Monday, January 10, 2011

Black Plate: 1967 AMC Ambassador $1300

Sometimes I post cars in the hope that they will be quickly bought and save me the anguish of considering them. This is one such post.

"Black Plate" , for our foreign readers, indicates a car of 60's vintage that was originally registered and continually kept in the State Of California, and issued the distinctive black and yellow license plates. Like the buffalo, the west was once filled with Black Plate Classics. But the age of the Internet has dispersed them to the far ends of the earth. Cars like Cudas and Roadrunners, GTOs and 442s are long gone as daily drivers in California. But every now and again you find an oddball still out there....kind of like some prehistoric fish caught in a receding tidal pool.

The thing about currently registered Black Plate cars is that they are usually well kept...meaning they have good tires, exhaust, brakes, and tune. Great for flying in and taking a nostalgic roadtrip! And the plates stay on the car after the sale, reducing your risk of an Alabama State Trooper pulling you over with a scribbled piece of cardboard in the back window claiming "L.A.F." (License Applied For). Black Plate cars carry a premium at auction as they are a nearly bullet-proof link to a rust free history.

 The sad downside is that taking an old car out of its native environs diminishes the overall habitat. Part of what makes California great is all the "little old ladies from Pasadena" still driving such an interesting array of cars. San Diego County will be a poorer place by the sale of this great old Rambler.

AMCs are underrated cars. Some of the fastest cars I've ever been in were AMCs. They are pretty rare, but parts never seem to be a problem. Mercifully, this one is a fastback and also a two door. Lets hope it has a V-8 ( 290, 343 or 390 ) as well. Enjoy the eccentric styling touches such as the interesting grille and integral driving lights, or the vertically mounted radio. At $1300 bucks I don't know how you can go wrong.


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