AMC Rambler Reviews from North America

1963 AMC Rambler Classic 550 196

Model year1963
Year of manufacture1963
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 196 Manual
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 miles
Most recent distance136000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Caprice

Summary:

Reliable enviroment killin' machine

Faults:

- Generator.

- Belches gas out of the filler neck.

- Drinks oil.

General Comments:

I bought this thing for 500 bucks and drove it two and a half hours home after it had been sitting for nearly 2 years.

The car has been very reliable, but is very low on power, and the motor guzzles a quart of oil every 80-100 miles. I buy the stuff in big two gallon containers. Must be a Rambler thing, because I had another Rambler with the same engine and it would burn up oil like there was no tomorrow.

It runs rough and sounds like a really quiet diesel at idle. In its current state of tune, the little six cylinder delivers about 22 mpg. Probably be a little bit better if the engine was stronger.

The steering has tons of play, and takes some getting used to. The car is very light for its size.

Overall it is pretty well built, all the windows roll up even after 40 some odd years, and the door latches work great. This is an area that modern car designers should look into more. Sometimes there is no replacement for metal parts.

Other than needing a 20 dollar generator rebuild, I haven't stuck any money into it besides gas and (lots) of oil.

The car gets lots of comments, much more than I thought it would.

Some parts are hard to find and expensive, but compared to a newer car (10 years old or newer) I would say the parts cost are roughly the same or even slightly cheaper.

The car is extremely easy to work on. I would recommend a Classic to anyone that wants a car they can enjoy working on, instead of exploring new ways to use curse words while trying to find a specialty tool to remove a brake caliper or other such nonsense that is found on most newer cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th September, 2009

1966 AMC Rambler Classic 770 232ci I6

Year of manufacture1966
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 232ci I6 Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired82500 miles
Most recent distance82700 miles
Previous carPontiac Bonneville

Summary:

Great little car for a 42 year old daily driver

Faults:

Had to rebuild carburetor, had a very poor rebuild, resulting in terrible idle and driveability.

Had to adjust bands on newly rebuilt transmission.

Had to replace points and condenser.

Has some minor rust in the front wheel wells.

Seats are in bad shape, as well as no carpet, all common things with older cars.

General Comments:

Car is surprisingly quick, but quickly loses steam on the top end due to the torque peaking at 1600rpm.

Rides very nice, however I think it needs some sway bars installed to reduce the body roll.

Gets fairly good MPGs, about 19-20 in the city, much better than my last car, which only got about 14-15.

Engine is very strong, and is known to go forever if maintained properly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th December, 2008

1965 AMC Rambler American 330 196 I-6

Model year1965
Year of manufacture1965
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 196 I-6 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired195000 miles
Most recent distance200000 miles
Previous carFord F100

Summary:

A cheap semi-classic

Faults:

Points

Brakes

Gas tank

Transmission

Burned more oil than gas

Radiator was shot

Coil

General Comments:

Pros:

Easy to work on

Simple design

Mechanical parts easy to find

Awesome to sleep in

Decent on fuel (When it has third gear)

Cons:

Some parts are very expensive

Body parts are hard to find

Poor vacuum wipers

40s era front end technology, ie: trunnions.

I had gotten the car from a guy that wanted to restore it, but had lost the keys for it. Told me it hadn't run in 2 years. I figured for 300 bucks it was worth a shot.

Took out the ignition, went into a locksmith and had a new key made. Got it started and found out the engine was quite the bug fogger.

I drove it down the road and found that the transmission was trashed, no 3rd gear. I tinkered with the brakes and found out somewhere along the way, the rear end was replaced with an ancient 40's era rear end with a hillbilly custom drive shaft.

The wheel cylinder leaked on the passenger side in the back, but since it was a mystery rear end there was no way of getting parts. So I took the line and pounded it shut, and presto three-wheeled brakes.

I went and replaced the radiator with one I had laying around, and put a boat gas tank in the back and called it good enough. I drove it for a while, with no third gear, and burning a quart of oil every 50 miles. To be fair, the car was ancient and had close to 200,000 miles. I was surprised that I didn't get any comments on it. In fact most people just ignored it. I guess it looked too generic.

Once the coil went out, and an older man stopped, looked at me and the car, and said, "Whattaya got there, a piece of crap."

After a while the points went bad and I decided to replace them, which I did, but by then the trans was just about shot; it would hardly go into gear. So I decided to replace the whole works with a newer engine and trans. My friend was parting out his old car and I grabbed the 258 six, got an auto trans out of a Concord and put the whole works in. It was quite the job and if I were do it over again I think I would have put in a four cylinder. That 258 barely fits.

I also replaced the rear end with a AMC Eagle rear end. Got the car to run, but it doesn't run real well. I think the plugs are fouled. Now that it is cold and snowy it'll have to wait until Spring. I got a freebie car, hoping it'll last until I can get fix that car. Otherwise it'll be back to the ole bike.

After all this, I think I should have kept my old car, a '53 Plymouth. That one ran good and drove nice, but it had mystery electronics. I guess that is one good thing about the Rambler; the electrical system is good. All in all, it might be okay if I can get it fixed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th December, 2007

18th Apr 2008, 08:00

This is the dude with the 65 Rambler. Well I got the car going. Still has a few bugs to work out but at least it is on the road. It is much nicer to finally be able to drive it down the road without shoving oil in it all the time. All in all I hope for many more years of use out of this car.

3rd Mar 2013, 05:05

Wondering how the dude with the '65 Rambler made out.

Does the dude abide?

Average review marks: 7.4 / 10, based on 14 reviews