Classic Car Archive Specs, Facts, & History
One of the muscle car era’s "most visually arresting examples" was a special model produced during 1969 in collaboration with Hurst Performance; the Hurst SC/Rambler.
“Likely the most outrageous muscle car from AMC” with 1,512 built, it was probably the only production model made and promoted for a specific drag racing class, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) F/Stock class and with modifications, the J Stock class.
The SC/Rambler was even advertised on the factory brochures as able to run 14 second et’s factory stock, which would prove to be able to run against a lot of big name muscle cars from other brands. This Rambler was no joke, and with zero options it had a suggested retail price (MSRP) of less than US$3,000.
The Hurst SC/Rambler came equipped with the 315 hp 390 cu in AMC V8 engine from the AMX. There were no factory options to this package. Standard clutch was a 10.5 inch with three finger long-style Borg and Beck pressure plate. The 390 itself used a 4.165-inch bore, 3.574-inch stroke, 10.2:1 compression and a Carter AFB to produce 315hp at 4,600 rpm and 425-lbs.ft. of torque at 3,200 rpm. Though only cast with two-bolt main bearings of the same size as the 290/343, AMC beefed the 390’s internals with larger 2.25-inch rod bearings, a forged crankshaft and forged connecting rods.
The 390 engine was mated to a manual transmission four-speed T-10 with close gear ratios. A Hurst shifter came with a large metal “T” handle. The rear end was an AMC 3.54:1 “Twin-Grip” limited slip differential using Dana internals, with outer wheel hubs attached through a spline and keyway system. The hub attachment method was the only weak point in the rear end assembly.
Factory cast iron manifolds exited to a true dual exhaust with Thrush two-chamber oval mufflers with Woodpecker logos. These were standard baffled mufflers, not glass packs. Minimal baffles gave a deep throaty sound and the exhaust exited through chrome tips.
The SC package came with front discs, a heavier sway bar, as well as strengthened drive train and body components. These included connectors between the front and rear sub-frames. The rear end used staggered rear shock absorbers to eliminate wheel hop common with leaf spring suspensions. The staggered shocks required a special plate riveted in the trunk pan, as well as brackets for the sub-frame end of upper torque links. Other body modifications differentiating all Hurst SC Ramblers from regular hardtop Ramblers included rolling back front and rear wheel openings to allow for larger tires.
American Motors called on Hurst to help develop a vehicle for the racing market. Because of stock class rules, a minimum of 500 identical vehicles had to be produced and sold. This led to the SC Hurst Rambler, (SC) meaning “Super Car”. This vehicle is commonly referred to as a “Scrambler”.
Available only as a two-door hardtop, the interior came in standard gray charcoal vinyl upholstered reclining bucket seats with a paper headliner embossed with small squares. The front seats folded down flat, in typical Rambler style, and the newly safety mandated head rests came only in red, white, and blue. All SC Ramblers were radio delete. Any radios were dealer add-on Motorola AM radios, or customer installed. The SC Rambler included a 90-degree wide arc scale Sun tachometer. The Sun tach attached to the right side or top of the steering column with a stainless hose clamp. Outside, however, the SC Ramblers came with the wildest factory paint jobs ever put on a muscle car.
The SC came in two types of paint schemes, the A-scheme cars featured a broad red swath painted along the side of the car over a white base, while the B-scheme cars had a more understated blue and red stripe running along the rockers of the car over a white base. Just the A-scheme SC/Ramblers featured the distinctive arrow pointing to the gaping hood scoop, intersected by a graphic calling out the displacement of the engine, and a corresponding blue stripe on the trunk lid.
AMC printed the original hood graphics all in black, then either painted or silk-screened blue over all but the perimeter of the graphic, while reproduction hood graphics feature the design printed in both black and blue in the same pass.
The SC Rambler featured a forward-facing functioning box-type hood scoop with “390 CU. IN.” and “AIR” in large letters on both sides of it. There was no factory radio antenna, since the SC was available only with radio delete. The hood scoop air flapper was vacuum operated, allowing higher pressure cool air to pressurize a Carter AFB carburetor. A blue arrow on the hood pointed towards the air intake. The Scrambler came only in two types of red, white, and blue color schemes (“A” or “B” trims) with no other options available, with the exception of an AM radio. These schemes appeared randomly through early production.
Some of the other unique standard items on this model included racing mirrors, anti-hop rear axle links, and blue Magnum 500 steel wheels (common to Fords) with chrome beauty rings and AMC hub centers. Tires were E-70-14 fiberglass belted 4-ply tires with red stripe Goodyear Polyglas tires. American Motors priced the SC/Rambler at $2,998.
The SC was a serious drag strip contender because in its as-sold condition it could do the quarter mile in the low 14 seconds at about 100 miles per hour. For example, Road Test magazine reported 14.4 at 100.44 mph.
|Engine||0 to 60 MPH||Quarter Mile||Source|
|390ci||7.1||14.44 @ 104 mph||Road Test Magazine|
|390ci V8||390ci||1x4bbl||315 hp||425 lb-ft|
Ask SC/Hurst Rambler expert Richard Ehrenberg