The AMX was made for three model years - from 1968 to 1970 when the Javelin – a four passenger version of the AMX came on line to replace it. This car was the only steel body two seat vehicle made in the U.S. at the time. AMC wanted to break out of the idea that it was a car for economy minded people. The execs at AMC saw this car as a chance to break that image. The company wanted to bring young customers into its showrooms and it did that by offering this stylish high performance automobile with its long hood and short rear deck. The sales of the AMX were not too exciting for AMC but the car did bring young people into the show rooms. The AMX is a muscle car and could compete with the pricier Corvette; the only other two seat car made in America at the time. The AMX performance option had a high compression medium block 390 cu in (6.4 liter) V 8 power plant. The spirit of the AMX performance was revived again by AMC a few more times; in the compact Hornet in 1977, the Concord in 1978 and the subcompact Spirit in 1979/1980.
The name of the car comes from American Motors eXperamental and this car was first seen by the public as a prototype in 1966. The steel body prototype was shown on the companies “Project IV” awareness tour along with a sister prototype AMX sporting a fiberglass body. The prototypes were slightly different than the marketed end result in that they offered a rumble seat option for the trunk lid called a “ramble” seat. The fiber glass idea was scraped due to limited production facilities to work in that medium. The AMX was a hit at Daytona speedway in February 1968 where it made speeds up to 130 mph (209 km/h) not only that it also took corners and hung on in curves like a sports car. The car had a short wheel base and a low center of balance. It was described as a vehicle that had big appeal for both sports car fans and muscle car fans alike – a tough bridge to cross. The previous month two race prepped AMX cars set 106 world speed and endurance records at Goodyear’s track in Texas – one month before the public got to see the automobile unveiled at the Chicago auto show in February 1968.
The car the public sees in Chicago comes equipped with a 290 cu in bored out to 304 cu in (5.0 L). This motor comes equipped with exhaust headers, eight quart oil pan with oil coolers, a High rise intake manifold with larger carburetors on top, and a racing camshaft with solid lifters. If the engine was not strong enough you chose a high performance 390 cu in (6.4 L) option or the highest performance option offered was a 397 cu in (6.5 L) power plant to get you where you want to go on time. The front end was lowered and the hood slanted down. The AMX suspension was beefed up and a rear sway bar added for stability on corners.
Just a bit about safety features offered on this gem of an automobile that; in AMC tradition has a number of tread setting firsts. The large capacity - 37 US gallon gas tank (140 L) is divided into cells. The interior has a built in roll cage and modified bucket seats for driver and passenger support as well as for comfort. The easy reading instruments are set back in an injection molded padded dash. The windshield is thinner and lighter than traditional laminated glass with a chemically hardened finish that causes the glass to break up into smaller fragments if shattered and is held in place by plastic backed metal posts to reduce injuries. The AMX was voted “Best Engineered Car of the Year” in both 1969 and 1970 by “The Society of Automotive Engineers”
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The 1969 year sees the elimination of the convertible as well as the 550 and 770 badges. The four door sedan, the wagon, and the two door hard top all available as basic models or with the SST trim package; this package now has simulated louvers in front of the rear wheel wells with other trim as well. Other exterior changes include 1” increase in track width between the front and the rear wheels, a new grill, wrap around tail lights, and some trim additions. Inside the dash is recessed further away from riders with the controls moved to directly in front of the operator.
© Ananthkrish | Dreamstime.com - 1970 AMC Rebel Car At The Car Show Photo
Sedans and the coupe have a restyled rear end for 1970 as well as a restyled bumper and the body has a C-pillar shape. Mean while the hard top gets a more sloped roof line and the quarter windows are up swept at a reverse angle. The hard top also sports a new sloped roof line. The tail lights are housed inside a new looped bumper with “Rebel” printed between them. The grill on all the models has been changed and now has a horizontal split with Rebel spelled out on the front lip of the hood. The 1970 models in the other three automakers are getting bigger but the AMC maintains a good size passenger compartment but is getting smaller in outside dimensions and lighter curb weight. Safety measures this year include the “clam shell” bucket seats are offered with integrated head rests and the sides of the sedans as well as the hard tops are made much stronger than previous years.
© Raytags | Dreamstime.com - Classic Car Photo
Under the hood the options are increased for 1970. The 290 is dropped and basic engine is now a 304 cu in (5.0 L) V8 giving 210 hp (157 kW; 213 PS). The 343 is also replaced with a 360 cu in (5.9 L). Two carburetor options for the 360 are a two barrel putting out 245 hp (183 kW; 248 PS) or the four barrel producing 290 hp (216 kW; 294 PS). The next power option is available on SST and is the AMX 390 cu in (6.4 L) giving 325 hp (242 kW; 330 PS). Not good enough? “The Machine” comes equipped with a high performance 390 putting out 340 hp (254 kW; 345 PS) and 430 lb-ft (583 N-m) of torque at 3600 rpm. This engine has a four barrel mounted on redesigned heads, special valve train, hot cam shaft, and revised intake and exhaust system. AMC liked to present its automobiles as an economy minded persons family car in most cases and "The Machine" does not fall into that category - it is definitely a muscle car but it does have a lot of passenger and truck space as well. The transmission on the Machine is Borg-Warner T-10 standard four speed with a Hurst shift kit having a pistol grip handle - optional on the SST. The floor mounted shifter comes in a console and on the Machine it is backed up by either 3.54:1 or 3.91:1 rear axle gear ratios in the differential. The Machine also has a heavy duty set of rear springs that make the rear end higher than the front giving the car a raked look. The Machine has a functional “ram air” style hood scoop with an integral tachometer comes with one paint job – it is red, white, and blue only.
For 000, This Rare AMC Rebel Machine Seems Like a Steal
For a short time in the late 60s, AMC built the Rebel—in two-door, four-door, and even station wagon variants. Unfortunately, the one-and-done Rebel only lasted four years before being phased out of the lineup. But in its last hurrah, AMC tacked on ...
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