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AMC Ambassador

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Ambassador
Vehicle Model

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Wikipedia: AMC Ambassador

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A full size car produced by AMC.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's AMC Ambassador page on 18 November 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Ambassador was the top-of-the-line automobile produced by the American Motors Corporation (AMC) from 1958 until 1974. The vehicle was known as the AMC Ambassador, Ambassador V-8 by Rambler, and Rambler Ambassador at various times during its tenure in production. Previously, the name Ambassador had applied to Nash's "senior" full-size cars.

The Ambassador nameplate was used continuously from 1927 until 1974 (the name being a top-level trim line between 1927 and 1931); at the time it was discontinued, Ambassador was the longest continuously used nameplate in automotive history.

Most Ambassador models were built in Kenosha, Wisconsin. They were also built at AMC's Brampton Assembly in Brampton, Ontario from 1963 to 1966. Australian Motor Industries (AMI) assembled Ambassadors from knock-down kits with right-hand drive. The U.S. fifth generation Ambassadors were produced by Industrias Kaiser Argentina (IKA) in Córdoba, Argentina from 1965 to 1972, as well as assembled by ECASA in Costa Rica from 1965 to 1970. Fifth and seventh generation Ambassadors were modified into custom stretch limousines in Argentina and the U.S.

Following George W. Mason's unexpected death in the fall of 1954, George Romney (whom Mason had been grooming as his eventual successor), succeeded him as president and CEO of the newly formed American Motors. Romney recognized that to be successful in the postwar marketplace, an automobile manufacturer would have to be able to produce and sell cars in sufficient volume to amortize the high cost of tooling. Toward that end, he set out to increase AMC's market share with its Rambler models that were selling in market segment in which the domestic Big Three (General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Chrysler) automakers did not yet compete. While development of a redesigned 1958 Nash Ambassador, based on a stretched and reskinned 1956 Rambler body, was almost complete, AMC's designers were also working on a retrimmed Hudson equivalent, called Rebel, to offer Hudson dealers.

However, as sales of the large-sized Nash Ambassador and Hudson Hornet models slowed, it became clear to Romney that consumer confidence in the historic Nash and Hudson nameplates had collapsed. Reluctantly, he decided that 1957 would be the end of both nameplates, and the company would concentrate on the new Rambler line, which was registered as a separate marque for 1957.

Eighth generation: 1974

Ambassador sales had remained steady since 1970, despite the lack of major changes to the vehicle. However, the 1974 model year would bring out the biggest Ambassador—just as the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo sparked gasoline rationing across the nation. The Ambassador sedan was stretched seven inches (180 mm) compared with the 1973 versions. This additional length was due to a new front end design and stronger energy absorbing bumpers with hydraulic backup.

The 1974 Ambassador Brougham was no longer available as a 2-door (pillar-less) hardtop, leaving the 4-door sedan and station wagon body styles in the line. The hardtop's cancellation was due in part to low sales volume of the Ambassador 2-door versions, as well as the introduction of an all-new 1974 Matador coupe that featured a very long hood and a short rear deck. The new coupe was selected as the "Best Styled Car of 1974" by the editors of Car and Driver magazine and did not have the requisite share the typical mid- to late-1970s styling hallmarks that included an upright grille, a notchback roof, and imitation "landau bars" or opera lights. It was probably viable for AMC to build a "formal"-styled, personal luxury Ambassador version from the same platform.

Styling changes for the sedan and wagon included new front fender caps on the same fenders as used since 1969, and hood, grille, bumpers, rear fascia, instrument panel, interior trim, hood ornament, and a new font for the Ambassador nameplate. The grille showed off a new squared-off loop-type design surrounding the circular recessed quad headlights, and featured a forward-protruding center. The insert held a crosshatch pattern dominated by two thick horizontal bars that connected the headlight bezels and contained new parking lights between them. These parking lights had amber lenses, followed the grille protrusion forward, and were overlaid by the grille's crosshatch trim. Headlamp bezels were once again blacked out in their recessed areas. The new hood and front bumper followed the grille's central protrusion forward, giving the car a slight "coffin nose" look. The contemporary Matador saw a similar frontal treatment, but with a much more pronounced effect and with different single headlamp clusters, hood, and grille insert.

At the rear, the new bumper was much larger and backed by shock absorbers, as it was beefed up to comply with new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulations for standardized front and rear bumpers on passenger cars that could sustain a 5-mile-per-hour (8 km/h) impact with no damage. Fiberglass end caps were added to the ends of each rear fender on sedans. They wrapped inward to create a recessed space that met a carryover decklid. In this space was mounted the new rectangular taillight housings, which featured taller white backup lights mounted inboard of the new taillights. The license plate moved from the rear bumper to the area between the new taillight assemblies, and the whole taillight and license plate system on the sedans was surrounded its own loop of chrome trim.

The cargo area and the rear design of station wagons remained similar to previous Ambassadors, save for a massive new bumper and revised taillamps. The wagon was available with two-row bench seats for six passengers or with a rear-facing third row for a total eight seat-belted passengers. All came with numerous practical, appearance, and comfort items as standard. These included a two-way opening tail gate: (1) hinged at the bottom for convenient loading or hauling long cargo and (2) hinged at the side to open as door for ease of entry and exit for passengers or cargo; wood grained semi-transparent vinyl side and rear trim, a full-length roof rack; as well as a chrome and wood grain roof air deflector to help keep the tailgate window clean.

Powertrain selections remained the same as in 1973, with only V8 engines and automatic transmissions available. When ordered with a trailer package (special wiring harness with heavy-duty flasher and heavy-duty suspension with rear sway bar), the Ambassador was rated for up to 5,000-pound (2,268 kg) towing capacity. Other increases for 1974 included a larger capacity fuel tank, 24.9 US gal (94 L; 21 imp gal), and an alternator producing 62 amperes. New sound insulation made the Ambassador even quieter. All came with a very lengthy list of standard equipment that was typically optional on competing makes. These included comfort items such as air conditioning, an AM radio, and vanity mirror to appearance enhancements such as pin striping and whitewall tires.

Sales of all full-size vehicles, regardless of the automaker, fell significantly in 1974 as America's focus shifted to smaller cars. Ambassador sales were no different, and in June 1974, the final AMC Ambassador rolled off the Kenosha, Wisconsin assembly line, ending a nameplate that had been in continuous production in some form for 48 years.


Multimedia

1967 Station Wagon Commercial
This film is available courtesy of the Prelinger Archives (public domain).
Download 1967 AMC Ambassador Station Wagon Commercial from The Internet Archive - 31.0MB - 1:00


Photographs

Rambler Ambassador Station Wagon
Photo courtesy
The John Walczak Collection

View photo of Rambler Ambassador Station Wagon - 1.4MB
1958 AMC Ambassador 1958
Photo by Christopher Ziemnowicz
AMCRC show in Gaithersburg, Maryland
June 30, 2006
View photo of 1958 AMC Ambassador - 291KB
1958 AMC Ambassador 1958
Photo by Christopher Ziemnowicz
AMCRC show in Gaithersburg, Maryland
June 30, 2006
View photo of 1958 AMC Ambassador - 304KB
1958 AMC Ambassador 1958
Photo by Christopher Ziemnowicz
AMCRC show in Gaithersburg, Maryland
June 30, 2006
View photo of 1958 AMC Ambassador - 392KB
1960 AMC Ambassador 1960
Photo by Christopher Ziemnowicz
AMCRC show in Somerset, New Jersey
2003
View photo of 1960 AMC Ambassador - 75KB
1963 AMC Ambassador 327 Engine 1963 327 cu. in. engine
Photo by Christopher Ziemnowicz
2006 AMCRC show in Gaithersburg, Maryland
View photo of 1963 AMC Ambassador 327 Engine - 727KB
1964 Rambler Ambassador 990 1964 990
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1964 Rambler Ambassador 990 - 5.1MB
1964 Rambler Ambassador 990 1964 990
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1964 Rambler Ambassador 990 - 3.6MB
1964 Rambler Ambassador 990 1964 990
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1964 Rambler Ambassador 990 - 3.5MB
1964 Rambler Ambassador 990 1964 990
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1964 Rambler Ambassador 990 - 3.2MB
1964 Rambler Ambassador 990 1964 990
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1964 Rambler Ambassador 990 - 3.7MB
1964 Rambler Ambassador 990 1964 990
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1964 Rambler Ambassador 990 - 4.4MB
1964 Rambler Ambassador 990 1964 990
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1964 Rambler Ambassador 990 - 3.9MB
1964 Rambler Ambassador 990 1964 990
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1964 Rambler Ambassador 990 - 2.9MB
Rambler Ambassador Station Wagon
Photo courtesy
The John Walczak Collection

View photo of Ambassador Station Wagon - 1.6MB
1965 AMC Ambassador 1965
Photo by Christopher Ziemnowicz
AMCRC show in Somerset, New Jersey
2003
View photo of 1965 AMC Ambassador - 65KB
1966 AMC Ambassador DPL 1966 DPL
Photo by Christopher Ziemnowicz
AMCRC show in Somerset, New Jersey
2003
View photo of 1966 AMC Ambassador 990 - 61KB
1966 AMC Ambassador 990 1966 990
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Round Lake Home Town Festival
View photo of 1966 AMC Ambassador 990 - 4.4MB
1966 AMC Ambassador 990 1966 990
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Round Lake Home Town Festival
View photo of 1966 AMC Ambassador 990 - 3.5MB
1966 AMC Ambassador 990 1966 990
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Round Lake Home Town Festival
View photo of 1966 AMC Ambassador 990 - 3.4MB
1966 AMC Ambassador 990 1966 990
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Round Lake Home Town Festival
View photo of 1966 AMC Ambassador 990 - 4.1MB
1966 AMC Ambassador 990 1966 990
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Round Lake Home Town Festival
View photo of 1966 AMC Ambassador 990 - 3.2MB
1966 AMC Ambassador 990 1966 990
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Round Lake Home Town Festival
View photo of 1966 AMC Ambassador 990 - 4.2MB
1966 AMC Ambassador 990 1966 990
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Round Lake Home Town Festival
View photo of 1966 AMC Ambassador 990 - 3.6MB
1966 AMC Ambassador 990 1966 990
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Round Lake Home Town Festival
View photo of 1966 AMC Ambassador 990 - 3.4MB
1966 AMC Ambassador 990 1966 990
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Round Lake Home Town Festival
View photo of 1966 AMC Ambassador 990 - 3.5MB
1966 AMC Ambassador 990 1966 990
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Round Lake Home Town Festival
View photo of 1966 AMC Ambassador 990 - 4.4MB
1966 AMC Ambassador 990 1966 990
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Round Lake Home Town Festival
View photo of 1966 AMC Ambassador 990 - 3.4MB
Gustafson - Libertyville 1966 990
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Round Lake Home Town Festival
View photo of Gustafson - Libertyville - 3.3MB
1966 AMC Ambassador 990 1966 990
Photo by Christopher Ziemnowicz
AMCRC show in Gaithersburg, Maryland
2006
View photo of 1966 AMC Ambassador 990 - 319KB
1966 AMC Ambassador 990 Wagon 1966 990
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
Klapp Motor Sales
View photo of 1966 AMC Ambassador 990 - 3,838KB
1966 AMC Ambassador 990 Wagon 1966 990
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
Klapp Motor Sales
View photo of 1966 AMC Ambassador 990 - 3,517KB
1966 AMC Ambassador 990 Wagon 1966 990
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
Klapp Motor Sales
View photo of 1966 AMC Ambassador 990 - 3,759KB
1966 AMC Ambassador 990 Wagon 1966 990
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
Klapp Motor Sales
View photo of 1966 AMC Ambassador 990 - 3,208KB
1968 AMC Ambassador SST 1968 SST
Photo © Joe Salzburg
View photo of 1968 AMC Ambassador SST - 529KB
1968 AMC Ambassador SST 1968 SST
Photo ©2008 Bill Crittenden
Richmond, Illinois Cruise Night:  June 6, 2008
View photo of 1968 AMC Ambassador SST - 4,536KB
1968 AMC Ambassador SST 1968 SST
Photo ©2008 Bill Crittenden
Richmond, Illinois Cruise Night:  June 6, 2008
View photo of 1968 AMC Ambassador SST - 3,531KB
1968 AMC Ambassador SST 1968 SST
Photo ©2008 Bill Crittenden
Richmond, Illinois Cruise Night:  June 6, 2008
View photo of 1968 AMC Ambassador SST - 3,696KB
1968 AMC Ambassador SST Emblem 1968 SST
Photo ©2008 Bill Crittenden
Richmond, Illinois Cruise Night:  June 6, 2008
View photo of 1968 AMC Ambassador SST - 5,289KB
1968 AMC Ambassador SST Emblem 1968 SST
Photo ©2008 Bill Crittenden
Richmond, Illinois Cruise Night:  June 6, 2008
View photo of 1968 AMC Ambassador SST - 3,846KB
1968 AMC Ambassador SST Emblem 1968 SST
Photo ©2008 Bill Crittenden
Richmond, Illinois Cruise Night:  June 6, 2008
View photo of 1968 AMC Ambassador SST - 4,894KB
1969 AMC Ambassador 1969
Photo by Marc Montoni
View photo of 1969 AMC Ambassador - 78KB
1971 AMC Ambassador 1971
Photo by Christopher Ziemnowicz
AMCRC show in Somerset, New Jersey
2003
View photo of 1971 AMC Ambassador - 56KB
1973 AMC Ambassador 1973
Photo ©2015 Bill Crittenden
2015 Cruisin' Spring Car Show
View photo of 1973 AMC Ambassador - 3.4MB
1973 AMC Ambassador 1973
Photo ©2015 Bill Crittenden
2015 Cruisin' Spring Car Show
View photo of 1973 AMC Ambassador - 3.2MB
1973 AMC Ambassador 1973
Photo ©2015 Bill Crittenden
2015 Cruisin' Spring Car Show
View photo of 1973 AMC Ambassador - 3.9MB
1973 AMC Ambassador 1973
Photo ©2015 Bill Crittenden
2015 Cruisin' Spring Car Show
View photo of 1973 AMC Ambassador - 3.6MB
1973 AMC Ambassador 1973
Photo ©2015 Bill Crittenden
2015 Cruisin' Spring Car Show
View photo of 1973 AMC Ambassador - 3.5MB
1973 AMC Ambassador 1973
Photo ©2015 Bill Crittenden
2015 Cruisin' Spring Car Show
View photo of 1973 AMC Ambassador - 3.2MB
1973 AMC Ambassador 1973
Photo ©2015 Bill Crittenden
2015 Cruisin' Spring Car Show
View photo of 1973 AMC Ambassador - 4.3MB


Documents

DateDocument Name & DetailsDocuments
13 October 1966NHTSA Recall 66V010000 1967 AMC Ambassador, 1967 AMC Marlin, 1967 AMC Rebel
VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Recall Page - 1 page


Recalls

Model YearsIssuing AgencyRecall #Reason
1967NHTSA67V032000VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL




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