- 1 of 901
- Fully restored
- Shadow Mask paint
- 325hp / 390 V8
- T10 4-speed manual transmission
- Model 20 differential / 3.53 gears
- Original owner's manual
The horsepower wars of the late 1960s and early 1970s certainly weren't limited to the big three. Any automaker interested in turning a profit in the US either had to play the game or focus their efforts on other markets. While the efficient Rambler secured American Motor Corporation's reputation as a maker of economical vehicles, most remember AMC by the cars they built in an effort to change that image. The AMX is one of those cars and examples like this awesome 1970 model serve as solid reminders of what just AMC was capable of with their image on the line. The subject of a full restoration and one of just 901 1970 AMXs equipped with the 390/4-speed combination, this car rolls all the desirable checklist items into one sharp package. Ready to hit the streets in something truly different? Take a closer look at this 1970 AMX.
AMC cars are notoriously difficult to document, so we'll offer as much information as possible. To start with, here's the decoded VIN:
A: American Motors
M: Four-speed manual with floor shift
9: 2-door hard top
X: 390cid V8 – barrel carburetor
160310: Sequential serial number
Even in its day, the AMX was a unique car. With its short wheelbase and two-seat configuration, there was certainly nothing else like it on the roads of 1970. Relying heavily on design cues from the muscular Javelin, the AMX was part of AMC's plan to shed its economy car image. With its shrunken Coke bottle styling and aggressive raised haunches, there was no mistaking the AMX for a common grocery getter. Thanks to a quality restoration, this example looks showroom fresh with crisp lines and laser straight panels. Covered with a glossy coat of Code 39A Matador Red, the car is an absolute head-turner. While not original to this car, the period correct “Shadow Mask” furthers its aggressive demeanor with matte black paint work across the hood, upper fenders and around the windows. Named by the ASAE as “Best Engineered Car of the Year” in both 1969 and 1970, the already solid built quality has been enhanced by the restoration process with even and consistent panel gaps all around.
Ornamentation on this AMX seems explicitly designed to bring out the more sinister aspects of the cars personality. Up front, two halogen headlights frame a mostly matte black grille with only four bright horizontal bands, two rally lights and an AMX badge breaking up the darkness. Below it, a clean chrome bumper with two air scoops fits snug against the body. Above, the hood features a functional ram air intake that feeds fresh air into the engine bay. At the sides, “390” badges warn everyone what they're up against while simulated side exhausts provide a track friendly look. On the C-pillar, the familiar red white and blue AMC logo spirals around polished “AMX” badging. Out back, new-for-1970 taillights sit above another showroom-quality bumper with two chrome exhaust tips jutting out below.
As the VIN claims, a true 325hp 390cid V8 lives under the flat black hood. It wears a period-correct 3195529 casting number and features “390” stampings near the motor mounts on both sides of the block. A tag on the front of the passenger side valve cover decodes the assembly date as December, 9th of 1969 which certainly makes sense for a 1970 model vehicle. Unlike the big three, AMC chose not to brand their blocks with partial VIN numbers so the typical “numbers matching” tagline simply doesn't apply. Thankfully, AMC made up for their lack of documentation by offering an awful lot of motor in this 3,100lb car. Up top, a single snorkel air cleaner with factory decals sends fuel down through an Autolite Model 4300 carburetor where a stock intake manifold channels it into 51cc cast iron heads. The engine wear a correct shade of metallic blue and breathes through a set of cast iron exhaust manifolds that connect into a true dual exhaust system with Flowmaster mufflers. Lots of correct details set this AMX apart from lesser restorations, including the “Clear Power” battery and original AMC windshield washer bag.
Peer under this AMC and you'll find a nicely detailed undercarriage ready for cruising. Backing the 390 is a date code correct T10 four-speed transmission that sends power down the driveshaft to a Model 20 limited-slip differential packed with 3.53 gears. Around the drivetrain, a performance oriented suspension incorporates a new-for-1970 ball-joint/control arm suspension up front while the rear parallel leaf setup received torque links that stiffened the rear suspension on hard launches. Lest you think launching isn't a concern in an AMX, these two-seaters rivaled some of the quickest cars of the day with 14-second quarter miles passes in stock trim. When it comes time to reign in the mighty 390, manual drum brakes at all corners do the job effectively. Steering is also manual, though it requires minimal effort in this lightweight AMC. At the corners, painted Magnum 500 wheels wrapped in period-correct E70-14 Goodyear redline tires connect the chassis to road.
Between the doors, an attractive black interior wraps its two-seat configuration in a healthy dose of vintage muscle car swagger. At the ground level, clean black carpet is protected by new floor matches with a red AMC logo that brings the exterior color inside. Above that carpet, two bucket seats offer all the seating necessary in this compact hot rod. At the sides, simple vinyl door panels are divided by clean stainless trim. Behind those seats, the open area is vaguely reminiscent of a C2 Corvette coupe in terms of feel and functionality (or lack thereof). From the driver's seat, a rim blow steering wheel sits in front of a wood grain well laid out wood grain dash. A 140mph speedometer and a 8,000 rpm tachometer keep tabs on the 390 with help from Autometer oil pressure and voltage gauges. Below the dash, controls for the Weather Eye climate control system hang above the driver's left knee while the original AM radio is located in the center for easy access. Behind the cockpit a small but nicely restored trunk features standard items such as a spare tire, inflator, jack and lug wrench.
Documentation includes an original AMC owner's manual that covers all 1970 models including the Ambassador, Gremlin, Hornet, Rebel and Javelin. There is also an issue of Hemmings Muscle Machines that features a picture of the car.
To see an AMX complete in stock form is rare enough but one of this quality is truly extraordinary. With the top engine option, four-speed transmission, crowd-pleasing color and a bonus Shadow Mask, this is practically a greatest hits list of AMX pieces. Don't miss the chance to hit the streets in one of the most unique rides of the 1970s!
What Customers Are Saying
After hearing good things about the people at RK Motors, I contacted them regarding consignment of my street rod. I found Tony Klein to be a pleasure to work with. He was very professional and forthcoming in our communications. He evaluated my vehicle and made suggestions of enhancements which would help ensure the desired result would be achieved in the marketing of the vehicle. We agreed on an acceptable sale price. Following the completion of the recommended items, I brought the vehicle to RK for consignment. After a thorough inspection and correction of some minor issues at what I considered a fair price, the vehicle was offered for sale. It sold quickly with me receiving the agreed value. I would have to repeat the recommendation that I received. RK Motors does what they say they will do, and obtains for the seller a fair and agreed value. What more could you ask for?Doug C.