This AMC Ambassador is the orphan wagon of your dreams
I am a sucker for odd cars. When it comes to smiles per dollar, which is one of the more important metrics for items that find their way into my garage, the weirder a car is, the higher it falls on the scale. So when a 1972 AMC Ambassador Brougham wagon popped up as a new listing on Bring a Trailer, I had to lock down my bank account for a week because this wagon should be mine.
After all, this longroof hauler was the minivan before the minivan. A family road trip dream machine replete with enough space for everyone involved to stretch out and get comfortable. A 360-cubic-inch V-8 mated to an automatic transmission provided the go, and the faux wood side paneling provided the show. (Real woodies are overrated. Just sayin’.)
It might only show 5000 miles on the odometer, but the wear on the exterior and interior tell a story of a lovingly-maintained 105K miles. The interior has luxury appointments like a full-width vinyl floor mat, two-spoke steering wheel, and a wide-sweeping—and likely optimistic—120-mph speedometer.
A brown station wagon might have blended in with the crowd circa 1972, but today this wagon would do nothing but stand out in a world filled with crossovers and boxy hybrids. What better way to show you are one with the environment than to put wood grain on the side?
I reached out to Joe Ligo, an enthusiast owner of an AMC Ambassador sedan who documents his adventures on the YouTube channel AutoMoments. When it comes to the cool factor, he thinks this wagon has got it, but not quite as much as the two-door models.
“From my experience, AMC enthusiasts love the unusual.” Ligo says. “We know every show will have Javelins and AMXs, so a nice-looking Ambassador wagon could draw a big crowd, just because you almost never see them. If I had to rank enthusiasm, the favorite Ambassadors are probably the two-doors, followed by the wagon, then the sedans.”
The selling dealer has done some maintenance, including replacement of some brake parts and corresponding fluid flush, repair of a leaky transmission line, and replacement of the valve cover gaskets. Is it road-trip ready? Maybe. It depends on your comfort level and what you consider adventurous. For me, it looks like a perfect fly and drive proposition. For once I could bring along more than one friend. Probably would make a couple on the trip home too.