1966-69 American, Rogue, and Rambler
1966-1968 Rambler American
The Rambler American was restyled in 1966. The main reason for this restyling was to gain more clearance in the engine compartment so that air conditioning could be used with the new 199 and 232 in-line six cylinder engines ( 232 introduced in Classic in 1964, first available in the American in 1965, 199 replaced the 196 in 1966). 1965 Americans with A/C had to have the 196 because the 199 was longer, and there was no room for the A/C condenser with the longer engine. To solve this problem, the 66 models were made 3.8 inches longer, with three inches added to the inside of the engine compartment in front of the wheels, maintaining the same 106" wheel base. The extra length was obtained by reshaping the exterior body panels only -- the bare unit body is identical in all respects to the 64-65 unit body. This redesigned body was used through 1969 but there were several significant changes made for the 1967 model year that limits the body panels that can be shared with the later cars. This information is detailed in the 1966-1969 Series 01 Parts Swap Guide. Note that due to significant differences, 1969 SC/Ramblers are detailed separately.
AMC began phasing out the Rambler name in 1966, selling the Ambassador and Marlin as AMC models without the Rambler nameplate. The Rebel was also sold as an AMC beginning in 1968, leaving just the Rambler American and Rambler Rogue. For 1969 "Rambler" was dropped from the Rogue name, making it an AMC model, and the American was simply called the Rambler.
There were three trim levels and five body styles available. The body styles and trim levels can be determined from either the model number on the door tag or the 4th, 5th, and 6th numbers of the VIN (see VIN Decoder and Unit Body Identification Plate for additional information on decoding the VIN and door tags). The body styles and trim levels are:
- 4 door sedan in 220* and 440 trim (66-68 American, 69 Rambler)
- 2 door sedan in 220* and 440 trim (66-68 American, 69 Rambler)
- 4 door station wagon in 220 trim (66-67 American)
- 4 door station wagon in 440 trim (66-68 American, 69 Rambler)
- 2 door convertible in 440 trim (66 in 440 trim, 67 in Rogue trim)
- 2 door hardtop (66-67 American in 440 trim, 66-69 Rogue)
* 220 designation not used for 68 & 69 base models.
The available engines are as follows. The 7th character of the VIN is the Engine Code and indicates original engine size:
- Engine Code J, 199 cid inline six, 128 hp, 8.5:1 compression ratio, 1 bbl, 1966-69
- Engine Code L, 232 cid inline six, 145 hp, 8.5:1 compression ratio, 1 bbl (or 155 hp, 2 bbl), 1966-69 (2 bbl only in 66)
- Engine Code M, 290 cid V-8, 200 hp, 9.0:1 compression ratio, 2 bbl, 1966-69
- Engine Code N, 290 cid V-8, 225 hp, 10.0:1 compression ratio, 4 bbl, 1966-69
- Engine Code Z, 343 cid V-8, 280 hp, 10.2:1 compression ratio, 4 bbl, 1967 only
If you are unsure of the size of the engine currently installed, you can check it's size by the following methods:
- For inline six engines, there is a machined pad on the distributor side of the engine between the first and second spark plugs. This contains the six character Engine Day Build Code. The first digit indicates the calendar year the engine was built. 1966=8, 67=9, 68=1, 1969=2, etc. Due to a change in the numbering system, 1980 and later uses the last digit of the year (1980 = 0, 1981=1 etc.). The next two numbers will be the month the engine was made in. A letter code (usually the same as VIN engine code) will tell engine size and compression. It is possible that the engine has been replaced with a newer or older engine. 199, 232, and 258 cid six cylinder engines made between 1964 and 1971 are almost externally identical as are the engines made from 1972 through 1983. The bell housing bolt pattern changed in 1972, so only 72 and later engines are direct bolt in swaps. There will also be a number of different mounting holes on the intake depending on the year as well as valve cover variations. If the original intake and accessories are used there should be few problems swapping in any 71 or earlier engine.
- For V-8 engines, the best way to tell size is to look at the size cast into the engine block near the first and second core (freeze) plugs on either side of the engine. Note that service replacement blocks do not have the displacement cast into them and tear-down to measure bore and stroke is the only way to positively identify the installed engine. The second way to identify engine size is from the tag attached to the valve cover. The valve cover tag will be coded the same as the inline six Engine Day Build Code (see above description).?
- V-8 Engine Notes. It is not unusual to find an American with a V-8 engine instead of the original inline six, or a larger or newer V-8 to replace the 290 (or rare 343) the car was manufactured with. See performance section for details.
Note: Engine dates are calendar dates and not model year dates. Since model year production actual starts in the previous calendar year, it is possible to have, for example, an engine coded 1966 in a 1967 vehicle and be correct but an engine coded 1968 would not be correct for the same car since no 1967 models were manufactured in calendar year 1968.
The following Borg Warner transmissions were used in 1968 Rambler Americans. The general transmission type can be determined by the third digit of the VIN.
- T-96 three speed manual (199 cid six)
- T-14 three speed manual (232 cid six)
- T-15 three speed manual (290 cid V8)
- T-10 four speed
- M36 three speed automatic (199 cid six)
- M37 three speed automatic (232 cid six)
- M40 three speed automatic (290 cid V8l)
Note 1: All three speed manual transmissions were available with an optional overdrive unit.
Note 2: All 1967 Americans with a 343 used T-10 four speed transmissions.
Columns with a '-' in them indicate that the body and trim style were not offered for that year.
|Body & Trim Style||1966||1967||1968||1969|
|4 door sedan, 220/base||15,940||12,078||15.144||16,234|
|4 door sedan, 440||14,543||10,083||11,179||11,957|
|2 door sedan, 220/base||24,440||26,196||39,480||51,062|
|2 door sedan, 440||5,252||3,317||-||-|
|2 door convertible||2,092||921||-||-|
|4 door station wagon, 220||5,809||3,667||-||-|
|4 door station wagon, 440||6,603||4,407||10,414||13,233|
|2 door hardtop, 440||10,255||4,994||-||-|
|2 door hardtop, Rogue||8,718||4,249||4,765||3,543|
An additional 9,314 Americans were built in Canada for the 1966 model year, 6,832 for 1967, 25.289 for 1968 and 24.178 for 1969. No breakouts by body style are available, but all body styles were built in Canada except for the 1966 440 2 door sedan and the 1969 SC/Rambler - Hurst. The surge in production for 1968 - 1969 represents units built in Canada for the U.S. market.
Dates of model introductions:
1966 - Oct 7, 1965
1967 - Oct 6, 1966
1968 - Sept 26, 1967
1969 - Oct 1, 1968
Notable low production number models:
|1966||500 Rogues with the 290 engine. 2 tone yellow/black paint|
|28 440 converts with the 290 engine - 25 w/auto, 3 w/4 speed|
|1967||921 Rogue convertibles|
|58 cars had the 343. 3347 had the 290|
|986 Americans had the 4 speed|
|217 Americans had disc brakes|
|1968||116 4 door sedans with the 290 engine|
|2604 cars with the 290 engine|
|1969||33 4 door sedans with the 290 engine|
|14 2 door sedans with the 290 engine|
|1608 Americans had a 4 speed (and 1512 were SC/Ramblers)|
Model years 1966, 1967, and 1968 will have a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) tag located on the top of the right side shock tower in the engine compartment. Very early 1966 cars will have a serial number instead of a VIN. Model year 1968 cars manufactured after January 1st, 1968 will have a VIN tag in this location as well as on the left side of the dash board. This was due to a new federal law that standardized VIN locations for all manufacturers. This second location is visible through the windshield. Model year 1969 cars will have a VIN tag on the dash board only. The VIN is also stamped into the left frame sill behind the steering gear box. It is necessary to remove the steering gear box to view the VIN in this location.
1966 American Beginning Serial Numbers
It is unknown how many early 1966 vehicles used serial numbers instead of VIN's. It is quite possible that only a few very early production vehicles used them, and they could have had the serial numbers replaced with a VIN before being sold. If you have a 1966 model with a serial number instead of a VIN, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
||Beginning Serial Number
||Beginning Export Number*
|199 cid, 1 bbl
|232 cid, 2 bbl
|290 cid, 2bbl
|290 cid, 4 bbl
* The "K" indicates vehicle was a "knock-down" kit to be exported and assembled at destination. No 4 bbl 290 V-8 cars were exported.
1966 & 1967 VIN
The VIN can be decoded as follows (sample VIN is a Kenosha built 1966 American convertible with column shifted 3 speed and 232 cid 6):
|Company||Year||Assembly Plant||Transmission||Body Type||Trim Level||Engine||Sequential Serial Number*|
Note: Digit 1 is always an A (American Motors).
*The last six digits are the numbers assigned to the car when it was ordered from the factory. Numbers starting at 100001 are assigned to cars made in Kenosha, WI. Numbers starting at 700001 are assigned to cars made in the Brampton plant in Ontario, Canada.
Note: All 1967's with a 343 were only available with a four speed manual transmission.
1968 & 1969 VIN
The VIN can be decoded as follows (sample VIN is a 1968 Rogue with a 4 speed w/console and 232 cid 6):
|Company||Year||Transmission Type||Series||Body Type||Trim Level||Engine||Sequential Serial Number*|
Note: Character one is always an A (American Motors) and character four is always a zero (American/Rogue/Rambler).
*The last six characters are the numbers assigned to the car when it was ordered from the factory. Numbers starting at 100001 are assigned to cars made in Kenosha, WI. Numbers starting at 700001 are assigned to cars made in the Brampton plant in Ontario, Canada.
The Unit Body Identification Plate for a 1966-69 Series 01 can be found on the latch edge of the driver's door. Cars built in Canada usually have a "1" in front of the standard numbers listed below. The tag can be decoded as follows:
This is the number assigned to the body as it was being produced. This number is different than the last six digits of the VIN.
This identifies the body and trim styles.?The first two digits are the year, the third the series, fourth body style, and fifth trim level. Base trim level is often left out (only four digits). Blanks indicate that the body and trim style was not available for the year in question. Replace "xx" with last two digits of year for complete model number.
|Code w/Body Style and Trim||1966||1967||1968||1969|
|xx05-0 = 4 door sedan, 220/base trim||X||X||X||X|
|xx05-5 = 4 door sedan, 440 trim||X||X||X||X|
|xx06-0 = 2 door sedan, 220/base trim||X||X|
|xx06-5 = 2 door sedan, 440 trim||X||X||X||X|
|xx07-5 = convertible, 440 trim||X||X|
|xx08-0 = 4 door station wagon, 220 trim||X||X|
|xx08-5 = 4 door station wagon, 440 trim||X||X||X||X|
|xx09-5 = 2 door hardtop, 440 trim||X||X|
|xx09-7 = 2 door hardtop, Rogue trim||X||X||X||X|
This identifies the interior trim style, color, and seat types. The trim code is a four character number that may be prefixed by a "T". The first character is the year, the second the trim level, third color, and the fourth is the seat type. A blank indicates that the body style was not available for the year in question. Letters after the numeric code indicate the corresponding seat and fabric types that were available. Special order interiors were available and will have a code of "00". Codes are as follows:
|220/base||623 C/P - Blue
628 C/P - Black and White
629 C/P - Tan
|723 C/B - Blue
728 C/B - Black and White
729 C/B - Tan
|828 C - Gray and White
828 B/M/N - Black and White
|923 A/B/C/D - Blue
928 A/B/C/D - Parchment
|440/Rogue||641 C/D/E/P - Black
643 C/D/E/P - Blue
644 C/D/E/P - Green
645 C/D/E/P - Red
647 C/D/E/P - Aqua
648 C/D/E/P - White
649 C/D/E/P - Saddle
|7414,5 B/C/D/E - Black
7435 B/C/D/E - Blue
7443,5 B/C/D/E - Green
7455 B/C/D/E - Red
7471,3,5 B/C/D/E - Aqua
7482,5 B/C/D/E - White
7495 B/C/D/E - Tan
|843 C/B - Blue
844 C/B - Green
845 C/B - Red
848 C/B - Black and White
|941 A/B/C/D - Charcoal
943 A/B/C/D - Blue
9446 A/B/C/D - Green
9457 A/B/C/D - Red
|Convertible||641 C/D/E/V - Black
643 C/D/E/V - Blue
644 C/D/E/V - Green
645 C/D/E/V - Red
647 C/D/E/V - Aqua
648 C/D/E/V - White
649 C/D/E/V - Saddle
|741 B/E - Black
743 B/E - Blue
744 B/E - Green
745 B/E - Red
747 B/E - Aqua
748 B/E - White
749 B/E - Tan
The list of seat types is as follows:
- A - Base level, bench, Brigadier Pattern (1969 440 only)
- B - Vinylair, Tahiti pattern
- C - Fabric bench seat, "Lancaster" Pattern (1966, 1967) / Saratoga Pattern (1968, 1969)
- D - Bucket seat with fabric insert, "Lancaster" Pattern
- E - Porous vinyl bucket
- M - black and white standard fabric (Regiment Pattern), optional individual reclining seats
- N - black and white standard vinyl (Tahiti Pattern) optional individual reclining seats
- P - Porous vinyl w/fabric insert, "Yucatan" Pattern - station wagon only
- V - Porous vinyl bench - convertible only
1 - Fabric only
2 - Vinyl only
3 - 440 only
4 - Rogue only
5 - 440 uses B and C seats, Rogue uses B (convertible only), D (hardtop only), and E seats.
6 - Vinyl for station wagons, all others are fabric
7 - Sedan only
The following colors were available in 1966-1969. The original color can be determined by looking at the Paint code on the body tag. If there are two codes separated by a dash, the first code is the primary body color and the second code is the upper body (sometimes roof) or accent color. For example, a car that was black with a white top would have a paint code of 1-72. Paint codes may also be prefixed with a P or suffixed with an A. Note that some cars were painted non-standard colors. These cars will typically have a code such as " 00" or "SPEC". This was reserved for large orders in the special color, usually for fleet use.
|8||Mariana Aqua Metallic||1967|
|15||Brisbane Blue Metallic||1966|
|16||Britannia Blue Metallic||1966|
|18||Grenada Green Metallic||1966-67|
|20||Cortez Aqua Metallic||1966|
|21||Marquessa Mauve Metallic||1966|
|23||Samoa Gold Metallic||1966|
|24||Caballero Tan Metallic||1966|
|31||Strato Blue Metallic||1967|
|32||Barbados Blue Metallic||1967|
|33||Royale Blue Metallic||1967|
|36||Yuma Tan Metallic||1967|
|38||Stallion Brown Metallic||1967|
|40||Flamingo Burgundy Metallic||1967|
|41||Rajah Burgundy Metallic||1967|
|43||Saturn Blue Metallic||1968|
|44||Caravelle Blue Metallic||1968|
|45||Blazer Blue Metallic||1968|
|46||Laurel Green Metallic||1968|
|47||Rally Green Metallic||1968|
|48||Tahiti Turquoise Metallic||1968|
|49||Laredo Tan Metallic||1968|
|50||Calcutta Russet Metallic||1968|
|52||Scarab Gold Metallic||1968|
|54||Turbo Silver Metallic||1968|
|59||Pale Green Metallic||1967|
|63||Castillian Gray Metallic||1969|
|64||Beale St. Blue Metallic||1969|
|65||Regatta Blue Metallic||1969|
|68||Alamosa Aqua Metallic||1969|
|70||Surf Green Metallic||1969|
|71||Hunter Green Metallic||1969|
|75||Willow Green Metallic||1969|
|77||Butternut Beige Metallic||1969|
|78||Cordoba Brown Metallic||1969|
|79||Bittersweet Orange Metallic||1969|
|80||Black Mink Metallic||1969|
Color samples can be viewed at http://autocolorlibrary.com/aclns.html
Sequential Assembly Number
The unlabeled number at the bottom of the body tag is the Sequential Assembly Number. This number was assigned to the vehicle as it entered the final assembly line. Cars assembled in Kenosha will have an "E" or "W" preceding the number. This designated the East or West assembly line. Cars assembled in Brampton will have a "B" preceding the number. Vehicles were assembled in batches as needed -- i.e., 10 Americans may be assembled then 20 Classics followed by 15 Ambassadors, etc. Minimum and maximum sizes of batches are unknown -- in some cases single cars may have gone through the lines. The first number used each year was 000001. Earlier years used a different numbering system.
The following sources were used to verify the information contained on this page:
- AMC Rambler Club 1958-1969 Production Handbook
- Cars & Parts Catalog of American Car ID Numbers 1960-1969, ISBN 1-880524-11-2
- 1966-69 American Motors Technical Service Manuals
- 1966-1969 American Motors Collision Parts Guide
- Official AMC production records and trim codes acquired from Thomas Benvie, AMC Historian, email@example.com
- Wards automotive yearbook, 1966 - 1970.
- Bill Watson. Catalog of Canadian car ID numbers. Amos Press, 2006.