Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: 1969 AMC Ambassador – Don’t Look Too Long

I’ve just spent five minutes staring at this picture, trying to make sense of it. Yes, I know; nobody ever spent that much time closely looking at a 1969 Ambassador’s rear end cap, garnished by a heraldic crest, or whatever that is. Well, at least not since it was approved by Dick Teague, AMC’s design chief.

I wonder what he thought of it. Just another desperate attempt to make a two year-old body look different by covering up what had originally been the taillight. And we think that it must have been exciting to be an automotive stylist back in the good old days.

Ok, now we can move on to the rest of this car, shot and posted by William Garret.

Of course that was a minor detail compared to the most fundamental stylistic nightmare of these Ambassadors: their absurdly long noses grafted to the Rebel body. If you spend five minutes looking closely at this one and have any sense of proportion, you’ll likely start feeling a bit queasy about three minutes in. Or less.

This kind of thing sort-of worked back in the ’40s and early ’50s, but by the mid-late 60s, a more cohesive and organic approach to design had become increasingly widespread. This is just embarrassing; a bad Photoshop.

And that’s without even considering the ultra-tacky strip of plasti-wood along the bottom.

My eyes naturally gravitate to that gen2 Corvair in the back; talk about a study in contrasts.

Here’s a wider shot of the rear end. I’m guessing the ’67 Imperial’s rear end had some influence here.

Another look at the vertical radio and the odd ignition switch position.

No wonder these sold so poorly; what a mess. The ’67 Rebel body was a pretty decent starting point, but it just got buried in more and more kitsch.