Dare to be different – 1970 AMC Rebel
This 1970 AMC Rebel “The Machine” has come a very long way since it rolled off the assembly floor 48 years ago. From a parts car to the amazing machine you see in front of you, it has been transformed from a heavy, body-rolling oddball into a muscle machine. It certainly is radical enough to piss off AMC purists.
This 1970 AMC Rebel, owned and built by Bunt Geary out of Ohio County, Kentucky had seen much better days and by most people’s accounts should’ve been sent to the scrap heap. The front end was burned in a fire and it was missing the original heads, trans and rear end when Bunt acquired it.
This was AMC’s high-performance, low-priced muscle car produced in 1970. AMC branded it as “The Machine!” Like other specialty muscle cars of that era (Copo Camaros etc), The Machine was a joint venture between Hurst Performance Research, led by V.P. David L. Landrith, and American Motors V.P. of Marketing R.W. “Bill” McNeeley. It was their answer to the big three’s brutes. With a 340hp 390 V-8 thumping beneath its twin snorkel hood, the Machine qualified as a bona fide street machine.
Bunt’s Rebel had been in the Geary household since the mid-80’s. So, with the help of his dad’s shop “Steve Geary’s Body Shop” and his dad’s friends, it’s transformation was a long, slow, grueling build process getting it to where it is today. Bunt painted the car himself in 93’ and got it road-worthy by 1994.
Then, in 2003, he decided to airbag it for no other reason than it just looked cool. As you might imagine there were no air suspension kits available for this car so everything was fabricated in-house. Since then, he’s upgraded to Accuair VU4 solenoids and new Viair compressors. Then, in the winter of 2017, he and good friend Terry Hohimer decided to drop in an LS3 motor for the sole aim of wanting to take it to LS Fest in Bowling Green, Kentucky. So, “The Machine” got a new heart.
It also got Holley EFI, KP Components gauges along with a small flat screen so Bunt can keep tabs on the Machine’s vitals.
The car is a lightning rod. Most love it but the AMC snobs are not too fond of Bunt’s vision. Most would’ve liked to have had it restored back to its original factory condition. I for one, am not one of those people. I love the car, the lines, and the Pro-Touring vibe it now possesses thanks to Bunt’s long journey with the car.
“I love this car,” he said. “It’s different and I don’t see any of these at car shows. And my son loves it and the trips we take in it,” Geary said.
And after all, that’s why hot rodding is so revered as a family hobby. From start to finish to the open road, Bunt Geary’s 1970 AMC Rebel has bonded three generations of car guys.