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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

This American sportscar never be made run into reality

Unique ONES We are still in the era of the 1960s to 1970s, as we all know that's a time span that has been noted for giving birth to many sportscars, muscle cars even supercars which were specially built in a unique and beautiful form by the automaker companies, included the other world's automotive players such many independent institutes and even individuals who loves the cars at the time.
1970 AMC AMX/3 or AMC AMX III concept car built by Bizzarrini SPa. based on the design made by the AMC's in-house designer under Dick Teague. (Picture from: Eideiblog)
And the concept car that we are going to talk about this time is a gorgeous car that was made by Bizzarrini Spa, an Italian coachbuilder company in 1970 for an American automotive company AMC called AMC AMX/3 (alternate spelling: AMX III) concept. The AMX name originates from the "American Motors experimental" code used on a concept vehicle and then on two prototypes shown on the company's "Project IV" automobile show tour in 1966. One was a fiberglass two-seat "AMX", and the other was a four-seat "AMX II". Both of these radically styled offerings reflected the company's strategy to shed its "economy car" image and appeal to a more youthful, performance-oriented market.
Most of the AMC AMX/3 or AMC AMX III concept car is powered a mid-mounted AMC 390 V8 engine, which produced 340 horsepower and sent its power to the ground via an Italian-made 4-speed transaxle and others received AMC's lesser 360 V8. (Picture from: CarThrottle)
As discussed in the previous article
, that the AMX's starting point came when American Motors hired Dick Teague as assistant design director in 1959. Three years later he became vice president of Automotive Styling and since then a new era has begun at the company. At the time Teague's job is to transform American Motors from being a small economy car builder to more broad-scale one, so that it could compete with the Detroit's Big Three (Ford, GM, and Chrysler).
1970 AMC AMX/3 or AMC AMX III is intended to be competed against some of Europe's finest exotics, packing a massive American V-8 and stunning looks. (Picture from: CarThrottle)
And the AMX/3 concept car was built shortly after the AMC's in-house designer team mid-engined mockup called AMC AMX/2 was completed and proposed it to convince the AMC's top management of the idea to actually build a mid-engined sports car. In the process, they insisted on asking for another design that could be used as a comparison. At the same time, Giorgetto Giugiaro was the hottest automotive designer at the time, and AMC's top management asked Dick Teague to make some kind of a design competition between the AMC's in-house designer team under Teague and Giorgetto Giugiaro.
The result test on the 2nd prototype of the AMC AMX/3 or AMC AMX III is concluded that the car had a 50 percent higher stiffness compared to one of the Mercedes-Benz models. (Picture from: CarThrottle)
In short, in March 1968 Dick Teague and team went to the Geneva Auto Show to meet Giorgetto Giugiaro and to ask him for a car's design proposal. For this important competition, Dick Teague's designer team (consisting Bob Nixon, Jack Kenitz, Eric Kugler, Dick Jones and Gary Guichard plus clay modelers Chuck Hosper, Keith Goodnough, and Howard Clark) decided to present the AMX/2's improved design, later called the AMX/3.
The first AMC AMX/3 Prototype shown at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals in Rosemont, Illinois, and bound for restoration after sitting for nearly 50 years back in the 2019. (Picture from: TheDrive)
Meanwhile, in November 1968 the Italian automotive designer arrived at the AMC headquarter and presented a rather crude Styrofoam proposal. Seeing this we can understand why Giorgetto Giugiaro only brought that, maybe because of time constraints or he also realized right away that for Dick Teague he was never supposed to be more than a token contender. And for sure, the Giugiaro’s design proposal lost spectacularly against a fully developed fiberglass mock up of the AMC's in-house designer team.
The AMC AMX/3 prototype number 4 shown at the at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours and took top honors in the Bizzarrini class. (Picture from: GJLTronMedia)
As quoted of Hemmings, this is where the Italian designer's involvement ends, but his company ItalDesign remains involved in the AMX/3 engineering. At almost the same time as the design competition, turns out that AMC also was looking for ways to outsource for the engineering and production of its new car. Actually the prime candidate for the engineering and production work is Wilhelm Karmann GmbH, a Osnabrück, Germany based coachbuilder company who since 1968 had been assembling CKD (completely knock down) kits of the AMC Javelins for European distribution.
The AMC AMX/3 mid-engine concept car was created by one of the best automotive design and engineering teams ever. (Picture from: GJLTronMedia)
However, this was declined by BMW, who was the AMC's partner in the other development projects due to they considered the mentioned company lack of sources and estimated need about 30 to 32 engineers for one year (some sources said, the AMX/3 concept even given an internal BMW's code as the E18). Instead, upon recommendation of Renzo Carli (managing director and son-in-law of Pininfarina), Giotto Bizzarrini was commissioned by AMC to do the basic engineering in late November/early December 1968 (later the prototype known also Bizzarrini Sciabola).
The AMC AMX/3 mid-engine design used a steel body powered by a 390 cubic inch 340-horsepower V8 engine mated to an Italian-made OTO Melara five-speed transaxle. (Picture from: GJLTronMedia)
The first prototype finished and sent to BMW for test on June 1969. BMW engineers initially found the frame (of the tested prototype No. 1) much too weak and flexible. After improvements were made and incorporated in the next prototype, a final test report, dated December 5, 1969, on the torsional rigidity “of prototype No. 2” noted that the AMX/3 had a 50 percent higher stiffness compared to one of the Mercedes-Benz models.
Most of the AMX/3s were powered by a mid-mounted AMC 390 V8 engine, which produced 340 horsepower and sent its power to the ground via OTO Melara, an Italian-made five-speed transaxle and others received AMC's lesser 360 V8. The AMC AMX/3 concept car has a weighing of 3,000 lbs, that stiffness didn't come at a cost. The car was deemed to be good enough if we only look at its appearence. But to enter the company's production line, it seems that AMC should be thought twice and rack their brains hardly, because the AMX/3 will be too expensive to compete with the DeTomaso Pantera that is already rolling on the streets. Therefore, the project was canned in 1970 due to the financial difficulties.
Today, the few prototypes made are extremely desirable, and only five of the seven are in private owner hands. Two of the other cars (nine actual frames/chassis were built) do not have original AMX/3 bodywork. As qouted of The Drive, the AMC enthusiasts still keep track of all of the cars and it's likely one of them who bought this car for the massive six-figure sum previously mentioned. After all, $400,000 is a tremendous amount of money, but for some, it's a small price to pay for a piece of American automotive history. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | EIDEIBLOG | THE DRIVE | HEMMINGS.COM | BANGSHIFTS | GEARPATROL | MOTORTREND | AUTO YAHOO | CARTHROTTLE | ROADANDTRACK ]
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