Last year, a very good friend and his friend drove north to check out an AMC Rebel. In a moment of inspired insanity, they bought the devilish thing, and managed to drive it back to their home town. Having made it to the local service station parking lot, a quick dab of the throttle was tried – and one of the rear wheels for all intents and purposes came off. Soon enough, it was surmised that the rear end had been MacGyvered together and was practically unsalvageable. The Rebel was carted to the yard of an understanding comrade, and over the course of the year it was made closer to driveable again. The entire experience reads like a “How not to buy an old American car” sort of guidebook, but had the car not been bought, the lives of that group of friends would be so much more dull. Probably less endangered, but dull.
I got to see the Rebel a couple of days ago. I remain shaken, and I didn’t even hear it run.
You wouldn’t say the car is as much patinated as it is deteriorated and ransacked. It’s seen some things.
Want to guess what you’re looking at here? I’ll spoil it for you: a Toyota Hiace rear axle, with Mitsubishi L200 wheels mounted inside out. The ratios are interesting.
The heart of the beast. 5.9 litres, Edelbrock carb, Hooker headers.
Amazingly enough, it used to be gold when it rolled out of the factory. Those days are very far behind.
The steering wheel is comically small in comparison to everything else.
Whatever has taken place in the rear seat has been noted down in the headliner with black marker. “A scoreboard”, then.
The different textures on this car are just the best.
The rear plate is a tough fit. Technically, you’re not supposed to do this.
Talking to Mikko, he said “You should’ve seen your face when you saw the car. You looked shocked.. exactly like I probably looked when you showed me those Citroën CX:s.”
The car carries a vengeance and a fury buried deep within its murky, angry bowels. Mikko says it hates him like no vehicle has ever done, and it’ll probably take a while before the thing is exactly road legal instead of lethal. When it runs and drives on the tarmac, I’ll be sure to post some video of it in action.
[Images: Copyright 2013 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]