Every now and then a car comes along that you wished you had bought back in the day when you had the chance. A 1970 AMX was one of those cars I nearly bought, but went for a 1974 Pontiac Grand Am instead. The details of the Grand Am will be left to another day, but we can discuss the one that got away.
It was nearly an exact replica of the car featured here today, a gorgeous orange AMX sitting on a dealership used car lot just waiting to be purchased. It was 1979, and they wanted a mere $5,000 for the car. It had 30,000 or so miles on her and was in like showroom condition. I was in the market for a car, but I was about 2 grand short of that total.
I took her out for a test drive and wrung her out through the gears and all I can say is it was a blast to drive! Even though the car only had the 360 engine, it made enough power to get out of the way as they say. You could do a nice chirp after each gear change and in a straight line it was a force to be dealt with. To say it was a sports car was sort of a misnomer, as to me , then, a sports car was a Triumph TR4, but it did handle well. I wanted the car, but I was making crap for a salary then so it was the other car that day.
The AMC AMX we see here today is owned by Ian McTavish of South Carolina. As stated before she has the 290 BHP @4800 rpm 360 cid engine that makes a nice 395 lb-ft of torque. It isn’t the 325 BHP 390 engine, but it was more than adequate for spirited driving. Ian’s ride has the factory T10 4 speed transmission, power brakes, and ‘twin grip’ limited slip rear end.
The interior featured luxurious high back bucket seats that offer a comfortable driving position for the driver and good reach for the 4 on the floor. Gauges are sparse but a nice wood grain dash panel makes up a bit for it. The steering wheel is wood and sporty looking.
Ian has owned this car for 15 years and it is largely un-restored. The odometer showed 78,645 miles and I don’t think the clock had turned, as the car was in very good shape for a 40 year old survivor. Only minor fading of the paint was evident and zero rust could be found. Overall a very nice ride for those Sunday drives or the odd car show.
Critics of the AMX in those days and probably some today would suggest that the AMX was a chopped Javelin, but it had a shorter wheelbase than a Corvette of the day, was a true 2 seater, and could handle well enough to be a true North American sports/muscle car. Owners loved the extra roominess and the ability to actually haul stuff for a trip when needed.
I still wish I had bought that car back in 1979, but we all move on to other things. The other cars I have had all have a special place in my heart, and maybe one day an AMX will again come my way. This time I wont hesitate! Happy hunting!
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