Great Cars: 1970 Rebel Machine

4 years 1 week ago - 4 years 1 week ago #429 by JP
JP created the topic: Great Cars: 1970 Rebel Machine
In Mid-October of 1969, The “Machine” was a standard two-door hardtop decked out with red and blue stripes on its white body (other body colors were offered later). It got the obligatory hood scoop, more sedate than the one on the previous XC/Rambler, but had a built-in tachometer. Beneath the scoop sat a 390 with the highest horsepower rating ever for an AMC production engine, i.e., 340 bhp at 5100 rpm.

By looks, the 1970 Machine looked like it was track ready; however, it was too heavy. In 1970, AMC moved into road racing and picked up Roger Penske, Mark Donahue, George Follmer, and a couple of world titles in the early half of the decade. That helped. Driver Wally Booth worked a deal for AMC in the Pro Stock ranks and eventually came close to winning a world championship with his efforts. So, yes, AMC was late to the party, but the company made an impact once they were positioned to challenge the rest of the pack.

In retrospect, the year 1970 is still considered by many as the benchmark for the "boulevard beasts," but that was the year AMC dropped the performance SC/Rambler and introduced its new Rebel SST. Bold and brash was the consumer demand of the day in the early '70s, so they called it "The Machine." The Machine was a true Detroit muscle car, even though it gave up 50 ci to some of its Detroit City competitors. For Mopar fans who are a bit open minded, this car bore some solid similarities to the '66-'67 B-bodies. And despite the anti-war/anti-nationalistic feelings among the youth at this time in history, AMC had no problems painting it up in a special red-white-and-blue scheme that had originated with the Scrambler the previous year.

The 340-horse number had come about because of the new cold-air hood scoop, which contained an integrated electronic tachometer (like most such units, it was actually pretty inaccurate). The engine used a 10.0:1 compression ratio, a Carter 600-cfm four-barrel carburetor, hydraulic lifters, and a performance-enhancing, open-exhaust system. The hood scoop forced air to the engine through a rubber seal/trapdoor outfit.

Drive-line standard equipment was a Hurst-stirred Borg-Warner T10 four-speed, with an optional B-W automatic transmission available as well. Standard gearing was a 3.54 ratio (with a 3.91 factory optional), but AMC dealers offered ratio all the way to 5.00 for the Machine. Tires were E60-15 Polyglas Goodyears (the same as the Hemi 'cudas got up front and a tough find today) with optional AMC 15x7 road wheels, and the car had 11.2-inch front disk brakes to boot. A rear sway bar gave good road feel. The curb weight was 3,650 pounds, which McCraw figured would fit into G/S class racing under an unfactored NHRA rating.

But by far the most stunning thing for a car with this level of performance and standard equipment was the sticker of just $3,475. But in an era of Six Pack Road Runners, 429 Torinos, and 454- and 455-inch GM intermediates, AMC found the car was not quite what the market wanted. By the end of the year, only 2,400 units had moved off the dealership lots. With the Feds in emissions-stopping action, insurance companies circling the wagons, and a changing marketplace, the Machine was gone for 1971 (and so was the Rebel, replaced by the Matador).

Value Today in Excellent Condition: $29,758 (with only one such car known to the entity that insures such cars.)

This car review is shared by JP of, a website that offers car lovers cars to buy, a place to sell a classic car, a place to advertise your classic car business and a forum to read about classic cars and the people that own them. We review car shows in Carlisle and Hershey Pennsylvania, Turkey Run at Daytona Beach Florida, Pomona Car Show in California and more to come. We love cars but it’s often the people behind these cars, their stories about how they came to own such cars, that we love to share. Classic car lovers are a community and we are town hall to that community. Please give our website a close look.

Fast Eddie
Last Edit: 4 years 1 week ago by JP.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 2 months ago #1045 by fast eddie
fast eddie replied the topic: Great Cars: 1970 Rebel Machine

Fast Eddie

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 5.027 seconds

Logo for Sharing

What's In Your Garage?

Show off what you've done in your garage to restore your car or truck. We know you're proud of it.

 Show Us Your Ride