The 440-H Rambler body itself is a special piece. The roof design incorporates ridges that were made to look like a convertible’s top bows. It was also the first year for a hardtop Rambler (AMC made another one in 1964, but its design looks closer to a Dodge Dart of the same year) and the “H” designation was a higher trim level with a reshaped rear armrest to accommodate a smaller rear seat base. The 440 was available in a hardtop, convertible, and as a post car, with one resource putting production numbers of the standard 440 American hardtop at 5,101 units, with an additional 9,749 cars carrying the “H” designation. A fair amount of cars for 1963, but probably very few survived these past 50 years.
The ’50s-era fitted luggage look is a ruse—it’s just clever leather manipulation by the up
As the “H” model relied on an upscale interior, so did Rutterz, and they called Paul Atkins to stitch up a custom aircraft-grade leather interior for the car. Since there wasn’t getting around the large rear wheel tubs Rutter had made, Atkins created a faux fitted luggage look rather than go with an outdated Pro Street appearance. The stock bucket seats were recovered and red wool carpet was also laid out over the Dynamat sound deadener.
The stock Rambler console was reworked to help cover the transmission hump and a custom shifter was made. Up on the dash the stock Rambler gauge cluster was reworked by Classic Instruments and then centered in front of the Flaming River steering column. A JVC stereo system and a wiring kit from Painless Performance are used, both installed by Rutterz.
Once the car was up and running, Doyle and Rutter debuted the ride at the Goodguys Columbus show, where it won a Builder’s Choice Award, which was followed by a Top 25 award at Shades of the Past and a STREET RODDER Top 100 award in Indianapolis. And as impressive as this car may look in pictures, it’s even more so in person. Plus, if you like the dare-to-be-different rides, then this car is your new god, because we don’t think a ’63 Rambler 440-H can be done any better, and Doyle Thomas’ friend has got to be smiling.