390/4-Speed: 1969 AMC AMX

If a buyer wanted a high-performance American two-seater in 1969, they had two choices. They could opt for a Chevrolet Corvette, but the AMC AMX offered an interesting and far more affordable alternative if the budget didn’t stretch that far. However, while it was cheaper, sales volumes of the AMX were barely 25% of the Corvette. This AMX appears to be a solid prospect for restoration, and it comes with documentation that traces its history back to the selling dealer. If that sounds tempting, you will find this classic located in Wrens, Georgia, and listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set the auction to open at $16,000, but there have been no bids at the time of writing. That hasn’t stopped seventy-five people from adding it to their “watched” list, and you have to wonder whether one of them might start the ball rolling. I might be mistaken because while the owner doesn’t specify it, I believe that this is a No Reserve auction. Our own Russell Glantz had his eagle-eye working well when he spotted this promising project for us.

Finished in Frost White, there’s a lot to like about this AMX. The paint and stripes have undoubtedly seen better days, but I’ve seen worse roaming around on our roads. It generally looks tired, and a cosmetic refresh would make a world of difference. There are chips and scratches, but the panels are surprisingly short on significant dings and dents. That’s the first positive, but the second is probably far more significant. I admit that the supplied photos are a bit limited, but I can’t spot any rust in any of them. The panels look clean, and even areas like the engine bay display little more than the occasional spot of surface corrosion. The owner does supply a good photo of the trunk, and the pan appears to be rock solid. If this is indicative of the rest of the vehicle, I can see the buyer leaving their grinder and welder packed away during this restoration. Some of the external trim pieces might require a refresh, but most of it looks like it would respond positively to some old-fashioned polishing. I can’t see any issues with the glass, and the overall impression to this point seems pretty positive.

There’s no doubt that if a buyer had the money in 1969, they could order a Corvette that could leave this AMX in the shade. However, the AMX does offer the luxury of a trunk, which you won’t find in a Corvette at that time. From a performance perspective, the original owner ordered this classic with a 390ci V8, a four-speed manual transmission, power steering, and power brakes. That V8 would’ve pumped out 315hp in its prime, and with the AMX tipping the scales at a relatively light 3,221lbs, the 14.4-second ¼-mile ET should come as no surprise. While the owner doesn’t mention it, I get the impression that this could be a numbers-matching classic. It might not be roadworthy at present, but there’s not a lot of bad news for potential buyers to digest. It seems that the fuel tank needs a flush and that the buyer should replace the fuel lines. However, the owner has the car running off an external fuel supply, and it runs and drives okay under the circumstances. The sale includes a folder full of documentation that traces this classic back to the original dealership. It also managed to score itself a write-up in Mopar Muscle magazine, and a copy comes with the car.

The owner is pretty candid about the state of this classic’s interior, and the buyer will face some relatively expensive purchases to whip it into shape. A set of seatcovers will lighten their wallet to the tune of $400, but they will need to add another $310 for the foam that those seats desperately need. A complete carpet set is another $300, while door trims cost $500 per pair. As you can see, this is not going to be the cheapest part of this restoration, but the final result should be worth the cost and effort. The interior doesn’t feature such niceties as air conditioning or power windows, but it is hard to go past the gauge cluster with a speedometer calibrated to 140mph and a tach that winds to 8,000rpm. Both offer a tantalizing hint of the capabilities of this classic.

By the time the 1969 model year drew to a close, AMC managed to sell 8,293 examples of the AMX. Of these, 3,690 featured the 390/4-speed drivetrain combination. This one looks promising as a restoration project, and if it is a No Reserve auction, that leaves open the possibility that someone might score this classic against limited opposition. A spotless restoration would see it command a value of around $45,000, so if someone scores it for under $20,000, it could represent an excellent buy.

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Comments

  1. AMCSTEVE

    Again, how many times do we have to tell you with every AMC posted on BF. AMC DOE’S NOT HAVE NUMBERS MATCHING ENGINES. END OF STORY

    Like 13
    • That AMC guy

      I got tired of pointing that out. It seems that for AMC the definition is being stretched to mean that the car has the size engine indicated by the VIN.

      Like 10
      • Frank

        I guess that falls in the category of close enough! Plus side any 390 is the correct 390.

        Like 2
  2. Sam Shive

    Not only is the AMX a rare one, the front plate it self gotta be worth at least a $100.00. Always Loved AMC’s. Find a good local shop and get a package deal on getting the interior done. The paint and mechanical can be done a little at a time.

    Like 4
  3. Lincoln B Member

    A very nice car and it seems today 16,000 is a fair price. After 44 years as a Mack and IH truck mechanic I thought a nice IH 4X4 or some sort or a muscle car would be a great in retirement toy, but alas it looks as if I can only lay on the porch and bark at the cars.

    Like 11
  4. Todd

    Is that stripe original, I like it better than the two thin stripes.

  5. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Wasn’t this listed and sold last week or something? I think I remember it. The blah color is not easy to forget

    Like 1
  6. Stan

    8000 rpm tach for this 390?
    Those things revved up that high ?

    Wow

    Like 1
    • SC/RAMBLER

      No in stock form 8,000 RPM is not going to happen. It’s possible with certain modifications

  7. Malcontented Misanthrope

    I had a 68 Javelin with the fold back seats . Very handy to have as a young man. ;)

    Like 3
  8. DGMinGA

    Kinda sad to think the car in the article from 2003 is the same car pictured. As of 2003, the interior was in nice shape. 24 years, well kept, then in the last 18, someone let it go to pieces. Who buys a well kept classic and parks it out in the weather without even a tarp over it ?

    Like 4
  9. Howie Mueler

    It has a bid now.

    Like 2
  10. Frank

    The broken Driver’s seat is from all those breath taking tire burning starts from traffic lights.

    Like 3
  11. chrlsful

    Frank!
    funny, Hey…I don’t remember the twin peaks hood. Did they have that? I guess so…
    U can post ANY AMX you see. I’ve gotten way more interested in them today than when they came out. Just a great idea all round. Some modern speed/suspension tweak’s mm mm mmmm…
    Fit in right well Down Under too, eh?

    Like 1
    • Kirk K

      I was thinking the same thing about the bonnet.. I dont remember seeing one like this? I don’t know much more about amx’s than what I see here on BF My buddy had a 69 Javelin for many years that got.a little crusty in the back underneath that he tubbed tubed narrowed and added a Ford 9inch with a 411 gears so I had a little experience looking and talking amc but never came across that hood .it has to rare I’m guessing is it steel or glass or are the bumps added and the seams skimmed or filled? I kinda really like.the look of it definitely looking full on muscle car !

      • SC/RAMBLER

        That hood was maybe an option. I’m not totally certain. But I’m sure I have seen other X’s with that hood

  12. Gransedan

    I would just like to thank the author of the article and all BF writers for their work. It is a treat and I consider it a privilege to be able to enjoy the compilation of interesting vehicles that you put together each day. I trust that others feel the same way and that going forward that all might appreciate your hard work and be more understanding and considerate. Keep up the good work! I thank you most sincerely.

    Like 7
  13. jerry z

    Seeing this car reminded me of my AMX Aurora slot car. It was white with the red stripe down the middle. Too many cars in the stable now unfortunately.

  14. AMCSTEVE

    The hood is completely stock fellers

    • SC/RAMBLER

      Thanks AMC Steve. I wasn’t certain I thought it was stock or maybe optional.
      I always appreciate learning stuff I either didn’t know or forgot. Getting older.,

      Like 1
  15. JLHudson

    All 68 & 69 AMXs had the hood seen on this car. The stripe is not correct. Also, not all 390s are the same. The 1970 390 is different from the 68-69 390s.

    • SC/RAMBLER

      Yes the 70 390 besides having the dog leg exhaust port heads, was a taller deck hight, 1/2 head bolts, longer rods and different compression height Pistons.

  16. Kirk K

    Thanks JLHudson I looked back at other amx’s and see they all had the same bonnet. It must be lighting on this one that really shows the profile of the humps so well . I even had to really look for them in pics of other amx’s to find them. As said I haven’t had any personal exposure to amx’s and never seen one in person. I liked everything about them and now one more unique thing added to list of likes. I don’t get why these cars are not praised and valued more .but I do like it for the simple reason that I can actually possibly afford to own one of these someday if the trend continues unlike the Dodges mustang’s and vettes tbat are basically unattainable to regular people anymore. I’d rather have an AMX anyway. Just like all AMC cars there’s just something different about them that makes them unique special cars IMO

    Like 1
  17. SC/RAMBLER

    Yes the 70 390 besides having the dog leg exhaust port heads, was a taller deck hight, 1/2 head bolts, longer rods and different compression height Pistons.

    • JLHudson

      a little more lift on the cam too.

  18. Mac

    I think my 69 AMX would roast most 70,s Corvettes and just want to do it all day . You can’t drive a more agile fun and snappy muscle car a Big Block stick Trans Am comes close but you can feel the weight of the Pontiac and the AMX just feels lighter and easier to whale on .

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