Thursday, February 28, 2013

1966 American Motors AMX

Another AMX (American Motors Experimental) prototypes, similar to the running Vignale car. This car does not appear to have the Ramble seat, and the door handles are in a different position.

The AMC AMX concept cars were early looks at what would become one of AMC’s signature model lines: the sporty 1968 AMC Javelin pony car coupe and its two-seat companion, the 1968 AMC AMX muscle car.

Newly installed AMC chief Robert B. Evans had breezed in believing that the key to AMC’s future was "to do things differently -- find new ways to do new things and try new ideas." Accordingly, he put Teague to work on what ultimately became a quartet of show cars with plenty of new ideas that promised to jazz up AMC’s image in a big way. To ensure plenty of exposure, Evans sent the cars on a nationwide tour as "Project IV," billed as a traveling "auto show of the future."
While none of the Project IV cars saw production per se, one provided a preview of a near-term AMC model. That, of course, was the unique two/four-seat AMX, the direct forerunner of the Javelin-based two-seat fastback that appeared during 1968.

The show model had originated in AMCvs advanced styling section under Chuck Mashigan in October 1965. Unveiled four months later as a non-running mockup built from a trashed American, it attracted such favorable notice that AMC hired the famed Vignale works in Italy to build a fully operational version for Project IV. It was finished in just 78 days.

Though differing somewhat in details, both the "pushmobile" and the Vignale AMXs had the same tight shape -- what Teague called a "wet T-shirt look" -- plus the whimsically named "Ramble Seat." The latter referred to a pair of jump seats that folded up from the rear cabin floor to provide al fresco accommodation for two occasional riders, whose comfort was enhanced by a back window that swiveled up to double as an auxiliary windshield.

The Vignale AMX also had a pair of small rear seats inside, for use when the Ramble Seat wasn’t. Both show models rode a 98-inch wheelbase like the eventual showroom AMX, and the "runner" carried the same new 290-cubic-inch AMC V-8 that would be standard on production AMXs.

Alas, the Ramble Seat was deemed too costly and impractical for the street. So was another show-car feature: a striking "cantilevered" front roofline with no visible A-pillars; instead, door glass extended right around to the windshield for an ultra-clean appearance. Somehow, Teague managed to conceal a functional roll bar within. Incidentally, beige leather covered all seats in the runner, which also featured a center console with electric push-button controls for the Ramble Seat.
Source: Internet