1 Of 122: 1970 AMC AMX

We’ve seen several AMX’s pop up recently. And most of them have been either rusted out or wrecked. While this 1970 AMX isn’t perfect, it looks to have a future that sadly the others do not. From its last model year as a standalone car, this ’70 is a rare combination of engine/transmission and choice of factory color. Painted in Big Bad Orange, this AMX can be found in Citrus Heights, California, and available here on eBay with a no reserve auction sitting at $15,301.

When AMC ventured into the pony car/muscle car business, they did it with two cars. First, the 4-seat Javelin that debuted for 1968 in the fall of 1967. A few months later, they rolled out the AMX, a shortened version of the Javelin that only had room for two people. While the Javelin could go from mild to wild, the AMX was intended to mostly just be wild. V-8 power was your only choice with the AMX and the 390 was selected by buyers two out of three times. Unfortunately, the AMX did not turn out to be a big seller for AMC, who needed to sell all the cars it could. So, production ended with 1970 at a little more than 19,000 cars produced in total, and barely 4,000 that final year.

The seller’s car has rarity on its side, among other things. Out of 4,116 AMX’s made in 1970, just 747 of them had the 360 cubic inch V-8 with automatic transmission checked on the order form. Diving down further, only 122 AMX’s were made that year painted in one of AMC’s glow-in-the-dark colors, Big Bad Orange. So how many 360/auto/orange AMX’s could there have actually been in 1970? 15 or 20 perhaps?

This AMX certainly does not qualify as rust-free, but most of that appears to be surface rust. The trouble spot looks to be the trunk lid and the seller is providing an extra with the deal. We’re told the floors, rockers, trunk, quarter panels, etc. are pretty good. The seller is an accommodating fellow and includes quite a few undercarriage pics while the car is up on a lift. That being said, while the paint is original, we’re also told that some bodywork was previously done on the driver’s rear quarter panel and the passenger’s front fender.

The interior is going to need an extreme home makeover, but that’s to be expected after 183,000 miles. Considering the options list and engine/tranny choice, the original owner of the car may have preferred comfort over burnouts. It came with factory A/C (not working), power steering, power disc brakes, tilt steering, leather seats, and a console with original (non-working) AM 8-track tape deck (who still has some of those tapes?!). The buyer is going to have some electrical issues to sort out because the list of non-working items also includes head and brake lights, turn signals, side markers, gas gauge, wipers, speedometer, temperature gauge, and inside lights. I wonder if something has been nibbling on the wiring?

Mechanically, the picture gets brighter because several items have been replaced or attended to, starting with a rebuild of the engine. The others include a new windshield, battery and cables, water pump, alternator, fuel pump, starter, and brakes. The gas tank has been cleaned and pressure tested along with a new fuel sending unit. The radiator has been refreshed and fluids changed in the transmission and rear end. The tranny has a leak, however, at the shift shaft seal. When the engine was redone, some “go faster” stuff was done to it, including TRW pistons and a mild camshaft. The car came from the factory with Ram Air, but the air cleaner base for that system is missing. The tires are the May-Go brand, i.e. “may go at any minute” so plan to some new rubbers for the car.

The bidders for this car apparently agree on its restoration potential as splendid examples can easily run mid-five figures. And low production numbers for this configuration of AMX no doubt add to the appeal. The bodywork, paint, and interior needs aren’t huge obstacles and hopefully, the electrical issues are simple. If so, this can be a sweet car once again, complete with extra goodies like the owner’s manual, protective maintenance ID card, California pink slip, and those blue and yellow license plates.

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  1. Arby

    The AMC designers must have all been given a sawzall when they started.
    When they needed a new model they just sawed off part of an old one.

    Gremlin – trunk

    AMX – back seat

    Like 7
  2. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    I’ve always like the AMX cars, but never wanted a two seater. I used to car pool in 68 with a group of co workers at the Boeing 727 plant in Renton, Washington. One afternoon we all decided to stop and check out the AMX at the dealer in Tacoma. It was black inside and out with 390 and 4 speed transmission. We were all married and had children so a two seater just didn’t make sense. Beside the price was a little more than the $2700.00 Nova I ended up buying.
    God bless America

    Like 5
    • dave

      Ok, but which Nova?

      Like 3
      • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

        I bought a new 69 Nova, dark green black vinyl top ralley sport wheels 396 4 speed manual from Brooks Bittle Chevrolet, Bothel, Washington.

        Like 8
    • JoeNYWF64

      Did you forget to look at the Javelin (with the back seat)?!!
      It’s odd, tho, that ’68-70 Javelins are rarely seen on this site or anywhere – didn’t they sell a lot more of those than AMX’s?
      Most must have been driven into the ground.

      Like 2
  3. David Hoelcher

    Actually, the AMX was designed first. So it’s NOT ‘a shortened Javelin’. Also, BigBad colors were 1969 ONLY, & came with body colored bumpers front & rear. Sure, you COULD get orange, blue, & green cars. Calling them BigBad is an error.

    Like 7

    When my brother came home from Vietnam, he bought a new 69 AMX with the 290 and a 4 speed. I guess that also is pretty rare, as not to many had the 290. It was incredibly fast for that size engine, and was often suggested it was mis labeled as a 290. Regardless, it was an awesome car, and I think the 70 AMX’s became the cream of the crop.
    This one is certainly worth saving, the automatic hurts its value, but may also be part of it’s appeal, along with all the other creature comforts. I think this is a win for buyer and seller

    Like 5
    • That AMC guy

      The 290 was the base engine for the AMX but I don’t know how many were sold that way. It’s a light car so with 4-speed stick it would be pretty sprightly. (These were designed before the Javelin, but there’s more than a little Rambler American under the skin of both.)

      Like 3
      • BRAKTRCR

        I agree, I always kind of related it to a 289 Mustang. Plenty of fun. His was a gold/bronze color, and was quite beautiful

        Like 2
  5. David Hoelcher

    My first ’69 AMX was a 390 4-speed with the factory Group 19 can & kit. It weighed 2660 lbs & would go past 90 mph in no time… I’m convinced it was a factory ‘ringer’ as I’ve never found another that weighed under 3100 lbs, & the camshaft was installed from the rear – engine out, rear can plug out, as that was the only way to remove it. Whether the penny pinchers @ AM decided to use up some mis-machined Grp19 cams, or they did it intentionally to limit cam walk, I don’t know..

    Like 3
  6. Ronald Goodnough

    I have a 1970 AMX with a 360 and automatic with factory air. I inherited it when my father passed away. He was lead stylist building the clay models. He had a lot to do with the AMX 3. The 360 really makes the AMX scoot pretty good. My AMX only has 58235 original miles. The car is a very nice driver example with no rot or rust on the exterior of the body. I love it !

    Like 4

      Fantastic Ronald. I hope it stays in your family for the next several generations. And thank you for your Dad being involved in these beautiful Hotrods!!! Rest in Paradise Dad

      Like 2
  7. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $16,201.

    Like 1
  8. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    One of the few – maybe only – cool car my dad was considering after having had a Rambler station wagons – but he said with 5 kids it wasn’t going to happen.

  9. bowmade

    Original (non-working) AM 8-track tape deck… I seem to remember, yes the smoke clears a bit from the 80’s… listening to the Heavy Metal soundtrack on 8-track. Sadly I cannot remember which song was disrupted by the track change… Is there a Frisbee with some zig zags and seeds under the seat? hehe

    Like 1
    • That AMC guy

      There’s a good chance the 8-track deck just needs cleanup/lube and a new belt.

      “Who still has some of those tapes?!” — I have a house full of them, and players! (Even have some Quads.)

      Like 1
      • DON

        My dad sold electric equipment ; we actually had an 8 track tape burner ; I made a bunch of tapes for my car from my record collection !

      • That AMC guy

        Don, I have 8-track recorders as well, and can make tapes of new releases to play on the 8T decks in my old cars. Problem is the tapes were not all that reliable when new and now 40-50 years later playing them is a real crap shoot.

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