1968 American Motors AMX
|Maybe full-bore competition is an ambitious goal for American Motors, whose performance image still
has to be shaped before it can be polished. But if determination wins trophies, AMC's shelf might not be bare for long...
--"Is the AMX a True Sports Car?"
Motor Trend, March 1968, page 34.
Acquisition and Restoration
The hunt for a suitable AMX began in 1991 and I acquired my AMX in 1993. The car was complete, but needed work everywhere. I would find out just how much work was required as the restoration proceeded. It would make sense later why nearly everyone in the local AMC club had almost bought my car at one point; for had I known better, I might have passed on the car as well.
Restoration began in March of 1996. The time between purchasing the car and beginning its restoration was spent collecting parts. Collecting AMX parts was the focus of our vacation celebrating our first wedding anniversary. A trip to Spearfish South Dakota to visit a rumored junkyard "full of AMX's and Javelin's" was the first stop on our vacation. A complete dash and several other interior parts salvaged from a 1968 Javelin along with a new battery tray and some other assorted parts were the catch for the trip. The majority of these parts were used to replace cracked or otherwise damaged parts.
Pride is probably the best word for how people hoard parts for AMX's. Asking for .030 over pistons from a recommended supplier, I could hear the cash register chiming away in the seller's head. It would probably have been cheaper to purchase a 290 or 390 engine and rebuild it than keep the original 343 and rebuild it; but hell, in for a penny in for a pound. Besides, a 343 AMX would stand out as different, even in a sea of different and you don't get much more different than AMC.
Stripping the paint off down to bare metal revealed a few surprises. The rear fenders had rusted through and needed to be replaced. There was a little bit of bondo on the hood and even a possible bullet hole through the passengers' side front fender. Hanging the doors so they would close perfectly took far more work than anticipated.
Stripped to bare metal, Spring 1996
Besides waiting on a few small pieces, the car went back together quickly. The interior was a large job. The shop, which accepted the work said, "30, maybe 40 hours" to complete. It really took them nearly 120 hours. But they honored the original bid, and for that they are to be commended. As nobody reproduced door panels for an AMX or Javelin at the time, the shop created by hand new door panels for my AMX. The headliner and kick panels were also created by hand. Of course, the seats were also hand stitched.
In March of 1997, the AMX finally came home. It was a year after serious restoration began. Already, it had taken 2nd place in the February 1997 Tri-State Auto Show. Now it was time for finishing touches and a summer of showing the car.
In the summer of 1997, the AMX was shown 5 times. The car placed 1st or 2nd in four of five shows. The entire summer was a blast! Thanks to so many AMC people who helped when the points and condenser died in route to Colorado Springs. All the help and advice was greatly appreciated!
2003 Rod & Custom Show - Denver, CO
My AMX was displayed at the 2003 Rod & Custom Show in Denver, CO. The Colorado AMC Club had a club display. My AMX is next to Jim's AMX - Thumper.