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Discussion in 'AMC, Eagle, Hudson, Nash, Willys' started by Mr. Fusion, Dec 29, 2016.
Not the Medallion, the Premier was part of the reason for the acquisition of AMC by Chrysler.
Thanks @CudaPete - I guess I got my "big Eagles" mixed up.
I believe most of that is here on Allpar in the LH car sections.
^ LOL - It did not occur to me that the place where I gained that knowledge may have been Allpar.
Folks, forgive me if this has been a topic here previously, but for those who are not aware, this will be a real treat: The Old Car Brochures website has a pretty comprehensive collection of AMC sales brochures from throughout its corporate history. (Nash, Hudson, et al have their own separate sections on the website.)
Check out the full AMC collection here.
Below is a thumbnail of the 1961 Ambassador catalog (the actual catalogs are on the website are true-to-size).
Surpassed only by the 03-03 Saturn L in beauty. /sarc. I think it was the L's inspiration.
Thanks for that. I love that web site.
Was thinking about it last night as well: the boom bust cycles of Chrysler are very AMC like. They both survived down periods when the entire automotive press counted them out.
Bearhawke, one of the reasons the gremlin was a big seller was price. 1970 Gremlin [2 passenger] base price was $1879. 1970 Duster base price was $2172. Note to Sergio: When Darts first came out, only those with lots of options an prices near or above 200 prices were on the lots locally. Don't make the same mistake with the Pacifica. Many people have a limited amount of money to spend, and if they can't afford what you're selling, they will go elsewhere.
Did a little reading on the Eagle. It was the differential housing that was bolted to the block [with half shafts]. The car was needed for snow travel in the north country. It was made in many ? body styles, including a rare subcontracted convertible. Unfortunately, because of the gas crisis [?] creating a jump in gas prices, and because of its high initial price, $2-3,000 more than a Spirit, its sales slowed. A clever, innovative design for the times. Most people back then were driving around in RWD vehicles, and didn't feel the need or were scared of 4wd.
Hudson was a well engineered semi luxury car that had a great racing history in the early 50s. The inline flathead 6 with "twin H power" produced 170 hp and 270 lbs ft torque in a light weight unit body and GM 4 speed auto that won close to 50% of its NASCAR races in that time period. It could not keep up with body design changes and fell out of favor. Merged with Nash-Kelvinator and AMC in the late 50s. I guess that is where a mish-mosh of parts came from. About that time everybody made rust buckets so no one can claim "king of rust" title. I also remember seeing a lot pf AMC cars losing front wheels in turns. But hay you had to get a car every 3 years back then or you were no one. I remember a neighbors 3 year old X frame Pontiac seperateing its self from the front wheels. Back then no one wanted to tackel that job. Unibody was the way to go.
When Packard joined AMC it soon was uni body. AMC was a bit light in areas especially suspension connections and Packard really became an also ran and died. Don't forget the "Mountain versions of those flat heads that were real breathers. And never underrate the flat head 8 Packard engines. Saw a lot of dirt tracks. very successfully.
When I was a kid any town in the North East that considered itself something had a dirt track. The City Park 2 blocks from my home had one, I remember the noise. Saw a lot of 40's to 50s 6 cylindar Dodges and Plymouths and was told these were the most economical way to get into the competition. Did not last long as the post war population grew, the nearby new home builders pushed the track out and a highschool stadium replaced it.
You bring back memories of my youth which do NOT go back as far as this article. I do remember the Tacoma Municipal airport and Clover Park technical is alive and well including a class in Antique car restoration funded by the Harold Lemay Family. (When he died, he owned about 3500 cars and their are two museums in the Tacoma area founded by the family and supporters. (America Car Museum & Lemay Family Collection). The article is about early racing in Tacoma and is a great read. To add to this, early roads in Washington were built from split logs laid side to side before they could make gravel.
Tacoma Speedway, 1912-1922 - HistoryLink.org (at http://www.historylink.org/File/5639 )
Packard never joined AMC. That was the plan under George Mason, and I think Packard supplied Nash and/or Hudson engines for one model year, but Packard merged with Studebaker, where it died.
My father, after WWII, had a Chrysler sedan, a 1950 Studebaker Champion sedan and a 1951 Chevy sedan in succession. Parents traded or sold the Chevy for a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere Sedan V8 with Push-Button Auto Trans. After they settled in with the Plymouth, they couldn't wait to unload that car because it turned out to be a Lemon from the start.
They traded for a new AMC 1960 Rambler ( Rebel ) Station Wagon (Country Classic apparently was the proper name) with a 250 CID V8 and Push-Button Auto Trans. They thought this was substantially better than their 1957 Plymouth. So much so they traded the '60 for a 1965 Ambassador Wagon with a 327 CID V8. The '60 was a good car; but the Ambassador was a noticeable step up, in addition to being a larger car.
That AMC 327 pre-dated the GM 327, and was a really stout engine. I overheard my older brother talking about how surprising the AMC 327 really was - that it was more than competitive against a GM 327 equipped as close to the same as possible. ( I don't think AMC had a racing budget at that time, and GM did; so the GM hardware got lots of attention }. Yet, independent Hot Rodders pushed the AMC 327 pretty well, all things considered ). My older brother had a 1956 Plymouth Savoy with a 270 V8. He Bored and Stroked ( to 305 CID I remember him saying ), added a nice Cam and valves, and Dual Quads - Tuned exhaust, as I recall. But he stuck with the Auto Trans that came with it. He spent some time at the Drag Strip clocking progress in the build and encountered some people who put together some nice "Ramblers" with built 327's. Because of rubbing shoulders with some of these people, he basically reported what he saw at the strip.
Packard sank Studebaker along with it. It would have been interesting if they had made the future product and idea cars that were planned. The vehicles and facilities were antiquated and there was no cash to modernize.
The Avanti lived on under different management into the 1990's as the Avanti II.
The last Packard Hawks were supercharged Packardbakers. The premium luxury reputation had pretty much disappeared after 1956.
The big 3 had the market share that made being #4 or #5 uncompetitive. The Checker (#6) used GM drivetrains.
Studebaker dropped its own engines in favor of GM engines from 1963-on.
Packard supplied V8s for the big Nashes and Hudsons in the '50's.
There is an interesting wiki on the Rambler V8:
AMC V8 engine - Wikipedia (at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMC_V8_engine )
Studebaker made their own engines through the 1964 model year. Starting with the '65 models, they used Chevy engines. They stopped making cars in 1966.
Studebaker Lark - Wikipedia (at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studebaker_Lark )
Only the straight 6 and the 283 are mentioned. I saw a '66 for sale at a swap meet with a 327, so that engine was apparently supplied, too.
Rambler is quite interesting to me...if I had it to do over, I probably would have named this thread "Who is the Rambler of Today?" Rambler had been subsumed into AMC by the time I was in kindergarten. None of my direct family members ever owned one, but if I were of driving age in the 1960's, I certainly would have considered one. I never much cared for the ostentatious style of many 1950's-1960's American cars, or more importantly, their unreasonably large size. Ramblers were compact by comparison (even the Ambassadors), but were still plenty roomy inside, and their trim styling has aged quite well IMO.
But somehow, Rambler's eminent practicality resulted in the nameplate being painted as "nerdy", for lack of a better word. At least by my relatives and everyone else we knew.
Regarding the 327 V8: My grandfather had a green 1968 Chevy Impala with the 327, and boy did he love that car. So did I, because it meant fun weekends or vacations with the grandparents, instead of the drudgery of home life!
Packard was never uni-body, either. Studebakers were body on frame which provided the basis for the Hawks and Clippers from 1957 on.
My grand mother had a 60 Ambassador Wagon [ "Cross Country" was what the wagons were called, JavelinAMX ], with the 327/270 HP engine and it would snap your head back when she hit the gas. Even left black rubber in the driveway and on the street.
Love these things. My parent's 72 Ambassador had the 304 which was smooth and economical. Shorter and lighter than the LTD and Impala of the period as well, but with similar interior room. Still a great concept.
Even further back, Mr Fusion. Rambler started out at the turn of the 20th Century, built by The Thomas B Jeffery Company, which switched the name to Jeffery shortly before Nash bought the company.
Nash brought the name back in 1950 and even Hudson sold Ramblers for awhile.
You're not that old, are you ?
And I am the same in my admiration for the whole philosophy of AMC/Rambler: efficient use of interior space, small exterior, efficient. I am still a Rambler/Studebaker buyer in my buyer MO.
Nothing nerdy about practical cars. Let them mock.
I should have mentioned earlier that the 327 in the Studebaker had "Thunderbolt" on its valve covers. "Thunderbolt" was also the name of a straight-8 Packard engine during the early 1950s that also displaced 327 cubic inches, and was also considered a smooth, reliable powerplant. Apparently, 327 cubic inches is a good size for 8-cylinder engines.