Take me to home pg.
1512 Registry Member - Sterling Stump

Qualicum Beach, B.C. Canada

This page updated: February 16, 2012 11:41 PM Documented by the Official 1512 Hurst SC/Rambler Registry
All information is inserted chronologically and listed in order by the most current entry and the history follows below.
December 2007

Winner of our 2007 art contest - 6 year old Melanie with her painting of a Scrambler on a sunny day !

Stories and known history on this Scrambler he has owned since 1978


My first Rambler was a 66 Classic 550 4 dr sedan with absolutely no options. It had about 50,000 miles, was in mint condition and was about 8 years old. It won out over much fancier models and various Mustangs, Camaros, Novas etc...It was a great car and the only one of any of the car makers with reclining seats, so you know which one was a regular at the drive in's. This car led to the little american in Rogue trim which I liked the best because of the normal suspension. In 1976 or so I heard tell of this same car in Scrambler trim by way of the Johan model kit which I bought a bunch of and still have today.

This led to a fruitless search for a real one. Back then the only for sale car ads were in the national car magazines. No by and sell magazines yet. One day my brother calls me from our dads auto parts business about 80 miles away. He asks me if I'm interested in one of these Scramblers as there is one parked on the side of the road about halfway between home and the business. He described it as having a large hood scoop and red/white/blue headrests. He said it had been there a while. I jumped in my 66 Rogue and drove there that very second. I nearly fell over when I seen it as I must have drove by it a minimum of 2 to 4 times a week. The only reason my brother noticed it was the fact his truck got poor mpg and loved gas pumps. The lure of this particular pump was too much for the truck to take and while sitting at the pump Rick noticed in his side mirror this hood scoop on a car in the tall weeds behind him. I immediately bought it and towed it home behind this most generous gas guzzling truck. I always feel now like a I owe gas guzzling trucks a favor.

This happened early Mar of 1978. The car at the time had 51000 miles on it and today looks exactly the same as when I bought it with very few additional miles. It was assumed at the time of purchase that it was a 'A' scheme paint as you could see remnants of the blue stripe on the trunk and around the trunk lock. Problem was there was no evidence of any red sides. There was evidence of blue under the rocker panels which thru me for a loop.

Time went by and I then received documents by the motor vehicle branch showing all previous owners. The very first one showed the car coming into BC from Alberta in 1970. I then assumed it was sold new in Alberta. I make a few calls to Alberta dealerships and finally hit pay dirt. The first owner turned out to be a mechanic at their dealership. He then told me the whole history of the car. This story has been verified by 6 different people that I talked to. The car was shipped to the dealership in late Mar of 69 to be raced only. It did not come with a dealer invoice. It was accompanied buy a truckload of parts to make it go fast,...very fast. What they received was a 'B' scheme car with blue stripes painted on the roof and trunk with a very simple arrow painted on the hood with no lettering. They then added the lettering on the sides of the car.

The driver of the car at the time was one of their mechanics ...Roger Bateman. I managed to locate him and he supplied me with original photos of the car when they raced it. Interestingly the car also came with bumper guards front and rear which they removed for racing. If you look closely you may also notice that the leading edge of the rear wheel wells are flared out to clear the drag slicks. This was done to the car prior to it leaving the factory. The car was raced regularly until early 1970 when AMC axed the drag program. Roger said they were only days away from signing a major deal with AMC to go all out with this car with him behind the wheel.

Instead AMC ordered all drag cars including this one to be disposed of. They ordered this one to be painted bittersweet orange and sold. The original bumpers were put back on along with the original tires and rims. They could not sell it as a new car so it was sold to one of their mechanics who was moving to BC. Several owners later and it landed in my hands. Shortly after that Roger quit and went to work for GM and drove for them as well. Today he drives top alcohol funny cars and is still doing very well. He has said to me that someday he wants to drive this car again just for fun. He wonders where he would be today had AMC signed the deal instead of going into Trans Am racing.

Roger recalls times in the mid 11's but were hoping to better that. He said a 5:11 rear end was too much but something in the mid 4's worked well. Check out the launch of the car in the one picture as he wasted yet another competitor. He said they lost very few races. I have not changed the car at all as it looks good in that color. Someday I will repaint it back to a 'B' scheme car but not soon. When I did get the car it had a 360 motor in it with a connecting rod looking thru the oil pan. The guy I bought it from said he was driving it not 1 mile from where I found it when he blew the engine. He said the car coasted nearly another full mile before it came to a stop. He said the speedo was well buried when the engine blue hence the long stop. He had full intentions of putting another engine in the car as he just loved it. 1 week after this incident he was in a bad car accident in which he was thrown from a car and ended up for a long time in the hospital. He ended up in a wheelchair never to walk again.

I only found this out 1 year ago as I decided to pay him a visit while going thru his town. I expected someone in their 60's to greet me as the guy I bought the car from was in his 30's at the time. Imagine seeing a guy my age in a wheelchair. He said he had his dad sell the car for him as he couldn't face the new owner himself. I was a little misty eyed then and I dedicate anything I do to this car to Steve. You can see why I am reluctant to repaint the car. What do you think I should do? He was quite amazed when I told him the history of the car. He says he has always regretted selling the car.

I have put in a date code correct 390 rebuilt to stock specs other than blueprinting and a super balance job. At 50mph if you punch the pedal to the floor in 4th gear it is exactly 1 second for every 10 mph in acceleration. What a rush. I have also replaced the ridiculous manual steering with a quick ratio power one from a early 70's car. Much nicer to drive and the load of the pump makes little difference to the engine. The car has seen many miles on a car trailer as we at one time lived not 50 miles from the Yukon border. Up there it has snow 8 months of the year. I bet you never seen studded tires on one of these cars. I have and it works real good. Now I live on Vancouver Island (car show capitol of the world ) and the car lives in much nicer conditions. I'll include more pictures in the future as they happen ......................Sterling


This is how the car looked in its original racing colors when it was new!

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