Paul R

What a difference a half hour makes.

In 1971 I was driving by the AMC dealership in Valparaiso, Indiana. I spotted a 1970 Burnt Orange AMX out front. I stopped and checked it out. It was loaded with side pipes, leather interior, 390, 4 speed, go package, PDB, AM/FM and rear window louver. It was perfect and just what I was looking for. I asked the salesman to hold it while I drove 10 miles to my bank to get the money. He said he would. I drove to my bank, got the money and was back at the dealership in less than an hour. When I walked in, another salesman was just completing the paper work to sell my car to some one else. I was crushed. Over the next 36 years I looked for another AMX. Either I couldn't find what I was looking for or if I did see one, I couldn't afford it. In 2007, I found a Big Bad Orange, 360, 4 speed for sale on line. The owner said it was not perfect, but was a 'good driver' that 'looked good and ran well'. After several exchanges of pictures and information I bought the car for $15,000. When it arrived I wondered if they had sent the same car they had sent pictures of. From 20+ feet it looked fair at best. Upon closer inspection the car was in very poor shape. The entire under carriage was rusted out, it barely ran, the interior was poor and the tires were badly weather worn and cracked. In short, I had paid for a parts car at best. The monies I would have had to put in it was far more than the car was worth. I ended up trading it plus $10,000 to a guy in NW Indiana who works on and rebuilds AMXes. At least this car was solid, but needed a lot of work. I have spent 6 years working on it and finally I have what I started out looking for, a nice driver. It won't win any show prizes, but it is a lot of fun to drive. It is also a BBO, 4 speed with black interior. I have put another $12,000 into it. I have tried to keep most of it stock. I have added 15" Magnum 500 wheels and BFG RWL radials, a 1971 rear spoiler, an HEI distributor, a slightly hotter cam and a new 4 bbl. In 6 years it has around 100 mile put on it. It has been such a 3 ringed circus for 6 years, it is hard to get into the mind set to drive it. I still love the car, but have decided to put it up for sale. Dreams die hard.

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