AMC History — the 70s (2022)

Addition to the Family

AMC History — the 70s (1)

Hornet SST, 1970

There was lots of news in 1970. The American was replaced by a completely new car, the Hornet. It had a modern body with long hood and short rear like many Japanese cars of the late seventies would have.
The Hornet showed AMC's turn back to niche politics. Not only was it available as a stripped and cheap base model, but also a long list of options was offered, and that's what made a difference from the competitors. Everything from base with 3.3l six, vinyl seats and rubber floor mats to luxurious top model with 5 liter V8, cloth interior and carpeting was possible. Even auto trans, disc brakes, air conditioning, reclining bucket seats and vinyl roof could be ordered.
The Hornet also brought back the strategy of parts sharing. 2- and 4-seater were identical up to the roof, and even front and rear bumpers interchanged.

Of all days, it had to be April Fool's day when the Gremlin was presented, the first sub compact car produced in America to compete with the most successful imports, especially the Volkswagen Beetle. The Gremlin was half a year ahead of Ford's and GM's offers in that class — too short a time to sell lots of units, but sufficient to get attention. The Gremlin was a Hornet with the rear cut off (Kamm-back). Remarkably it was only offered with six cylinder engines in a class where the competition almost exclusively had economical four-bangers, but at first that didn't harm the Gremlin's success.
As no comparison to Detroit's products was possible, AMC had a hard time pricing the Gremlin. A placative base price of $1879 was decided. The buyer got an over-stripped car for this money, with front bench seat, rubber mats, and no rear seat — a "business coupe". The main purpose of those business coupes was to be able to claim an extremely low price. Not many of those were ever sold. In 1970 only 879 Gremlins were business coupes. The Gremlin was an instant success and attracted mostly younger people.

AMC History — the 70s (2)

Gremlin, 1970

The rest of the fleet stayed the same. Most interesting newbie was the Rebel Machine, a wiry sports coupe with 6.4l V8 (340hp SAE) aka "Flying Brick". But: something else, something decisive for AMC's fate happened:
The American Motors Corporation (now with new logo, see above) bought Kaiser Jeep for the total sum of $70 million, of which $10 million was cash. Kaiser wanted to abandon the automobile business, and AMC needed a truck. Jeep was a losing company, but Chapin saw its potential, and he was sure that synergy effects of a united development and production would help both companies.
The purchase brought AMC near the debtors' tower again, and Chapin found himself criticized harshly, but his opinion that Jeep would be an advantage for AMC turned out to be all true in the following years. The work on unification and technical compatibility was begun immediately. First the production of military and governmental vehicles was seperated to an own division, AM General (which was sold later and still produces the Hummer!).

(Video) The Life and Death of American Motors Corporation: RCR Car Stories

"If you had to compete with GM, Ford, and Chrysler, what would you do?" asked AMC in brochures and TV ads, and provided the answer for each model instantly:

You'd introduce the Matador. A car that even the dollar-conscious family man would find hard to resist.
You'd start a small car revolution by coming out with America's first subcompact: the Gremlin.
You'd give the Hornet standard features you wouldn't find on the Maverick.
You'd make the Ambassador the only car line in America with air-conditioning and automatic transmission as standard equipment.
You'd make the Javelin the hairiest looking sporty car in America, even at risk of scaring some people off.
You'd design the Sportabout. A car that could do more for the American housewife than all the haircoloring, lip gloss and false eyelashes put together.

Imagine one of the last two in a commercial of today! These statements leave nothing to say short of a few details:
The Javelin got bigger (and sold worse, seems they still hadn't learned their lesson) and now featured humpster fenders; the AMX was degraded to a mere variant of the Javelin. The SC/360 Hornet was presented to line up in a row with SC/Rambler and Rebel Machine. The 3.3l six was discontinued which made the 3.8 the base engine. The latter was accompanied by the 4.2 six, same engine, but longer stroke. The Gremlin was offered with "X-Package", a hot seller. It consisted of front bucket seats, carpeting, alloy wheels, painted grille and sidestripes and made a little racer out of the car.
What didn't fit into the picture were relicts of former times like 3-speed manual trans with unsynchronized first gear and those infamous vacuum wipers.
The new thing of the Matador was its name. It was basically the good old Rebel and offered in body styles hardtop coupe, 4-door and station wagon.
Jeep's productivity was improved, engine program was AMC-ized, and from now on Jeeps were sold by American Motors dealers. The appreciated styling was kept.

Also kept was the whole line for 1972. Most important changes happend below the surface and in marketing. "Quality, value, costumer satisfaction" were the key words. The dated Borg-Warner transmission was replaced by a modern Chrysler unit, wipers were electric now. The stripped base models were dropped. Instead the Gremlin could now be had with 5.0 V8. A new quality management was introduced to reduce warranty claims. Heavily advertised and generally appreciated was the Buyer Protection Plan. It consisted of:

  • a strong guarantee
  • more thoroughly checked cars
  • a loaner car when necessary
  • a toll free hot line to Detroit (AMC headquarters)

This quality offensive came to the right time, because many Americans were fed up with the horrible quality of domestic products and more and more decided to buy Japanese and German. With this plan AMC was able to gain a better place in the market and go into 1973 with excellent numbers.

The Climb to the Precipice

Roy Chapins credos for the following years were: philosophy of difference and diversification. The first one meant that AMCs had to be different to be able to survive on the market, the second one reminds of the ideas of a certain Mr. Edzard Reuter who would a decade later also be of the opinion that a car manufacturer needed to go into other markets to survive. Had he took a look at AMC, maybe some things would have turned another way for Daimler-Benz.
AMC's Debis consisted of AM Data Systems and American Motors Leasing Corp., instead of AEG they had the plastics companies Evan Products and Winsor Plastics. The pendant to DASA wasn't a plane manufacturer but a steel casting company, Holmes Foundry Ltd., Canada.
AM General just had started developing busses, a field so far left alone to GM and Flxible and promising to grow, considering crowded streets, polluted air and dated fleets of the providers of public transportation.

The Hornet got a new body variant that thus far only foreign manufacturers had been offering: the Hornet Hatchback. The old 3-speed was replaced by a fully synchromesh one. The Levi's Gremlin was presented. It featured an interior made of jeans cloth (or at least something that looked like that). The Hornet Sportabout was offered as Gucci Sportabout with an interior designed by star-couturier Aldo Gucci.
The pony car market was nearly dead, thus Javelin and AMX were continued, but no longer subjects of major changes. The Javelin, too, got a touch of pret-a-porter: a fancy interior by Pierre CARdin made it the Cardin Javelin.
Matador and Ambassador were continued without letting any maestro touch their interiors.

Subjects of the most thorough changes were the Jeeps. New instrument panels caught the eye, but more importantly the permanent all-wheel drive Quadra Trac was introduced in J-series pickup and Wagoneer (predecessor of the Grand Cherokee). The CJ was available with a powerful V8 as an option.

(Video) 1970 AMC Rebel "The Green Machine" | Forgotten Muscle Cars of the 70's

AMC History — the 70s (4)

Matador Coupe, 1974

1974 was a year of change. Matador and Ambassador were due to retire. The successors should share the same platform and get a new look that just started getting popular in the USA: Mercedes-look.
Despite that role model the new Matador got one of the most ugly cars ever to roll off the assembly lines as Kenosha. Dick Teague had lengthened the hood by far, but to save costs the fenders had to remain. The sum of these parts looks funny at best.
But where had all the money gone? Well, market research had discovered that the public in times of recession didn't desire anything more than a pretty middle class coupe, and that the Matador Hardtop was being too conservative. AMC's leaders noted that fact and immediatly junked all the experience they should have made in the past. An all-new coupe was designed, a car that shared no single body part with others and thus was extremely costly to design and produce. The Matador Coupe received the title "1974's best styled car" by magazine Car & Driver and not only got AMCs second biggest flop but also one of the two cars that in the end broke the neck of the company. It sold well at first, but never well enough to pay back its costs. And there was no further money for the facelifts necessary later on.
All other cars didn't change much. The Jeeps sold fine and earned the money that was wasted for the other vehicles. The new Cherokee was a best seller from the beginning, and the Wagoneer was alone in its class .

The increase in Matador Coupe sales that was expected for the following year didn't come. But there was another ace hidden in AMC's sleeve that all efforts concentrated on: a new compact car between the Gremlin and the Hornet, a car unlike any other car, a car representing AMC's philosophy of difference like no other: the Pacer. In its first year the car selled so hot that production couldn't cope. All other models hit 1975 like they left 1974. Gremlin and Hornet were already six years in production and prone to go to auto heaven, but had to be carried over. The Ambassador was discontinued, big AMCs now went by the name of Matador. Javelin and AMX were dead.

Sales numbers of the Matador Coupe already decreased, short of the Pacer the dealers sat on a pile of cars they could hardly get sold. Chapin reacted by severe cost control management. The Gremlin got a minor facelift and was positioned as lowest priced car produced in America. The new Jeep CJ-7 was introduced. It was a bit longer than the CJ-5 and thus allowed to be equipped with permanent AWD and automatic transmission. AM General made good profits with busses and military vehicles, and subsidiary Wheelhorse Tractors was successful, either.

AMC History — the 70s (6)

Gremlin, 1976

(Video) Here's how the AMC Pacer has become an icon of the 1970's

In 1977 nobody could foresee that the Pacer would be the last car to be completely developed by American Motors itself. All vehicles were carry-overs, no changes could be made. Pacer sales were dropping, almost nobody ordered the Matador Coupe anymore. People had started looking for more economical alternatives and found them in the products of Japan and Europe. AMC had nothing to offer below the 3.8l I6 and no money to develop a 4 cylinder engine of its own. To help this shortcoming it was decided to buy one. The engine of choice was Audi's 2.0, of which AMC bought the rights to produce it itself. This was a good although not greatly cultivated motor that in Germany powered numerous Audis, the Volkswagen LT (a 3 ton truck) and the Porsches 924 and 924 Turbo. Famous for its torque and durability this engine was prone to turn the Gremlin into a fuel saver. But: instead of Bosch's K-Jetronic AMC put a crappy carburetor on the engine. This along with America's lax production tolerances made a tired, rough rattler out of this talented engine. The strong vibrations were hidden by extremely soft motor mounts which made an idling 2.0 do the mashed potatoes in the Gremlin's engine compartment. The production of the engine was more expensive than the production of the small six, so the standard engine still was the 3.8, only higher versions got the smaller engine.
A Wagon was added to the Pacer line and helped sales somewhat. The Hornet Hatchback got a sporty AMX package.Jeep sales saved AMC from going down right now.

AMC History — the 70s (7)

Matador Sedan, 1977

William Luneburg, president of American Motors Corporation, retired in May, 1977 and was replaced by Chapin's long-time confidant Gerald C. Meyers. AM General got a big order to produce military vehicles. All divisions short of car production were in the profit zone. After all, a net profit of $8 million was made. Peanuts compared to a sum of one billion US dollars that Ford Europe had invested in the development of the new Fiesta.


Things that did not come in 1978:

  • A new subcompact below the Gremlin. Too high the cost, too low the gain.
  • A four door version of the Pacer. Pacer was a sinking ship.
  • A restyle of the Gremlin featuring a thinner C pillar and larger glass area that would have looked chic and modern at low tooling costs. There was no reason for not doing this. Oh well!
  • A sporty coupe on base of the Gremlin similar to the Toyota Celica.

What did come was the Concord, after all a Hornet with newly designed front and rear, improved suspension and noise isolation. All that gave it the look and feel of a higher class, and to emphasize this a new name was chosen. It made sense to position the car higher as it saved it from having to directly compete with the Japanese cars.

The press honoured the new product, but not to an extent that would have made the Concord appear on front pages. Despite that it brought people back into AMC dealers' show rooms where they didn't find anything to put them into kaufrausch (strong, ecstatic inclination to buy something).
The Matador in gordy "Barcelona" trim scared potential buyers off. Decreasing demand for Matador sedans and hardtops was compensated by cutting numbers of variants, only the 4.2 six and 6.1 V8 were still available.
Pacer sales were down in the cellar, even the facelift and the V8 option couldn't get them back up. The Gremlin was still there, now as GT with lots of plastic body wideners.
The Hornet AMX got the Concord front and now was called AMX without Hornet. It had been more successful than expected in 1977, so it was justified to make it a model of its own, also it revived memories of the real AMX of 1968.
Everything Jeep still was successful and made money. In fact, the Jeep line was so successful that production couldn't cope with demand. As a reaction quantity was increased to an extent that quality went down. Not that a Jeep had been a lemon, but messy paint jobs and switches and buttons falling off weren't prone to increase customer satisfaction.
As a consequence priorities were shifted. Car production was moved completely to Kenosha, all other factories now made Jeeps. So not only more could be produced, but also more efficiently.

(Video) Ep. 38 Gucci Gang: The Gaudy Designer Series Cars of the 1970's

In the end of 1978 Roy Chapin retired. His job as chairman and CEO was taken by Gerald Meyers who continued politics. The stock holders received a strange message with this year's annual report:

We have put our house in order so we can proceed with a fundamental part of our strategic plan — to become a member of the group of worldwide auto companies that will be competitive in the years ahead. During 1978 we have conducted intensive negotiations in this regard with Renault.

This was meant to get two flies at one hit: AMC's vehicles, especially the Jeep line, were to be sold via a great dealer network in Europe and thus find much more buyers than before. And AMC was to get a competitive compact car which it could no longer develop by itself. Negotiations with Honda and Peugeot (which had troubles galore with struggling Citroën at that time) didn't work out, but Renault showed interest.

AMC History — the 70s (8)

Spirit, 1979

The model year 1979 was begun with lots of optimism. The Spirit was introduced. It was based on the Gremlin, a fact that could not easily be recognized, especially when looking at the hatchback version, although doors, fenders and hood were identical with the Gremlin's. The Spirit looked like an entirely different car — once again a masterpiece by the hands of Richard Teague. The spirit got similar enhancements as the Concord had got which made it even more attractive.
The Concord was back again, slightly changed and available as D/L and Limited with all imaginable luxury and electric helpers included. The Matador was discontinued, the biggest AMC cars now went by the name of Concord.
No major changes were made to the Jeep line, neither would they have been necessary. The Cherokee station wagon was sold out for months. Cherokee line was available in different trims (Chief, S, Golden Eagle). All big Jeeps got a new front design with rectangular headlights. The 25th anniversary of the CJ was celebrated with the Silver Anniversary CJ, the 25th anniversary of American Motors with the Silver Anniversary Concord. Both were painted silver metallic (duh!) and got anniversary badges.

The First Renault

AMC History — the 70s (9)

Concord DL 2door, 1979

The deal was made. From now on Renault sold Jeeps via its dealer network in France and Columbia, and Renaults were being sold via AMC dealer network, first model was the LeCar (Europe's R5). Furthermore AMC and Renault planned to cooperate in the development of a model between the R5 and R18 that was to be assembled by AMC.
Rumours about AMC's car production to be ceased were denied vehemently. New prototypes were being tested already, the program for 80/81 was decided, AMC stated. A 4 cylinder CJ was planned, and as the Audi engine offered too little torque the contract was terminated and a 2.5l four suitable for CJ, Concord and Spirit was bought from GM. The plant in Western Virginia that since had produced Pacer body parts was sold to Volkswagen. No seperate plant was necessary for so few Pacers that still could be sold.

(Video) AMC BACK TO THE 70s ????

The second oil crisis hit AMC hard as it mostly cut down sales on the SUV market. Suddenly Jeeps stood their tyres flat at AMC dealers' yards. At times assembly line workers had to go on vacation to not produce too much on stack.
AM General was in good health thanks to huge orders of military and postal vehicles.
In October it was announced that Renault was about to buy some AMC stock summing up to 22.5%. Suddenly a French sat in AMC's board. This step had become necessary because of money problems. Without cash there was no possibility to prepare the factories for the production of the new AMC-Renault. Tooling, renovation and acquisiton of assembly robots were costly.

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© 1998-2010 Wolfgang A. Mederle. All rights reserved.
Last modified: 2019-12-25 16:17


What year did AMC go out of business? ›

On December 14th, 1987, the last AMC, the Eagle Wagon, left the assembly line. Financial troubles resulted in Chrysler stepping in by 1987 and purchased AMC as well as its assets.

What size motors were in the AMC Javelin? ›

AMC offered a choice of engines and transmissions, included a 232 cu in (3.8 L) Inline 6; and a 401 cu in (6.6 L) V8 with a single 4-barrel carburetor and high compression ratio of 9.5:1 rated at 330 bhp (335 PS; 246 kW) at 5000 rpm and 430 lb⋅ft (583 N⋅m) at 3400 rpm of torque, forged steel crankshaft and connecting ...

What kind of cars did AMC make? ›

American Motors' production line included small cars - the Rambler American which began as the Nash Rambler in 1950, Hornet, Gremlin, and Pacer; intermediate and full-sized cars, including the Ambassador, Rambler Classic, Rebel, and Matador; muscle cars, including the Marlin, AMX and Javelin; and early four-wheel drive ...

What is the rarest AMC car? ›

Muscle car enthusiasts appreciate the AMX for its looks, performance and rarity. Of them all, the California 500 Special is just about the rarest of the rare.

What was the most popular AMC car? ›

AMC bought over the rights for production of the CJ model of cars in 1971 and remained in production till 1986 making the CJ arguably the most successful utility vehicle ever made.

What was the fastest AMC? ›

1 Hurst AMC Super Stock AMX: 4.9 Seconds

This was an extreme version of the AMX 390 that ended up being the fastest AMC muscle car ever produced.

What engines did AMC use? ›

The American Motors Corporation (AMC) used V8, straight-6, V6, and straight-4 engines in various passenger automobiles and Jeep vehicles from 1954 onward. American Motors designed some of its engines; others were inherited from its constituents.

What does AMX car stand for? ›

A concept car with a folding exposed rear seat was introduced by AMC at the 1966 Society of Automotive Engineers convention in Detroit. This was the first "AMX" (American Motors Experimental) named car.

What's the difference between an AMX and a Javelin? ›

The AMX was basically a sports model of the AMC Javelin. Aside from badging, they were nearly identical in appearance. This concept debuted in 1965 and really knocked people out of their seats. In fact, one of the major differences between a Javelin and an AMX was that the AMX was only a two-seater.

What does SST mean on a Javelin? ›

SST stood for “Super Sports Touring,” and SSTs were sportier and more luxurious than base Javelins. This one looks incredible in Castillian Gray Metallic with red accents and interior. It's a color combo that has become popular with European cars as of late, but it looks even better on this classic American muscle car.

How much is a 1970 AMX worth? ›

But don't get it twisted, because this rare classic muscle car sells for between $35,000 and $85,000 depending on the refurbishing job. If you're lucky, you might find one that looks like it belongs in a junkyard for around $6,500. It's this kind of value that ends up making classic cars like the AMX a target of theft.

Did AMC ever make a truck? ›

They actually built three such units in 1959. In the sales brochure, which, by the way, carries the experimental form number AMX-6334, the American 220-series panel truck is listed with the 90-hp AMC L-head six as standard equipment and the 125-hp OHV six as the only option.

Is AMC considered Mopar? ›

Out of those original legacy brands, only Dodge, Ram, and Chrysler remain. These legacy brands aren't the only ones considered Mopars: Chrysler bought the AMC, Eagle, and Jeep brands in 1987, and as a result Mopar cognoscenti welcomed Jeep (the only one of the three to survive) as part of the modern Mopar brand family.

Did AMC use Ford parts? ›

We are sure you have heard the many rumors/myths about AMC vehicles, such as: they didn't use their own parts; the 390 c.i. engine was built by Ford; the 360 c.i. engine is really a Mopar engine. These rumors/myths are not true... These powerplants were pure, all red, white and blue American Motors.

Did AMC make a 360 engine? ›

The 360 was the last AMC V8 to be manufactured. It continued to be produced after Chrysler bought American Motors in 1987 as the standard engine in the Jeep Grand Wagoneer through 1991, with the only modification being the "360" casting replaced with "5.9L" on the side of the block.

How much is a 1970 AMC Javelin worth? ›

Vehicle Valuation Analysis
EnginesMedian Sale
390 CID | 325 HP$30,550
360 CID | 290 HP$17,600

Is the AMC Hornet a muscle car? ›

Most manufacturers offered more than one muscle car model, but only a few offered a compact version. AMC, with their Hornet offering, was one of those companies. lists ten of the most memorable muscle cars of the era, but none are compact cars.

Why did AMC stop making cars? ›

With all of the cars the brand produced, they never managed to get a footing in the industry. AMC was always a step behind. When they'd build a great car, trends shifted, and they never had enough money for research and development to pivot and stay relevant, leading to their demise.

What motor was in the AMC Javelin? ›

The 1968 Javelin was powered by a 343 cubic inch, 280 hp engine linked to a four-speed gearbox. The AMX hood with its functional Ram-Air induction was also included in the introduction. The model was very fast and became a popular competitor on the racing circuit.

How many years did AMC make cars? ›

Over their 33 year run, AMC managed to create cars that if not better than the big three, always seemed to be unique and interesting. Often AMC would lead the way, only to be over taken in the long run by foreign companies and the big three.

Did the AMC Gremlin have a V8? ›

(A total of 40,994 Gremlins were equipped with the V8 engine from 1972 until 1976.) A 4-speed manual transmission was made available at midyear.

What V8 motors did AMC make? ›

The Original AMC V-8: 1956 to 1967

The engine came in three sizes—the 250ci, the 287ci, and the 327ci—all with the same stroke but different bores. The 287ci replaced the 250ci after a couple years, and the 327ci was released a year after the original 250ci but with hydraulic lifters (that the 287ci also later got).

Did AMC make a big block? ›

Though AMC did have a V8 prior to this, they were large block motors, and though capable of great power, they were less suitable for a market that had been increasingly dominated by the innovative Chevy V8 and Mopar V8 Small Blocks (since 1955) and the Ford Windsor V8 (since 1963).

Did Rambler have a 327 engine? ›

Two 327s were available in the 1966 Rambler Rebel. The 9.7:1-compression version was rated at 270 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque, similar in output to Chevy's 275hp/355 lb-ft L30 small-block.

How many AMC AMX is were built? ›

In 1968, 6,725 models were produced, with the majority of these models split between the 390 manual and the 390 automatic, with the next highest being the 343 automatic, followed by the 290 manual, 290 automatic, and 343 manual. For the next year in 2019, the production numbers increased, reaching nearly 8,300.

How much is a 69 AMX worth? ›

The 1969 AMC Hurst AMX 390 SS Would Cost You A Pretty Penny

On the lower end of pricing, we found a listing for an AMX SS that sold way back in 2001 for $55,000. That same year, another one sold for $50,000, according to There are also options listed that sold for less than the $50,000 price tag.

Did the AMC AMX have a back seat? ›

But designers knew the AMX had to be unique and something of a standout. Aside from its long hood, short rear-deck design, the rear seats were ditched, making the AMX only the second American-built two-seater on the market.

What does SST stand for AMC? ›

SST stands for Super Sports Touring (AMC cars)

How much is a 1972 Javelin worth? ›

Vehicle Valuation Analysis
BodystylesMedian Sale
AMX FastBack Coupe$10,300
SST FastBack Coupe$10,600

Is a AMC Javelin rare? ›

In our opinion, the classic AMC Javelin is a pretty affordable classic. For an average price of $20,000, some less and some more, you get a classic car that is no longer manufactured. Due to AMC being a company that ended due to bankruptcy in the 80s, these cars are quite rare.

Was the AMC Javelin a good car? ›

The Javelin (which was slightly roomier inside than its rivals) proved to be balanced and fun-to-drive, especially considering its price point, and its engines were a good match for entry-level and mid-range Mustangs and the Camaros.

How much is a 1973 AMC Javelin worth? ›

1973 AMC Javelin
1973 AMC Javelin LHD Pomona, CA, USA$14,000 HIGH BIDNOT FOLLOWING 
1973 AMC Javelin 83,252 mi · LHD Kansas City, MO, USA$22,000 SOLDNOT FOLLOWING 
1973 AMC Javelin LHD Pomona, CA, USA$12,000 HIGH BIDNOT FOLLOWING 
1973 AMC Javelin Sst LHD Kissimmee, FL, USA$18,000 HIGH BIDNOT FOLLOWING 
21 more rows

How much is an AMX 3 worth? ›

Before AMC canceled the project, five AMX/3s were completed. Bizzarrini and Diomante built a sixth example from remaining components, which they hoped to market as the Sciabola (Sword).
Vehicle:1969 AMC AMX/3
Number Produced:6
Original List Price:$14,000
SCM Valuation:$795,000
Tune Up Cost:$350
7 more rows
Feb 27, 2017

How fast is a rambler? ›

Top speed:
(theor. without speed governor)171 km/h / 106 mph

How much is a AMX car? ›

Q: What is the average sale price of a AMC AMX? A: The average price of a AMC AMX is $33,662.

What was the fastest AMC car? ›

It was the first time anyone had seen American Motor's fastest muscle car of all time. AMC called it The Rebel Machine, and Hurst Performance would give it a great sendoff at the NHRA World Drag Racing Finals in Dallas, Texas in 1969. Linda Vaughn and her Hurst Girls entourage were on hand to liven the atmosphere.

What Motors did AMC use? ›

The American Motors Corporation (AMC) used V8, straight-6, V6, and straight-4 engines in various passenger automobiles and Jeep vehicles from 1954 onward. American Motors designed some of its engines; others were inherited from its constituents.

Is the AMC Hornet a muscle car? ›

Most manufacturers offered more than one muscle car model, but only a few offered a compact version. AMC, with their Hornet offering, was one of those companies. lists ten of the most memorable muscle cars of the era, but none are compact cars.

What kind of car is a hornet? ›

The AMC Hornet is a compact automobile, manufactured and marketed by American Motors Corporation (AMC) and made from 1970 through 1977 — in two- and four-door sedan, station wagon, and hatchback coupe configurations.


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