Rambler Mentality

First off it is no disrespect to Rambler owners. I have owned DOZENS of them and they are great, well built cars...it is testimony on how well they were built that many of them are still around 30, 40, even 50+ years later! My current Rambler is a ultra rare 1969 Rambler 440 wagon with factory V8, only 888 were made and this is a factory P39 Matador Red paint car, less than a dozen of those made and this is the only one known to still exist. So I turned it into a SC/Rambler station wagon, and it is driven daily. And it is a damned fine well built vehicle, capable of kicking some severe Japcrap ass on any given day. 


The "Rambler Mentality" phrase was first coined by me in the early 1990's. Sadly it was at a national meet. It is a phrase associated with some Rambler (and AMC) owners who for some reason, either think that they can buy 1965 parts at 1965 prices, or think that there is a endless supply of parts for them out there....and there isn't. But it was a catch phrase I jokingly used. And, well, it stuck.


Ramblers were marketed, and sold to, with much success, to frugal people. Look up the word in the dictionary. Ramblers were NOT marketed and directed to Cadillac, Rolls or other high end markets. AMC did really great with their marketing, and sold a LOT of these low end cars this way. For comparison, it is simply what you see currently with Saturn, Kia, Hyundai, Daewoo for instance, they know they don't have a chances with their cars against a different automaker such as Lexus, Infinity, BMW, Porsche, Cadillac and other high end cars. So they simply churn out good, cheap, vehicles aimed solely at the under $14,000 crowd. And they do well with that. Same deal with AMC and how they marketed, and sold their vehicles in the 50s/60s/70s.


However! As a vendor......many vendors have these stories, but this is two I remember not so fondly. At the AMC Nationals in Kenosha, Wisconsin in I believe it was 1988 or 1990, I was enjoying walking around the showfield with my wife Paige, taking photos of every car on the field as I commonly do. While admiring a stunning white/white 66(?) Rambler convertible, we were looking under the hood at a highly detailed engine compartment. The owner was cleaning the inside of the car with Armor All or some cleaner, while the doors were open, and another gentleman was standing next to the door talking to him.

It was quiet, and I overheard him say to the fellow "well I found a NOS (new old stock brand new in the bag item) speedometer cable for my Rambler over in the swap meet area but the fellow wants $4.00 for it, so I fixed mine with a clothespin". If you have ever seen Jim Carrey the actor in The Mask movie, that is basically what my mouth did, drop to the ground. I told Paige "did you hear that shit?!?" incredulously. She said "yes, but I don't really understand it".

I didn't either, I wanted to drag that fat SOB out of his car, shove $4.00 in his mouth and march him over to the vendor who had the speedometer cable brand new for $4.00 and make him buy it. With MY money! Here you had a worse case scenario, no, next story is!, but here you had someone who had obviously invested thousands of dollars into restoring his beautiful concourse level vehicle but didn't want to make the longest trip of his life, that from his hand to his pocket, to get $4.00 for a item that was long since obsolete and will never be made again, and it obviously would improve his car! There is absolutely ZERO DEFENSE of that, there is nothing whatsoever to justify that. I had someone tell me later 'maybe he didn't have $4.00' I shot back 'then what the hell was he doing paying $40+ to show, and display his vehicle on the showfield?' and 'he had just paid $4.00 for a bottle of Armor All; and probably $4.00 for that 64 oz Big Gulp soda!!!' No, he was just being a cheap bastard.


Cheap bastard. Wants 1965 parts at 1965 prices. Thinks there is a endless supply of NOS parts. Guesses that he can go over to any auto parts store and buy original AMC & Rambler parts. They are almost all gone now, and that was in 1988 or 1990...................
Yes, you must have a budget. No, nothing justifies being a cheap bastard. 


The other story is kind of goofy if anything. What happened there is funny, but
also really sad. And yes, it could have and probably has, happened to many a vendor, but since I deal with AMC this is it:


I had bought out a inventory at a closed down AMC dealership in Carlsbad, TX. There were hundreds of rear taillights, mostly 1956 thru 1966. I knew then, and now, the Cathedral 66 Ambassador ones command $150+ each, and pulled them out, as I did other models I recognized, like 67, 68 Rebel. But all the others I commonly lugged, along with a lot of other parts, to different meets I would vend at in Texas.


On this particular day,  I had probably well over 100 NOS Rambler lenses in bags and boxes I had lugged to the Conroe Swap Meet north of Houston, along with tons of other parts. I usually take about one ton of items to meets. I cut myself off at one ton, usually due to the size of the van or truck I rent! I had them
spread all over the table with $1.00 a lens sign. All my Javelin and AMX stuff was lined up elsewhere in my space, some on tables too. Some backwaters country
guy came up and asked what I wanted for the lenses, maybe he couldn't read.
I said "Sir, all those lenses are $1.00 each". He had a pair of 60 Rambler lenses he had picked off the table, still in bag, part number, group number listed with "R" logo. He looked me in the face and said, "will you take 50 cents?" I was really taken aback, as if you have
ever vended in the 100+ degree heat, to make a couple hundred bucks,
traveled far, fuel, van rental and so on, you have a investment. But it was
really hot that day, and I could not believe someone had just asked if they
could buy the lenses for 50 cents each. I said "uh, sure" and there was a second or two of silence and he looked at
me again and said "well let me think about it" and I picked up the lenses, threw them on the ground, smashed them with my boot and told him to get the fuck out of my display. I didn't need a cheap bastard like that in my booth. These lenses would have been sold by any other vendor on any other day for $10-$40 each. No, they were on my table, for $1.00 each. In the 100+ degree heat, with a heat index of about 112 degrees. 

I'd do it all over again. Actually it would have been easier to just toss
them on the highway on the way home and be done with it. That incident that one day has probably been repeated a few times with people in all sorts of old car makes, had a friend who was called Mr. Mopar here locally for decades who vended and used to have people try to screw him. I don't want to hear about how I destroyed a pair of NOS parts. If that is the case then everyone would have bought these for $1.00 each at not only many of the meets, but they could have easily read my ads in AMO, NAMDRA, and AMCRC/Rambler Club thru the decades and simply called me to secure them. Again, and I will say it a million times. The parts have disappeared at a alarming rate and no reproductions are available.


Real simply stuff folks! And I do not even want to hear the argument or griping about 'maybe that was all the guy could afford!' Give me a break. He spent $1.50+ a gallon of gas to travel to Conroe in his big 12mpg SUV. He had a Coke in his hand he had just laid down over $1.00 for. Then he decides to insult me in 100+ degree heat. Either he was not serious of being just.....cheap. And a asshole to boot. I did sell about 8 other Rambler lenses that day, real nice folks, took their names and numbers and addresses as I commonly do to send them a flyer when we do the AMC SouthWest regional meet here in Texas!


It was a case of Rambler Mentality at it's worst, or simply being a cheap bastard. You can be a cheap bastard without being a idiot. I myself am sometimes afflicted with RM on ebay, and only bid the minimum, then am flabbergasted when someone outbids me by 10 cents! Oh the pain!  On the other hand many people who have dealt with me the last 20 years knows that I do give folks a break on some items, combine shipping rates and so forth. The repeat customers are the best. And those who genuinely know what a item might be worth this far down the road. 

If you don't know what something might be worth, call or email me as I would not want you to pay too much nor would I want you to screw yourself by selling it too cheap either. This is what is called "going rates". And while many going rates may be all over the board due to condition, quality and such, a idea of what it may be worth can still be given over phone or email, been doing THAT for a long time too!


There is a reason why there are so few Rambler and AMC Parts Specialists and Vendors. Especially for NOS parts. The stuff has really dried up in recent years. THE STUFF IS NOT OUT THERE ANYMORE. And if it is, then whoever needs it will have to pay more as time goes on for it. I don't know how to continue saying this but companies that made our parts are not going to make them forever due to low, or no, demand. TRW, Moog, Wagner, you name it, as time has went on, less and less say, transmission pan gaskets are needed as less and less of say, 70-71 AMCs remain with a 304 that used that.


No demand, no part. Try getting a set of pistons the past two years for your AMC V8? Good luck, you will have to have them specially cut, usually $600-$900 a set. Yes, we have seen more reproduction items come into the AMC market in the past 5 years than the previous 15 years combined! And we are thankful for that! However!!! This is  SMALL FRACTION of things that we need for our cars!


If your car is not one of the more popular models, then you are screwed. Period. There will be NO REPRODUCTION of GLASS, CHROME, SOFT AND HARD INTERIOR MOLDINGS, FRONT AND REAR LENSES, SHEET METAL, GRILLS, and other items we may need to keep our cars looking and running good in the 21st Century. Please take a moment of your time to walk around your vehicle. As mentioned above a whopping 90% of what you are looking at is gone forever and won't ever be remade. Yes, you can fix your fender, redo the upholstery, redo the dash, cut sheetmetal to fix a 1/4. However, my point is simply that no matter what AMC you own, a majority of the parts no longer exist almost 40 years later.


Yes, I probably sound like I have raised the white flag. No, I am just letting you know that I have been preaching for years, going back into the buyout of AMC by Chrysler in 1987, that we are on "borrowed time" here. You have a number of things that have happened, and most were, and are, beyond our control! Maybe I simply have the white flag ready.


Many of the NOS parts inventories that were in the system when AMC got bought out were bulldozed, as Mopar/Chrysler was told to do so, and take the kickbacks. They did, get over it, it was a long time ago.


You also have a changing environmental movement with laws aimed at getting rid of junkyards, and old cars, not only AMC, but all old cars. Pick up a copy of Hemming's Motor News next time you are in a large bookstore like Barnes & Nobles, and flip thru the back pages. Check out some of the laws passed not friendly to old cars, or old car owners. As I write this Houston Auto Storage & Salvage had been around since the 1950s. Several years ago some fool put a subdivision two miles away. Two miles! Next thing you know it expands. Then people in the subdivision go "ewwww....when did THAT go there, what is it doing in OUR neighborhood?" So laws were changed and the place has crushed almost all of it's old cars, 17,000 of them, and MOST OF THEM WERE A LOT MORE COLLECTIBLE THAN AMC. Like convertible Chevelles, Mercury Mauraders, GTO's, Camaro Pace Cars, the list is endless.

They are gone. The land suddenly was worth more than everything on it. There is a huge New Mexico Salvage yard also threatened with extinction; Calkin's Classic Auto Parts has been around for decades and suddenly he might have to crush all 2000+ cars, including over 100 RUST FREE AMC AND RAMBLER MODELS. If you need anything, act fast, as the case is in appeal as I understand it, but chances are they will be a distant memory like many junkyards in the near future. Call them at #505-443-3400 ask for Mike and tell him Eddie Stakes sent you. Then there WAS City Auto Wrecking of Waco years ago. Several what we call "collectible" Rebel Machines, Hurst SC/Ramblers over a dozen 68-70 AMXs and over two dozen 68-74 Javelins, also had two 67-68 rare Rebel convertibles. Tons of Firebirds, Camaros, 442, you name it, lots of musclecars! One day the owner decides "this shit ain't moving" and yes, they are a business. So 15,000+ old cars are now gone, and exists only in the memories of many Texans and other folks who frequented the yard thru the years. I may add the yard is still there, but filled with "stuff that sells" like trucks, SUVs, 4X4s, Surburbans and imports. Nothing under 1985.

This is happening all over American folks, and has been for a damned long time. I've written about watching sadly 8000+ AMCs crushed in Houston alone since 1983 at the Pick A Parts www.houstonpickapart.com . But on the other side of that coin, I would commonly call, and email people for hours on end when something of interest popped up in there like that 1970 Big Bad Blue 2door Hornet someone was restoring, had new seats, carpet, four barrel Clifford intake on the 258, also chrome dress up kit, nice car, and don't know why it ended up there; or the 78 V8 Pacer wagon, loaded with ultra rare items like Rally Pack and vertical tack, and Twin Grip, or the 65 Classic convertible with new rebuilt trans, new seats, carpet, chrome, I pulled a number of items off all three, but when I went back to check on the old warriors one last time four weeks later before their "crushing date" not much else had been salvaged, even with al the AMCers in local, and Texas wide AMC clubs, nor all the phone calls, emails, these cars all went to hell with more than 80% of the parts.


And 80% of the parts left on them WILL NEVER BE REPRODUCED. That is my damned point I guess. Again! I get fired up somewhat as people just don't realize what we face. Maybe they do and are indifferent. Or apathetic. Or don't give a shit until THEY need a specific part.  


But yes, back to that fateful Conroe Swap Meet.......we have lost a
lot of parts in recent years, and we are in the middle of a huge parts
crisis. But people need to understand that you can't buy 1960 parts at 1960
prices. There are some gougers in the AMC hobby, who will try to screw you.
However, many AMC vendors are honest, and have a little money invested in
their products. For instance, when you consider that I had a rental van,
fuel, food, booth space, and such for that meet, and then sales, I made a
whopping $60 in what I called a lost weekend. It was not worth it. I could have done a number of things without the hassle for a lot more money in two days. Yes, I enjoy the people I met (except the Rambler Mentality afflicted bastard!), yes, I enjoyed the black flies, mosquitos, swap meet sausage (has anyone ever identified what the hell is actually in those, they sure are good, but might be dog or cat!), yes, I enjoyed loading the one ton of parts in the van, unloading them, reloading them, unloading them, reloading them, then unloading whatever I had left back into my warehouse. Yes, I enjoyed the drive to, and from the meet. Yes, I thought I might make more money in the two days there. I didn't but oh well, no biggie. Some meets you suck, some meets you bank.

It is a two edged sword. It is all supply and
demand I guess, and not everyone wants, nor likes, nor is passionate about
these cars as some of us are. It was always, even back when AMC was STILL in business, if a AMC went to a junkyard it was crushed first. And in the twilight of the cars; there is no bottomless pit of parts. There is no bottomless pit of cars. What is left is left, and you usually have all the same people looking for the same shit. Take 1970 for instance: used Ram Air systems command $500; as do a nice pair of side rocker moldings. Woodgrain overlays are a premium, although some nice reproductions have appeared on the market in recent years, how many people are willing to pay $475 for a nice repro? The grills are hard to find, and last three AMC Nationals I went to, St. Louis in 99, Berlin in 00, Houston in 01, there was a total of five NOS grills there. All sold between $900-$1200 each. For some it is hard to justify paying more for a grill than they might have paid for the car, but that is where we are at as a hobby in 2003, 15 years after the hostile takeover of AMC. 15 years after many inventories were bulldozed under. Used. Used. Used.


Some cars are worth more in parts than whole, this is a sad fact in the AMC Hobby. Sheetmetal. In the 1990s, vendor David Simon of the AMX Connection in California told me something I have always thought about every time I attend, or vend a meet. He said "Eddie, you can tell where we are as a hobby, and where we are going as a hobby, but the amount of NOS sheetmetal you will see at the major AMC meets." I didn't think about that until I was in Kenosha for the super nationals in 1998. There was not a whole lot of NOS sheetmetal there, probably less than 50 pieces, and those were things people might not have wanted like Rambler wagon fender, or Pacer wagon 1/4 panel. The dyes to cast 1/4 panels for the 68-70 AMX was destroyed by AMC in 1974, and the dyes to cast fenders was destroyed by Chrysler many years later in 1990(?). They offered them for sale, but who had a 18 wheeler to move those huge things, and who also had $250,000 asking price to buy them?

Mopar never considered pressing say, 250 of each side before destroying them, or even 500 each, I would have bought 25 per side alone for future projects! No, Mopar melted them down.


You, and everyone else that might read this needs to understand Chrysler is not in business to keep another company's history alive. Yes, we can go to Mopar meets, show our cars, race and so forth with fellow old car enthusiasts, nothing wrong with that, we all love old cars. But when it comes to the parent company Chrysler, no, rarely will they reproduce anything for starved AMCers. Nor are they willing to release the rights to it either, or put the price so far out of reach any vendor/hobbyist can't afford the rights to reproduce that product.


So we are left with used. Not NOS. Not Reproduction. Used. And this is where I hope many folks who have Rambler Mentality will think about what is all said above. No, you don't have to agree with me. Yes, you may think I am a asshole, my wife thinks that sometimes too. But when you are as passionate about possibly saving as much parts and literature for these cars we all seem to like, then hopefully you will understand my point. And they are valid points, coming from someone who has invested a lot of time, money and effort to not only have fun, but insure that the AMC Hobby will be around for many years to come.


My biggest bit of advise to any AMCer is real simple. There are a lot of parts that interchange and are dime a dozen. But there are even more that will never be made again. If you like/love your old car, try to replace those that need replacing with better parts. While they are still available. I am NOT advocating

you turning your neighborhood into a damned Pick A Part junkyard. And I'm also not advocating you go out and spend your lunch money on every NOS part you can find for your vehicle. I am however asking that you do support the AMC Vendors on my website Vendors List. I'm also asking that you pay a fair price for a decades old part you may need for your car. Yes, if you feel the price is too much, then pass, and move on and call some other vendors there.

No one wants to be screwed and no one should be either. But as time goes on, the longer you wait the harder it will be to find those items. And while the prices of the cars have remained same for years, prices of parts and restorations have continued to rise. So in other words, drop the Rambler Mentality and buy it if you need it. Now. Hopefully it will improve your car, and help out a fellow AMCer or Vendor.


And if you ever come across a AMC or Rambler for sale, please do your part and "spread the word" real simple, contact any of the area AMC chapters listed on my website "links" list 

If there is a local, or area AMC or Rambler club, tell them, simply get on the phone and let them know this certain car is for sale on X street, or Y car is in salvage at so and so wrecking. If any AMC Vendors on my list in your area, call them, as many of them might just go out and buy as much as possible off it before it is crushed, or possibly buy the whole car to fix up. In that case, it is a sheer win/win situation for not only you, for doing your part, but whoever ends up with the car or parts, and the hobby in general, as someone out there needs those parts.


The well is running dry, and the clock is quietly ticking. As for the WWDD, that is for What Would Dick Teague Do? He would reach into his pocket and buy the part......................


Thank you for reading whether you agree or not.

Eddie Stakes

& The Beyond Part.......This Below was Added in Late 2004:

I guess before we get compared to Studebaker, again, and their nice array of
reproduction parts, the Studebaker Drivers Club has over 12,000 members. The
combined totals of all AMC and Rambler clubs combined is 5000-6000.

Yes, we are extremely lucky that AMC bought Jeep in 1970 as we have been
riding Jeep's coattails on many of the products since then like the intakes,
heads and so forth.  Most of the intakes and heads will sell to Jeepers
first, and then AMCers, which is a good thing. As long as the sell and the
manufacturers see some numbers. We are not the only ones in this boat, there
are also other makes like Olds and Pontiac for example, that while popular,
have a smaller following than say, Ford or Chevrolet.

But my biggest fear, and has been for years, is that AMC will become a
invisible marque, fading into the annals of US automotive history.
It is
nice and dandy there is a Rebel on a cover of a magazine here, or a article
on a Javelin there. But look at the larger picture.
For instance, a recent musclecar meet in Michigan had only 2 AMCs. The Iola,
WI (WI home of AMC) had less than a handful of AMCs show up for their mixed
make huge show. I still get newsletters from a variety of chapters I used to
trade them with, and there is a lot of complacency and apathy out there. Let
someone else be a officer. Let someone else work the meets. Let someone else
show their car. Let someone else. And some of these clubs literally BEG for
people to volunteer for their national or regional meet, and I can't tell
you how many newsletters want people in their own club, own hometown, to
just please come to the local meet and support it. Volunteer, it is
something I have been bitching about since the early 1980s. It's sad however
to see it in print, asking for people to please come to meetings, please
volunteer for a unpaid officer's position so others of same interest will
hopefully enjoy the club more than just paying dues and sitting on their ass
griping about how the club is run, or the club never does anything they
want, or it is all AMX this and no Pacer that, in other words, never getting
involved. 95% of the clubs out there are usually run by a dedicated small
core group. Want to really see me go off, read the AMC SW Regional file on
my website. 

The manufacturer and suppliers take note of such and gauge that market
segment. The initial reply from NPD (National Parts Depot) was blunt.
He tried to put itin nice terms. Yes, there is a AMC Market.
 No, it is too small for them to fuck with. 

But having a major supplier like Edelbrock make a new part does not prove
anything. They are in business to make money. They make intakes and heads
for a number of vehicles, and if AMC is one of them, we are truly blessed,
as they have been making AMC stuff for us since before Jeep was AMC. But you
can't get discouraged if a company tells you that it is not worth their
time, or they give you a estimate that is extremely high, or they flat out
tell you to move on. You just can't take it personal. I can't tell you how
many times I have tried to reproduce something and would either have to have
a gazillion of it made to keep costs down or satisfy the manufacturer, or
the estimate I was given was ridiculous (knowing full well it was their way
of telling me they were going to call security if I didn't leave) or some
were just honest and said, Eddie it is not worth our time and you would lose
money on this.

That's fine, I don't let it bother me and move on. And no, just because one
place won't touch a project don't mean there is another place that will
either. Many times you will run into a brick wall. Limited run? The fewer
you have done the more it usually costs.

There are many many areas we are lucky that AMC same parts for a number of
years and models that interchange like Hornet/Gremlin/Concord/Spirit/Eagle
or AMX/Javelin or Rebel/Ambassador/Matador.

We win some major battles like the timing chain covers, or tail lights for
68-69 AMX/Jav, and again, have seen more and more individuals make a
product. MY SUGGESTION IS SUPPORT THEM. It could be a small detail item like
the antenna flags Mrs Rebel67 is making here. Or the spring compressors the
Canadian fellow I mentioned made. Or even Fran's bumper sticker things.

I used to say it over on the amc-list years ago when it was over 1000
members. What if everyone on this forum decided to reproduce just one item
for the hobby?
It could be a small screw. Some with deeper pockets could maybe do a stripe
kit or vinyl graphics, some with even deeper pockets could maybe tackle
stainless or plastics. The easiest (cheapest) to do start with stripes, then
weatherstrips, then metals, then plastics. But think about how much stronger
the hobby would be if just all 1800 forum members here did one item, no
matter how small or large.

The biggest problem we face it supply and demand, as time goes on, there are
less and less cars. And while some may argue with me on this, you go to your
nearest auto parts store and ask for certain items like say, transmission
gasket for 70-71 AMC. Or evaporator AC valve for 87-88 Eagle. Or brake wheel
cylinders. The computers are going to increase the number of amounts of
"N/A" (not available) as time goes on. It has been happening for quite some
time. Yes, you can get a starter, or waterpump, or sometimes a altenator.
But many things are off the shelves now. No demand so manufacturers QUIT
making them.
It could be TRW, Moog, Wagner, pick one. Some of this stuff is
needed to keep our cars running and driving like suspension or brakes or
engine internals.

Again, this depressing, but that is how it goes, no matter how many times
you see a AMC on the cover of a magazine and think the exposure will
suddenly jump start manufacturers to make a vast array of items. It simply
don't work that way. Please do not get me wrong here, as I am excited to see
the number of new products online and in catalogs. However, for every one
new product we see, we lose two others
. Sort of like the AMCs themselves.
For every one aMC we get excited and say 'ooh, it sold for a "good price"
another 10-20 sell for below market value, or are crushed or parted
out....due to low....or NO demand.
Everyone here can tell a story about a junkyard that crushed their AMCs
first over other models and makes.
And a quick glance thru the SUAD lists on my website show many times some
poor fellow who has had his car for sale for months, sometimes years like
myself with that 71 Matador with 14K miles, for 6 years for sale.

I like the idea about writing NPD about the AMC Market and Hobby.
However my own opinion....................
is that like Nigerian dictators who can't get tot heir $55 million, the
calls and emails will fall on deaf ears. How many of you remember the Hot
Rod Engine Buildup? AMC was in the lead and had a huge amount of votes cast.
Did they build it? No. They had a engine build up article for the first time
in Hot Rod since 1988, but THEY did not build a engine. Nor did they touch
Olds, or Pontiac, two others I mentioned earlier.

As someone mentioned, it is all business and that is what the bottom line
is. Even if there IS a market these companies don't owe us anything and then
may have to do research to see if it is in the stars that a 'run' of
whatever would benefit their company or is it best to invest their money in
something else, larger, more lucrative perhaps.

Now never worry about what others think.
Fuck them. If I worried about what others think about AMC I would not have
owned almost 300 of them. There is a lot of ignorance out there, and
timboamx even is making some tshirts to try to correct some of that I think,
someone find me his link. When you drive your AMC you are driving a unique
piece of US Automotive History. At the cruise night or car show in your
town, you will be usually the only one to have a AMC there. Sometimes I go
to the FM1960 Street Meet in Houston and over 400-500 cars on a Saturday
Night in the 4th largest city in the US, and guess what? I'm the only AMC. I
have never heard a discouraging word about any of my cars from anyone. Well,
ok, in 87 one guy said 'ooh, rebel without a market' and as I drove past I
dumped my Coke out at his and wife's feet.

You simply can't get bummed out about where we are headed. It's all by many
of ya'lls individual efforts that we have gotten this far to begin with. I
read someone is towing their AMX to Kenosha meet, that is great for
instance. I took my 68 Rebel out for a spin last night and put it in a
ditch, rear wheels were off the ground. No big deal, no damage and the Eagle
pulled it out easily and I had a good laugh, wished I had taken photos of
it. But it was fun, not the ditch part, but doing 90mph on the Tollway. I
didn't worry that I need a top frame on it and have for 8 years. I also
didn't worry that the inspection sticker recently expired. And didn't worry
that few items are available for a car only 823 were made of and less than
80 are known to exist in 2004. Who cares, have fun with what you have, it is
part of the experience of owning a AMC.

I mention Cubans a lot. Those people are marvels on the island.
One in six cars on the road are pre embargo. They have kept them running, and
looking great for decades
. No big Edelbrocks, NPD, no, nothing only their
skills. Maybe this is where we are all headed as a hobby, lots of Cuban cars
except those who can afford to pay the price on the few, if sometimes any,
remaining NOS items to upgrade their vehicle. Again, however, we are very
lucky to have the number of reproduction items available to us in 2004, 17
years after many NOS AMC parts inventories were bulldozed by Mopar. And the
lack of parts should never discourage anyone from fixing up a AMC.
There are
a whole lot of other makes and models that less is available on the market
for and they make do. However as I mentioned a mile above, my biggest
concern is that AMC as the last independent automakter in the US, will fade
like so many others, not only parts-wise, but at meets and shows. That to me
at least is unacceptable but may not be unavoidable. 
Eddie Stakes' Planet Houston AMX

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