With its 327-cid engine, the Rambler Rebel
was AMC’s first true high-performance car.
For 1957, American Motors made a sensational high-performance car called the Rebel. Under its hood was an enlarged version of the V-8 introduced a year earlier. The 4.00 x 3.25-inch bore and stroke, 327-cube engine featured five main bearings, a forged-steel crankshaft and a 9.5:1 compression ratio. Large cast-iron exhaust manifolds were hooked to dual exhaust pipes with straight-through mufflers.
AMC had originally planned to use a Bendix “Electrojector” electronic fuel-injection system in the Rebel. The system proved problematic and it’s unlikely that any fuel-injected Rebels were ever turned out. A Carter WCFB four-barrel carburetor was used on 1,500 production units instead. Instead of 288 hp and fuel injection, the cars that left the assembly line had 255 carbureted horses.
Another thing in the original plan was limited production. AMC expected to manufacture Rebels on a made-to-order basis and to offer only two options: EFI and Hydra-Matic transmission. Extras added later included Solex tinted glass and 6.70 x 15 Goodyear Blue Streak racing tires.
The Rebel’s standard transmission was a three-speed manual gearbox, with overdrive, linked to a Borg & Beck 10-inch clutch. The extra-cost “Flashaway” Hydra-Matic transmission was essentially the same unit used by Oldsmobile and Pontiac. A 4.10:1 rear was used with stick-shift cars and a 3.15:1 axle was added with Hydra-Matic.
Among the items included in the Rebel’s price of $2,786 were reclining seats, power steering, power brakes, a “continental” tire carrier, windshield washers, a radio, back-up lights, full wheel discs, a padded instrument panel and sun visors.
The Rebel came only as a four-door hardtop and only in a solid silver-gray color scheme. Its special full-length body side trim featured a bronze-gold anodized aluminum insert with a “Rebel” nameplate on each front fender. A silver-and-black interior trim designed exclusively for the Rebel harmonized with the monotone body paint.
AMC promoted “amazing acceleration and speed” for the new car and road testers substantiated such claims. Motor Trend said that the only car capable of outrunning the Rebel from 0-to-60 was the fuel-injected Corvette.
A Rebel with overdrive and the 4:10 axle was made available for short acceleration runs at Daytona Beach in February 1957. Motor Trend’s Joe Wherry reported a best time of 7.5 seconds from 0-to-60. Hot Rod magazine obtained a 9.4-second 0-to-60 time in a Rebel with Hydra-Matic and reported that the stick-shift version with 4.10 gears could break 8 seconds flat. The car with Hydra-Matic did the quarter-mile in 17 seconds at 84 mph.
Viewed in retrospect, the first Rebel ranks as one of the finest muscle cars ever made. It was offered in this format for just the single season and is now a rarity that AMC enthusiasts covet for their collections
The first car I had with my name on the title was while I was in the Service in Germany. It was a 1937 BMW 327 Roadster. The car I always enjoyed driving. I found it in a barn and bought it. I restored it and drove it for years, Brought it back to the US. Sold it a few years back with other cars I bought and restored.. I have had a lot of vintage cars but that one was always the top of the list.
We spent most of our money traveling... Just wasted the rest..
Did your '72 C10 have coil springs in the rear? I had one (my 2nd truck) with a 350 as well. I think it's still on the road, too.
Yes it had the coil springs. I wish I still had my old truck.
2003 2500HD Ext. cab short box
6.0 liter 4.10 gears, Nelson performance PCM
98 K1500 4x4 heavy duty 1/2 ton
6,600lb GVWR 5,280lbs on the scale empty
14 bolt rear diff. 3:73 , Tranny and oil coolers
332,000 miles still purrin' like a kitten
Basck in 1965 a 1957 Plymouth Fury 9 passenger station wagon with the push button trans shifter in the steering wheel center; and 318 polysherical engine.
Burnt so much oil rear view mirror was useless.
In fact the first day I got my license I lost it due to two speeding tickets (by the same officer). Car sat for 6 months till we junked it with a blown second gear. Junk yrad was happy to get it as they had a request for that trans. Dad and I kept our mouths shut and walked away quickly with the $40.
As an FYI I didn't get my license back for 2 years till I turned 18. Court only gave me fines and 6 months suspension. Darling mother gave me the two years.