The AMC “Rebel Machine”: More Than A One-Year Wonder

Posted on May 15, 2012 by PeteRizzo


When Tim Tebow was unexpectedly (some say, unceremoniously) traded to the New York Jets this off-season, many speculated if the whirlwind media frenzy around the NFL star would come to a halt. After all, it's hard to focus hours of programming on a football player who is watching most of the games from the bench.

But, while the answer to whether or not Tebow has another comeback in store for football fans lies down the road, one thing's for sure, he's likely to be referenced for years to come. Such is the case with the AMC Rebel Machine – often referred to as simply The Machine – which after a strong marketing campaign, was shelved after one year of production.

Billed as "the car you've always wanted" by Madison Avenue, the 1970 AMC Rebel Machine was the company's first entry into the midsize muscle car field, and one that while often overlooked, was never completely forgotten. Still, its initial reception was lukewarm, with critics deriding it for a lackluster interior, hefty price tag and lagging performance when compared to other muscle cars – though some say this was due to AMC's outsider status in the eyes of reports.


It didn't help that the Rebel was built from the same parts and designs as the AMC Rebel station wagon, the Rebel 770 sedan and other boxy, family cars from the carmaker, and aimed to entice young buyers who wanted to gush about its features and performance more than use them. (In this interesting YouTube Video, AMC takes you through the sales process with an ideal customer named 'David Smiley.')


But, intent aside, the AMC Rebel had a sleek look and unique design, which would help the models garner a bit of lore through the years as they were handed between collectors. Eventually, the same magazines would run stories to a much different tune. Today, The Machine's price tag looks like a bargain considering the car's performance, which has been ranked among the best by the publications that once derided it.


At least the AMC Rebel Machine can give Tim Tebow hope.