History: AMC Rambler Classic 550 of 1963
For 1963, the Rambler Classic line was completely redesigned with subtle body sculpturing. These were the first AMC models that were influenced by Richard A. Teague, the company's new principal designer. They were also the first all-new cars developed by AMC since 1956. Keeping the philosophy of the company, they were more compact (shorter and narrower by one inch (25 mm), as well as over two inches (56 mm) lower) compared to the preceding models, but lost none of their "family-sized" passenger room or luggage capacity. American Motors' "senior" cars (Classic and Ambassador) shared the same wheelbase and body parts; with only trim differences and standard equipment levels to distinguish the models. The new AMC cars incorporated numerous interesting engineering solutions. Among these was curved side glass, one of the earliest popular-priced cars with this feature. Another engineering breakthrough was combining separate parts in the monocoque (unit construction) body into single stampings. One example was the "uniside" door surround that was made from a single stamping of steel. Not only did it replace 52 parts, as well as reduce weight and assembly costs, but it also increased structural rigidity and provided for better fitment for the doors. American Motors' imaginative engineering prompted Motor Trend magazine to give the Classic - and the similar Ambassador models - the prestigious Car-of-the-Year award for 1963.