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My Rambler American
Chuck Hanson (host of Horse Power TV and all-around
good guy) and my American. Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour `98, Indiana State Fair Grounds.
Proof positive that I'm willing to put 1400 miles
on a beat-up Rambler just to see if I did the engine right. I was the only Rambler between
Kansas City, MO and Indianapolis, IN that was part of Power Tour.
These pictures are of my 1968 American I've done plenty of
"under the skin" work to this car that doesn't show (oil pump, brakes,
electrical, etc...) Since I named my Rebel "Costly",
this car will be named as well. My youngest nephew, who was almost three at the time, said
it best when he told me "Uncle Matt, your car looks like a frog!". Since I
couldn't have put it better myself, this car shall be called "Kermit"
I've finally decided to start concentrating on making this
car nice. I've put up several in-process pictures in the Rambler
American Restoration section of my website (they're in with the
Here's a "beauty" shot of Kermit (If you can call
that shade of green beautiful). As you'll notice, some things on this car just aren't
right. The first is the passenger side wiper. That was fixed before I left for Power Tour.
Also, notice the grill. The passenger side being lighter than the driver side is not
photographic trick -- this thing needs detailed (note: since the grill was the only thing
I saw out of the rear view mirror for 530 miles, its probably my #1 annoyance). Next to
the original "beauty" shot is the current "beauty" shot. I've fixed a
few dents on the hood and put the wiper arm on correctly. This picture shows why its
important to pay attention to lighting. The grill still annoys me, but I'm not putting my
replacement on until the body work is done.
Here's the front from a slightly different angle. The paint is
not this shinny in real life.
Here's my American, pretty much put back together after I fixed the rust in the cowl in 2002. Note
that it is now sporting a correct 1968 grille. It had a 1969 grille in it when I bought
Notice how straight the car's body appears?
It has one major ouchie! Amazingly, the trunk doesn't flood
when it rains. 1/25/03 Update: It does flood when it rains, it's just that there's enough
rust holes in the trunk floor that it drains really fast!
Here's a slightly different view of the ouchie.
I recently finished rebuilding the motor. Here's what it looks
like. You'll notice that the breather hose looks new. This is the same old hose that, as
far as I know, has always been on the car. I used brake cleaning fluid and STP Sun Of A
Gun to get it to look like this. One of these days, I'll clean up the air cleaner too! Oh,
for you concourse correct type, the engine is the wrong shade of blue for 1968. I used
1969-74 engine paint since its readily available. The exhaust manifold, as you can see, is
also a different color even though I painted the entire manifold assembly blue. The
silver/gray color is what Cast Blast paint looks like after its been heated up. Its not
that silvery in real life.
After I posted the pictures of the Rebel, I got lots of
e-mails about not posting interior shots. Presented here, for your,
amusement, are shots of
the, uh, "custom" interior. You can also see the original exterior color. Notice
how the gas pedal is leaning to the side? It turns out that the floor had rusted out
around the pedal mount. This was fixed in March of `98 when I replaced the driver's side
And just when you thought it couldn't possibly get any
I've added some class (or at least blue shag carpet) to the
inside of my American. Waddya think?
While I was at
it, I cleaned up the dash. Makes a pretty big difference, doesn't it?
Check it out man! Solid floors! The replacement pans are the
ones made for AMX's and Javelins. Some minor tweaking is needed to get them to fit, but
its cheaper than having them made up from scratch.
Wanna see more cool AMC's (with decidedly better
interiors)? Check out John Rosa's 'Un-Car' Gallery.
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04/01/06 03:27:38 PM