To pull this off, we needed the best body we could find, because even the cheapest paint job will cost $1,500-$2,000 before it's done. The Rambler was pulled from a garage where it had been for at least 10 years. It has a 232 inline-six, an M15 rearend, and a Flash-O-Matic Model 37 three-speed automatic. The Rambler model was available with a 290ci engine in 1967, so it had the factory V-8 notch in the firewall. The 440 badges indicate the top trim level. To pull this off, we needed the best body we could find, because even the cheapest paint j We know. It's hard to imagine spending $3,500 and still look cool, but it's possible. You just have to do it the Car Craft way by waiting and watching for a clean body to show up in the classifieds, then scrounging the wrecking yards and stripping useful parts off other models. That's how it went down with the '67 Rambler American after we figured out that if you want to build a car for low bucks, you need to either buy a clean six-cylinder car and swap in the V-8 goodies, or try to find a complete V-8 version and hope there is no hidden body damage. After looking at a herd of rusted-out Javelins and AMX bodies, we were surfing the Internet and came across a clean-looking but faded American with a 232ci inline-six and a column-shifted automatic parked about 15 miles north of us. When we arrived, we found the car in original, untouched condition on four flat tires covered in a tent of dust. The owner told us that the brakes failed and his mother took a trip into the garage door before permanently parking it. We decided right there that hidden under the crust was a lightweight two-door post just waiting for the right combination of look-cool and go-fast parts from the aftermarket to be a way cool street/strip car. So we were hooked. We called AAA to have the car towed home, then swapped in all the V-8 parts from other AMCs in the family with the addition of a couple of hot rodding mainstays. But this is only the beginning. Now that we have a running car with a clean look, we're going to build it a piece at a time using only the hard parts that make it go faster or stop better, with a heavy emphasis on the go-faster part. We're also going to use this car to do the wrong thing, like installing a sheetmetal tunnel-ram or a really loose torque converter, just to give you the truth about living with these parts on the street. Since our favorite wrong thing to do is add too much power, we're also going to plug in the 370 we built in the Jan. '06 issue. With it, we are going to test the limits of the stock parts and find out if the AMC guys are right that they are bulletproof, or if the rest of the world is right and we are going to fling shrapnel at the guy in the water box with the garden hose in his hand. But first, check out how we transformed this car into street-machine material with more wrenching and less cash. When you look at non-mainstream vehicles, know that you aren't going to be able to buy interior parts and bolt them in. The Rambler door panels were in good shape, so we didn't have to scrounge or build new ones. The seat had been re-covered, and the carpet was replaced years ago but was still in good shape. These are bonuses you'll find when you look at cars that have been stored indoors. We were also thrilled that the instrument cluster was simply a row of 2-1/16-inch bezels with warning lights. Perfect for an Auto Meter swap. When you look at non-mainstream vehicles, know that you aren't going to be able to buy int The Rambler is going to be about fairgrounds and dragstrip fun, so we planned to pull the 232. It actually started and ran when we replaced the fuel pump, so we sold all the running gear for $300. The Rambler is going to be about fairgrounds and dragstrip fun, so we planned to pull the The entire drum-brake system was worn out, but we didn't care. With some minor differences, small AMCs (Gremlin, Concord, Spirit, Hornet) used the same spindle all the way through 1987. Cars to avoid are the big-bodied cars, the Eagle with 4WD, and the really early cars with "Nash" scripted on them. We found two '83 Concords in the same yard and stripped everything but the knuckle pin. The entire drum-brake system was worn out, but we didn't care. With some minor differences The '82-'83 Concord uses GM-style single-piston calipers and discs that are slightly under 11 inches in diameter. The '82-'83 Concord uses GM-style single-piston calipers and discs that are slightly under Make sure you grab every part seen here. We heard that the brake lines were metric, but they are actually standard and bolted to the existing hard line on the Rambler body. Make sure you grab every part seen here. We heard that the brake lines were metric, but th The caliper can be mounted either in front of or behind the disc. The theory here is that race cars run calipers in front of the rotor in the rear of the car and behind the rotor in the front to control the polar moment of inertia. The reality is that the caliper needs to clear the steering linkage, and the bleeder needs to be on top so you can bleed air out of it. We mounted ours full-race style. The caliper can be mounted either in front of or behind the disc. The theory here is that 1 | 2 | 3 | » | View Full Article Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!