PCH, Murilee's Dream Musclecars Edition: 1969 AMC SC/Rambler or 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst?

Illustration for article titled PCH, Murilee's Dream Musclecars Edition: 1969 AMC SC/Rambler or 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst?

Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose your eternity by selecting the project that's the coolest... and the most hellish! The air-conditioned Renault 12 won handily over the Peugeot 504 in yesterday's Choose Your Eternity poll. We're going to take a break from PCH Superpowers- don't worry, you'll see more of France, Britain, and Italy soon enough- and head on back to Detroit. Well, Detroit and Kenosha, because we're going to look at a pair of cars that definitely tempt me into making a soul-for-pink-slip deal. Yes, sick and wrong as it may be, my favorite cars from the Golden Age Of The Musclecar are the '69 AMC SC/Rambler and the '70 Chrysler 300 Hurst, which means I've been keeping an eye open for deals… and they're out there!

AMC already had the AMX in 1969, and a fine car it was. But back then, real musclecars were based on midsize or compact sedans, and they had back seats and proper trunks; the two-seater AMX did fine on the race track, but left something to be desired when it came to real-world usage. But wait- what about the Rambler Rogue? 2,296 pounds and room for a V8 under the hood; just grab a 315 horsepower 390 off the shelf, add 4-speed, "Twin-Grip" differential, and a crazy paint job and you've got the SC/Rambler! They ran low-14-second quarter-miles on crappy 60s street tires, which was damn good back then… but it also means that just about every one of the 1,512 built was blown up, wrecked, or otherwise hooned into nothingness. Hold on to your red-white-and-blue hats, though, because we've found this '69 SC/Rambler, currently bid up to a sub-$7,000 price. We can't say what the reserve might be, but we can tell you for sure that there's rust. Plenty of rust, but check it out: the seller says the floor and trunk pans are good! The seller says it's all original and authentic, though the original owners are still "looking for the original bill of sale" and the engine is described as "correct" rather than "original." Most likely, however, it's for real, since the clone market for these machines has never been anything like what you see for Chrysler E-bodies and GM A-bodies.
That Rambler would be lots of fun at the vintage drag races, no doubt about it, but say you're more into fast mobster cars than you are into 60s quarter-milers? Something with a great big dinosaur-juice-swilling big-block under a hood the size of the stage in your most profitable strip club? Yes, we're talking about the 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst here. 4,125 pounds, 375 horsepower, a fiberglass hood with a (sadly, nonfunctional) scoop, and a crazy two-tone paint job. The only thing wrong with the 300 Hurst was the appalling lack of a manual transmission, so if I ever get one I'll be willing to brave the wrath of the purists by installing a 4-speed. They only made 485 300 Hursts, and the low-single-digit gas mileage probably sent most of them to The Crusher during the 70s… but it's still possible to buy one! Oh sure, you could shell out 34 grand for C. Van Tune's 300H, but where's the hell there? No, all you need is a mere $4,500- or maybe even less- and you can buy this one! The seller doesn't give much description, other than "440 tnt needs resto," but you can count on quite a long and often tortuous journey to get this thing in proper shape. The good news is that your '70 Chrysler C-body parts are ridiculously easy to find, as are the correct hot-rod 440 engine parts… but the bad news: 485 300 Hursts made, meaning the special 300H-only bits will definitely might have to be fabricated from scratch.

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Where is the "BOTH" button. When I was younger (many many many years ago) I put a deposit on a Chrysler 300 Fuselage of the same vintage (not the Hurst, but the more desirable Convertible), but my old man looked at the car and stated it was burning oil (what did I know at that time) and advised me not to purchase it. So I didn't, and I regretted it (well, not so much now).

And I did have a Rambler American of the same vintage as the SC/Rambler. They were tight cars, and ran real god with a six, so the V-8 would have been a real balls-to-the-wall muscle car.

Thanks Murilee, you didn't make my day, you just made it harder to concentrate....