American Motors, always at a disadvantage financially compared to the Big 3, arrived late to the pony car party. It wasn't until the 1968 model year that they fielded a true contender, the Javelin. Shortly after that introduction, they chopped off 12" of wheelbase, took out the back seat, and presto, an AMX is born. A little simplification, but not much.
Build quality suspect
The AMX sported a standard 290ci 4-barrel V8 with 225hp, but you don't see too many of those. Up one notch was the 343ci 4V at 280hp and at the top of the option sheet was the 390ci V8 with 310hp. Standard fare included a 4-speed manual transmission (automatic available), front disc brakes, special suspension, and of course, an appearance package.
Look for the "Go Package" (not available with the 290) and it's upgraded suspension, posi rear, heavy duty cooling, tach, 140mph speedo and redline tires. The "Big Bad" color option helps in the muscle image department, though we haven't seen a measurable effect on values.
A facelift greeted buyers in 1970, along with a revised (and improved, we think) dash. The 290 was dropped, and a 360ci V8 replaced the 343. Values are about the same as the earlier models.
AMC products almost always lag in market value in relation to the Big Three, but the AMX and the special Javelin editions have done well of late. The time to make easy money has passed, but they are a unique and fun ride and should perform similarly as their Ford, GM and Mopar counterparts in the marketplace.
(C) Copyright 2005-2019 VMR International, Inc. All rights reserved. This article first appeared in the December 2005 issue of Collector Car & Truck Market Guide.