This is no ordinary Gremlin – this little critter packs a 400bhp V8 punch! Subtle Pine Green metallic paint and American Racing Torq Thrust alloys complete the exterior, whilst inside there’s a Grant GT steering wheel and a giant tacho and Hurst T-bar shifter. The 401cu.in.balanced and blueprinted motor includes TRW pistons, AMC dogleg-type heads with AMX SS valves, and a full Lunati package with cam, lifters, springs, and roller rockers. It’s topped with a Holley Street Avenger 750 CFM carburetor and Offenhauser intake. All that for under £15k!
Now here is a rarity – a ’60s American prototype that escaped the crusher! A fibreglass mock-up of this car was made for the Chicago Auto Show in 1966, and the car with its ‘Rambleseat’ had such a reaction that AMC built 2 fully operational examples to test shortly after. This car is one of them and the story of its survival is amazing. To quote the Mecum website: “Not surprisingly, safety concerns soon outweighed the speed gained by a lightweight body and the fun to be had with a rumble seat. Those features never made it to the manufacturer’s floor, as the AMX was toned down before production even began; the fibreglass was replaced with steel and the “Rambleseat” disappeared. That would be the end of the story, with the two aforementioned prototypes slated to be destroyed, if not for the initiative and amazing good luck of Domenick Jiardine, Jr., who worked the line at American Motors Kenosha Lake Front Plant in 1971.
Having heard about the cars and their impending fate, Jiardine decided to see if he couldn’t step in and alter destiny. In a bold move, Jiardine walked right up to the visiting William Luneburg, then-president of American Motors, and inquired about the cars. His request was that if the cars were indeed sitting on the chopping block, that Luneburg instead just give one of the cars to him.
To Jiardine’s amazement, he received a call a week later letting him know that the car was his if he still wanted it at a purchase price of $50. An entire, complete and functional car for $50. Jiardine was stunned. On his sales receipt it states, “one (1) scrap fiberglass body… without title or serial number.” Not listed, is the 343 CI V8 with four-speed manual transmission that was housed inside the “scrap body.”
We’ll update the site when we get the results through on October 10th.
We here at PistonJuice think this is an important car. The AMC Eagle was the first true crossover. Everywhere you look now you will see jacked-up estates with plastic cladding, but the folks at AMC did it first – 30 years ago. Whether they did a good job of it is another question. These are rare cars now, particularly in Europe. This one is in Austria and has been completely restored with lots of new parts inside and out. Shame about the inappropriate racing stripes and later Cherokee wheels as we expect the originals might be hard to source.
Price: €9,999 (£6200)
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