As unbelievable as it sounds, one American Motors Corporation automobiles dealership still remains open. In the tiny North Carolina town of Pikeville, with a population of only 678 persons, Collier Motors remains frozen in time as a rusting memorial to America’s number four automaker that was sold to Chrysler Corporation back in 1987. But, before this, a few years earlier when Renault purchased a 49% stake in AMC and began to produce some Renault-designed automobiles such as the AMC Alliance, in true rebel fashion, little Collier Motors refused to sell any these Renault products, and instead continued to market what new and used AMC Spirits, Concords, Matadors, Pacers, Hornets, Javelins, Gremlins and other purely AMC designed and produced models and parts they had on hand or could acquire.
The alliance that AMC forged with Renault might have had a chance to work, but a terrorist assassination of a Renault executive forced Renault to suddenly end their investment in AMC and exit investment in the United States. This left America’s smallest surviving car brand broke and ready to collapse, so AMC quickly courted the other car companies to purchase their brand. Chrysler wanted the Jeep division, and didn’t really want the AMC cars, but Renault had some models that had not yet gone into production of the Eagle models, so Chrysler contractually produced these cars for a few years, before dropping the Eagle brand, and only deciding to keep the profitable and strong selling Jeep models. The smaller Cherokee model that AMC first marketed as a unibody four wheel drive truck designed by Renault continued to sell well enough that even though the new Grand Cherokee model was scheduled to replace it, Chrysler decided to continue this old AMC design for many years after their 1987 purchase of the AMC assets as the sole surviving AMC branded vehicle still produced new for many years by Chrysler
Today, with a rusting collection of cars on the lot, the business remains open by appointment to buyers of aging 1960’s, 70’s and some early 80’s AMC model cars and parts. As grass and plants often grow around the cars, this strange relic monument seems suspended in time as the only surviving AMC dealership of sorts.