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Here's Why Our Fastback Version Of The Short

Jun 05, 2023

We resurrect an underappreciated muscle car legend, and enhance the resulting render with a little pizzazz thanks to a new fastback shape.

When we’re talking about muscle cars from the 70s, you can’t make a list of the greats without mentioning the AMC Rebel Machine. This short-lived legend arrived for 1970, a year after the AMC SC/Rambler, another classic nameplate from the same brand.

The AMC Rebel The Machine – to call it by its full name – was a real muscle car from American Motors Corporation, and boy, you wouldn’t mistake it for something European as it also wore red, white, and blue prominently on its sleeve.

This render from HotCars artist Timothy Adry Emmanuel resuscitates the classic car nameplate from its 53-year resting place, to adorn modern machinery with some of the pizzazz of one of America’s finest hours of automotive design.

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A 2023 AMC Rebel Machine would work for nostalgia, but what would give it real substance? Perhaps design like this one, inspired by the Dodge Challenger, and some shove from a Hellcat engine.

Although it seems to have aspects of the current Challenger in its styling and shape, the render gives the Machine a fastback rear end. The rest of the muscle car is just as wide, square, and long as the 70s Rebel though. One of the first things we notice is that it doesn’t have an American-themed color scheme – this one is fiery red with a black front and rear fascia for the lights. Up front, there is the customary hood scoop, and it seems to include the exterior driver-facing tachometer, too which is a nice touch. Hood pins are another detail.

The LED headlights seem like scowling eyes thanks to a black bar that runs the width of the front below the hood.

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HotCars Photo © 2023 Valnet

In summary, the render mostly points to a kind of Dodge Challenger fastback, but next to the classic car the similarities are visible. We also like the lightning and setting which looks like something from the Red Dead Redemption video game. The wild west - a perfect environment to stretch the muscle car’s legs on a fast drive.

AMC’s rebellious Rebel designers coaxed about 340 hp / 430 lb-ft from the 70s car’s 6.4-liter V8. This time around, it could do worse than borrow the current Dodge Challenger’s 6.2-liter, supercharged Hellcat V8. With that under its virtual hood, this render would become a proper muscle car once more, with 717 hp / 656 lb-ft.

Production numbers vary considerably but around 2,000 examples of the Rebel Machine got made, and the car commands a reasonable sum now. Hagerty and suggest average auction values of $52,000 and $83,000 respectively.

Hailing from Britain, the home of both MG and Aston Martin, Dave is no stranger to sports cars. Or a little rain. When he's not busy working his day-job or writing songs and pretending to be a musician; Dave indulges his obsession with cars by writing and researching diligently, so that he can inform and convert other people to the dark side.

muscle carsclassic car