Hooniverse Weekend Edition – A 1964 Rambler American Convertible vs a 1981 AMC Spirit DL

During my time here at Hooniverse, I have found that there is one thing the core audience loves almost as much as Wagons, and that would be anything made by American Motors. Well, here are two different American Motors products separated by almost 17 years, yet shared the same platform and a similar power-plant. Say hello to the 1964 Rambler American that is equipped with the novel (at the time) Twin Stick Transmission, and a time capsule 1981 AMC Spirit with less than 18,000 miles. Which one would you find desirable?

A couple of weeks ago, I did a posting about long lived platforms, and the Rambler American lived on as the AMC Hornet, Concord, and the AWD Eagle right up until 1988. The basic architecture was hacked down to produce the Gremlin, and in later years, the Spirit. This is a first year Rambler American 440 Convertible, equipped with the 195.6 CID inline 6, and the optional Twin Stick Manual Transmission. According to the listing:

1964 AMC RAMBLER AMERICAN 440 CONVERTIBLE, RARE TWIN STICK WITH OVERDRIVE, TWIN GRIP POSI REAR, NEW TIRES, SHOCKS, BRAKES, RECENT RESTORATION ON BEAUTIFUL ORIGINAL CAR, INTERIOR IS EXCELLENT, SOLID FLOORS AND TRUNK CAR HAS A POWER TOP AND POWER STEERING, ORIG AM RADIO, A STACK OF PAPERWORK AND ORIGINAL OWNERS BOOKS, FULLY SERVICED AND DETAILED READY TO TO CRUISE AND SHOW.

The unique item on some of these early Rambler is the optional console shifted “Twin-Stick” manual overdrive transmission was introduced in 1963 and carried on for 3yrs,. This transmission has a bigger gap between 2nd and 3rd gears compared to the regular three-speed transmissions with overdrive This allowed the transmission could be shifted as a five-speed (1, 2, 2+OD, 3, and 3+OD). The Twin-Stick shifter had the kick-down button on the three speed-lever to facilitate shifting it as a five-speed.

The current bid stands at $5,900 with an unmet reserve, and the Buy-it-Now price is $13,000 which includes free shipping across the continental US. Somewhere in-between is the true value of this low-mileage American Convertible. It is attractive, and when was the last time you saw one? See the listing here, and tell me if this is the AMC of your dreams.

Now onto the facelifted Gremlin, the 1981 Spirit. You have to hand it to Dick Teague, who was the man responsible for taking what was an ugly but practical car, and turning it into something resembling a modern sports coupe. This is a 1981 Spirit DL with only 17,900 miles on the odometer. It is equipped with the larger 258 CID inline six cylinder (4.2L), Automatic, Air Conditioning, and strangely Power Door Locks (but not Power Windows!). According to the listing:

This one owner 1981 AMC Spirit has only 17,940 miles since new. It’s in excellent condition and has been garaged since new. There are a few minor scratches and small dings that are to be expected after 30 years (see photos). The rear panel below the taillights has some paint missing (see photo). We just had the carburator done, trans serviced, radiator hoses replaced, and power steering system flushed. Interior is in excellent condtion except for a missing knob for the wipers. You can still turn them on though. The heater core is bypassed and probally needs to be replaced. The car gets a lot of attention. You will probally never see another one like it.

I just moved the car last night and noticed that the fuel gage is not working. It was working before. Infact it was working when the picture of the dash in the auction was taken. It’s probally a loose wire. Also I have had questions about the AC. It will need to be recharged for it to work again.

As with any low-mileage car, there will be some work required to keep it running in top order, as well as replacing most of the seals so it doesn’t leak all over the place. The opening bid is $2,700, and with more than five days to go, no one has even bothered to place such a bid. It is in great condition, and it is relatively cheap to buy and run, so why hasn’t it earned at least one bid yet? See the listing here, and tell me if this Spirit has what it takes to move you.

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