Barn Find 1967 AMC Rebel SST Still Runs and Drives 40 Years Later

Barn finds cars doesn’t exactly mean it was found in an actual barn — sometimes, like in the case of this abandoned 1967 AMC Rebel SST, it just means that you found the car outside. Barn finds cars carn be exciting and terrifying. They haven’t been moved or turned over in years, they could have ceased motors, structural rust, and a number of other serious problems that prevent them from being safe, roadworthy, or even worth buying. That isn’t always the case, however, and for this abandoned piece of automotive history, things weren’t as bad as they may have initially seemed.

What to expect from a car abandoned for 40 years

1968 Annual AHRA Winter Nationals; Grant Rebel's AMC SST pulls hard off the line
1968 Annual AHRA Winter Nationals; Grant Rebel’s AMC SST pulls hard off the line | Bob Swaim, The Enthusiast Network, Getty Images

Your expectations of any care after being abandoned for 40 years should be abysmally low — and, when things turn out better than you expected, you can always be excited about it rather than disappointed and out thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, which can, unfortunately, happen anytime you are rebuilding a wrecked or discarded vehicle — yep, even YouTubers aren’t immune to that misfortune. When you find a car that has been abandoned for decades, there is a lot of potentials, and well, probable, issues you will face, but surprisingly, this 1967 AMC Rebel SST was able to overcome the biggest hurdle of all when the V8 engine was able to turn over and run.

Although it has long been forgotten and overshadowed by more modern-day sports cars and popular classics, the AMC Rebel SST was once a true American muscle car. It wasn’t uncommon to see them cruising the roads, street racing, or even modified and hitting the drag strip, and the powerful V8 seems to have aged well, as proven by this abandoned example.

Why engines can’t sit over long periods of time without running

Allowing your car to sit without being turned on for extended periods of time can cause problems, the most minor and annoying being dead batteries and dry-rotted tires or even brake stiction. The more severe issues come in the mechanical components that require lubrication from oil like motor oil and grease to keep the components from rusting. In most cases, an engine that has been left for years is likely to seize due to the lack of oil being circulated through the engine. This is a very serious issue that can cost thousands of dollars to fix, usually requiring a new engine — and, in a car from 1967, it can be excruciatingly time-consuming and expensive to find parts. Luckily for the automotive enthusiasts who saved this abandoned vehicle, the engine was able to turn over — making it quite a rare gem indeed.

The 1967 AMC Rebel SST

Most car owners today don’t remember the AMC Rebel SST or the AMC (American Motors Corporation) brand itself as it merged with Chrysler in 1988 before the brand died out altogether. The vehicle itself isn’t particularly notable or collectible, and many of the ones remaining are likely rotting away in junkyards rather than in large privately owned collections like the American Muscle Car Museum.


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Even with a running V8 engine, the car is still far from road-worthy, but with a working engine, it’s definitely worth salvaging. Classic car fanatics can breathe a sigh of relief seeing a YouTuber rebuilding a classic muscle car rather than yet another wrecked supercar, and we are all excited to see this forgotten piece of automotive history back on the road.