The AMX was a great example of American innovation on a budget.
The little 2-seater was AMC’s response to the explosion of the pony car market.
‘Oddly enough, it was actually 2/3 of a pony car because they cut out a foot and the back seat out of the more contemporary Javelin to create this little street racer.’
And what a street racer it was…
This little AMC rocket had an incredible power to weight ratio when the 390 engine option was ticked off. Guys with more contemporary muscle car rides found out just how much of a force this little AMX was in a street brawl.
After a severe beating in a race came the long, painful explanation to your buddies:”yeah I guess it was a Rambler, but I swear that little #$@ was supercharged”.
Somehow slicing off a foot in length and dumping the back seat area made a good-looking car like the Javelin look great. The roof line was made for the shorter overall length so this was an instantly cool car. Not enough to swing the Camaro or Mustang guys over in serious numbers but finally the AMC guys had a serious champion on the street.
But the big story is how cost effective this car was during an era of styling changes made over milliseconds not years. In light of recent events in the car industry, the memoirs of the guys who pulled that off should be required reading at every level of the industry.
Trying to keep up with trends on any front (music, politics, movies and above all… cars) in the late 60s was like trying to swim upstream just after going over Niagara Falls.
But AMC pulled a champagne car out of a beer budget. In doing so, they created the first steel 2-seater built in North America since the 1957 Thunderbird. No matter how the AMC story ended, the legacy of this little AMX will be a proud legacy.
Collectors are finally recognizing this. Merry Christmas
Jerry Sutherland @mystarcollectorcar.com
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