American Motors, aiming to shed its roots as a maker of small, basic cars, introduces the two-door AMX on Feb. 24, 1968.
The name AMX stems from the "American Motors eXperimental" code used on a concept vehicle and then on two prototypes shown in 1966. One prototype was a modified Javelin and the other an all-new car composed of fiberglass.
The AMX, a shortened version of the Javelin, AMC's pony car, was classified as a muscle car, but it is considered unique among other American performance cars because of its short wheelbase. Some enthusiasts compared it to a lower-priced Chevrolet Corvette.
The AMX, assembled in Kenosha, Wis., was the only American-built, steel-bodied, two-seat coupe marketed at the time, and the first since Ford's 1955-57 Thunderbird.
It was equipped with an optional 6.4-liter V-8 engine and a standard four-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission. Even with a value price, sales remained modest during its three model-year run, though today some journalists heap praise on the AMX as "great vintage American iron."
The AMX was named "best engineered car of the year" in 1969 and 1970 by the American Society of Automotive Engineers. The judges cited the 1969's AMX's dashboard, which was injection-molded in one piece for enhanced safety.
The 1970 AMX (and Javelin) also was recognized for adopting windshields, made by Corning, that were thinner, lighter and safer than the industry's standard laminated glass at the time.