Results 1 to 38 of 38

Thread: Does Anyone Miss AMC/Rambler?

  1. #1
    Speedster Member Stude Shoo-wop!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    104
    Blog Entries
    1

    Does Anyone Miss AMC/Rambler?

    AMC/Rambler, being THE last Independent on the block, does hold a special place in my heart. Studebaker will always take precedence but that will not change the fact that they were the second to last man standing. Point is, does anyone else here miss their inevitable demise and/or have any stories they would like to tell about their cars?

    Don't be shy, go ahead and spill the beans!

    Jake Kaywell: Shoo-wops and doo-wops galore to the background of some fine Studes. I'm eager and ready to go!

    1962 GT Hawk - completely finished in driveable condition.

  2. #2
    President Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Paris, Ontario, Canada.
    Posts
    599
    A cousin on my dad's side bot a new plain Rambler American shortly after a great aunt on my mother's side bot a new '59 Lark Deluxe 4 door. Got rides in both as about at 10/11 year old. l could not understand why Dad's cousin bot the Rambler when he could have bot a Lark. He was a protestant minister and l put it down to not caring much about cars. He did say that he got satisfactory service out of his old Rambler. So, ok.

    A neighbour gave me a ride to high school one cold winters day in the mid sixties. He had a nice looking high-end model of a Rambler Classic Station Wagon. The streets were frozen and rutted and that car rattled sooooo much that it made my Dad's "rubber frame" '62 Gt Hawk seem like the rock of Gibraltar by comparison.

    Rambler got the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award in significant part because of the "new" one-piece construction of the side sheet metal of there cars. Well - go look up the Automobile Quarterly article about the Rockne. It had that technology in it's construction back in 1932 model year!

    l had a Hornet for 3 years in the early '80's. not a bad car, but interior was plastic-y and the front fenders and windshield header rusted out by the time it was 6 years old. l was enamoured enuff to buy ONE share of AMC - and l still have it. Good conversation piece in a frame.
    Roger Hill


    60 Lark Vlll, hardtop, black/red, Power Kit, 3 spd. - "Juliette"
    61 Champ Deluxe, 6, black/red, o/d, long box. - "Jeri"
    Izzer Buggy - "Jessie"
    Junior Wagon - "Junior"

    "You don't need a Magic Carpet - just a Studebaker"

    "In the end, dear undertaker,
    ride me in a Studebaker"

  3. #3
    Silver Hawk Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Bay City, Mi., USA.
    Posts
    6,763
    Drove a Gremlin for a while, always like the AMX and built a CJ5 Jeep into a neat offroad vehicle with a 4.3 Liter GM V-6, fiberglass body and body and suspension lift. Miss the Jeep can't say the same for AMC/Rambler.

    Bob
    , ,

  4. #4
    President Member Lark8girl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Indiana, , USA.
    Posts
    625
    From 1973 thru 1977 I was a new car AMC/Jeep salesman at Fort Wayne AMC/Jeep. Yes I do miss these cars , they found unique places in the marketplace and were in demand during the time I sold them. AMC had cars that were Home Runs, and cars that missed the mark, but always a reliable value.

    In addition to Many new demos I drove I owned, 74 Gremlin, 79 Concord, and 77 Pacer.

    Husband of Lark VIII girl.
    Last edited by Lark8girl; 01-10-2018 at 09:28 PM. Reason: omited something

  5. #5
    Golden Hawk Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Wappingers Falls, New York, USA.
    Posts
    19,682
    Studebaker quit making cars and eventually went away. American Motors was absorbed by Chrysler and cars continued (especially Jeeps)[Also Renault was mixed in there.]. This is a big difference.

    My best comparison is in 1964. My father and I both bought new Fury hardtops. My father-in-law bought a new Ambassador hardtop. I put 33K miles on mine in ten months and traded it in on a '65 Sport Fury hardtop. It was a great car, but not a fair comparison to the other two. My father and FiL were both about the same age, the cars were both garaged in NYS, they both used their cars about the same - their only cars, commute to work, go shopping, etc. My father's Fury was in great shape when he bought a new 1975 Dodge Coronet. My FiL's Ambassador had many mechanical problems and the interior had many failed areas by the time that he traded it in on a new 1972 Ambassador hardtop, which wasn't much better.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

  6. #6
    Silver Hawk Member Milaca's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Milaca, Minnesota, USA.
    Posts
    6,072
    The last true AMC car was the Eagle station wagon, which ended production on December 14, 1987. These may have been the first 'crossover SUV', as you may recall that they had four-wheel drive and high ground clearance.


    Interestingly, Jeep history keeps repeating itself. It was Willys-Overland that created 'Jeep' during WWII which it manufactured along with Willys passenger cars after the war.

    Willys-Overland merged with Kaiser Motors in 1953 and Henry J. Kaiser soon phased out the production of Kaiser and Willys passenger cars (in 1955) and concentrated on the Jeep brand as it had no direct competition from other manufacturers and therefor was very profitable.

    AMC bought out Jeep from Kaiser in 1970 and eventually discontinued various models of passenger cars due to a lack of profit, but Jeep manufacturing continued as it was very profitable.

    Chrysler bought out AMC in 1987 and quickly ended production of the last remaining model of AMC passenger car, but continued Jeep production. And now recently, Chrysler has discontinued various models of it's own passenger cars (Dodge Viper, Dodge Dart, and Chrysler 200) and focusing more on Jeep production as it is the most profitable.

    This makes me wonder....why did Willy-Overland merge with Kaiser?
    Despite Jeep having been owned by four automotive manufactures (and ultimately owned by foreign companies based in Germany (Daimler-Chrysler) and Italy (Fiat Chrysler), it keeps on going. It would appear to me that Willys-Overland had the best thing since sliced-bread! Despite the many ups & downs of the automotive industry, the sales of Jeeps have been strong for 75+ years. Amazing!

    In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

  7. #7
    President Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Tucson AZ
    Posts
    1,199
    The U.S. Army contacted 135 companies to create working prototypes of a four-wheel-drive reconnaissance car. Two companies responded: American Bantam in Butler PA and Willy Overland in Toledo. The Army set a seemingly impossible deadline of 49 days to supply a working prototype. Willys asked for more time, but was refused. The bankrupt American Bantam Car Company had no engineering staff left on the payroll and asked Karl Probst from Detroit. After turning down Bantam's initial request, Probst responded to an Army request and began work on July 17, 1940, initially without salary.

    Probst laid out full plans for the Bantam prototype, known as the BRC or Bantam Reconnaissance Car, in just two days, working up a cost estimate the next day. Bantam's bid was submitted, complete with blueprints, on July 22. While much of the vehicle could be assembled from off-the-shelf automotive parts, custom four-wheel drivetrain components were to be supplied by Spicer. The hand-built prototype was completed and driven to Camp Holabird, MD, for Army testing September 21. The vehicle met all the Army's criteria except engine torque.

    The Army thought that the Bantam company was too small to supply the required number of vehicles, so it supplied the Bantam design to Willys and Ford and encouraged them to modify the design. The resulting prototypes looked very similar to the Bantam BRC prototype, and Spicer supplied very similar four-wheel drivetrain components to all three manufacturers. 1,500 of each model (Bantam BRC-40, Ford GP, and Willys MA) were built and extensively field-tested. After the weight specification was revised from 1,275 lb (578 kg) to a maximum of 2,450 lb (1,110 kg) including oil and water, Willys-Overland's chief engineer Delmari "Barney" Roos (a name that should be familiar to Studebaker folks) modified the design in order to use Willys's heavy but powerful "Go Devil" engine, and won the initial production contract. The Willys version became the standard Jeep design, designated the Model MB and was built at their plant in Toledo, Ohio. The familiar pressed-metal Jeep grille was a Ford design feature and incorporated in the final design by the Army.Because the US War Department required a large number of vehicles in a short time, Willys-Overland granted the US Government a non-exclusive license to allow another company to manufacture vehicles using Willys' specifications. The Army chose Ford as a second supplier, building Jeeps to the Willys' design. Willys supplied Ford with a complete set of plans and specifications. American Bantam, the creators of the first Jeep, built approximately 2,700 of them to the BRC-40 design, but spent the rest of the war building heavy-duty trailers for the Army.

    As Paul Harvey used to say "Now you know the rest of the story" Good Day

    Counting American Bantam, five different manufacturers at one time or another, could count Jeep as a brand, albeit the first one was on the ropes but the Jeep survived.

    Back to the original post, my first new car was a 1970 Hornet, 199 six three speed. Here is the heart breaker: I was 18 and working as well as school. My dad did not think I should keep pouring money into my old car. My payments for the new car were $74.85 for three years which my dad had to sign for at Valley National Bank. The old car that was traded in was a 1955 Studebaker President Speedster with a 3 speed overdrive. The trade allowance covered the sales tax, that's all.

    Bob Miles
    Tucson AZ


    Last edited by 6hk71400; 01-11-2018 at 12:12 AM. Reason: additional information

  8. #8
    President Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Above the Equator
    Posts
    1,625
    Two AMC stories:

    The short one. In the mid 80's someone had listed TWO AMC Scramblers in the San Fernando Valley Recycler for $1,500. Not sure how I would get them home I decline to proceed! Not one of my better decisions.

    The long one. I saw a somewhat rare '63 Rambler American hard top (one year only roof) in the Auto Trader. Rushing my dilly dallying wife we raced the 70 miles up to Santa Barbara to see it. I got to the guys house and he stated because the car had no reverse it was parked up the street. As we were walking up the street some else had already arrived at the car. So, who was first, me at the guys house..., of him and his son at the car??? Anyway the guy was being a bit of a bully and seeing the seller felt very uncomfortable I declined to fight for the car. Very disappointed I left admonishing my wife how important that LEAVE NOW means IMMEDIATELY.

    A few years later I see a very similar car advertised also in Santa Barbara. I arrange with the girl to see it at a storage yard the next day. At this stage of my life I also have two very small kids and around noon we make the 70 mile drive to see the car. Turns out (and I had a slight suspicion) it was the same car from a few years go. Apparently the bullies son didn't care much for it and they sold it to the girl who only wanted it for the cylinder head. Regardless of a disassembled engine I wanted the car. So, I called the girl. This predates most people having a cell phone (certainly not me) and thus I had to use a payphone. I used it 13 times as we lingered in Santa Barbara for at least nine hours.

    On what was going to be my last call at 9:30pm (the kids needed to get to bed) I finally got the girl at home. She was apologetic and promptly accepted my $300 offer on an initial $400 price. A week later my friend and I trailered the car home. I put a Pick Your Part engine in it but it was in marginal shape. Eventually I parked it but 22 years later I still have the car and plan an engine/trans swap, most likely a Jeep 180 HP, 4.0/AX-15. People say it won't fit so that is surely enough to bring me to the challenge. I'm thinking outside the box (engine back slightly, radiator down and forward, pusher electric fan etc. to squeeze it in.

    I guess this time nice guys don't finish last.
    Last edited by wittsend; 01-11-2018 at 01:47 AM.
    '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-69 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

  9. #9
    President Member Noxnabaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    508
    I've had a blue metalic/black vinyl top -66 Ambasador coupe with 6-cyl & auto, a red 6-cyl -73 Hornet fastback with Hurst shifter & one of those Rebel coupes that looks like a slightly short version of a 68-69 Plymouth GTX/Road Runner, it was a 360 with 4 speed Hurst & dark green metalic/black vinyl top.

    In Sweden AMC was always thought of as reliable but also a bit boring & I still have that feeling in me even if it aint true.

  10. #10
    President Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Right behind you
    Posts
    1,643
    The '57 Rebel was a way cool four door Muscle car. 0-60 was abt. 7,5 seconds, 1/4 mile 16seconds. Maybe the quickest 4Dr that year.

    Here's one at what I think is a very reasonable price.

    http://www.collectorcarads.com/Rambler-Rebel/64504

  11. #11
    President Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Above the Equator
    Posts
    1,625
    Quote Originally Posted by jnormanh View Post
    The '57 Rebel was a way cool four door Muscle car. 0-60 was abt. 7,5 seconds, 1/4 mile 16seconds. Maybe the quickest 4Dr that year.

    Here's one at what I think is a very reasonable price.

    http://www.collectorcarads.com/Rambler-Rebel/64504
    Yes, and they only made 1,500 of them so they rate right up there with the Scrambler. The 1957 Rambler Rebel had the 327 engine and, NO, it wasn't the Chevy 327. AMC had their own 327. This does rate as a sleeper much like the 1976 360 Dodge Dart that was only bested by the Corvette as the second fastest American car that year. https://www.caranddriver.com/compari...057-mph-page-5 (page 5 of a 6 page article) Of course that was also a dismal time in the automotive performance world.
    '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-69 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

  12. #12
    President Member Commander Eddie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Dundee, Oregon
    Posts
    2,799
    In a way I do miss them. I owned a Javelin before going in to the Navy and I really liked it. It had a 290 Cu. In. V-8 and automatic transmission. It was pretty basic but it ran well and was quite comfortable. I think, like Studebaker, they made some fine automobiles.
    Ed Sallia
    Dundee, OR

    Sol Lucet Omnibus

  13. #13
    President Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Charleston, SC, .
    Posts
    589
    I worked in the art dept. at American Motors in the late 1970's. When the new models came out they were on display in the Southfield MI lobby of their headquarters. The employees gathered around to admire the new Pacers & Hornets.
    The art director handed me his keys and asked me to go down to his car to get a portfolio for him. I returned sheepishly after trying several luxury AMC car doors but not the right one. All the cars in the executive lot looked the same to me!

  14. #14
    President Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Seattle WA, USA.
    Posts
    727
    Folks that attended the International meeting Colorado Springs, will probably have fond memories of the "Rambler Ranch." It is really an unbelievable collection that one man has put together.

  15. #15
    President Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    North Pittsburgh, ,PA .
    Posts
    1,258
    AMC made good cars, with their biggest problem being the same as one of Studebaker's problems: Not enough people were willing to venture out of Ford-Chevy-Plymouth territory to buy a car from a smaller manufacturer.

  16. #16
    President Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Above the Equator
    Posts
    1,625
    The AMX and the Scrambler were cool AMC cars. And, AMC cars did rather well racing in the late 60's/early 70's. Wally Booth was successful in Pro Stock with both Gremlins and Hornets, Mark Donahue Javelin's in Trans Am and Matadors (along with Bobby Allison) in Stock Car racing. Shirley Shahan was also a popular female drag racer with her Super Stock AMX.

    Smartest thing AMC ever did was purchase Jeep. Worse thing that ever happened to AMC was Renault taking over. Unlike Studebaker (cars) that just died, AMC/Jeep melded into Chrysler of which they tried to keep a subdivision with the Eagle brand. Maybe that was a requirement to the remaining contracts with existing AMC dealers??? BTW, I looked and, yes, there are Eagle car clubs out there.
    '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-69 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

  17. #17
    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    , , Canada.
    Posts
    14,907
    Quote Originally Posted by Stude Shoo-wop! View Post
    AMC/Rambler, being THE last Independent on the block, does hold a special place in my heart.
    Isn't Tesla an Independent?

    Craig

  18. #18
    Silver Hawk Member JRoberts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC, .
    Posts
    8,994
    When I was in college, and a little after,I was really into sports cars. I had an Elva Courier, an Austin Healy Sprite and a TR3 (with later TR4A mechanicals.). I belonged to a local sports car club and did road rallies and autocross. One of the other members of the club had a Javelin with the 401 cu.in. engine and a 4 speed. It handled quite well and was a decent competitor in the class that included Corvettes and the like. I rode in the car a few times as was very impressed. Presently there is a guy who lives not far from me who has a nice Javelin with a 401, but a three speed standard shift transmission. He rarely drives it because he says it uses too much gas. He does however drive a GTO Judge clone instead, which I do not understand. I really hope he doesn't decide to sell the Javelin, or let me know he is doing so, because I might have to get rid of a Studebaker to make sure that Javelin gets driven.

    Oh, and yes I do miss AMC.
    Joe Roberts
    '61 R1 Champ
    '65 Cruiser
    Eastern North Carolina Chapter

  19. #19
    Speedster Member Stude Shoo-wop!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    104
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by 8E45E View Post
    Isn't Tesla an Independent?

    Craig
    I wouldn't count them as they surfaced fairly recently and are exclusively electric. I was talking about the old time (vintage) makes.
    Jake Kaywell: Shoo-wops and doo-wops galore to the background of some fine Studes. I'm eager and ready to go!

    1962 GT Hawk - completely finished in driveable condition.

  20. #20
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Kentucky Bluegrass
    Posts
    2,669
    Could not argue about it being a good looking car - but that 258 and three speed made it a fun first car - really wish it would have had OD - then it would have been pretty dangerous...

    Last edited by 62champ; 01-18-2018 at 09:33 PM.

  21. #21
    President Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Near South Bend, Indiana, USA.
    Posts
    1,336
    I was a fan of the last Matador, and as a pre driving age kid mowing lawns, thought if I had to buy a new car in the late 70's, it would be that ugly mug with free air conditioning!

    I sold at a Chrysler dealer from 1985-91, and when the merger was about to take place, our parts manager showed us car guys that worked there an old greenbar report that listed all the AMC and Chrysler parts that were about to go NS1 (no longer serviced) to take advantage of the merger tax write off. We didn't have AMC parts books (or microfiche slides back then) to identify the massive list of AMC parts, but I do know some primo Mopar stuff from the 60's & 70's was destroyed for the tax write off.

    It's real hard to convey to Studebaker guys, but we are darn lucky tax laws and circumstances were different for our parts in 1963-66.

  22. #22
    Champion Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    29
    Quote Originally Posted by Milaca View Post
    The last true AMC car was the Eagle station wagon, which ended production on December 14, 1987. These may have been the first 'crossover SUV', as you may recall that they had four-wheel drive and high ground clearance.


    Interestingly, Jeep history keeps repeating itself. It was Willys-Overland that created 'Jeep' during WWII which it manufactured along with Willys passenger cars after the war.

    Willys-Overland merged with Kaiser Motors in 1953 and Henry J. Kaiser soon phased out the production of Kaiser and Willys passenger cars (in 1955) and concentrated on the Jeep brand as it had no direct competition from other manufacturers and therefor was very profitable.

    AMC bought out Jeep from Kaiser in 1970 and eventually discontinued various models of passenger cars due to a lack of profit, but Jeep manufacturing continued as it was very profitable.

    Chrysler bought out AMC in 1987 and quickly ended production of the last remaining model of AMC passenger car, but continued Jeep production. And now recently, Chrysler has discontinued various models of it's own passenger cars (Dodge Viper, Dodge Dart, and Chrysler 200) and focusing more on Jeep production as it is the most profitable.

    This makes me wonder....why did Willy-Overland merge with Kaiser?
    Despite Jeep having been owned by four automotive manufactures (and ultimately owned by foreign companies based in Germany (Daimler-Chrysler) and Italy (Fiat Chrysler), it keeps on going. It would appear to me that Willys-Overland had the best thing since sliced-bread! Despite the many ups & downs of the automotive industry, the sales of Jeeps have been strong for 75+ years. Amazing!
    Willys-Overland did not merge with Kaiser. Kaiser Motors Corporation purchased all the outstanding Willys-Overland stock for $62.8 million including $32 million in cash. What was Kaiser Motors would become Kaiser Industries, with Kaiser Aluminum, Kaiser Steel, Kaiser Chemical, Permanente Cement, and Willys Motors as subsidiaries. The automobiles (Willys Aero, Henry J and Kaiser) were sold by the Kaiser-Willys Sales Division of Willys Motors. Willys Aero production ended in April 1955, and Kaiser in June (May and June cars were shipped to Argentina) resulting in Kaiser-Willys Sales being disbanded after that.

    Willys Motors always made a profit, against which Kaiser Industries applied the losses carried over from Kaiser Motors to eliminate the need to pay income taxes. Corporations could, and still can, carry forward losses from one year for seven years to apply against profits. Which is why the Kaisers acquired Willys. They could use up the tax credits and face the world without having to admit they had given up on the automotive industry. "The Kaisers never retrench!" Henry J. Kaiser reportedly said in 1948.

    Willys Motors, Inc. became Kaiser Jeep Corporation on March 7, 1963.

    In February, 1964 Kaiser Jeep Corporation purchased Studebaker's Chippewa plant along with Studebaker's $81 million contract for the production of 5-ton M-39 trucks for the U.S. Army.

    By the way, before WW II Willys-Overland faced financial collapse in 1920 with declining sales, increasing losses and bank debts (saved by Walter P. Chrysler) and after falling sales from 1929 to 1931, bankruptcy in 1932. John N. Willys started his career in building automobiles in 1907 when he cashed a $1,000 cheque to get enough money to cover the payroll of the Overland Motor Co., a company he would save and then acquire. He died of a heart attack in 1935 just months before Willys-Overland came out of bankruptcy.
    Bill
    Vancouver, BC

  23. #23
    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    , , Canada.
    Posts
    14,907
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrycoman View Post

    By the way, before WW II Willys-Overland faced financial collapse in 1920 with declining sales, increasing losses and bank debts (saved by Walter P. Chrysler) and after falling sales from 1929 to 1931, bankruptcy in 1932. John N. Willys started his career in building automobiles in 1907 when he cashed a $1,000 cheque to get enough money to cover the payroll of the Overland Motor Co., a company he would save and then acquire. He died of a heart attack in 1935 just months before Willys-Overland came out of bankruptcy.
    For some early Canadian content.

    John North Willys also bought Tommy Russell's automotive division from Canadian Cycle & Motor company in 1915, thus ending the only sole Canadian-engineered, designed, and manufactured motor car, aside from the larger models equipped with Knight engines. Because Russell had exclusive rights to manufacturing and market the Knight engine in Canada, Willys was prevented from selling the Willys-Knight in Canada. Russell was facing financial problems with warranty claims over the Knight engine, John North Willys made Tommy an offer he couldn't refuse, just so he could sell his Willys-Knight in Canada.

    Craig.

  24. #24
    President Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Tucson AZ
    Posts
    1,199
    Rambler name goes back to 1900 and was the name initially applied to bicycles manufactured in Kenosha Wisconsin. In 1902 the was applied to a car built by the Jeffrey company to their first car. When Thomas Jeffrey died the name was changed to Jeffrey in 1916. In 1917 Charles Nash, who had just left the presidency of General Motors, bought the Jeffrey Company and changed the name to Nash. The name Rambler was revived in 1950 under George Mason. And the rest is history.

    Bob Miles
    Tucson AZ

  25. #25
    Silver Hawk Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC, USA.
    Posts
    5,514
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrycoman View Post
    Willys-Overland did not merge with Kaiser. Kaiser Motors Corporation purchased all the outstanding Willys-Overland stock for $62.8 million including $32 million in cash. What was Kaiser Motors would become Kaiser Industries, with Kaiser Aluminum, Kaiser Steel, Kaiser Chemical, Permanente Cement, and Willys Motors as subsidiaries. The automobiles (Willys Aero, Henry J and Kaiser) were sold by the Kaiser-Willys Sales Division of Willys Motors. Willys Aero production ended in April 1955, and Kaiser in June (May and June cars were shipped to Argentina) resulting in Kaiser-Willys Sales being disbanded after that.

    Willys Motors always made a profit, against which Kaiser Industries applied the losses carried over from Kaiser Motors to eliminate the need to pay income taxes. Corporations could, and still can, carry forward losses from one year for seven years to apply against profits. Which is why the Kaisers acquired Willys. They could use up the tax credits and face the world without having to admit they had given up on the automotive industry. "The Kaisers never retrench!" Henry J. Kaiser reportedly said in 1948.

    Willys Motors, Inc. became Kaiser Jeep Corporation on March 7, 1963.

    In February, 1964 Kaiser Jeep Corporation purchased Studebaker's Chippewa plant along with Studebaker's $81 million contract for the production of 5-ton M-39 trucks for the U.S. Army.

    By the way, before WW II Willys-Overland faced financial collapse in 1920 with declining sales, increasing losses and bank debts (saved by Walter P. Chrysler) and after falling sales from 1929 to 1931, bankruptcy in 1932. John N. Willys started his career in building automobiles in 1907 when he cashed a $1,000 cheque to get enough money to cover the payroll of the Overland Motor Co., a company he would save and then acquire. He died of a heart attack in 1935 just months before Willys-Overland came out of bankruptcy.
    Thanks for clarifying the details.

  26. #26
    President Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    marana, Arizona
    Posts
    605
    I love the Nash Ramblers and the re-issued 59' 60' examples. Just down right cool looking and fun to drive while being good on gas. I miss that funky little car with it's lovable dash layout.

  27. #27
    President Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    tiverton, ri, USA.
    Posts
    1,318
    The AMC dealers in my area never seemed to stock any interesting models. It got even worse with the Jeep-Eagle changeover.

  28. #28
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Kentucky, USA.
    Posts
    5,780
    In 1978 I bought a brand new AMC Concorde, 2-door with 121 CID four cylinder by Audi, and 4-speed transmission. It ran great, and got around 25 MPG. In 1982 I bought another new AMC Concorde, 2-door with 258 six cylinder and 5-speed transmission. Both were nice cars. When I left my x-wife in 1985, I took the 78 and left her the 82. Soon after, I bought a 62GT, and then sold the 78 AMC. Still have the 62GT, but have not owned an AMC since. I have always liked them though.

  29. #29
    Golden Hawk Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Wappingers Falls, New York, USA.
    Posts
    19,682
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeHall View Post
    In 1978 I bought a brand new AMC Concorde, 2-door with 121 CID four cylinder by Audi, and 4-speed transmission. It ran great, and got around 25 MPG. In 1982 I bought another new AMC Concorde, 2-door with 258 six cylinder and 5-speed transmission. Both were nice cars. When I left my x-wife in 1985, I took the 78 and left her the 82. Soon after, I bought a 62GT, and then sold the 78 AMC. Still have the 62GT, but have not owned an AMC since. I have always liked them though.
    The 1978 AMC would be a Concord. Chrysler made a Concorde. I do not know what your 1982 was. Perhaps it was a Hornet.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

  30. #30
    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    , , Canada.
    Posts
    14,907
    Quote Originally Posted by studegary View Post
    The 1978 AMC would be a Concord. Chrysler made a Concorde. I do not know what your 1982 was. Perhaps it was a Hornet.
    If it was 2wd, it would be a Concord. AMC abandoned the Hornet name after 1977 and replaced it with Concord.

    Craig

  31. #31
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Kentucky, USA.
    Posts
    5,780
    Quote Originally Posted by studegary View Post
    The 1978 AMC would be a Concord. Chrysler made a Concorde. I do not know what your 1982 was. Perhaps it was a Hornet.
    Would it be too confusing for you to just drop the 'e'? No need to try to turn the 82 Concord into a Hornet. Maybe just google AMC if you are still confused, and read up on Concord and Hornet, and years they were made. A simple drop of the 'e' is really all you need to do though. LOL

  32. #32
    Golden Hawk Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Wappingers Falls, New York, USA.
    Posts
    19,682
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeHall View Post
    Would it be too confusing for you to just drop the 'e'? No need to try to turn the 82 Concord into a Hornet. Maybe just google AMC if you are still confused, and read up on Concord and Hornet, and years they were made. A simple drop of the 'e' is really all you need to do though. LOL
    Sorry, my error. Concords were made through 1983. I sold new Concordes so I knew that was incorrect.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

  33. #33
    President Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Corunna, MI USA
    Posts
    1,086
    My first licensed vehicle, obtained the summer I turned 16, was a green and white '61 Rambler Classic. It was low mileage, sparkling clean. and in excellent condition, ...that is except the rare aluminum 6 which was already stripped down, and I was told was wasted beyond repair.
    BUT the shop that had it was willing to install a 283-Powerglide and '56 Chev rear that they had on hand. Pitching in, within a week I was able to drive it home. These were some cool guys, installed a new FoxCraft console mouted floor shifter, and a big 'ol SW tach, at no extra cost.
    I don't recall the exact price, but on my lawn mowing income (if you could call it that) it couldn't have been over $300. I think I paid it off in two payments.
    Everything wasn't perfect by any means, of course. Turned out the engine had a wiped cam lobe so I learned how to install a cam in my driveway. The Shop stepped up again, but the only cam they had on hand was a radical Duntov solid, bought for their Dirt track Sprint car, for $75 bucks. Done deal. (the owner ended up trying to buy it back from me the rest of the summer)
    So I get the new cam and lifters in, and as I rock the crank back and forth to install timing gears I hear a 'clunk-clunk' 'clunk-clunk' Unh Oh Sumpin ain't right here! Drop the oil pan.. (by the way a SBC fits into one of these Rambler Classics like it was made for it. LOTS of room to work)...can rattle a couple of rods around on the crankshaft, bearings are shot. Back to my good buddies at the Shop. Guy scrounges around in his old carry-about tool box and hands me two loose bearing sets (4 pieces) Take 'em home, stick 'em in, button 'er up. All fixed!
    Ahha! new cam and solids! Rumpty Rump RUMP! Why I got me a cookin hot Corvette mill here! Pull 'er out on the street. Power Jack! Foot on brake. Mash the gas. Rear humps up .....and stays there! WHAT THE HEY???
    Get out, get under. Homemade 4' long traction bars bent and holding rear axle pointed towards floor pan! Dang! THAT wasn't supposed to happen! Hmmm. ....still derivable. Humiliated, I rump rump rump back to the house at 5mph. Get a lift to the junkyard, 10 bucks gets me the leaf springs off a old Ford delivery truck. Jack the traction bars back straight and bolt a truck spring on one side. Ya' know I never did get around to installing the other. Had a ball with that thing, could rap it out to around 80 in Low and easily fly pass 100. I quite literally lived in that car, parking and sleeping on the beach the rest of the summer. The Lay down seats were great! and the envy of all my pals, and a hit with the girls (no none of that, we were all too shy and innocent back then)
    Put thousands of miles on that home-brewed contraption, no more problems till I tried a neutral-slam start and blew the driveshaft plumb out. At that summers end I sold it to buy a Old's Rocket powered '47 Hudson coupe, ... but that's another story.

    Also latter owned a '68 AMX with 343 and 4 speed. WOO HOO! Gobs of torque steer, Light up those 60 series tires and go sideways for half a block. ....but the interior was so darn cheap ....and the windows would daily fall into the bottom of the doors on closing #&$#% traded it in (with the widows down) on a '70 Cougar Eliminator SCJ 428 4 speed 4:30 gear Drag Pac.
    Did a lot of 'engine swapping' back in the '60s to 80's. My last one was my son's HS car, '77 pinto wagon with 302.

    .
    Last edited by Jessie J.; 01-20-2018 at 01:02 AM.

  34. #34
    President Member Kurt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    YatesCity, IL, USA.
    Posts
    1,188
    I don’t know that I miss AMC, but I do have a soft spot for them. Grandpa went to AMC after Studebaker stopped building Cars. The first I remember was a 1968 Ambassador. That was a big step up from a Lark Wagonaire that he had before. Then a 1972 Ambassador. Next were 1976 and 1977 Matadors. Don’t remember why gramps only kept the 76 for less than a year. Then an Eagle Station Wagon. The last was an Eagle Premier. Their was a Gremlin and a Hornet that my Aunt and Uncle drove in high school and college. Their were at least 4 Jeep pickups that I can remember. One was very rare. It was a 3/4 ton with a manual 4speed, and a 360 4 barrell. Most Jeep pickups were half ton automatics with quadratrac 4wheel drive. He had one of those as well. They all held up as well as other vehicles of that vintage, but were definitely “cheap”.
    1962 Champ

    51 Commander 4 door

  35. #35
    President Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Corunna, MI USA
    Posts
    1,086
    I should mention my first encounter with what ended up AMC. When I was 6, my Grandpa Bowers bought himself a spanking new 1955 Nash Statesman. I'll never forget my negative reaction to that thing, it was the most horrible shade of coral orange-pink that I'd ever seen in my young life, looked like a huge bar of Lifebuoy soap, just looking at it provoked a gag reflex in me. Gramp's would pick us up in Muskegon and drive us to church in Big Rapids every week. That things 'eyes' looked like they way were too close together, and I thought the wheels were too, 'cause it seemed we were constantly dropping off the edge of the pavement and swerving all over. That Nash was famous for having a great 'ride', so I have been told, but the seat of my then young pants was telling me I was riding in a wallowing boat that was apt to flip over at any moment. Now I can't really say whether that was a fault of that Nash, or the driving skills of the grandpa. I was just a kid, but those rides scared the bejesus otta me. Dad too as I recall.

  36. #36
    President Member shifter4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Daytona Beach, Florida, USA.
    Posts
    803
    Here is my work horse '83 Spirit . A very handy car . Hatchback , maneuverable , 4.2 L six torque , 2wd . Tough as nails .
    I wish that I had it back sometimes , or even another with the 4 cyl for around town duties .

    AMC Spirit by Bill H, on Flickr
    Last edited by shifter4; 01-21-2018 at 09:45 AM.
    Bill H
    Daytona Beach
    SDC member since 1970
    Owner of The Skeeter Hawk .

  37. #37
    President Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Corunna, MI USA
    Posts
    1,086
    Now THAT I like! Of course I'm nuts and my first thought is 401.

  38. #38
    President Member WinM1895's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Simi Valley CA
    Posts
    674
    Quote Originally Posted by Milaca View Post
    Interestingly, Jeep history keeps repeating itself. It was Willys-Overland that created 'Jeep' during WWII which it manufactured along with Willys passenger cars after the war.

    Willys-Overland merged with Kaiser Motors in 1953 and Henry J. Kaiser soon phased out the production of Kaiser and Willys passenger cars (in 1955) and concentrated on the Jeep brand as it had no direct competition from other manufacturers and therefor was very profitable.

    This makes me wonder....why did Willys-Overland merge with Kaiser?
    They didn't.

    Despite Jeep having been owned by four automotive manufactures (and ultimately owned by foreign companies based in Germany (Daimler-Chrysler) and Italy (Fiat-Chrysler), it keeps on going.
    Willys-Overland (W-O) did not create the Jeep and they didn't merge with Kaiser Motors.

    The Jeep is the most traveled brand in the history of the auto biz, being owned by 11 different companies.

    Prior to the US involvement in WWII, the US Army wanted a new 'scout' car. A contest was held between the auto makers to come up with a design. The winner was American Bantam (1) of Butler PA

    But American Bantam didn't have the facilities to build them, so the contract was given to W-O (2), who made changes, mainly to the engine and front sheet metal.

    After the Pearl Harbor Attack, FoMoCo began assembling Jeeps (but never owned Jeep), because the W-O Toledo OH factory was too small the build the quantity required.

    In 1953, Henry J. Kaiser purchased W-O, the company became known as Kaiser-Jeep (3). Kaiser-Jeep was purchased by AMC (4) and in the 1980's, AMC reeling from losses, received financial backing from Renault.

    Renault eventually took control of AMC (6), then proceeded to run it into the ground (the frogs never understood the US market).

    Renault then sold AMC to Chrysler Corp (7). Chrysler ran into financial difficulties (again!), Daimler-Benz then purchased Chrysler, which became Daimler-Chrysler (8).

    Daimler milked Chrysler for all it was worth, then sold 83% of Chrysler to Cerberes Capital Management (9) (a private investment group) with Daimler retaining 17%

    During the Great Recession, Cerberes divested themselves of Chrysler after they got 'bail-out' bucks. The company name reverted to Chrysler Corp (10). Then along came Fiat (Fix it again Tony), who wanted to get back into the US market. Company now known as Fiat-Chrysler (11).
    Last edited by WinM1895; 01-21-2018 at 11:21 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •