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In the Garage: 1969 AMC Hurst S/C Rambler

Alan Annunziato's 1969 AMC Hurst S/C Rambler features

Alan Annunziato's 1969 AMC Hurst S/C Rambler features a special Borg-Warner transmission, Dana rear end and front disc brakes. Photo Credit: David Fluhrer

THE CAR AND ITS OWNER: 1969 AMC Hurst S/C Rambler owned by Alan Annunziato

WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING: For most of its life, American Motors – with resources far more limited than the big automakers – was known primarily for conservative cars offering modest performance, excellent value and styling that was often slightly behind the times. But AMC also had a wild side, producing high-powered models of its AMX and Javelin sport coupes, as well as a one-year-only factory race car, the Hurst S/C Rambler. Working closely with iconic aftermarket tuner Hurst, AMC stuffed the engine bay of an ordinary Rambler American with a 315-horsepower, 390-cubic-inch V-8. As Annunziato notes, other features included a special Borg-Warner transmission, Dana rear end and front disc brakes. “There were 1,512 units built,” he says. “According to current statistics, approximately 300 are left, with most being abused and destroyed from over-racing. The cars were very competitive and surprised the ‘big three’ (General Motors, Ford and Chrysler) by running in the low thirteens (13 seconds for the quarter mile) at the track. They came in two styles: a red, white and blue version named the ‘A’ model or a detuned version, with no red or distinct graphics, called the ‘B’ model. Both sold for $2,999.”

HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT: Since 2008

WHERE HE FOUND IT: Annunziato bought it from an owner in Scottsdale, Arizona. “I always wanted one of these cars,” he says, “so I looked for an AMC club, contacted the president, who happened to be restoring four of these, and made a deal.”

CONDITION: “The car was in early stages of restoration,” he says. “I went to see it a few times during its build and made a few modifications. We located an original and very rare CrossRam (engine intake) manifold set-up, which I decided to install. Upon finishing, I received all manuals and even old time slips from its glory days.”

TIPS FOR OWNERS: “These cars are very rare,” Annunziato advises. “If you are looking, contact Arizona AMC restorations. Make sure you check to confirm the car is the real thing. Unfortunately, it is copied very often.”

VALUE: He estimates the value at $60,000.

THE BOTTOM LINE: “My car is special,” Annunziato says, “because it was a one-year edition and a joint effort of AMC and Hurst, who, together, made a true muscle car to compete against the ‘big guns’ of the ‘60s.”

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