V8 Project: 1979 AMC Spirit AMX

We’ve seen a few of the AMC Spirit AMXs roll across these pages, but some important details can make all the difference when deciding which examples are most desirable. This car features the larger V8 engine; air conditioning; and arguably the best color to see an AMX painted in. The seller is winding down his collection due to health issues, and this AMX is in the sweet spot of being either an ambitious project or awesome parts car. Find it here on eBay listed with no reserve and bidding just over $1K. Thanks go to Ian for the tip!

The seller acquired the AMX as a running vehicle out of Texas. It currently needs an ignition switch at the bottom of the column, which precludes it from running – so it’s being sold as a non-runner. Due to the Texas residence, I think it’s safe to say the AMX has survived in impressive rust-free condition. The paint doesn’t look past the point of saving and I love the old-school turbine-style wheels. The AMX-specific flares and spoilers look good as well.

The ultimate combination of features is obviously an AMX package car with the manual gearbox, but seeing the V8 under the hood will put a smile on most AMX enthusiasts’ faces. The interior obviously needs work, as the door panels, carpeting, and seats all look fairly tired. The seller also mentions the presence of rust but doesn’t elaborate as to where the corrosion is hiding, but for the current price bid, there’s some room for taking on some risks.

The seller says at least half of the 2,000 AMX cars produced were powered by six-cylinder engines, making a genuine V8 car somewhat rare. Throw in the fact that it’s black-on-black and you may have a unicorn on your hands. The engine still turns freely and is full of oil and antifreeze, so perhaps there’s a chance this AMC V8 will fire up again. The price certainly seems more than fair, and I do hope this specimen is restored and not parted out.


  1. Boatman Member

    “Parted out”?! Why is that option even mentioned?

    Like 4
    • That AMC Guy

      Yeah, the car is rough but assuming no rot underneath seems to be a solid project. Would be a shame to break it up for parts.

      Like 3
  2. tyrone

    that sunroof looks like it leaked like a faucet. Floor is probably rusted through

    Like 0

    Buying ANY car is the buyers option to do with what ever once he buys it. Not that is a good thing.

    Many will say put a 401 in her etc etc. The 304 is a a very acceptable mill in it’s own right. It should be known that in the Trans AM racing series Javelin was ran with a modified 290 punched to a 304 and damn near knocked Ford out of second place in 1968. A brand new car and team all with a single 4bbl carb. Also finished every race it entered. A record today.

    AMC installed plastic inner fenders in 1980. (will interchange with earlier Gremlin Hornets Concords as well as Spirit) In the rust belt the tops of the fenders and doors and rockers would turn to dust after a few years. This appears to be an original paint car, No signs of major rust. That’s a plus.

    I believe these to be finally on the upswing and for good reason. Recently Hagerty reported a record breaking sale for a black V8 Spririt AMX that exceeded pre auction estimates by a ton. This isn’t as minty but still a nice enough example to get in on the ground floor. Someone may get a dealio here.

    Like 3
  4. XMA0891

    Big fan of these neat little cars. Saving this one would be a true love labor – It appears to be missing a lot of the “little stuff” that is a challenge to find 31 years after AMC’s tapped-out. That automatic is a big minus for my scorecard. ’79’s did have a manual/V8 option. If I was in the market, I’d probably hold out for that combination. I had the pleasure to test-drive a flogged one I considered buying, and even in its poor state, it was still a player. I do hope someone saves her.

    Like 1
  5. djjerme

    If you haven’t watched “The Ultimate Challenge”, find it. You’ll have a new respect for these cars.

    I do believe still the only American car to win it’s class at the 24hrs of Nürburgring

    Like 1
  6. Wayne

    I like these, but hate what AMC did to the front end. Is the Spirit a Gremlin derivative? If so, will a 1972 Gremlin (my preference) front end bolt on? I like medium to small cars with V8 torque and horse power!
    ( I guess I am not alone in that regards.) Do I hear an Amen?

    Like 1

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