Here’s the ultimate fish-out-of-water story: the little Rambler American going through its paces at Daytona International Speedway. Check out the unusual sales pitch in this original 1967 AMC commercial.
We don’t often think of the universal grandma’s car, the Rambler American, and Daytona International Speedway at the same time. But in fact, American Motors products usually did well in one event at the famed Florida raceway, the annual Pure Oil Performance Trials. Ramblers excelled in the series of acceleration, braking, and fuel consumption tests, in part due to their good power-to-weight ratio and solid, conservative engineering. This particular commercial trumpets the victory of the Rambler American 220 in Class VII for compact six-cylinder sedans.
Make no mistake, in those days the Pure Oil Trials were serious business for the Motor City automakers, who were hungry to cash in on the valuable publicity. In the 1967 event, nine of the 10 Pontiacs in the event were disqualified for cheated-up fuel systems. (The mechanic on these entries was listed as one Vernon Blank, an associate of Smokey Yunick.) As this commercial illustrates, the Class VII victory was a powerful bragging point for the modest Rambler American 220, which at only $2,073 was the lowest-price domestic car sold in America. Well done, Grandma. Video below.