Due to bulky AMC engineering they started to look for sophisticated European alternatives even though Gremlin and Pacer were headed the right direction. After the 1969 Chicago Auto show where they exposed AMX2 and got much of positive reaction AMC decided to construct a fully running supercar [designed by Dick Teague].
The real deal started when AMC got with an ex Ferrari employee Giotto Bizzarrini. He was responsible for a production worthy AMX3 out of the AMX2. Bizzarini handled the task easily. He mounted a fully independent suspension all-around the semi-monocoque chassis. The engine was the biggest input by AMC – the 390 cubic V8 [340 HP] which was too powerful for the firstly planned ZF 5-speed gearbox. Bizzarrini replaced it with a custom built 4-speed one. The car was finished in 1970 and again got much of positive reaction from a small group of journalists.
After that, AMC ordered a 24 unit production for testing, but soon faced financial problems and abandoned the project. Even though there was an other attempt to revive AMX3, Bizzarrini declined to risk. Only 6 AMX3s were ever constructed – 1 prototype and 5 pre-production prototypes. Initially, AMC ordered to destroy them, but, luckily, Bizzarrini refused.
The mid-engined AMX/3 could have been a Corvette killer…
Photo credits: Rob Clements / Wouter Melissen, Dirk de Jager and others