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Dealer added badging?/ other dealership "updates"


Frantz
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I saw a fellow picked up a 1965 Rambler Rogue, only they didn't start making the Rogue until 1966. From general discussion I'd read there are several such cars in existence and they started as 440H cars which dealers added the later Rogue badging in order to move old inventory. This wasn't factory authorized, but would we mark it wrong? On either, how does AACA handle rolling changes where dealership would add updated hardware to a car to help it compete with recent (same or next year) factory offerings. These changes don't have factory documentation, but it was fairly common industry practice, and does represent preservation of a trend the mission statement of judging seems to defend.

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From the judging guidelines...

"The objective of AACA judging is to evaluate an antique vehicle, which has been restored to the same state as the dealer could have prepared the vehicle for delivery to the customer. This includes any feature, option or accessory shown in the original factory catalog, parts book, sales literature, or company directives for the model year of the vehicle. AACA accepts motorized vehicles 25 years old or older, which were built in factories and specifically designed and manufactured for transportation use on public roadways and highways. The end result of the accurate and honest evaluation of a vehicle by a judging team will be the proper determination of the deserved award for the owner’s efforts."

I would say that if these "updates" were not correct for the model year of the car, technically there would be potential for problems. If, however, you can document that the dealer delivered the car that way with photos and/or sales documents or other dealer produced documentation, I would think that a reasonable judging team could accept those updates without deductions. If the changes you are talking about were for later production within the same model year, there should be no problem.

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'31 Packards are a perfect example. The factory supplied a '32 update kit to help move unsold '31 models. Packard also supplied '33 downdraft manifolds and carbs to be installed on late '32 cars to improve performance and make them more salable. The key is "factory authorized". If it were just a whim of the dealer I would think a deduction would be in order.

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I would tend to agree when it's just a rogue dealer (edited to add pun), but in this particular case it seems like it was a regional push that several dealership in the northwest in multiple states did. It wasn't top down but rather a regional grass roots effort. So seemingly a gray area.

Edited by Frantz (see edit history)
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What would constitute documentation for non-factory authorized regional modifications? Bills of sale from original dealer? Pictures? If it was established that it was indeed done regionally, would an individual be responsible to provide documentation that their specific car had the work done, or is it acceptable to just prove that it was in fact done on some cars, and their car may be one of them? At this time it seems from discussion that it's a known modification by regional dealers, but there is no AMC documentation. From AMC perspective it is a 440H. I don't know if enough documentation exist to support the car or not, just curious what would be required in order to seek it out, or discredit it. Perhaps best posed to a Rambler specific forum, but for here, I'm just trying to determine how we would judge such a vehicle. If things are as they seem, it would be a shame to suggest people restore back to factory conditions and risk destroying part of regional automobile history. Perhaps best comparable to a Royal Bobcat Pontiac on a regional level? I'm too new to all this to have experience on how AACA views such cars. Thanks for all the input, it helps!

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From the judging guidelines..."The ONLY type of documentation accepted by AACA without question is written documentation from the factory/manufacturer". I doubt a regional quirk could be made to fly without at least factory acknowledgement that such mods were being made. Before going any further I would want to see concrete evidence that the mods were done by the dealer and not by a later owner hoping to enhance the prestige or value of his car. It has been known to happen.

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Examples of regional models are the 1957-58 Dodge "Texan", based on custom-trimmed Coronets with unique badging, and AMC's trio of limited-edition 1967 Rebel wagons dubbed the, "Mariner", "Westerner", and "Briarcliff". The Texan was dealer-based and only sold through Lone Star State dealers. There's a picture of a new '57 in front of one of those deals, Ryan Motor Co., in "Collectible Automobile", June 1999, on page 27. There would have been company knowledge and approval of such, supported by contemporary local newspaper and magazine ads which, for judging and authentication constitutes, to me at least, "factory-authorization". Also, the Texans may have been announced in trade journals like, "Automotive News".

The '67 AMC wagons were announced in February by the company as limited runs for three geographical areas, not hard to document, but worth mentioning. If I had a '65 (440H) "Rogue", for judging and authenticity I would look for announcements or ads in newspapers from the areas where those models were supposedly created and sold. I would also scour any company service or related bulletins for mention of them around the time they first appeared.

I'd bet it can be proven whether a '65 Rogue is an actual, dealer action, or a legend cobbled together, read on a forum somewhere, the result of some guys liking the way Rogue emblems look on their '65 Americans. Does the fellow's car have the "440H" emblems at the base of the C-pillar and Rogue emblems? It's doubtful the dealers would have removed them to clear out unsold stock, but rather would have drilled some holes and just added Rogue nameplates.

The '65 Americans are neat little cars, as are the '66's. For fun there are some cute '66 Rogue commercials at this link, one of them presented by the, "Greater Cleveland American Motors/ Rambler Dealers".

I wouldn't mind having the '66 in the ad with wire wheel covers and vinyl roof, but would rather have a sweet '65 440H.

I have a nice set of wires waiting for it when the right one comes along. :)

TG

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