The 1970 AMX/3 debut was in Rome, Italy, on March 23, 1970. The car would have replaced the Javelin-based AMX, according to Teague, but "in a much more contemporary vein and not [sharing] anything with the Javelin. And the price would have been $10,000 instead of $4000, [so] it would have been more of a prestige car, kind of an image-building car.
"We were into racing at that time with Trans Am and all that, and it was really kind of a tool, but a serious one, to create an image for the company that was something other than four-door Ramblers and 'Ma and Pa Kettle' cars."
Journalists who went to Rome to get their first drives were impressed. So, too, was Mark Donahue, who was then winning Trans-Am races in factory Javelins.
The AMX/3 almost made it to AMC dealers. The specific plan was to build 24 AMX/3s in 1970, then increase output gradually in line with demand.
But AMC's continuing sales problems, projected engineering costs for meeting new federal safety standards, and difficulty in securing a body supplier all conspired to put AMX/3 on the shelf after just six examples were built, all effectively pre-production prototypes.
Go to the next page to learn about the legacy of the 1970 AMX/3 and designer Dick Teague.