1967 Rambler Rebel SST – Owner Feature

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A Brief History of this 1967 AMC Rambler Rebel SST

Owner: Mr. Terry Hanna

Purchased April 2013

In 2013 Terry started looking for an AMC made car. He was primarily looking for a 1970 Mark Donahue Javelin SST or a 1967 Rambler Rebel SST.

He found the Rebel first.

It had been sitting for 20 years in a yard in Oklahoma. It was in pretty sad condition. After some body work, interior and mechanical  work it was up and running again. Terry is currently working on a full restoration of it.

The Rambler SST was AMC’s attempt to compete with the big 3 in the performance market.  Terry’s one was equipped with a 343 Cid engine, power steering, power front 4 piston disc brakes, factory air conditioning, 3 speed automatic transmission, floor shift in the console, bucket seats and vinyl top. Unfortunately,  AMC did not keep specific records of their cars so it’s difficult to know just how many of each specification were built. However, it is a sure thing that there were not many of this car built with all of the options found on Terry’s example.

This car was also the basis for the 1970 Rebel which was built for only 1 year. To Terry’s knowledge, this is the only 67 Rebel SST so equipped in North Texas where Terry lives.

It’s clearly a nice example having been invited to several invitation only car shows in North Texas this year including pre-race show activities at Texas Motor Speedway and Pit road parking at Firestone 400.

Quick Vote – Did AMC Deserve To Survive?

More About The 1967 AMC Rambler Rebel SST

The First Excitement Machine In The Intermediate Class!

1967 was the year that saw 475,000 troops stationed in Vietnam and Cassius Clay stripped of his heavyweight crown for refusing to join the armed forces in protest. Psychedelic music hit the mainstream with the Beatles releasing Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, to much acclaim. The Doors are banned from the Ed Sullivan show for singing the line “Girl we couldn’t get much higher” when specifically told to change it for the airing. TV was graced by shows such as the Monkees, Star Trek and the Fugitive – the final show of which was the most watched episode of the decade.

It was also the year that AMC was in big trouble. Debts approaching $76 million and unsold cars piling up on lots forced drastic action including sacking the President and selling 14,000 cars to rental companies at a small profit to help ends meet.

The fifth generation of the Rambler Rebels was part of the 1967 lineup that AMC bosses hoped would turn their fortunes. The coke bottle styling, fashionable across most marques at this time was introduced as AMC completely redesigned the line. AMC decided to increase the size to allow for more passenger space and carrying capacity and added new safety features such as a collapsing steering column.

1967 Rambler Rebel came in many guises but the SST was only available as a 2 -door hardtop. The 343cu engine was the biggest available in 1967 and could manage 0-60mph (0-97knh) in nine seconds. Not only that it was noted as the quietest by contemporary testers.

The SST badge made reference to the trim level rather than anything that might affect the performance specification. All Rebels of 67 could be equipped with most options.

    • Replaced Rambler Classic line
    • Bodystyle 67-78
    • Replacement Model name 71-78 Matador
    • Cars produced 15,287
    • Base price $2604
    • Chevrolet Chevelle
    • Dodge Coronet
    • Ford Fairlane
    • Plymouth Belvedere
    • Wheelbase 114.0in
    • Length 197.0in
    • Width 78.4in
    • Height 54.6in
    • Legroom (front) 41.6in
    • Legroom (rear) 36.5in
    • Fuel capacity (gals) 21.5


Ironically, lumping a V8 into mid-sized car was something Rambler did back in ’57 with the previous Rebel. So when then they belatedly put a V8 in the 67 model it was deemed a little too late. Chevy, Dodge, Ford and Plymouth among others had already beaten them to it so the car didn’t make big headlines – or in fact sales with just 15,287 making it to owners (to put that in perspective the Chevelle SS396 sold over 63,000.

Period Advertising For The 1967 AMC Rambler Rebel SST

1967 Rebel Ad-04

Images courtesy of Old Car Manual Project

Whatever your opinion the AMC Rebel has its fans and deservedly so; it is a smart car with great performance from a quirky brand that produced some fantastic cars and the SST is definitely worth a place in the pantheon of sixties muscle cars.

Thank you to Terry Hanna for sharing its history and photos with us.

Please leave a comment below to show your appreciation of the car if you enjoyed this feature.

Author: Jason

American car and retro lifestyle fan. Get in touch, I'd love to get your car, bike, event or club on this website.

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  • John Newell

    AMC deserved to survive in one way because they made some great cars and implemented innovative techology and in another it didn’t. The reason it didn’t was because they made too many ugly cars. Ford survived the early to mid-seventies on styling alone. Their cars were rust buckets from the get-go. If AMC had that kind of product failure it would have expired much sooner.

    AMC designers for the most part had no sense of proportion. The cars from 1969 to 1973 stand out because they were mostly the pinnacle of AMC styling and not too much ungainliness in body proportion and functionality. The styling was heavily influenced by GM and Ford by the look of the results. Design sanity prevailed for a short while.

    The notable exception was the butt ugly Hornet that only looked good as an SC/360. The interiors were and still are gruesome. Gremlins were so ugly they were cute.

    The concept of interior design was entirely lost on AMC for most of its life span with the too brief intercession of Pierre Cardin. In fact the second generation Javelins with the consoles are the only interiors that really look great that AMC ever did. If they’d paid more attention to styling instead of letting engineers who as a demographic didn’t have a proportional bone between them do the styling, they’d still be around. If you build a fabulous product, it sells. Apple has proven that. Apple’s products feature iconic sleek, functional designs.

    AMC designs featured bumps, curves harsh lines and no concept of aerodynamics. But the 1970 style door handles did look like an Apple design and are still the best automotive exterior door handles ever designed in my opinion. Once in a while they got things spectacularly right. On the other side of the doors they got the plastic door lock tabs spectacularly wrong. They looked great but broke easily and made it really easy to break into a hardtop car.

    While I did vote with my heart that AMC deserved to survive; the reality is that sales determine whether or not you deserve to survive. If you don’t make a product that sells you’re gone sooner or later. Most of AMCs product line is entirely forgettable other than as rolling jigsaw puzzles for people who like playing with parts. Too few of them are works of art.

    Works of art are in the end the items that command the big dollars. They are the cars that survive the ages. That’s mostly why the Rebel Machine is the best car AMC ever built. It is art on wheels. The solid colour cars can look great but without the graphics package, most people think they’re Chryslers and entirely forgettable. They don’t catch the eye like a RWB Machine does. In fact the entire RWB concept worked well for AMC and cars finished that way command the best prices. They’re that distinctive and to this day they generate respect that keeps the memory of AMC alive.

    Failing to launch the AMX3 was a huge marketing mistake. A way needed to be found to make that happen.

    The same goes for their version and best version of the mini van. AMC walked away from that concept and a market need that was so thirsty it was like a sun baked desert waiting for rain. That van combined with jeep technology would have changed the automotive landscape in an instant. it would have put AMC solidly in the black and in a position to remain functional as the emissions requirements escalated.

    Instead AMC products continued into the 80s as studies in supreme ugliness with the exception of the Spirit, the Hornet body AMX with the ground effects (but no motor to back it up) and the Pacer wagon. That’s way AMC didn’t survive. People don’t want cars they’d be embarrassed to be seen in. It reflects baldly on your IQ.

  • http://www.freewaylegends.com Freeway Legends

    Hi John, firstly thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge of AMC products and history. Your appreciation of their failings seem crystal clear and make sense. Hindsight does allow us to see the crucial decisions that led to their demise and it’s a shame that the right people weren’t in the boardroom when it mattered.

    As far as a brand is concerned it’s easy to look back at AMC with nostalgic eyes and feel warmth for the underdog but back in the sixties and seventies you can see why the majority opted for the apparent security of a big three purchase.

    Being a UK citizen I’ve seen virtually all of our British marques fall by the wayside due to one mistake or another and even more perplexing is that those that have survived as ongoing concerns are mostly owned by overseas car manufacturers. What I can vouch for is that the overseas owners of the likes of Rolls Royce (BMW) and Bentley (VW) have embraced the history of the brands and continue to nurture them as if they were born British.

    Sadly I see nobody picking up the AMC brand. It’s failings as you said were fundamentally associated with the quality and design of the products and their modern appeal is mostly limited to a few models either for their generally underrated excellence (Rebel Machine, Rebel SST) or their bizarre design (Gremlin).

    Personally I love to see the less popular marques being loved and cared for and I’ve found researching AMC very interesting.

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