1 2 3
Javelin GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/22/11 9:52 a.m.

So I've talked about my family's vast plethora of old cars on here a lot and have received requests for pictures. Add in to that that my family gave me the photo albums to digitally scan (which I still haven't done) and I should probably get my butt in gear.

Anyways, here is the first installment.

This is American Performance Products, the first all-AMC restoration & race shop in the world. My Grandfather started it well before I was born. This was the second shop, in the Cocoa, FL Industrial Park. The cars are (from L to R):

  • 1969 AMC AMC "Ramblin Nash", NHRA Super Gas racer
  • 1969 AMC Hurst S/S AMX "Magic" (#41 of 52)
  • 1981 AMC Turbo AMX PPG Pace Car (1 of 1, actually paced the races)
  • 1968 AMC AMX 390/4-Speed (Grandfather bought new)
  • 1968 AMC AMX 390/4-Speed (My Dad bought at 15, still owns today)

This is a different shot from the same day. The car on the left is my Dad's AMX (he lives about 20 minutes from GRM HQ and it runs 11.2's N/A with a 4-Speed, he'll drive it to you!), the middle is the Turbo Pace Car (258 I-6 with a turbo and mechanical fuel injection, if you went to the Daytona Spring Spectacular between 89-98 you saw this car on track), and Gramp's 68 AMX (just sold it last year, 11K original miles, AACA Gold winner).

Lastly is an old shot of the SUper Stock AMX "Magic" at Orlando Speed World in the 70's. That's my Uncle Dave in the background with no shirt on. The car was painted with real Kandy colors, it had a gold and silver base and then was coated with Candy Red, Candy Orange, and Candy Gold. It was beautiful.

It's in Finland now, here's a 2004 shot:

They've since re-painted it

If y'all have any requests, I'll try and do certain cars quicker. I know my Gramps in particular has been bugging me like crazy.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
4/22/11 10:51 a.m.

Cool cars! Thanks for posting them up. It isn't everyday you see an AMC racing......in Finland!

cool stuff

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/22/11 11:04 a.m.

Cool. I remember that silver pace car from Hot Rod.

bravenrace SuperDork
4/22/11 11:13 a.m.

Wow. Your AMC cred just went up exponentially! Post more! I love AMX's.

Javelin GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/22/11 11:27 a.m.

Thanks! I wasn't sure if anybody was going to like them. This is certainly good motivation to get everything scanned in before it disentegrates!

The Magic was re-painted similar to it's original scheme as the Nolt Rambler. Read more here.

I have a bunch of photos from the late 90's of the Turbo Pace Car as it was being loaded up for the new owner.

Other significant cars include the dragster that was used in the movie "Parenthood" in 89 with Steve Martin, the Boggs Bros. AMX funny car, what was the World's Fastest AMC drag car at the time (I'm sure it's been beaten by now, though it was N/A), another S/S AMX, and more AMX's and Javelins than you can shake a stick at.

Opus Dork
4/23/11 12:57 a.m.

Nice cars, but not a single Pinto.

mtn SuperDork
4/23/11 1:13 a.m.

I clicked this thread thinking "Pinto, Bobcat... What else is there?"

Pleasantly surprised

aeronca65t Dork
4/23/11 5:25 a.m.
mtn wrote: I clicked this thread thinking "Pinto, Bobcat... What else is there?" Pleasantly surprised

LOL. Ditto! Nice cars and great family story!

Jay SuperDork
4/23/11 5:35 a.m.

AMX Turbo pace car DO WANT.

Nice pics, I love seeing vintage cars as they were back in the day. The family history makes it even cooler. Thanks for putting these up!

Javelin GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/23/11 8:31 a.m.

Yeah, sorry, no Pinto's. We do have a few Impala's and a Corvette funny car in the history though. I'll work on getting some more up now.

bravenrace SuperDork
4/23/11 10:20 a.m.

small bumper pintos are really cool though.

Javelin GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/23/11 10:37 a.m.

More pics for today:

This is my Grandfather with an AMC Used Cars sign behind American Performance. This would be around the time Chrysler bought out AMC. Notice 2 68-70 AMX's, 1 680-70 Javelin, and at least 11 71-74 Javelins/AMX's in the spare parts yard!

Here is that first shot of the S/S AMX "Magic" but digitally restored. The colors are truer to life now:

One of the coolest shots of that car, taken at Orlando Speed World. No tower yet! This is still when that strip was out in the boonies of Bithlo.

More of the S/S AMX "Magic":

That's my Grandmother on the left in the background hawking AMC items:

Tom Benvie has the entire history of this car up on his very excellent Super Stock AMX Website if you are interested. It's in Finland now with a paint scheme that apes the 2nd one on the car.

Switching gears now, this is my Dad's 68 AMX from when he first got it together around 16 y/o. It's original Scarab Gold and you have to love the 70's "Street Machine" look. The story on this car is, it was one of a pair of near identical 68 AMX's. Both were Scarab Gold with Tan interiors, 390's, Go-Pack's, and Black Stripes. The husband's car was a 4-speed and the wife's was an auto. Something happened in the marriage and the husband torched her car and drunkenly ran his into a tree, which is how my Gramps bought them. My Dad then traded my Gramps his RX2 for the AMX.

This is the same AMX a few years later. The Gold got my Dad too many tickets, so he painted it Midnight Blue and toned down the look a little. Here he is racing his buddy Bob's 71 Mach 1 Mustang.

Hope you like them!

hrdlydangerous Reader
4/23/11 2:22 p.m.

Cool Photos. I looked at the history link you posted and noticed this picture. Man! Maple Grove has changed a lot since then. The white house in the right side background is still there, though. It's now the will-call for tickets and press credentials.

SkinnyG HalfDork
4/23/11 3:34 p.m.
Opus wrote: Nice cars, but not a single Pinto.

As a recovering Pintoholic, I resent the title of this thread.

And every time I visit the forum, I see the title, and I keep checking. Nope. No Pinto.

barnca Reader
4/23/11 3:51 p.m.

how bout the funny car picture?

hrdlydangerous Reader
4/23/11 4:50 p.m.

For SkinnyG and Opus...

Nitroracer SuperDork
4/24/11 2:03 p.m.

I was in my new boss's office friday and talked to him about an amx like this one I saw as his desktop. Apparently its just one in his collection.

TR8owner Reader
4/24/11 3:19 p.m.

My buddy had a 68 AMX 390 back in the 1980's. I could have picked it up for a couple grand. Its another one of the many woulda/shoulda auto stories of my life.

Javelin GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/25/11 10:01 a.m.

The next round of pics:

This is the first dragster the family had. My Grandfather bought it from an Alcohol racer and installed an AMC motor. This is my dad driving it. We didn't have it very long after this photo as it was sold to the production company that filmed "Parenthood" with Steve Martin (sans motor, they used a stock SBC). This is the car that the kid drives in the movie at the end into the wall (if you slow down the sequence, you can see they used dynamite to blow the front-end off course and the tach is at idle). After the movie it got turned into a mud-bogger.

This is Gramp's first funny car, a mid-year 'Vette named "Halfbreed" as it was AMC-powered! Usually they are the other way around (Chevy motor in an AMC body). I don't know much about this one.

This is the "Ramblin' Nash", a back-halved AMX Super Gas car that was probably my Grandfather's most successful car. He won some NHRA and IHRA Divisionals with it. If anybody knows where this car went, I would really like to track it down!

The Nash again. Orlando Speed World, when they were IHRA. Check out the 5 yellows before the green instead of 3!

And finally a really rare shot of the top end of the track with the Nash just popping the parachute. Nowadays the times this car pulled are easy with a street car and some power adders, but with a N/A AMC motor and 20-30 years ago, this car was hot stuff. Note the grill blocker for aero help.

Javelin GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/28/11 10:06 a.m.

Update 4/28/2011:

I figured y'all have waited long enough. Here's the first of the Turbo AMX Pace Car pics. This car started life as a Spirit AMX that Dick Teague took right off of the production line and hand-made a new body for. The 258 I-6 was then turbocharged and converted to mechanical fuel injection. It was one of 4 Indy Pace Cars for 1981 (one from each of the 4 US manufacturers, though the other 3 were FWD 4-bangers). This car was the only one with stones, so it ended up pacing nearly the entire season.

This is my Dad in the car at Daytona for the Spring Spectacular show in the 90's. Back then you were allowed to drive your car slowly around 1/3rd of the track and there was a photo station. Each group was led out by a Pace Car, which was this one from like 89-99. After each group made it to the photo spot we'd have to haul butt around the other 2/3rds of the track to "pick up" the next group. This was done at 150+ on the banks! I was shoved in the passenger seat under the rollbar as a kid for that one year.

The paint work was all done by hand and was pretty cool. There were also numerous decals for PPG, Indy, NBC Sports, and AMC themselves.

The wheels were custom 3-piece Gotti's. I've never seen these anywhere else, so they may be unique to the car. I know the tires were! The car wore the prototype of the Eagle GT Z-radial, which were taken off when they were wore out in the late 90's I think they went with the car and then ended up donated back to Goodyear, but I'm not sure.

The interior is probably the best part of the car! Check out the "Turbo" upholstery on the seats! There's also a real engine-turned aluminum dash, numerous switches and dials for the turbocharger, injection, and lights, and a beefy rollbar.

The heart of the beast! This 258 is fully breathed on and made 1.5 bar if I remember correctly. It was well over 400HP/400TQ. I want to build the modern clone of this motor one day...

The rear had a really good look to it. Notice the huge IMSA RX7 like spoiler, the Fairmont taillights (I think), and the actual gas cap.

My Grandparents (that's Grandma) and the car got invited to the prestigious "Eyes on Design" show in Detroit. Somewhere back in Florida my Gramps has pictures of him and Teague talking as Teague is shaping the clay on this car during it's build-up. He bought it from Mr. Teague directly.

All of the body vents are functional, and the car actually had pretty good downforce with the big wings and sloping tail.

I think had a body like this made production, it would have been an instant hit. The proportions are very nice, at least to me.

If y'all like this car, I have enough pics to do another 2-3 posts of more details, like the matching Turbo cloth door panels, the dash, more of the engine, etc.

Jay SuperDork
4/28/11 11:23 a.m.
Javelin wrote: If y'all like this car, I have enough pics to do another 2-3 posts of more details, like the matching Turbo cloth door panels, the dash, more of the engine, etc.

Yes please!

SilverFleet HalfDork
4/28/11 11:46 a.m.
Jay wrote:
Javelin wrote: If y'all like this car, I have enough pics to do another 2-3 posts of more details, like the matching Turbo cloth door panels, the dash, more of the engine, etc.
Yes please!

Yes please x2!!!

That car is the one of the coolest cars I have ever seen. Thank you for sharing this stuff with the rest of us.

spitfirebill SuperDork
4/28/11 11:49 a.m.
bravenrace wrote: small bumper pintos are really cool though.

I'd love to get my hands on an early small bumper one with the 1600cc engine.

pilotbraden HalfDork
4/28/11 1:45 p.m.

Very nice. Is it just me or does the Pace Car remind anyone of a Mitsubishi Starion at first glance?

dculberson Reader
4/28/11 2:11 p.m.

Very cool! Do you know what happened to the pace car and where it is nowadays?

1 2 3
Our Preferred Partners