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Big Bad Orange: 1970 AMC AMX

Motor Trend magazine described the 1970 AMX fitted with the 390ci engine as “the best version yet of this blend of muscle car and sports car.” If you want to experience the best version, then you will find this 1970 AMX listed for sale here on eBay. Located in Grand Junction, Colorado, this AMX comes with a clear title. So far bidding has seen the price pushed to $10,000.

The seller certainly takes an interesting approach with their advertisement. We have become used to so many sellers pushing the whole concept of getting a car on the road and enjoying it, and worrying about restorations further down the track. Well this particular AMX presents quite well, but the seller really pushes the concept that it deserves a full restoration. The seller is also quite open about the fact that there is some rust in the hood, and that the floors will need some work. However, all of those usually vulnerable areas on this AMX appear to be solid. The car is fitted with American Racing wheels, but the original wheels are also included with the car.

This is the original 390ci V8 which is backed by the original 4-speed manual transmission. The seller states that the car runs, but that the brakes need work. I don’t really know what that means precisely, but my feeling is that if you are going to undertake a full restoration of the car, then it goes without saying that the brakes would come in for a full rebuild. After all, nothing gets your attention quite like rolling up to a red light in your pride and joy, hitting the brake pedal and having it go straight to the floor.

This is where things become a bit complicated or confusing with this ad (or maybe I’m being a touch thick). The interior seems to be largely complete, but it needs a lot of work. The seller states that he has some new parts for the car (carpet kit, dash pad, etc.) and starts listing these items with prices beside them. I’m not really sure whether he is listing these as separate items that the new owner can purchase from him, or whether he is listing the new items that he has bought that will go with the car and how much he paid for them. Hopefully it’s the latter.

This AMX represents the end of the line for the 2-seater concept from AMC, so in essence this car represents the last of the breed. The engine and transmission combination are a desirable choice, and it is finished in a premium color. Of the three years that they were in production, 1970 marked the year with the lowest production run of cars fitted with the 390/4-speed combination. Even today this car would stand up and not be shamed by expensive current European cars in either a 0-60 or standing quarter mile competition. It is also a really attractive looking car. All of those seem like perfectly good reasons to get this car and restore it to its original glory.


  1. Karguy James

    That’s a great car. Great colors, best engine and a 4spd to boot. Even has the optional rocker covers that look like side pipes. That car would look fantastic restored.

    My 68 390 AMX 4spd could pull the wheels off of the ground. I had to cheat by hopping the clutch three times in a row bouncing the front end, but the third time floored the front wheels would come off about 2-4 inches. No other car I had could do that and I had a LOT of cars.

    Like 20
  2. Beatnik Bedouin

    You could make these cars go around corners, too, with a bit of help from a guy named Dick Guldstrand. A buddy of mine did that with his ’69 AMX and was blown away by the result.

    Looks like a great basis for a restoration.

    Like 11
  3. Jimmy

    Love it and the color just adds icing to the cake.

    Like 3
  4. That AMC Guy

    Nice, looks pretty solid, and the 1970 model has the advantage of full ball-joint front suspension. Looks though like paint respray was done over surface rust in some spots and obviously the interior is trashed. Note the vacuum wiper motor under the hood, the original owner sprang for the big engine but not the electric wipers!

    Like 6
    • Howard A Member

      No doubt had “vacuum wiper remorse” the 1st time it rained. The original intermittent wiper.

      Like 8
      • That AMC guy

        It may have come by a surprise. Although younger readers may regard it as a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth, by 1970 anyone coming to AMC from other makes would not have even given a thought to a new car not having standard electric wipers.

        Like 5
      • Howard A Member

        I agree, AMC milked those vacuum wipers for ever. With the cost switching to electric wipers, it probably put the 1st nail in the AMC coffin.

        Like 0
  5. Michael

    I am really amazed ANY 1970 car would still have non ball joint front suspension and vacuum wipers !

    Like 1
    • That AMC Guy

      AMC went to full ball-joint suspension company-wide in 1970, so this AMX does have that. (Earlier models had upper trunnions.) Electric wipers, however, were not standard on AMCs until 1972.

      Like 1
  6. Howard A Member

    Little rough around the edges, but still, the best thing to come out of Milwaukenosha. Didn’t see many AMX’s in Milwaukee, just the “I’ve got a goldfish on the seat” type. Still, with this car, we showed them.( o-60 in 6.4 seconds/14.6@ 98 in the 1/4)

    Like 4
  7. Eddie Stakes

    This is a nice project. For the record, in 1970 only 122 1970 AMXs saw Big Bad Orange paint. 1632 of them got a 390V8, which was the highest production, not lowest of engines available, only other engine offered was a AMC 360 4 barrel. No! The simulated exhaust rocker covers were not a ‘Group 15 Accessory’ or optional, every 1970 AMX built, 360 or 390, came with them. These have been reproduced by Tim Hendy see RESTORATION file on my site. The Javelins also had “simulated exhaust covers” longer, due to longer body, and those first appeared in 1969 on the MOD package, which yes, you could get a six cylinder, or big bad colored Javelin with MOD package. Press photo for Dealers http://www.planethoustonamx.com/press_photos/69-big-bad-orange-amc-javelin-press.jpg

    This 70 AMX in Big Bad Green (only 74 produced that color) with Shadow Mask (about 12-18 made with that combo) sold at Houston Mecum for $18,000 didn’t need anything.

    The best thing about the 70 AMX project here is looks to be mostly complete as 1970 saw a lot of one year only items and while some reproduced, others obsolete. And many items will interchange with 68-70 Javelins even71-74 AMX & Javelin Series like windshields, trunk lids, rear bumpers, lower valance to name a few. One more thing about 1970 390 engines, they had a HIGH failure rate, something like 60%. And why AMC shoved so many “service replacement engines” into Dealers network in 1970-71. Well, even 72, to replace blown engines. Was deck clearance issue on any AMC 390: Ambassador, AMX, Javelin or Rebel Machine. See “Service Replacement Blocks” under “production Figures” on my site for more. Good luck with the AMX! Eddie Stakes’ Planet Houston AMX (almost 400 AMXs, Javelins & AMCs personally owned since 1976, 11 currently, never owned a non AMC model!)

    Like 7
  8. Karl

    OMG has this car got extreme possibilities, these are fairly rare and beautiful!!!!

    Like 1
  9. Bl549

    I would rather have the 56 Chevy in the background. thanks

    Like 1
  10. Danh

    This car is bad to the bone.

    Like 1
  11. Larry

    I bought a new ’69 AMX when I came back home from overseas in March of 1970. The ’69 was brand new – just never sold. I could afford it and did not care that it was a 290 w/4-speed. I worked the suspension and while other guys and their cars might beat me straight-line, nobody (and I mean nobody) could get the best of me in the corners or curves. I still have that car. Dash #09091. We’ve been through a lot together. A lifetime. Eventually it will be passed-on to my son, who has loved it since he can remember. Oh yes, p/s, p/b, vacuum wipers, AM radio – that’s the list. It was delivered with full chrome spoke wheel covers (?) and those E70/14 red-lines. Radial tires and mag wheels immediately went on. Ah yes. Memories. Memories.

    Like 8

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