(Found In) Longfellow (Emeryville, California): 1968 AMC Rambler American 440 Station Wagon

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Always walking to the beat of a different drum, the heritage of AMC stretched back into two independents that had long done it their way. It’s by no chance that the first, least expensive option on offer in their showrooms nationwide relied on the manifest-destiny ringing “American” nameplate.

Back in the days of AMC being rooted in Nash, the Rambler concept was by far the most continually successful compact car concept, making sure to offer those a lot of comfort in their decreased footprint. Closing in on 20 years after the beginning of that risk, what did the littlest AMC product give you in 1968?

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(Found In) Fairfax (Oakland, California): 1962 Rambler Classic Custom 4 Door Sedan

img_2375In the era of planned obsolescence, independent brands, out of necessity didn’t “keep up with the times.” Smaller brands like Studebaker, AMC and a number of independent brands before them didn’t have the market share or profits to field new styling and the required sheetmetal every 2 or 3 years, or, in the case of General Motors, the extreme of every model year for 1957, ’58 and ’59.

As a wave of consumer backlash against this process developed, American Motors in particular, was well situated to take advantage of the march of “progress” fielded by the big three. Their smaller, sensible, upright rolling orthopedic shoes of automobiles, assembled with care and craft not necessarily known in their price class lead them to rise in sales during the leaner, recession restricted years of 1958 through 1961.  How did that do for ’62?

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(Found In) Alberta Arts District (Portland, Oregon): 1964 Rambler Classic 770 Typhoon Hardtop Coupe

image (10)The concept of the “Spring Special” to spur sagging interest in new cars is somewhat a lost concept. In these days of blurred time boundaries, new models up for sale are just given the next model year title. In the past however, new features and running model updates more often than not got a fresh round of marketing to spur along sales of current models.

Chrysler was notorious for flamboyant color options and names, Ford for bodystyles and powertrains. When AMC had a special announcement up its sleeve for April of ’64, it took pages from both their books. With a fancy new engine and a striking color scheme, the 1964 Typhoon was born.
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(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco, California): 1954 Hudson Hornet Sedan

image After creating such a sensation on the Automotive market in 1948, The “Step Down” Hudsons found themselves left behind because of their extremely distinctive stance. The envelope Uni-Body that gave the rugged solidarity and premium prestige in the immediate post war proved a limited engineering dead end in the rapidly changing automotive market of the 1950’s.

More Film Noir than Technicolor, Hudson tried valiantly to freshen up and trim the relationship to fastback fancies of the 1940’s. Interestingly, the modernization worked to some degree better on other bodystyles, yet betrayed the aging roots on other models. For the final year of truly unique Hudson models, it proved many a fumbled opportunity.
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