Facebook marketplace has quickly transitioned from the internet's premier outlet to purchase a used deep-freezer to used car Mecca. There are plenty of vehicles for sale there nowadays, but surprisingly, some pretty rare stuff, like this 1970 AMC AMX/3 concept. Selling in a little under a day with an advertised price of $400,000, it's one of just nine ultra-rare AMX/3 concepts produced by American Motors Corporation half a century ago.
Correction: Thursday, October 22, 2020, 2:17 p.m. ET:
A previous version of this story noted that the vehicle weighed somewhere around 3,500 pounds. It's actually closer to 3,000, with credible claims that 3,130 is the precise number (although the exact weight of seven low-volume concepts likely varies). Two of the vehicles—including the one sold in this listing—also received AMC's 360 V8, not the 390. This was not previously mentioned.
Dreamed up at the tail end of the muscle car era, the AMX/3 was created by AMC with the help of several other huge automotive names, including Bizzarrini and BMW. Styled as an ultra-exclusive halo car to take on the DeTomaso Pantera, the entire project was doomed after AMC's financial struggles in the early '70s. Although 5,000 cars per year were originally envisioned, that number never came anywhere close to fruition.
Most of the AMX/3s were powered by a mid-mounted AMC 390 V8, which produced 340 horsepower and sent its power to the ground via an Italian-made four-speed transaxle. Others received AMC's lesser 360 V8, including the vehicle sold today.
The body was designed under the supervision of AMC's Richard Teague and was rendered in steel—not the typical fiberglass or aluminum—across the pond in Italy by Bizzarrini, who also designed the car's steel chassis. BMW then took over, dealing with the car's suspension and testing the vehicle. According to the German automaker, it was a very neutral-handling car and its chassis was significantly stiffer than the Mercedes-Benz it was benchmarked against.
Weighing in the neighborhood of 3,000 pounds, that stiffness didn't come at a cost. The car was still deemed to be good enough, and certainly suitable as a customer-magnet to set up in showrooms. But as the beans were counted, it became clear that the AMX/3 would simply be too expensive to compete with the Pantera, and too costly as a program to justify in the face of financial struggles. Therefore, the project was canned in 1970.
Today, the few prototypes made are extremely desirable, and only five of the seven are in private hands. Two of the other cars—nine actual frames/chassis were built—do not have original AMX/3 bodywork. AMC enthusiasts still keep track of all of the cars and it's likely one of them who bought this vehicle for the massive six-figure sum previously mentioned. After all, $400,000 is a tremendous amount of money, but for some, it's a small price to pay for a piece of American automotive history.
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