Monday, April 22, 2013


AMX by William 74
AMX, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

The perennial small fry in the US auto market, the American Motors Corporation was always trying new things to garner attention. From unusual styling cues to wild paint jobs, AMC usually marched to a different drum, often out of necessity. The last of the independent American auto manufacturers, AMC was often underfunded and kept models in production far longer than the Big Three did. But, when they splurged, they did it right as evidenced at the '70 Chicago Auto Show.

The AMX was AMC's sports model, a two seater muscle car with lean good looks and big block power. But a lesser-known car was the AMX/3 show car, a mid-engined exotic that clearly aimed higher than AMC's usual competition. Originally an engineless fiberglass show car, American Motors placed an order for 30 runners, contracting with Italian sports car manufacturer Bizzarrini. Using AMC's 390 V-8 and an OTO/Melara four speed transaxle, the running AMX/3's featured steel bodywork and a few detail changes to the styling, but remained true to the show car's Italianesque exotic looks. Road testing was done by none other than BMW, which declared the 3's platform to be one of the stiffest they'd tested, with neutral handling and plenty of power.

Sadly, costs escalated and the 30 car run was ended after a mere five examples left the Bizzarrini factory. They are rare, highly prized, and absolutely gorgeous.

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