The AMC Ambassador, also known as the Kenosha Cadillac after the town in Wisconsin in which it was built, went through eight generations of development between 1958 to 1974. Marketed up to the third generation as the Ambassador by Rambler the model was marketed as the Rambler Ambassador under the direction of George Romney, Chairman and President of AMC in 1962.
When George became 43rd Governor of Michigan in 1963, Roy Abernethy took over at AMC and convinced the board at AMC to phase the Rambler name out starting 1966 in what subsequently proved to be an ill conceived decision.
By 1968 the Ambassador was in the second phase of the sixth generation and a new for ’68 SST trim line was made available in which air conditioning was standard with a ‘delete option’ putting the Rambler ahead of Cadillac and Lincoln and on a par with the likes of Rolls Royce in the air conditioning (A/C) stakes.
A 1968 Ambassabor is easy to spot by the federally mandated wing / fender mounted marker lights, the body coloured headlight bezels and flush mounted paddle operated door handles.
Along with the A/C the luxurious SST package, which was available with a Sedan or Hard Top Coupé body, came with individually reclining front seats, federally mandated seat belts, wood look interior trim, an electric clock and buzzer to warn occupants if the headlights were left on.
The 280 hp 343 cui / 5.6 litre V8 with 4 barrel carburetor was introduced in 1967 for 1968 this was topped by a 315 hp 390 cui / 6.4 litre motor with smaller 232 cui / 3.8 litre straight 6 and 290 cui 4.8 litre V8 motors also available.
From the rear the ’68 Ambassador is distinguished by the horizontally divided tail lights, recessed into body coloured bezels like those at the front.
Despite a new advertising campaign which broke with convention of not attacking the competition, while overall AMC sales went up, Ambassador sales fell by 13% in 1968 and the Rambler name was phased out of the Ambassador by the end of the ’68 model year and out of all US market AMC products in 1970.
Thanks for joining me on this ‘Standard Air Conditioned Rambler’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !