You’ve already perused the huge gallery of muscle-bound AMC Javelins and AMX’s, that we put up right? We’re sharing a full week’s worth of American Motors, maybe a full year’s worth, some might say a whole lifetime’s worth from the 2016 American Motors Owners Association (AMO) International Convention in Rockford, Illinois. AMC has a storied racing tradition that spans everything from classic Trans-Am Series Javelins to a bevy of classic drag racing machines (and Machines).
From their dealerships, AMC offered two limited production cars in 1969 and 1970—the SC/Rambler (above) and the Rebel Machine (commonly called “The Machine”), respectively—designed to throw down serious ETs at the drag strip. As you might expect, a dozen or so of these eye-catching factory motorsport machines turned up to the AMO Convention.
The one-year SC/Rambler and The Machine (above) remain the two AMCs that regularly bring the highest resale prices, though most convention attendees we spoke with who owned the dozen or so special editions have had theirs for decades. Both cars put down healthy horsepower (315 for the SC/Rambler and 340 for The Machine) from their respective 390 cubic-inch V8s and would run 14-second ETs right off the dealership floor — which no matter what you hear, was a pretty smokin’ elapsed time for a stock car in the late ’60s.
AMC also maintained a road racing presence in the 1970s and 1980s. While the Trans-Am Javelins (correctly) get most of the attention, the Spirits that raced in IMSA competition were part of a serious racing program. Roger Gladson rescued this dilapidated Spirit from behind a Texas garage just two days before that particular backyard was cleared and sent to the scrapper. After a just a little time digging into the car, Gladson discovered it was the Levi’s Team Highball Racing car that had run several times in the GTO class at the 24 Hours of Daytona and had also run in IMSA’s Kelly American Challenge. Interestingly, the early—and possibly all—Spirit road racers started life as Gremlins but with the 1978 end of Gremlin production, the glass and body panels behind the front clip were switched over to Spirits.
Enjoy the rest of the gallery that includes some rip-snorting, red-white-and-blue drag cars, a Javelin wearing cloud-scraping supercharger, and more. Be sure to check back throughout the week for more AMC galleries and content!