Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The 1971 AMC AMX/3

It's surprising to me how many younger people have no idea there was an American car manufacturer called AMC or American Motor Corporation. It's history is quite interesting as AMC battled it out with the Big 3, including the period that Mitt Romney's father headed up the company. In the end it had a sad and painful demise, which seems to be the way most automakers end up perishing.

Back in the late 1960s the muscle war was heating up in the United States. AMC was losing badly to legendary cars like the Plymouth Barracuda and Chevrolet Corvette. AMC struck back with the Javelin and AMX, which had fairly good success. In the middle of this war AMC released one hell of a prototype super car: the 1971 AMX/3. Instead of making something to compete with Corvettes, AMC had produced something to compete with the likes of the Ford GT40.

The 1971 AMC AMX/3 came with a V-8 engine that produced about 340 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. The car handled well for its time with a double wishbone suspension in both the front and rear as well as anti-roll bars and tubular shock absorbers, impressing journalists who were able to go for a ride in it. The AMX/3 would never see a production line as safety and emission standards in the US were raised. AMC abandoned the project to concentrate on updating its existing cars to keep up with the raised standards. Only six AMX/3s are in existence today, making them truly a rare bird.

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