1967, 1968, 1969 AMC Ambassador


With the arrival of the 1969 AMC Ambassadors, Richard Teague's tasteful styling was finally reflected in the sales charts.
With the arrival of the 1969 AMC Ambassadors, Richard Teague's tasteful styling was finally reflected in the sales charts.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Of course, it was Richard Teague's tasteful styling for the 1967, 1968, and 1969 AMC Ambassador that everyone noticed most. No wonder. Smooth and well-proportioned, it was a startling (some said welcome) break with the boxiness of 1965-1966. And if a little Fordish in places and GM-like in others, it didn't quite resemble anything else.

Sticking with a three-series lineup for 1967, Ambassador offered its usual four-door sedans and wagons in base 880 and spiffier 990 trim, plus an 880 pillared coupe and 990 two-door hardtop sharing a graceful, semi-fastback profile.

Topping the line was a DPL model offered in two body styles: convertible and hardtop coupe. The former retained the unusually low top stack from Ambassador's first 1965 convertible, but was reengineered for genuine three-across rear seating.

Oddly, DPLs were quite overdecorated inside, with lush brocade-type upholstery that Motor Trend described as something "rich Aunt Harriet might have had on her parlor sofa. Throw pillows are added to complete the atmosphere of Victorian elegance." Sportier types could opt for vinyl front buckets and center shift console.

The 1967 Ambassadors should have sold like nickel beer, yet sales dropped over 8,800 from 1966. Volume fell again for 1968, when styling was touched up, and newly required safety and emissions equipment was installed. Offerings thinned to base, DPL, and new SST sedans and hardtops, plus DPL wagon.

The base hardtop was dropped for 1969, when a major front and rear restyle added four inches to both wheelbase and overall length. An optional 315-bhp 390 V-8 returned from 1968, and was really needed to move Ambassadors that were now bigger than full-size Big Three rivals.

Though sales rose for 1969, the Ambassador's popularity waned in later years, and a then-faltering AMC abandoned the marque after 1974. In retrospect, Abernethy's all-fronts marketing strategy was misguided, but not Ambassador's 1967 styling.

Oddly, Teague never seemed to take much pride in it, though he certainly could have. It may not have been as memorable as his AMX, but it wasn't a Pacer, either.

For 1967-1969 AMC Ambassador specifications, go on to the next page.

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