Roadkill headed to the American Motors Owners Association’s (AMO) International Convention in Rockford, Illinois, last weekend to soak up some Midwestern sun and take in the jellybean-colored fruit of Kenosha’s labor. The history of AMC is remarkable and incredibly interesting to its end in the late 1980’s, a topic we hope to cover in more detail another day here. However, while the Wisconsin-based mark is often remembered for producing some of the oddballs of the 1970’s like the Gremlin and Pacer, American Motors Corporation also produced some absolutely awesome classics, like the AMC Javelins and the AMX, examples of which were abundant at the AMO convention.
Among the assorted colors and shapes at the show, one pink AMX stood out from the crowd. If you watch Jay Leno’s Garage, you probably already know the story behind this one, but here’s the short version: This car was specially ordered by Playboy for the magazine’s 1968 Playmate of the Year, Angela Dorian, and like all Playmate of the Year cars, it was painted from its original pink to reduce the attention drawn from less-than-savory people. Mark Melvin bought it in 2010—shortly before Dorian went to prison for shooting her husband—in poor condition, but within five years, it had been restored back to fine form.
We’ll be bringing you a number of galleries from the show along with a couple of cool stories this week so be sure to check in again to see some wonderfully all-original, restored, and/or hot-rodded AMC machinery. Let’s start the week with AMC’s iconic muscle cars: the burly Javelin pony car and the smaller, two-seat AMX grand tourer. Even with classic car prices soaring, both of these remain affordable options and with a huge AMC collector base in among former employees and their families nearby Kenosha, the AMO International Convention enjoyed a huge turnout of AMC Javelins and AMX’s running whole gamut of six-cylinder cars to hearty-horsepower 390- and 401-cubic-inch V8’s.