Monday, July 27, 2015

Green Hornet: 1970 AMC Ambassador SST Sedan

What is so attractive about cars that are ugly, but just cool/funky enough to pull it off?  This next feature might be covered in the greens that remind you of cat vomit on the inside and out, but it has just the right amount of hipster street cred to pull it off.  Find this 1970 AMC Ambassador SST Sedan here on eBay bidding for $1,875 with 2 days to go, located in Indianapolis, IN.

The seventh generation AMC Ambassador (1969-1973) tossed the oddly spaced vertical headlight setup from the previous model for a conventional side-side quad lights up front. In typical AMC fashion, it looked like the typical American sedan design re-imagined by lunatics...but in a good way.

AMC buffs claim that the wide-mouth grill was inspired by Packard's classic grill shape, but I think it gives the car a sad Liam Neeson look...but in a good way.  

Green, green, green.  Sorta makes you wonder if the designers of a car with a green interior ever considered what it would look like after 45 years of sun fading.  At least the fake wood looks "good."

Finally, a side of the Ambassador that I can get behind.  Tail fins in 1970 = winning.  See another car from the past future?


  1. Oh AMC, how you were able to miss the mark of consumer taste nearly 100% of the time...

    This car reminds me of something a movie studio in the 1970s would have created out of a Ford or Plymouth if they were looking to put a car in a prominent role but didn't want it to be recognizable... maybe to avoid paying some sort of fee. I picture Charles Bronson driving it. Know what I mean? Like they took an existing car and uglified it a bit to disguise it. Something along the lines of what was done to create the Family Truckster the Griswolds drove in the original Vacation in the 80s*. That being said, I would definitely still drive this uggo machine. The bumper/tail light treatment saves it in my book.

    *Also, I do not condone the Vacation reboot that is about to take a dump in theaters in a few days.

  2. It's quite remarkable how significantly industrial design has shifted in a mere 45 years. While I would have thought this a bit vulgar 20 years ago, now the design is so distinct from everything currently produced, it has strong charisma. And as someone who has just spent more than he'd like to admit on elusive electronic struts to eliminate a vague warning light on the dash (only for a different one to come on 300 miles later) mechanical simplicity must have its virtues.

    Anonymous is right -- this has a generic '70s quality. It would be the ideal automobile for an episode of the A-Team where it pulls a 90 degree hand break and unloads some gun toting ranch invaders hoping to push out a down-on-their-luck family. But that is part of the charm. Double green with wood inserts? Checkmate.

    (I would like to stretch out on the hood after pulling to the side of a desert road.)

  3. One Adam Twelve, your unmarked car is ready.

  4. Oh Army Green memorys drove these in Germany with the 6 and 3 in the tree was a slow wallowing boat ! Motor was complaining on the von von Autobahn !

  5. Nah you guys got it all wrong.........this would have been driven by Michael Douglas on the" Streets of San Francisco" fact I think I remember seeing one in grey....of course I was otherwise occupied at the time and the tv was merely running in the it's probably a false memory

  6. One ADAM-12 your new Matador is ready !

  7. There is no reason to take cheap laughs at the popular designs during 1970. When parked next to the competition (the Chevrolet Impala, Ford Galaxie, and Plymouth Fury) the 1970 Ambassador would be still the “freshest” appearance and have the most timeless design elements. I agree that green may not be liked by some, but please review the color preferences of the time (such as the all avocado kitchen appliances and accessories) and it is clear that green tones were the most frequent ... if one bothers to check the paint charts and actual sales of cars at that time. On the other hand, in a world full of color, most people today prefer black, white, or gray (silver) for their cars - how absolutely boring! AMC offered the 1970 Ambassador in 14 standard color selections, 21 two-tone paint combinations, and 3 optional vinyl roof colors ( Moreover, there is also nothing wrong with automobile interiors to have real colors, rather than today's basic “rental car” gray or black. It is also cheaper for the automaker not to offer five color coordinated interior trim and upholstery selections (in addition to green, the 1970 Ambassador had a choice of red, blue, tan, or black interiors). Please note that other design fashions keep constantly changing, such as the “tonka toy” designs with massive chrome wheels (that even spun when standing) with O-ring tires that are already obsolete today.

    Nevertheless, I would like to share my experience with essentially a clone of this four-door sedan that was purchased new by my mother. It was exactly this Mossport Green color with green fabric interior and factory equipped with the high-compression four-barrel 360 V8, twin-grip differential, disk brakes, heavy-duty suspension, oversize G-78 belted tires, etc. This stealth sedan was a menace to unsuspecting muscle cars, in addition to providing superior road-holding on twisty roads. Unfortunately, the car was t-boned, but she replaced it with a similar, but even better 1973 Ambassador that was finished in deep Cordoba Brown with a cinnamon interior and matching vinyl covered roof. However, that is another story for this luxury cruiser that I had the joy of driving cross-country several times.

  8. I had one that looked just like this. It was an ideal first car. I got it off a lot for 1,178 dollars. It was probably worth 7 or 800. 307 engine with an automatic transmission. I got it in 1983 and its engine ran clean and reliable. But, I was 19 and it was a huge 4 door family car. I just had to have something sportier and traded it off after about 6 months.


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.