By on July 1, 2019

With Independence Day nearly upon us, it seems fitting that Rare Rides take a look at a car wearing its red, white, and blue theme very proudly. It’s a rare version of the AMC Rebel: The Machine. Get your sparklers ready. 

The Rebel was a short-lived lineup for Wisconsin-based AMC. Introduced for the 1967 model year, the Rebel replaced the dated looking Rambler Classic, which was sold as the company’s midsize volume model between 1961 and 1966. AMC grafted the Rebel name onto its new model after the Rambler Classic wore it in its final as a trim level.

The new Rebel had some big shoes to fill, and rode on the company’s largest “Senior Cars” platform with the flagship Ambassador. During its development, AMC underwent a management change. The new guy in charge, Roy Chapin Junior, wanted to get rid of the dusty image AMC had gathered. He made sure advertising promoted the Rebel’s high performance and modernity. To that end, eight different engines were offered in inline-six or V8 configuration. Displacement ranged between 232 (3.8L) and 390 (6.4L) cubic inches. Six cylinder power plants were a continuation of those offered in the Rambler Classic, but the V8s were brand new.  Transmissions were three- or four-speeds and manual or automatic. Body styles included a two-door sedan, convertible, and hardtop, as well as a four-door sedan and wagon.

AMC’s desire to spur customer interest in the brand lead to several special versions of the Rebel. In 1967, wagon variants (called Cross Country) were sold in limited special editions according to region. Coastal areas had the Mariner nautical themed wagon, while the south and east had the Briarcliff brougham version. Areas west of the Mississippi had the Westerner, with wood plank exterior trim paired to white paint.

Meanwhile, AMC was working on a bit of collaboration with Hurst Performance, to develop a new high performance halo Rebel. In 1970, The Machine was new for the Rebel’s final model year. The most patriotic examples were painted red, white, and blue, and had reflective stripes manufactured by a small US-based company called 3M. The Machine debuted at the National Hod Rod Association’s drag race finals in 1969. AMC sent 10 cars to Dallas, and drove them directly from the parking lot onto the drag strip.

All examples of The Machine came with the largest 390 V8, and were rated at 340 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. The four-barrel carb had an high compression of 10:1, and required high-octane fuel. All this meant zero to 60 in a zippy 6.4 seconds. A total of 2,326 The Machines were built for 1970, as Rebel leapt aside for the new Matador.

Today’s striped Rare Ride is for sale in the very patriotic state of Texas. Already restored to original glory, it asks $48,000.

[Images: seller]

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35 Comments on “Rare Rides: Ultimate Americana via the 1970 AMC Rebel, The Machine...”


  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    “The most patriotic examples were painted red, white, and blue, and had reflective stripes manufactured by a small US-based company called 3M.”

    3M was *not* a small company, even in 1969. By 1969, they had invented things like Tartan Turf, wet/dry sandpaper, the fax machine, masking tape, reflective signs, and magnetic tape for recording audio and video.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Also, it’s not completely original, as it’s wearing a set of Cragar S/S wheels. Sure, they’re period correct, but they’re not original – the original wheels are styled steel wheels.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Here are the correct stock wheels for this car

      https://cdn.dealeraccelerate.com/rkm/1/3207/222046/1920×1440/w/1970-amc-rebel-machine

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        Good pic, Lie2me. I always like to see a nicely executed factory steelie/beauty ring set-up. I don’t dislike the period-correct Cragars, but I like the stock wheels even better.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Mom, apple pie and a 1970 Rambler muscle car from Texas. Is this a great country or what? But $48K is TOO great for this

  • avatar
    statikboy

    Yay France!

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Having grown up with a Rambler (took my driving test in our ’66 American 440), I’ve always had a soft spot for the S/C Rambler and The Machine, but $48K is a little high.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Are you from Kenosha? My family had a lake house west of there and growing up I remember all the local guys being AMC nuts. My best friend had several AMXs/Javelins/Americans. They were junky as hell, but fast and fun :)

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        Dallas, Texas. We bought our Rambler new from Roundup Rambler, which was in the southeast part of Dallas (Pleasant Grove). I imagine my parents bought the Rambler because it was cheaper than the Chevy II, Falcon, or Valiant. We were pretty poor, so when the Ultramatic in our ’52 Packard bit the dust in ’65, my parents bummed rides or borrowed cars (we lived close to a bus route, and my mom always rode the bus to her job downtown) until they could scrape together a down payment for the Rambler.

        It wasn’t our first car with an automatic, but it was our first car with air conditioning.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          If you had a Packard you weren’t THAT poor

          • 0 avatar

            Yeah, that’s what I was thinking! When I hear someone had a Packard, my first thought does not go to “That poor devil!”

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            I’m guessing from his comment that dukeisduke’s parents’ ’52 was a 200 bought used – not the same outlay as a prewar Senior Packard bought new. (My grandfather was an advocate of Junior Packards as a good used car choice because–mass produced or not–the 120s and 110s still had Packard quality baked in.)

  • avatar
    Stanley Steamer

    Vive la France!

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Amazing how our “eye” changes. When I was in high school, I thought these looked fantastic, and I longed for one. Today it appears garish and juvenile to my old-man eyes.

  • avatar
    SirRaoulDuke

    That is one bad-ass ride, but that dash is ugly as sin.

  • avatar
    redgolf

    This isn’t your Dads or Grandpas Rambler!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    That’s beautiful and I want it. But $48k is pretty dear for a car I wouldn’t drive.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Just saw one of these at a car show this weekend in Morgan Park. The hood was lifted up on all four corners. Restoration was quite good but not up to the standard of the pictured car, as best as I can tell.

    One thing for sure is cars are assembled far, far better today. Going through a lot of car shows I have asked some owners about how they got their 1969 car to such tight tolerances that their restorations exhibited. Basically the answer was many times with a lot of work they could get most things to line up correctly. But sometimes it required the modification of some parts to make up for the wide tolerances of the day. A lot of time an money was spent in the process but seeing a car from that period where everything fit perfectly was impressive for sure. Most of the restored cars had parts lined up the best they could and that was that.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Considering their lack of resources, AMC’s engineers and designers did indeed ‘work wonders’. Sure they had some misfires but also did some good work.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Lol, I always picture AMC engineers wandering through the parts bin when trying to come up with a new model, “I found a fender here, will it work with this bumper over here?…”

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      Weirdly, AMC got in on the sixties musclecar craze right at the end with three separate models: 1969 SC/Rambler, 1970 Rebel ‘Machine’, and 1971 Hornet SC/360.

      It’s also worth noting that the original concept ‘Machine’ was an even more bare bones strippo musclecar than the 1968 Road Runner with a matte-black, primer paint job and bare steelies.

  • avatar
    Dirty Dingus McGee

    Slight correction;

    The Rebel name was first used in 1957 on a high performance 4 door sedan with a 4 barrel 327 V8 rated at 255 hp.


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