© Dave Immel
Join me on Facebook
In association with The Lynch Automotive Group 282 E. Wolf Run, Mukwonago WI 53149 | 262-378-3595
Dave Immel YourCarSalesman.com
YourCarSalesman.com Dave Immel’s website
Posted Friday, April 13, 2018 1971 American Motors AMX/3 Growing up in Wisconsin, most of us are familiar with American Motors.  The Company congers up memories of its roots; Nash, Hudson and of course later Rambler.  Cars like the Hornet, Pacer and Gremlin come to mind.  AMC had its best years with the Rambler and from the 1960s forward, the company saw a steady decline until a merger with Chrysler in 1987. However, there were some flashes of design competence with the Javelin and the shorter wheelbase version AMX in an attempt to compete in Trans Am Racing.  The AMX would become AMC’s defining sports car. AMX production ceased in 1970, and AMC quickly began looking for sophisticated European alternatives to its bulky engineering.  Cars like the Gremlin and Pacer were headed in the right direction, but it was the AMX design prototypes which provided more drastic alternatives.  As early as 1965, AMC started work on experimental concepts, and used European talent, including Vignale, an Italian coachbuilder, for their first prototype. Subsequent AMX design concepts were very producible and offered a glimpse at AMC’s future design. The AMX/2, completed in 1969, was a radical design. It was completed in house and was little more than a fiberglass ornament, having no engine or interior. Giotto Bizzarrini, of ex-Ferrari fame, was specifically responsible for making a production worthy AMX/3 out of the show queen AMX/2. What would have been a challenging build for AMC, was easily handled by Bizzarrini who was very familiar with race car design and construction, particularly on a tight budget. Bizzarrini’s final AMC/3 featured the hallmark of sports engineering, a mid-mounted engine and rear transaxle.  The Italian firm Melara developed the new gearbox while BMW completed final testing on the roadworthy AMX/3. It seemed AMC was serious about production. From a design standpoint, the AMC/3 was remarkably similar to Ford’s DeTomaso Pantera which debuted just one day after the AMC/3.  Such timely releases made it unclear exactly who copied who, but in any case, the casual observer can easily mistake the AMC/3 with a Pantera. Due to the successful launch, and low price of the Pantera, AMC scrapped the AMX/3 project.  Bizzarrini was ordered to destroy all six AMX/3 cars, which he, of course, did not. Instead several cars were finished, some lost, found, sold and lost again.  It remains unclear today just how many survive. Photos by Dirk de Jager
AMX/2 AMX/3 at Pebble Beach
© Dave Immel
Dave Immel’s website In association with The Lynch  Automotive Group 282 E. Wolf Run, Mukwonago WI 53149 262-378-3595
YourCarSalesman.com
Posted Friday, April 13, 2018 1971 American Motors AMX/3 Growing up in Wisconsin, most of us are familiar with American Motors.  The Company congers up memories of its roots; Nash, Hudson and of course later Rambler.  Cars like the Hornet, Pacer and Gremlin come to mind.  AMC had its best years with the Rambler and from the 1960s forward, the company saw a steady decline until a merger with Chrysler in 1987. However, there were some flashes of design competence with the Javelin and the shorter wheelbase version AMX in an attempt to compete in Trans Am Racing.  The AMX would become AMC’s defining sports car. AMX production ceased in 1970, and AMC quickly began looking for sophisticated European alternatives to its bulky engineering.  Cars like the Gremlin and Pacer were headed in the right direction, but it was the AMX design prototypes which provided more drastic alternatives.  As early as 1965, AMC started work on experimental concepts, and used European talent, including Vignale, an Italian coachbuilder, for their first prototype. Subsequent AMX design concepts were very producible and offered a glimpse at AMC’s future design. The AMX/2, completed in 1969, was a radical design. It was completed in house and was little more than a fiberglass ornament, having no engine or interior. Giotto Bizzarrini, of ex-Ferrari fame, was specifically responsible for making a production worthy AMX/3 out of the show queen AMX/2. What would have been a challenging build for AMC, was easily handled by Bizzarrini who was very familiar with race car design and construction, particularly on a tight budget. Bizzarrini’s final AMC/3 featured the hallmark of sports engineering, a mid- mounted engine and rear transaxle.  The Italian firm Melara developed the new gearbox while BMW completed final testing on the roadworthy AMX/3. It seemed AMC was serious about production. From a design standpoint, the AMC/3 was remarkably similar to Ford’s DeTomaso Pantera which debuted just one day after the AMC/3.  Such timely releases made it unclear exactly who copied who, but in any case, the casual observer can easily mistake the AMC/3 with a Pantera. Due to the successful launch, and low price of the Pantera, AMC scrapped the AMX/3 project.  Bizzarrini was ordered to destroy all six AMX/3 cars, which he, of course, did not. Instead several cars were finished, some lost, found, sold and lost again.  It remains unclear today just how many survive. Photos by Dirk de Jager
AMX/3 at Pebble Beach AMX/2