American Motors Corporation, the nation’s fourth largest automaker in the United States during the 1970’s wanted to step further into the specialty sports car market by building an incredible world class mid-engine sports car, the AMX/3. The results were an incredible steel bodied automobile that was tested by BMW and had amazing flat handling characteristics, or the best handling and performance characteristics of any AMC automobile ever built.
AMC paid the studios of Giotto Bizzarrini of Turin, Italy design studio a sum of $2 million dollars to build at least 30 steel body mid engine sports cars with AMC’s powerful 4bbl 390v8 mated to an advanced Italian-designed transaxle. The first of these 30 cars was set to debut at American auto shows. AMC had hoped for the 1970 AMC to be succeeded by a car able to take on the Corvette. But, Congress, in it’s divine wisdom had changed U.S. bumper laws, making the present AMX/3 design unable to be sold in it’s present form without a major bit of redesign, effectively putting a lid on AMC’s attempt to offer world class sports cars in addition to their standard lineup of automobiles.
In the end, only 5 AMX/3 sports cars were produced, with a sixth model assembled from parts. However, the body had a cult following, where a California based fiberglass company had begun offering fiberglass reproductions of the legendary car body, where someone with enough time and money can build their own reproduction of the most famous AMC car that almost never existed, that was based produced before Congress put a lid on the beautiful design.