Big Bad Orange! 390 Powered 1969 AMC AMX

After a steady diet of Mustangs, Camaros, Chevelles, and Dodge Chargers, here’s an example of what upstart AMC was offering during the muscle car wars and it is a welcome find. The AMX and its larger sibling, the Javelin, were new at AMC in 1968 and continued as such through 1970 when changes occurred, but more on that later. Located in Annapolis, Maryland, is this 1969 AMX is available here on craigslist for $14,500. Thanks to Larry F. for this tip!

I used the term “muscle car” to refer to the AMX but it was really more of a road racer with its two-seat configuration and short 97″ wheelbase. The “Big Bad Orange” is in reference to one of three vibrant colors that AMC offered on both the Javelin and AMX for 1969 and 1970. In addition to orange, there was a Big Bad Blue and Big Bad Green. According to BIGBADAMC’s website, there were 283 AMXs produced in 1969 wearing a coat of code “3A” or Big Bad Orange.

This example is more like Big Bad Beige as the entire front clip is in primer and yes, the seller concurs that the 3A paint code is present. Stored for two decades, this 75K mile AMX is on its way to renewal. The seller has invested quite a bit of effort into this project but now he’s looking to move it on. It may seem a bit like changing horses in the middle of the stream to let go of a project at this point but people do different things with different projects for all kinds of different reasons. In addition to the work performed on the front clip, quarter panel patch repair has commenced as well as a floor patch for the trunk. The seller claims that the floors are solid, except for the “driver’s trough” which I take to mean the driver’s footwell. Whatever the case, he indicates that he has a patch panel for it. Also included is a reproduction grille, I have read that originals are hard and expensive to source. The accompanying Magnum 500 style wheels, what AMC refers to as “styled steel wheels” always enhance the look of whatever vehicle they are gracing.

The interior is extremely dismantled. The seller indicates that the seats have been reupholstered (sorry, no image provided) and the dash and dash pad are “excellent”. One has to hope, and certainly inquire, regarding all of the interior componentry to determine what’s available and what may be missing.

Under the hood is AMC’s top dog engine for ’69, a 315 gross HP, 390 CI, V8. The seller states that the engine is original and has zero miles since a recent rebuild. Following up the engine is the original four-speed manual transmission. It is unknown whether or not the engine has been fired since completion and the zero miles statement pretty well assures prospective buyers that this AMX has not been driven. And this car’s current state of rest would seem to prevent a roadtest from occurring.

The encouraging thing about this AMX is that the seller has gone to lengths to restore this fairly rare and seldomly seen example of the best of AMC’s performance line-up from the halcyon year of 1969. Every domestic manufacturer had their hat in the ring that year and AMC did themselves proud with the AMX and the Javelin. As for rarity, there were about 19K AMX’s produced between ’68 and ’70 with about 8,300 copies rolling off of the assembly line in ’69. For 1971, the AMX became more of a performance and appearance option on the restyled 2+2 Javelin; the two-seater road racer version, like this example, was gone for good. It can be dicey picking up a project where another has left off, a bit like finishing a novel that someone else started, it’s the understanding of what has happened and then picking up on the continuity that can be the challenge. In this case, though, I think it’s worth the endeavor, how about you?


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  1. Arthell64 Member

    Looks like Doctor Frankenstein installed the rear quarter. I like these cars but some of the parts can be expensive.

    Like 2
  2. TimM

    This is a pig in a poke!! It is a 390 four speed car but what scares me is the parts that you don’t see!! It definitely could nickel and dime you to death!!

    Like 4
    • Dex

      You are correct. Having owned 5 AMX’s in the past, 1 ’69 BBO with saddle interior, I know how difficult finding some parts can be. Be ready to spend a lot to finish.

      Like 1
  3. Gaspumpchas

    Yep for 14 large you would want to know exactly what you are getting, and the condition. Look it over good. I always liked the forward look of the AMX vs the javelin. Done up in original orange would do er up nicely. Good luck and stay safe!!

    Like 1
  4. joe

    The trough is up under the front fenders. Notorious for rotting out.

  5. bone

    I knew they were rare, but not just 283 rare ! My friends father in Maine had one in Big Bad Orange . He pulled the motor and trans to start a restoration, but life got in the way and it never happened. He wouldn’t sell it of course ,and it sat for year outside,windows down and it rotted away . A picture of it is on the old “cars in barns” website

    Like 1
  6. Lyzerd

    I looked at a Big Bad Orange AMX at the Rambler dealer in Wadsworth, OH, back in ’69. Seems to me, the bumpers and wheels were also orange and it was bitchin’. Just couldn’t bring myself to buy a “Hey Rambler”. Bought my ’69 Nova, 396/375/AT across the street at Jack Sommer Chevrolet.
    That AMX has stuck in my brain 50+ years. Says something about it.

    Like 1
  7. Troy s

    Looks like a Big Bad bag of money now. AMC is rocking the house today at barn finds!

    Like 1

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