The 34th Annual AMC Rambler Club National Convention took place August 15-17, 2013 at the Lakewood Colorado Holiday Inn, located in west metro Denver at 7390 West Hampden Road. The National Convention was hosted by the local Rocky Mountain AMC Club, which originally started in 1977 as a chapter of the Classic AMX Club. In the early 1990s, the club expanded its scope to include all AMC vehicles produced from 1955-1987.
The convention began on Friday with a guided tour of Rambler Ranch in Elizabeth, Colorado, a private collection of over 600 Nash and AMC vehicles. Convention attendees were shuffled from the Lakewood Holiday Inn to Rambler Ranch on Rambler Ranch’s own “S/C Bus”, painted to resemble the red, white and blue color scheme of the S/C Ramblers of the late 1960s.
Eighty-one vehicles were on display at the Car Show on Saturday, August 17th. Twenty classes of AMC vehicles are recognized by the National AMC Rambler Club to include the various years, makes and models that were produced by AMC through their 32 years of production, as well as AMC’s predecessor cars Nash and Hudson.
One intriguing car on display was Wayne Davis’s 1971 Javelin AMX Penske tribute car. Wayne’s car is a ground-shaking authentic reproduction of the Javelin that raced in the SCCA Trans-AM race circuit in 1971. Another fascinating car was “the Frog”, a 1969 SS/AMX purchased new by the Bandimere family and drag raced at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado. SS/AMXs were basically a factory produced drag race ready car, with only fifty-two ever produced. The Bandimere car is unrestored with its original paint scheme, appearing just as it would have on the drag strip back in 1969.
Vendors were present for the swap meet which took place at the same time as the car show, offering many hard to find AMC parts. Since American Motor cars never sold in the volumes of Fords or Chevys, there are fewer reproduction parts available, forcing the restorer to rely on new old stock and increasingly scarce AMC parts from salvage yards. This point was emphasized at the convention with three unrestored Rambler on display with information about the “Rambler Rescue”, an effort sponsored by two Rocky Mountain AMC Club members, who work to save AMC cars from the crusher.
On Saturday evening a club banquet was held at the Lakewood Holiday Inn. In addition to wonderful food, the banquet included a key note speaker and an awards presentation for the car show winners. The key note speaker at the banquet was Larry Mitchell, an AMC expert who authored two AMC books, raced AMXs in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb and was the Director of AMC World Clubs for over 30 years.
AMC enthusiasts attended the 34th Convention not just from Colorado and other western states, but from across the United States as well as world-wide. A couple received the U.S. long distance driving award at the banquet for driving their 1965 Rambler American convertible from Mississippi. The longest air traveler to the convention was an AMC enthusiast from South Africa, where AMCs were built and sold new. A couple from Australia, where AMCs were also built, flew into Los Angeles, purchased a 1964 Rambler Classic station wagon there and took off to Denver for the convention, continuing on after the convention for a North American cross-country trek.
It’s been almost as many years now since the last AMC was produced as the entire time AMCs were in production. This convention clearly demonstrated that these cars are long from forgotten.
Trivia Question: What year was the name Rambler first used on a production car? What year was name re-introduced? What was the last year a Rambler was made?
Answer to the last article’s Trivia Question: Case, who is best known for its tractors, made cars from 1911-1926.
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