Haven’t done a car lately, and a side conversation today got me thinking about Hurst branded cars…

Back in the 60s/70s, if you had a 4 speed, and could afford it, you put a Hurst shifter on it. Hurst also lent their name to various brands, the Hurst Olds 442, some Chryslers, Chevrolets, Pontiacs and this one…

A Rambler…

There was one of these in town back in the day. The guy that owned it did come out and race it on a regular basis. It was as quick as a lot of the other cars out there…

Out of the box, for $2998, it ran F-Stock NHRA, and with minimal mods it got into J-Stock.

It was basically a Ford 390CI engine, mated to a T-10 transmission with a Hurst shifter,  but it fit into the Rambler/AMX performance line back then.

Between the AMX and the SCrambler, they had a couple of pretty hot cars… Back in the day.

There were 1512 of them manufactured by American Motor Corporation, and there is still quite the fan club. They also still appear regularly at various race tracks around the country…


TBT… — 18 Comments

  1. Even guys who couldn’t afford it sometimes! And I still have a Hurst shifter on my Chevy C10 (1970, otherwise stock, bought it new). Still works beautifully!

  2. I run a 1969 AMX in 69 and 70 in Super Stock F class. NHRA reclassed the Horse power rating to 415 hp on the AMXs and 360 RCs single four barrel cars. The Hurst AMXs with twin four barrels run in Super Stock C class. Good times but I was always broke, me and the car both.

    • Should say 390cr single four barrel cars. The biggest problem was the cast pistons and head gaskets. We used Venolia forged pistons in the drag cars. AMC fixed the head gasket problem with change of the head bold spacing in 1970.

  3. I’ve a dear friend (who currently repairs Airbus A320 avionics for a major airline) who ‘back-in-the-day’ (1974-75) ran road rallies in a stock, red ’64 Rambler convertible!
    They were tough cars!


  4. And if you couldn’t afford the Hurst shifter, you could afford a picture of Linda Vaughn.

  5. Back in the day when I had my ’68 Super Bee, I raced a ’69 AMX. Just barely pulled away from the guy, after a mile. I won’t say how fast we were going by then, ’cause I think there’s a deputy still looking for my red & white Bee. Of course, I don’t have it any longer, but why self-incriminate? :^)

  6. All well and good, but it is still a Rambler. Not noted as being a chick magnet… which was important back in the day. On the other hand, just a stock, fresh off the showroom floor, could outrun the cars of today. I do miss the muscle cars, and their noise.

  7. The AMC 390 was never a Ford engine and no parts interchange between the two. Both had the same displacement but so did the 427 Chevy and 427 Ford engines.

  8. Ian- There was that… LOL

    Ed- Neat! 🙂

    gfa- LOL, true!!!

    Gerry- Oh hell yes! 😀

    WSF- I actually had one for a few months till I wrapped it around a light pole… Strange little car!

    Rev- Snerk, heard that!

    CP- True!!!

    Al- Huh, didn’t know that. Years ago I was told they bought castings from Ford… Thanks!!!

  9. YES< A1 in Ottawa is correct. The AMC 390 was not a Ford FE series big block, nor did it weigh even near as much! I had thought that people had gotten wise to the fact that they were different, 'cause I stopped hearing that claim being made. Guess it waqs just that, well, no one talks about those engines enough to compare them anymore! 😉

  10. I was deprived as a kid growing up. The only cars we could afford were the ones in the junkyards of which there were four on this little Island. So we’d go salvage one and make it run using parts from other dinosaurs. The the only place to “race it” was on the beach at low tide. If you could get one to go at least 30 mph you were the automatic winner. I had reclaimed a 1936 Ford two door coupe and was able to be the king rat with that one for about 18 months. Then we just took it to the beach and drove it up the side of the sand dunes and yanked the wheel up hill at full throttle. You could do a nice slow motion roll like that! Safety belts and gear? What were they? Fun times. Drive on the face of the dunes now and plan on doing some time in the State hoosegow!

  11. A lot of the confusion over AMC engines had to do with the fact they used Autolite carbs and distributors.

    A buddy of mine had a 4 speed V8 Gremlin X. He swapped out the 304 for a 401 and it was pretty quick.

    Another buddy had a 4 speed 390 AMX that regularly ran 12 second ET’s with just a small set of slicks.

  12. Thinkingman- Thanks for straightening me out. I ‘remember’ for what that’s worth, the guy saying it was a 2-bolt main 390… Sigh…

    Ev- Yep, things are a ‘bit’ different today!!! (Sometimes I think not necessarily for the better)…

    drjim- Yep. All true!!!

  13. The gen-2 AMC V8s they used in these were the same externally but built in 3 variations, the small bore / short stroke 290, big bore / short stroke 343, and big bore / long stroke 390 (as was used in the SCRambler). Later, these went to the gen-3 tall deck 304/360/401. They’re all AMC engines, despite come confusion with the FE Ford (390), and LA Mopar (360).

    The 390/401 motors had forged cranks too. Tough as nails, and they’d really rip.

  14. Steve- Thanks! Again stuff I never knew back in the day. Ford, Chevy and Mopar I knew pretty well…