dad brought some many promo models home, many free while some others he paid 2 bucks for, 2 bucks! Quite a few of those were either burned or blown up in my driveway.
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Promo model: Nash Metropolitan

Title: Nash car dealership Creator: Adolph B. ...
Nash car dealership Creator: Adolph B. Rice Studio  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the early 50’s most of the car manufacturers were going the “bigger is better” route.  Nash Motor Company executives were examining the market to offer American buyers an economical transportation alternative. In came the Nash Metropolitan. Wait a minute, isn’t the all coming around again with cars like the Fiat 500 and Smart Car? Same concept, small car, good gas milage and fun to drive. The “Met” as it is called sometimes was first introduced in 1953 and was a partnership between Nash, here in the US, and Austin Motor Company, and Fisher and Ludlow in England to become the first American-designed car, that was to be exclusively marketed in North America, had been entirely built in Europe. It was also the first American car that was marketed specifically to women.

English: Metropolitan automobile car club meet...
Metropolitan automobile car club meet, Kenosha, WI (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What’s not to love about this car? It’s wheelbase was just 85 inches, smaller than a VW, got great gas mileage, 40-47 mpg, and it was fun to drive. By the time of the end of the production run, there were 94,986 sold in the US and Canada with 1959 being the best sales year where 22,209 were sold. Today this car has a cult-like following with several car clubs.

For those of you who don’t have the cash or garage space there are the Met promo models. These were made mostly by Hubley Manufacturing both as promo model and a kit. The one way to tell them apart is that the promo was friction and the kit was not. When the Met came out, a dealer could order a box of them for 18 bucks. These are actually pretty easy to find.

I believe the one I have here was my dad’s. The detail on this is pretty good and they only thing keeping this one from being a Nash Metropolitan dealer promo model, nash, metropolitan, savageonwheels.comNash Metropolitan promo model, nash, nash metropolitanperfect 10 would be the missing post on the passenger side. It has very little warp in it. I do not have the box with it which also would knock it down some. I have seen ones with boxes going in the neighborhood of around $200. I almost had the real deal but for some reason couldn’t hook up with the buyer and it was the same color as this one.

Diecast: Auto World 1969 AMC AMX Hurst SS

Two-seat muscle car a rarity, but ready to race

AMC’s AMX was an automotive rarity, a two-seat muscle car on a short wheelbase that most folks at the time agreed handled more like a sports car.1969 AMC AMX

American MotorsJavelin had just come out a few months earlier when AMC unveiled the AMX for 1968 ½ in February of that year. Auto World’s 1:18 version is a “frost” white 1969 AMX Hurst SS version, the rarest of the rare.

Only 52 AMX models were made, all starting out white as they rolled off the assembly line headed to Hurst Performance for tuning, the aim being drag racing. Continue reading Diecast: Auto World 1969 AMC AMX Hurst SS

Cool Cars at Road America

Hey Paul Daniel here. I help Mark with the site, do videos and write for the section of promo models. Like Mark, I’m a huge car geek! I was at Road American this past weekend, just about my most favorite place, with my wife and daughter, taking in some of the racing. Beyond the cool race cars, there are plenty others. This video will show you what I saw. So this video would actually fit better in a section “Cars I’ll Never Own”.

Promo model: 1960 AMC Unibody

amc, american motors, amc, rambler, nash, kenosha wiSometimes when I mention my affection for American Motors and Ramblers I get a chuckles. “That’s the company that made the Pacer and the Gremlin, right?” they say. Well…..yes but those were just a few of the innovations AMC had in it’s history. Actually AMC had a massive impact on the auto industry in general. Facing GM, Ford, and Chrysler though out their 33 year history, AMC had to continually innovate to survive. One of their biggest innovations was using outside suppliers for components for its cars while the Big Three completely build their cars in-house. Another was their invention and first use of unibody construction. Continue reading Promo model: 1960 AMC Unibody

Promo models: AMC AMX’s

promotional model cars, AMX, AMC, American MotorsThis is by far my most favorite car AMC ever made. If I had the cash, and good ones go for about 25 grand, I would go out and get one. Looks and power in a small package. I did own one, once, and it was a disaster for me. Hellbent on getting one of these, I found one for $2,500. That should have been my first clue of impending disaster. When I jambed the throttle, it pinned me to the seat, I laughed and the tires screamed! What a hoot. Then the engine blew up. A 390 which would not be easy to find. I found a 360 and actually tried to install it myself which would be about the same if I tried doing open heart surgery. I know where all the stuff is and what it does but was in way over my head. Continue reading Promo models: AMC AMX’s

Promo models: AMC Marlin

Tarpon concept car, amc concept cars, american motorsHave you ever wondered why a certain car didn’t meet expectations and became just a footnote? Such is the case for American Motors’s Marlin. This “Man Size Fastback” as AMC called it in ads was not the original concept.  Designed by AMC’s famous designer Dick Teague chose the Rambler American chassis (106 inches) and created the Tarpon in 1964 hoping to fend off the soon to come Ford Mustang. Remember, Ford made the Mustang off the Falcon chassis. Continue reading Promo models: AMC Marlin