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Chilson Family Reunion Car Show to celebrate 50th Anniversary of the SC/Rambler

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1969 Hurst SC/Ramblers at the 2009 Chilson Family Reunion Car Show. The 2019 show promises to be the biggest gathering of the powerful AMC compact. Photos courtesy Kevin Shope

For most of the 2000s, Gordy Chilson and his family sponsored a weekend car show at their dealerships on the Pennsylvania/New York state line. Those dealerships began as American Motors stores, so the emphasis on AMC products was a natural. Gordy is now approaching 70, so it has been a decade since he has hosted a gathering, but for 2019 he has decided to open his doors one more time. The occasion is the 50th Anniversary of the 1969 AMC SC/Rambler.

The SC/Rambler took AMC’s venerable Rambler American platform, then in its last year, and turned it into a quarter-mile screamer, aimed squarely dominating at the F/Stock class. The core of the car was the 315-hp, V-8 taken from the two-seat AMX. That engine was force-fed air from a prominent hood scoop and coupled to a durable AMC 20 rear axle via a Hurst-shifted T-10 four-speed. Probably most memorable, however, were the SC/Rambler’s eye-grabbing red, white, and blue paint schemes.

The SC/Ramblers helped build a performance reputation for AMC that continued with cars like this Hornet run by Wally Booth.

The SC/Rambler made a big impression on Gordy Chilson, because as the scion of the family that owned the dealership, he took delivery of his own SC/Rambler right off the truck from Kenosha back in 1969. It’s no wonder, then, that he could be persuaded to host one more show; this one with an emphasis on 1969 AMC factory muscle. The equally vaunted SS/AMX will also be a featured model at the event, with at least five expected to attend.

The Chilson Family Reunion Car Show for 2019 will be a two-day affair, beginning with a Friday-afternoon gathering at the original Chilson AMC dealership in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania. Google Maps doesn’t deal well with the 8 Cowanesque Street address, so we’ll suggest you point your car at the intersection of PA-49 and PA-287 in Lawrenceville. The old dealership is on the southwest corner.

The former Chilson Motors AMC dealership was open for 54 years and the family has retained considerable memorabilia from that history.

At 3:30 on Friday, August 30, after scoping out the old dealership building, which is filled with Rambler and AMC memorabilia from 54 years in business and the façade of a vintage Mobil station, the vehicles in attendance will cruise 14 miles north to the Chilson/Wilcox Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram dealership in Painted Post, New York, for complimentary hot dogs and sodas, followed by an AMC question-and-answer session back in Lawrenceville.

Saturday is the show proper, held in Lawrenceville starting at 8:00 a.m. The intent is for this to be, as enthusiast Kevin Shope, who tipped us off to this shindig, puts it “a big AMC party” with “no judging, no stuffiness, free vending, and free lunch.” The hope is to have the biggest gathering ever of 1969 AMC Hurst cars — 10 percent of the 400 known surviving SC/Ramblers is the goal. As of this writing, there are at least 21 cars committed to attend, which is said to be a record for this type of event. It’s also anticipated to be the largest gathering of AMC heritage vehicles (Nash, Rambler, Jeffery, Hudson, Jeep, AMC) for 2019.  We are also informed that at least three of the extremely rare 343-powered 1967 Rambler American cars will also be on hand.

Admission for the event is free for spectators, participants, and vendors. For questions, further details, and to RSVP for the event, visit the 1969 Hurst SC/Rambler Group on Facebook.