In the late 1960s AMC took a shot at the big time, with this Bizzarrini-engineered supercar. Winston Goodfellow examines the results.


At 1963’s Geneva motor show, the 150mph ATS 2500 GT became the world’s fi¬rst roadgoing mid-engined’supercar’ - even before the term had been coined. Then came the landmark Lamborghini Miura. Yet a ’supercar’ boom of a different sort was happening on the other side of the Atlantic.


In an attempt to revitalise its image, in 1968 American Motors introduced the two-seat AMX coupe. Power came from a 315bhp 390ci V8 - enough oomph to get the fastback to 60mph in 6.6 seconds, and through the quarter-mile in 14.8. While respectable, those times were nowhere near the sub-6- and sub-14-second sprints and quarter-miles the big-block ’Hemis, Pontiacs and Fords were routinely turning.


In March 1968 the two travelled to the Geneva motor show and then Turin to meet with a 30-year-old rising star of Italy’s bustling design world. Giorgeo Giugiaro had recently left Carrozzeria Ghia to set up ItalDesign , and the AMC executives asked him to create a mock-up that would compete against their design studio.


Photography:Mathieu Heurtault
Re-Edit:Octane Japan