American Motors Corp. (AMC) introduced the AMX to the public on Feb. 15, 1968. The Chevrolet Corvette was the only other two-passenger sports car produced in the United States at that time. AMC—a Wisconsin company—dubbed the introduction as “Mission AMX,” a spin off of the “Mission Impossible” television series that was popular then. That was fitting, since AMC found it impossible to stick with a two seater for more than three years.
The Gen I AMX two-seater was the culmination of what AMC saw as a do-or-die program designed to change its image from a family-style economy car to that of a youth-oriented sports car with a future. This effort actually started with a major revamp of the AMC six- and eight-cylinder engine offerings. These included modern, lightweight V8s with lots of horsepower and torque. On the same day the AMX arrived, the AMC 390-cid 315-hp V8 hit the market.
Shortly after these introductions, Craig Breedlove—the holder of many world land speed records—and his wife Lee, took an AMX to the Bonneville Salt Flats. They shattered 106 speed records with the car.
An advertisement described the Breedlove’s initial record run as a “Sunday Drive,” but they actually drove right into Monday, racking up 3,380 miles and setting 77 records. On Thursday and Saturday they returned and snapped another 13 records. The following Tuesday they set 16 more records. Their car had an AMC 290-cid V8 that was bored out to 304 cid. The ad said, “That’s every record in the book from 25 kilometers to 5,000 kilometers and 1 hour to 24 hours. From standing starts to flying starts.”
The advertisement promised that the 106 Class C and Class B records (certified by USAC and FIA) were “just the beginning” and that proved to be the case. AMC went on to establish a very impressive competition history over the next several years in both drag racing and Trans-Am Series road racing.
The original AMX also won the Society of Automotive Engineers’ design award. The two-seat model was offered to the public in 1968, 1969 and 1970 only and 19,134 were built. However, many youthful car enthusiasts who came to AMC showrooms to see the AMX left with another of the new generation of American Motors’ cars. In fact, this period would be one of the most profitable in corporate history before Chrysler purchased AMC in 1987.
The AMX featured here is a 1969 model that belongs to Gary Carlson of Rockford, IL. In January 1981, this car was purchased from its original owner. Following some minor restoration work, the car started winning Concours d’Elegance awards at Classic AMX Club International events.
The car features its factory original Frost White paint and it is loaded with options and accessories including blue racing stripes, a tan leather interior, a rare AM-FM radio, air conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, power steering, the 390-cid 315-hp V8, automatic transmission and the AMX “Go Package” that includes power disc brakes, E70-14 belted tires, a Twin-Grip rear axle, a Power-Flex cooling fan, a heavy-duty cooling system and a Special Duty Handling package. It also has a chrome luggage rack, full tinted glass and rear bumper guards.
Article courtesy Speedville.