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Home/News and Feature Articles/*Featured Cars and Trucks/ AMC Featured Cars/


At first glance, Ron Nordstrom's 1967 AMC Rambler American looks just like the car your grandma would have driven. But look closely at the small "401" badges on the fender. This ain't your grandma's Rambler!

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See the small "401" badges? That's not Ron's area code!

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1967 Rambler American - This ain't your Grandma's Rambler!
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By Society Staff – reprint with permission only

Some cars can be called “sleepers” but some are truly “Q-ships”. These are cars that no one would think have any performance potential. They are not an SS or GT or RT anything. Just a plain-Jane car that your grandma might have driven. Such is the case with Ron Nordstrom’s 1967 AMC Rambler American 2 door sedan from Danville CA. This stock AMC Aqua Blue (looks light green) Rambler might not even catch your eye at cruise night. Unless you were sharp enough to note the small “401” badges on the front fenders. Ron acquired the car in the late 90’s literally from a friend whose grandmother left him the car. It was stored for 15 years, and, in 2009, Ron decided to build the ultimate sleeper.

He started with the stock 6 cylinder Rambler and acquired an AMC V8 cross member for the car and an AMC 401 crate motor (yes AMC had such a motor in the late 60’s and 70’s). Ron added an RV cam, Edelbrock intake and Holley 750 cfm carb to the motor and was rewarded with 410 HP and 465 ft.lbs. of torque. That’s mighty stout in a car that weighs a tad over 3,000 lbs.!   A 700R4 transmission mates to the 401 through a custom adapter plate. To get all that power to the ground (without tearing up the puny rear that came with the stock 6) Ron had a custom Currie 9” Ford rear with 3.50:1 LSD gears installed.

The front suspension was rebuilt with AMC V8 springs (lowered 1.5”) and urethane bushings while the rear used 1969 Rambler SC/Rambler (remember these Hurst built cars?) leaf springs with KYB shocks. Turns out that the lug bolt pattern on AMCs matches Ford. So a set of 17” Boyd wheels and appropriate BFG rubber fit just fine.  Exhaust is removed through stock AMC exhaust manifolds and routed through a set of 3” pipes and Thrush mufflers. I stood behind this unassuming beast when Ron fired it up, and, in a word – SWEET!

The interior was done in standard AMC colors and pattern with a custom dash to hold all the necessary gauges and tach to monitor the activity under the hood. Since we live in California, Ron installed a Vintage Air A/C system to keep cool on our hot summer days. 

To quote the end of a Motor Trend August 1967 Road Test of the 6 cylinder “basic” Rambler American … “We see one other advantage to the $ 1,839 “special”..… If purchased now (1967) for Mom’s go-to-market vehicle, it can be turned over to Junior in a few years when he reaches driving age. He’ll more than likely want a “fun” car and quick trip to the  local wrecking yard should put him in possession of  an AM V8, that will drop right in and give the car a whole new lease on life”. 

Think of Ron Nordstrom as Junior and he has most definitely made a “fun car”. So the next time you’re cruising the streets of Danville and come across a plain Jane Aqua blue Rambler American, look for those 401 badges before you dismiss this a grandma’s car. To paraphrase an old Larry Johnson commercial – “This ain’t your Grandma’s Rambler!”

To see a road test of the '67 Rambler American, click HERE!

For 1967 Rambler American production figures, click HERE!

That's an AMC 401 CID v8 with 410 HP and a stout 465 ft.lbs. of torque.

A simple yet effective interior with a custom dash to keep tabs on that 401.

This is not an $1,839 special Rambler.

The real $1,839 "special" from 1967 -- this WAS your grandma's car.