The Ultimate AMX? 1970 AMC AMX

The dark green AMX sitting over there in the corner may not look like much, but it could be the ultimate iteration of the model. 1970 brought many improvements to AMC’s short wheelbase muscle car. Power was up and many refinements were made. There are some issues here, but the more you look at this particular car, the more you will want it. The options were well chosen on this one and it could be killer after some much needed TLC. Find it here on eBay where the auction ends shortly!

This AMX is fitted with the optional 390 V8 in place of the standard 360. It also came with the Go-Pak which added an induction hood, power front discs, and upgraded suspension. Wow, sounds like a recipe for fun to me! The engine does run, but with lots of power on tap, you’ll want to go through the brakes before driving this one.

Inside you will find more goodies! The best of which is the 4-speed manual transmission. Stick it in first, crank the wheel, and let the clutch out for cookie spinning fun! This car didn’t come with power steering (that would rob power, duh!), but does have air conditioning to keep you cool between passes at the drag strip.

And here comes the reality check. There’s some serious rust in a few vital areas underneath. That means this isn’t going to be a simple cleanup and drive affair. The AMX uses a unibody structure, so if you aren’t experienced with rust repair, you had better budget a good chunk of cash to have someone else do it.

Checkout the optional shadow mask (blacked out hood and trunk) and C-Stripe. See, this thing just gets better and better the more you look at it. It’s too bad about the rust though because this AMX is rad! Hopefully someone with the know-how and resources will rescue this one before it spends another year rotting away. We have a feeling the effort will be well rewarded!


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  1. Rock On Member

    Cookie spinning fun Jesse? You mean that I been saying it wrong all these years, doing donuts?

  2. Rich

    Cookies is Midwestern slang for donuts. Lol.

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      I’m from the mid-west, and I never heard of “cookies” being related to doing donuts. Maybe a regional thing.

      • JW

        Same here Rube, it’s always been donuts and burnouts in northern Illinois where I grew up and where I live here in the Kansas City area.

      • LAB3

        The only reference I remember to cookies is when they where being tossed, not spun.

      • Dean

        Growing up the late 60’s and 70’s, I remember getting cookies…and THAT had nothing to do with donuts

  3. Shaun Dymond

    What a fantastic find! I’ve always been a fan of the AMX. As a Brit, I’ve always thought these smaller muscle cars would be a great way to throw some American V8 around a twisty UK backroad.

    • Geri

      the AMC cars of that era that used an auto trans used the mopar 727 torqueflite trans. there was also a fitting of the 426 hemi in these cars suggested to be an option. (I have seen one) the change that had to be made to put the 426 in the AMC was just a big concave area in the middle of the valve covers toward the bottom to clear the shock tower if I remember correctly, wish that would have become a reality- but as we seen in ’71 high performance was a cancer to the auto industry, wish I knew then what I know now. like when I bought a brand new ’63 plymouth 426 super stock- $2904.00 out the door.

      • Miguel

        It is too bad you don’t still have your ’63 Plymouth.

        I still have mine. I have two actually.

      • That AMC Guy

        The Torqueflite was not used in AMC vehicles until 1972. A 1970 model with automatic would have been equipped with a Borg-Warner trans.

        The biggest improvement in the 1970 AMX versus the earlier models was probably the corporate switch to full ball-joint front suspension for that year.

      • Graeme

        Geri, the AMX was NEVER available with an optional 426 hemi. Not sure where you got that information, but the 390 dual 4v was the top engine choice in 1969, and 390 4v in 1970. There may have been aftermarket conversions done, but there’s no way AMC would have put another manufacturer’s engine in their top performance models.

      • Mike

        AMC AMX,s top cubic inch engine was a 1970 390 with dog leg factory heads made 325 horses which was 10 more over the 68 and 69 models. Someone has painted the trunk area black on this one because Shadow Mask only came on the front. Looks like A big project but worth completing. The 401 was found in Javelins and few other models but NOT the AMX. They are all the same blocks from 272 to 401 different stroke and bore of course.

  4. TriPowerVette

    @Jesse Mortensen – The top engine in 1970 was a 401. If this has the ‘large engine, it is a 401.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Are you sure you aren’t thinking of the Javelin?

      • TriPowerVette

        @Jesse Mortensen – No I am not sure.

        However; In 1968 I was enamored of all the new muscle and had many friends in the Automobile Sales, and Resale Industry. I had just turned 16. Sometimes the salesmen would let me keep the cars for 1-2 or even 3 days (I had a stunningly beautiful mother, who was newly widowed, and they were mostly just trying to impress her, probably).

        That year, I drove two 1968 390 AMX’s. Both had A/C, (Phoenix, you know), and one was a 4-speed and one an automatic. Both were 390’s.

        I am no expert, but Dennis K. Mecham was swapping 401’s into everything in sight, and giving full new-car warranties through his father’s dealership. There were Special DKM 401 Gremlins, Hornets, and even Jeep CJ’s everywhere in the greater Phoenix area, back then (I want to say 1970, but it could have been 1971). They were shipped all over the country, too.

        His father also had a Pontiac dealership, and Dennis re-engined many Trans-Ams later in the 1970’s, as they became otherwise anemic, too. DKM Pontiacs and AMCs are very collectible now, as well.

        My recollection may be faulty (in which case, I apologize and stand corrected), but I seem to remember 401 being the top engine in 1970… not 1971 (as virtually everyone out here agrees with you and is so indicating).

        I must be in error.

    • Karl Kretschmar

      @TriPowerVette…Nope…AMC’s top engine (large engine) in 1970 was the 390. The 401 came out in 1971.

    • Miguel

      The book I have which is the Cars & Parts American Car ID Numbers 1970 – 1979 does not list a 401 for 1970. It does list one for 1971.

      The book lists a VIN designation for the 390 4 BBL 325HP as X and the 390 4 BBL 340 HP as Y.

      The VIN designation for the 401 which was Z is not listed for 1970.

      Have you seen in person a 1970 model with a 401 badge on it?

      • TriPowerVette

        @ Miguel – I thought I had, but I was also 20 at the time. I know for a fact that I have seen 401 CJ Jeeps and 401 Gremlins. Whether they were 1970 or 1971s, I guess my memory fails me, there.

        As a possible mitigating factor; remember that model years are produced beginning in the previous numeric year for quite a while. So, it could well have been late Summer or early Fall, etc, of 1970, and that might have been part of the reason for the confusion.

        Thank you for the correction. Thumbs up.

    • DR Member

      No, the 401 is a 1971 – and up – engine. 390 in ’70 – but with the better flowing dog leg heads over the ’69 version

    • Gary

      401 was not available until 1971

    • Mike

      Sorry 390 cubic inch was it for
      AMX .401 was in the Javelin . Only one 1971 AMX 2 seater was built and it had the Javelins fenders attached to it and did have a 401 but it never went into production.

  5. Tony Lucas

    Love a 1970 in glen green! In fact I love them so much I restored my own! lol

    • jesus bortoni

      A beautiful job done well!
      Is it just me or does that front clip
      make one think of a Torino?

  6. Rube Goldberg Member

    Looks like a lot to me. This was as good as it got. The rust wouldn’t deter me, if they could fix that Alfa ( sorry, the Alfa thing clearly bothers me) The pride of Kenosha and Milwaukee. As cool as it is, I have to chuckle, it’s still a freakin’ Rambler. The “Weather Eye” heater, from Nash days, that steering wheel is right out of my old mans ’70 Ambassador ( not as fancy, tho) I bet there were plenty of board meetings on whether this car should have vacuum or electric wipers, thank goodness, electric won. Seems like a steal here, now let’s put things in perspective, a rusty bucket of bolts Alfa for $15g’s, or this for 1/3, and you have here one of the coolest cars EVER, the 1970 AMX. The choice would be clear to me. Hop in, I’d say, and hang on. This is what 1970 muscle was all about!

    • TriPowerVette

      @Rube Goldberg – Should be clear to everyone, but you are not allowing for the effete, anything domestic hating, Europ-ophile snobs. For them, the less horsepower the car makes, the more wine, bread, and cheese the owner consumes.

      Guess they figure it is a win-win.

    • That AMC Guy

      The electric wipers on this car were optional. All AMC cars (except Metropolitan) had vacuum wipers standard through 1971. Electrics were not standard until the 1972 model year.

      • TriPowerVette

        @That AMC Guy – Excellent information. Thumbs up.

  7. Scott Tait

    Love it ….someone save it

  8. JW

    I love the car itself but that rust on a unibody car is definitely a hazard. Fix that and the rest is easy.

  9. Geo164s

    This car hides its hideous rust well… I wouldn’t touch it.

  10. Karl Kretschmar

    @TriPowerVette…I’ve lived in the Metro Phoenix area since 1969. I think you’ve got Mecham confused with Randall AMC of Mesa Arizona.
    In 1972 Randall AMC was already know as a Performance AMC Dealer when they sought endorsement of a 401 Gremlin project from American Motors Corporation. AMC gave their “unofficial” approval and shipped Randall AMC 30 complete 401 engines. This was the beginning of the “Baddest” Gremlin ever. The Randall 401-XR Gremlin was born.
    Mecham didn’t acquire the AMC brand untill around 1982. And 1979 was the last year for the 401.

    • TriPowerVette

      @Karl Kretschmar – I have long stated that I try not to write on topics about which I have shallow knowledge. This time, apparently I did, and I’m getting schooled. I really am grateful to have brought out so much knowledge from everyone. Things I thought I knew, needed some tweaking. Thank you so much for the good info (and the tweak). Thumbs up.

      BTW -we’ve been here since 1964. Nice to hear from a fellow Phoenician.

    • Dean

      Lotta power for such a car, and I’m sure it was a handful

  11. Gaspumpchas

    sold for 6800—sounds like a deal,fix the rust and toast ’em…

  12. Mike H. Mike H.

    Interestingly rare combination of A/C and manual transmission. While I know that these exist, it seems like this combination is virtually impossible to find in the 1968-1970 AMX, as I’ve been seeking the “right” one for many years.

  13. eddie stakes

    Hi everyone, the 401V8 was not used by AMC until 1971 production, which began Aug 2nd, 1970 in Kenosha, and the cars started appearing in showrooms September 18th, 1970. So no 401 for 1970 production. Only 2 engines you could get for AMX that year, a 360 and 390 both 4barrels. The Javelin however you could get 232-6, 258-6, 304V8, 360V8 and 390V8, see PRODUCTION FIGURES on my site at Planet Houston AMX:

    Here is my old car, some say 1st 70 AMX made (VIN stamped on door tag also) in Kenosha studios
    also known as the Goodyear Tire car, probably 1st AMX 1970 built A0M397X100090 more on my site same pretty model but in color

    The 70 AMX is toughest to find as only 4116 produced, and many cannibalized thru decades for their ‘one year only’ parts. The 390s whether in Rebel Machine, AMX, Javelin or Ambassador in 1970, also tough to find as had a high failure rate, soe put as high as 65%, I say 55%, but many, many 1970 AMC 390 engines failed, therefor why so many ‘service replacement blocks’ shoved into the AM Dealer system.
    Holmes Foundry in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada was casting the cranks and rods forged steel. Besides the various suppliers and plants AMC had they had facilities all over place few know about

    Randall AMC. Yes, they were one of a handful of ‘AMC Performance Dealerships’ like Rodekopf in Independence Mo (think Shirley Shahan Drag O Lady)

    or Dick Steele, there is over 2000 horsepower sitting here, bet no one can name the drag cars:
    and of course Randall AMC in Mesa, have whole file dedicated to them on my site

    AMC was the last automaker to use horrible vacuum wipers, last used in 1971 production, I just got in the 392nd AMX or Javelin I have ever owned and well, it has vacuum wipers unfortunately. AMC could have saved a lot of money by just making electric wipers only in 1971, but Indak made the vacuum wiper contraptions, uber rare to find and just a train wreck but it is what it is.

    guy got a good deal on the 70 AMX ‘barn find’ don’t worry about the rust, have seen people take worse and rise from ashes. Eddie Stakes’ Planet Houston AMX

  14. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Thanks for all the info eddie. Do you mind if I call you fast eddie? Take care, Mike.

  15. CFA

    In 1975 When I was 17 i bought a brown Javelin with a 304 a four speed and I would cruise from Hialeah to Fort Lauderdale on I-95 doing 120 with my buddies folling in there 442w30,Boss 302,70Grand Prix 455 and an GS 455 to pick up our girl friends then go to the beach or to the abandoned Amelia Earhart Airport where on the main run way you could race for pinks and side run ways it wasn’t uncommon to all our cars plus a Super Bird to a Lamborghini all lined as the COPS watched from a distance and we would smoke the tires half way down that 3/4 mile get out of the way because there would be another group of four to six cars lined up ready to go those were the good old days .

    Like 1

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