If I kept my '65 American, I was going to put a Ford 302 V8 in it.. the 196 ran ok at best and a light blue cloud followed it wherever it went. with it holding less than 10" of vac it needed rebuilt/ replaced. off idle stumble, and gutless. idled and started easy tho, and did get me to work and back for 2 months... still got some flac for wanting the 302, but there cheap and plentiful in my area ( 2-300 can get a rotted out crown vic with a good engine ).. and the car needed major body work.. rockers and rear 1/4's were shot, but the floor and all structure was solid, and the interior was all there.. worth fixing, just not with the original 196..
sold the car to a kid who had aspirations of fixing it up, but I guess he may not have realised, AMC's cost money to fix up, as the local Mechanic ( amc nut ) told me he's trying to sell it for 1/2 what he paid.. an AMC collector from a town about 1hr away is probably aquiring it. I would re-aquire it but I don't have the time or space to give it what it needs