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AJ's Car of the Day '69 AMC Ambassador 343 SST
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Car: AMC Ambassador SST 343 Hardtop

Year: 1969

What makes it special: Ambassador was the top-of-the-line model produced by the American Motors Corporation ( or AMC) from 1958 until 1974. Most Ambassador models were built in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In 1969, the Ambassador received a major restyling, its front end appearance was revised with new quad headlight clusters mounted horizontally in a new molded plastic grille. The grille itself was blackout with a chrome horizontal bar that connected the headlight clusters. The hood was redesigned to accommodate the grille's raised center portion, and it faintly recalled Packard's classic grille/hood combination. Parking lights were rectangular and mounted horizontally in recessed wells in the front bumper, just beneath each set of headlights. The entire front fascia leaned forward slightly to lend an air of forward motion to the car's appearance. At the rear, ribbed rectangular taillights were mounted inboard the Ambassadors rearward-thrusting rear fenders.

What made it famous: With a 4-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust, the 343 V8 produced 280 bhp and was backed by a 3-speed automatic transmission. It had a 0-60 mph time of 9.8 secs, a 0-100 time of 10.4 secs. and top speed of 110 mph. Interiors were upgraded and a new deeply hooded dashboard clustered instruments and controls in front of the driver. There was an increased emphasis on luxury-type trim and features. The base model two-door hardtop was dropped for 1969.

Why I would want one: You don't see many AMC's around anymore. And the Ambassador 343 SST would be considered a luxury performance model.

Fun fact: At the time it was discontinued, Ambassador was the longest continuously used nameplate in automotive history.

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