Where: mecum.com, Chicago, USA
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.