29 October 2015

1968 AMC AMX

With the ‘Big Bad’ package and the 390 cubic-inch V8, expect to pay $60k for one of these monsters

AMC products were traditionally conservative cars purchased by conservative consumers interested in fuel economy and reliability, rather than striking good looks and modern designs.

When the AMX was launched, AMC suddenly had a muscle car in its stable. Some people laughed, but not for long because the AMX was the glimmer of hope that restored faith in AMC, and the company engineers’ faith in themselves.

The AMX was advertised “as a sports car for the price of a sporty car.” The ad’s opening line stated: “The AMX is the only American sports car that cost less than $4,000.” It listed for $3,395, including taxes.

The AMX was available with three engines – a 290, a 343 and the largest, a 390 cubic-inch V8. To keep costs down, AMC cut 30 centimetres out of the middle of the Javelin to create the AMX; it also shared the same doors, trunk lid and bumpers as the Javelin. The hood, grille, panels and its short 2.5-metre wheelbase gave the AMX a distinctive look. To keep up with the Mopar cars of the day, AMC added colours, called “Big Bad,” available in blue, green and orange.

In 1968, 6,725 AMXs were produced. In 1969, production increased to 8,239 but during the final year, 1970, that output fell off to 4,116. Then, Chrysler took over AMC. The new owner was only interested in continuing Jeep – and we all know what Chrysler did with that.

AMC will go down in history as the company that went where Ford and Chrysler didn’t – by building a Corvette competitor. If you can find a pristine AMX with the 390 V8 and the “Big Bad” package today, you can expect to pay $60,000.

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