This was the mid-engine sports car AMC never made.
Believed to be the first prototype for the storied AMC AMX/3, Classic Design Concepts is showing off this rare piece of automotive history. The mid-engine sports car is covered in dirt and shows some body damage in the rear, but surprisingly doesn’t look too worse for wear. You can see it for yourself during the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals in Rosemont, Illinois from November 23 to 24. It will be the last time the car will been shown to the public in its original condition.
After the event, this American Motors relic will then get a full restoration. Classic Design Concepts, which is based in Milford, Michigan, will be performing the work. Anyone wanting to follow along with the restoration’s progress can track it by following the Facebook and Instagram pages set up for that purpose.
The history of this car is shrouded in mystery, but it apparently is the first prototype constructed. We know fewer than 10 prototypes for the AMX/3 were made by Bizzarrini in the city of Turin, located in northern Italy. AMC never put the model into production.
Supposedly this particular concept car didn’t get a drivetrain and sat that way in the Bizzarrini shop until it was shipped to AMC headquarters in the early 70s. Residing in the Motor City, it was never altered until Scotty Dawkins purchased it.
Dawkins kept the car for many years, installing a 390ci V8, but doing little else to the AMX/3. Upon moving to Alaska, Dawkins lent the AMC over to the Gilmore Car Museum, which tried to coordinate plans to have it restored, but those faltered. However, former American Motors head of design Richard Teague did donate a transaxle and bell housing for the car.
Eventually, Dawkins returned from Alaska and put the car in barn storage for some time. After he died, Dawkins’ family sold the car to the unnamed new owner.
Photos credit: Classic Design Concepts, Facebook, and Instagram