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AJ's Car of the Day '71 AMC AMX3

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Car: American Motors Corporation AMX 3

Year: 1971

What makes it special:  When AMX production halted in 1970, AMC quickly began looking for a sophisticated European alternative. AMC had already started work on experimental concepts, and used European talent for their first prototype. The AMX 3 was the third attempt at a futuristic, yet producible design.

What made it famous: The AMX 3 was very similar to Ford's European offering, the DeTomaso Pantera, which debuted just one day after the AMX 3, featuring sports engineering and a mid-mounted 390 V8 engine and rear transaxle. The Italian firm Melara developed the gearbox while BMW completed final testing. There are those who debate the timing of the AMX 3's release as to who copied who, but to the casual car observer, the AMX 3 can be easily confused with the Pantera.

Why I would want one: It's got some very cool early Supercar stylings without being "over-the-top," and unlike most Supercars, it seems more driver friendly. Plus, it's a mid-engine AMC....how bizarre yet cool is THAT?

Fun fact: Due to Ford's successful launch and low price of the Pantera, AMC scrapped its plans for the AMX/3 project. Production was ordered to destroy all of the six AMX 3's, of which as it turns out, were not. Instead several cars were finished, some were lost, then found, then sold and lost again. As of today, it remains unclear just how many DID survive.

(1971 AMC AMX 3 photo from fastestlaps.com)


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