The muscle car cult is cool and all, but there’s at least one thing that’s wrong with it. We don’t talk much about high-performance classics built by American Motors Corporation (AMC). Say what you want about the ill-fated brand that was merged into Chrysler in 1988, but it gave us quite a few notable muscle cars.
The AMC Rebel The Machine and the AMX are perhaps the most iconic, but the Southfield-based company also produced a few fetching iterations of the Javelin and the Marlin. Then there’s the Rambler Rebel, which started life as a mundane mid-size sedan in 1957 to become a muscle car in the late 1960s.
Of course, The Machine is the most exotic incarnation of the Rebel, but AMC also offered a more high-end variant under the “SST” badge. Restricted to the two-door hardtop body style, it debuted in 1967 with a 343-cubic-inch (5.6-liter) V8 engine.
It was, at the time, AMC’s largest available engine and delivered up to 280 horsepower. It wasn’t as powerful as the range-topping V8 mills from the competition, but it was potent enough to push the Rebel SST from 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) in nine seconds, to go with a top speed of 110 mph (177 kph).
More than 50 years later and the AMC Rebel SST is largely forgotten, with many of them spending their final years as rust buckets in car graveyards. Fortunately, the folks over at Mortske Repair saved one of them from a field, putting it back on the road after a whopping 40 years.
Abandoned at a farm back in 1981, this Rebel SST survived the test of time rather well. Sure, the V8 engine needed some serious repairs to come back to life, the vinyl top is completely gone, and the white paint has faded away, but the body and the frame are in surprisingly good condition, with not so much rust to worry about.Although the V8 runs and still has plenty of grunt to move the car around, this AMC is not yet roadworthy. But it’s a solid candidate for a restoration project. As a fan of AMC and all the independent brands that joined forces to create this corporation in 1954, I’m excited to see a Rebel come back from the dead.