Tag Archives: amc

The 60’s: Big hair, cheap gas, and colorful cars

promotional model cars, automotive history, savageonwheels.comWin on Sunday, Sell on Monday

While that isn’t true so much anymore, it was huge in the 60’s as all the manufacturers were into racing, mostly the Trans Am series, even tiny American Motors. The Javelin had just been introduced in ’68 as AMC’s entry into the pony car category. The colors were red, white, and blue, the company’s corporate colors. AMC entered a pair of Javelins and were successful enough to unseat Ford’s Mustangs from second place in the championship, a remarkable feat given that it was AMC’s first season. This was big for the company because the pony car market was hot and they were tardy to the party with the Mustang, Camero, and Barracuda coming out about four years ahead of AMC

Promotions galore

AMC needed to get its dealer’s involved and hosted a dealer event in Denver. I remember this because my dad had talked about it when he worked there. They gave the dealers this base white ’68 Javelin and added red and blue similar to the cars that were racing. If you look closely, they didn’t spend a lot of time in the masking department. Like the real deal, these promo models now are had to find, especially in good condition. I found this one on eBay recently sold for $177. The price due at least partially to the paint rubbed off. I have seen these go for $250 at swap meets.

RWB_javelin_front_Promo_model_cars  RWB_Javelin-side_promo_model_carsRWB_Javelin_promo_model_cars

Enter Roger Penske

Back to the real deal. For 1968 to get a red, white, and blue Jav you would order a white one and the dealer would take care of painting the red and blue. These are hard to find and if you do stumble upon one, most likely they are a clone as it was easy to do. While ’68 was a great year for the Javelins in the Trans-Am series, ’69 kind of stunk and AMC didn’t like that. So they went to Roger Penske with pretty much a blank check and said make us win. Penske wasn’t really getting paid anything from Chevy so this was a great deal and the winning would come, due mostly to the driving of Mark Donahue.

javelin_70-TA_ad1970 AMC Javelin Promo Model, promotional model carsSo on to 1970 with Penske/Donahue. This limited edition Trans-Am Javelin was introduced in time to promote the 1970 SCCA Trans-Am Season. Only 100 limited edition units were manufactured at AMC’s Kenosha plant, pulled from the standard production line and painted in factory Red, White & Blue to replicate the Javelin Racing team colors. They featured a high-performance 390 with factory ram-air induction, along with other fast stuff. It also included a custom Trans-Am homologated front cow-catcher and a rear adjustable “air-foil” style spoiler. Only 30+ of the original 100 cars have been discovered and are currently registered through the Trans-Am Javelin Registry. Johan did produce a 1970 Javelin, like this one I have but to my knowledge only the ’68 was done in red, white, and blue.

1970_AMC_Javelin_TransAm_rwbOK, yup I’m an AMC guy but this era was one of the best in racing history and while the read deal, according to Hagerty, will cost you about 25 grand, and good luck getting the owner to part with it. This replica pops up on eBay and you can get it for a whole lot less.

 

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Chasing Classic Cars: An AMC Pacer?

amc_pacer_savageonwheels.com_chasing classic carsOK, not a classic and only cool in my eyes or any of the other AMC nuts that love the Pacer too. Oh yeah, they are out there. This looks to be about a 75 or 76. So here’s your Monday morning laugh. Have a great week.

My 1st Car: Everybody has a story

We all remember our 1st car

our fist car, our 1st car, my first car, my 1st car, savageonwheels.comHow many times has it happened when you’re driving down the road, or coming out to your car in a mall parking lot, or see a car on TV or a movie and boom, you remember that you had a car, your first, just like that. Not your second or third but your FIRST. We all have a story and I have a good friend of mine, John Wingate, who Facebooked me an image of his first car, a 1962 Mercury Meteor like this one which he saw the other day. John said he purchased it when he was in 10th grade for $400 and until he received his license, he drove it in the driveway for a week or so. So what’s your story? Come on, nobody’s going to bust your chops here. I owned a bunch of AMC’s so I’ve already taken care of that.

Rebel with a cause

My 1st car, my first car, our first car, our 1st car, SavageOnWheels.comWell since I came up with the idea, I’ll start. My first car was a 1970 Rebel. I cashed in a bunch of savings bonds and went with my dad to get it at Jack Doyle Motors near Germantown, WI. If course that was not my first choice, what I really wanted was a ’73 Javelin but didn’t have the cash so I got the Rebel. It was a metallic brown, auto trans and 360 V8. It did move out. Had a huge front and back seat too. It was my baby and when a friend of mine told me somebody hit it and took off in a parking lot, I was hot. I found out who the kid was who had run home so I rang the front door bell. Kid said he was going to come back the next day and fess up. Ya sure. His parents were not real happy and paid for the repairs. Well eventually I started (mostly dad) put money into to keep in running and traded it in for a ’73 Gremlin. Remember dad worked at AMC plus I thought it was a cool looking car at the time. At the time I said.

Promo model: 63 Rambler Classic

English: 1963 Rambler Classic 660 Station Wago...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even though I was only 9 in 1963…there, I blew the cover on my age, I still remember a lot about that year, the Kennedy assassination for sure. The Beatle’s U.S. TV concert, Route 66, and we had just moved from Madison to Milwaukee when dad got a job at….wait for it…American Motors. And to think he almost took the job at the chicken factory. It was also the year we had traded our 58 Rambler for the 63. It was white with a red interior. I’ve been looking for a promo car like that for a long time.

The 1963 Classic was the first all-new cars developed by AMC since 1956. Keeping the philosophy of the company,  they were more compact – shorter and narrower by one inch, as well as over two inches lower than the preceding models. Even though they were smaller, they lost none of their “family-sized” passenger room or luggage capacity featuring a longer 112-inch wheelbase. Now does that sound familiar today in cars?

Savageonwheels.com, promotional model cars, promo model cars, American Motors, AMC, Paul Daniel creative digital managerFor the 1963 model year, the Rambler Classic line was completely redesigned with subtle body sculpturing. Outgoing design director, Edmund E. Anderson, shaped the Classic that was named Motor Trend magazine’s 1963 “Car of the Year.” These were also the first AMC models that were influenced by Richard A. Teague, the company’s new principal designer.

Throughout its life in the AMC model line-up, the Classic was the high-volume seller for the independent automaker. In 1963 mostly because of that car, many times the company was listed by some as part of the Big 4, outselling other brands such as Buick, Dodge, Mercury Chrysler, and Cadillac.

So here’s my 63 Rambler. Dad might have brought some home but most likely they were victims of car bombs Savageonwheels.com, promotional model cars, promo model cars, American Motors, AMC, Paul Daniel creative digital managerSavageonwheels.com, promotional model cars, promo model cars, American Motors, AMC, Paul Daniel creative digital manager(firecrackers) or car fires, or ???? I bought this one at a car show. Not sure how much I paid for it but it wasn’t a lot. Maybe $50-$70. All the parts are on this one. There is some minor warping on the right front quarter panel and the bumpers could probably need a re-chroming but otherwise in pretty good shape. I’m still looking for the white body, red interior one. If you’re not an AMC geek like me it could be for an entire Car of the Year collection. Good luck on finding the other AMC COTY in a promo model. It was the Renault Alliance.

Promo model: AMC Hornet

Amc hornet, american motors association, promotional model cars, promo model cars savageonwheels.com, james bond, 007, man with the golden gun
Screen grab from YouTube. Bond jumps an AMC Hornet

Who doesn’t love a good car chase? Show of hands. Yup, that’s everybody. Good car chases are a big part of a movie. Perhaps the first one that comes to mind is the classic chase in Bullitt. Now think Bond, James Bond. Super awesome car chases in those movies but because, as you all know, I have this sick love affair for AMC cars, I remember the 1974 AMC Hornet in The Man with the Golden Gun. The action begins as secret agent 007 commandeers the Hornet from a dealership in Bangkok with a vacationer who was looking at the car. The Hornet performs an “airborne pirouette as it makes a hold-your-breath jump across a broken bridge“. Of course the stunt car is significantly modified with a redesigned chassis to place the steering wheel in the center and a lower stance, as well as larger wheel wells compared to the stock Hornet used in all the other movie shots.

OK, now lets back up a bit for a history of the Hornet which was a compact automobile made by the American Motors Corporationamc hornet, american motors, 1970 amc hornet. savageonwheels.com(AMC) in one generation beginning with the 1970 model year and continuing through the 1977 model year. The Hornet replaced the compact Rambler American marking the end of the Rambler marque in the American and Canadian markets. Hornets were also marketed in foreign markets, as well as assembled under license agreements with AMC that included Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos (VAM), Australian Motor Industries (AMI), and by Toyota S.A. Ltd. in South Africa.

The Hornet name plate goes back to the mid-1950s. The name originated from the merger of Hudson Motor Company and Nash-Kelvinator Corporation in 1954. Hudson introduced the first Hudson Hornet in 1951. The new Hornet became an important vehicle and platform for AMC. It served the company in one form or another for eighteen years, until the 1988 model year. It would outlast all other compact platforms from the competition that included the Chevrolet Nova, Ford Maverick, and Plymouth Valiant. The Hornet marked the return of AMC to its original role as a “niche” marketer specializing in small cars.  It also became one of AMCs best sellers.

Savageonwheels.com, promotional model cars, amc hornetWe had a 73, like this one, the first year they made the Hornet in a hatchback. It was green so of course we could call it the green Hornet. Our’s had AMC’s 258 4.2 liter in it and that 170 horse power engine moved it around nicely. OK now promise me you won’t tell my dad but it was really easy to lay rubber with. I really liked that car. Now the real deal can be had for around 4 grand. More if you want the 1970 SC with the 360 in it. Now that laid rubber even if you looked at the accelerator.

For the promo models, they are very affordable to plus, they don’t have the usual rust found on AMC cars in the 70’s. I have a couple of Hornets, a 1970 2-door and a 73 fastback. Mine are both in mint Amc hornet, american motors association, promotional model cars, promo model cars savageonwheels.comAmc hornet, american motors association, promotional model cars, promo model cars savageonwheels.comcondition although I’m not sure if I have the boxes for them. My bad. I might have another 73 around somewhere to. Nope, these were not freebies, I actually bought these at one of those car model swap shows since I most likely blew up/burned up/smashed the ones dad brought home for me. Hey, I was a kid. You know, living for the moment. These are pretty inexpensive to too. I think around 30-50 bucks.

Hey look, I got my 73 to do the Bond stunt. Fishing line,what fishing line?

Amc hornet, american motors association, promotional model cars, promo model cars savageonwheels.com
My Hornet doing the jump

Promo model: Studebakers

1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk
1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk (Photo credit: aldenjewell)

Let’s start with a bit of trivia first. What TV show did Studebaker sponsor? I’ll start singing the theme. Ooops, forgot you wouldn’t be able to hear me. By the way, I do know all the words. One clue. Alan Young f was the star, at least the two legged one. Give up? It was one of my favorite old shows, Mr. Ed. You know, a horse is a course of course of course. Ok, I’ll stop now. Do go and check out this commercial I found. I like Studebakers, maybe because like AMC, their cars are now orphans. Again like AMC, they had to compete against the Big 3 with limited assets. Also like AMC, their collectors are total geek about their cars as they should be. Their reputation was one of well-built cars but ran into trouble trying to go up against the Big 3 in a pricing war in the early 50’s. The independents only hope was seen as a merger of Studebaker, PackardHudson, and Nash into a third giant combine. This had been unsuccessfully attempted by George W. Mason. In this scheme, Studebaker had the disadvantage that its South Bend location would make centralization difficult and its labor costs were also the highest in the industry. What eventually happened was a merger with Packard but it made no difference. The last cars rolled out of the South Bend plant in 1964 and two years later at their Canadian operations.

They had one car in the hopper for 1964, this cool looking Spectre prototype was built in metal by Sibona-Bassano of Torino, Italy. It was a 2-door, 5- place coupe and destined to be the pattern for a 4 door family sedan and a 8-passenger station wagon. Brooks Stevens had been hired to do design work for Studebaker in its waning days and even though the company had few resources to devote to product development, Stevens managed to come up with some extremely innovative concepts.  The Sceptre could have been Studebaker’s flagship car had it been introduced in 1966 as Stevens envisioned.  It boasted a bevy of advanced features including full-width lighting in front using a system developed by Sylvania and fully adjustable instrumentation that could be configured almost any way the driver wished.

1964 Studebaker Gran Turismo prototype, studebaker gt, studebaker avanti, studebaker lark, savageonwheels.com
1964 Studebaker Gran Turismo prototype

Some of the cars which did make it off the line were cool. My favorite is the Avanti, which is still being made by another company, the Gran Turismo Hawk, and the later Hawks which were designed by Brooks Stevens. I’ve seen 1963 Avantis going for $30,000. I found a Grand Turismo Hawk on eBay for $37,000  The sedan Larks are much more affordable, under $20,000, except for the convertibles.

English: Category:Images of automobiles

1962 Studebaker GT Hawk

1963 Studebaker Avanti in a non-standard blue ...

Because of those prices, which are out of reach for a lot of us, there are the promo models. The ones that I found, a couple of Hawks, and a Lark Convertible,  were all very affordable. You will find the later models have little or no warp so it’s going to be difficult finding an older one in perfect shape. These are great little gems from a time gone by. After you buy a promo model, all you need is a Mr. Ed model standing right next to it.

Studebaker Indy Pace Car promo model, Studebaker, studebaker promo models, savageonwheel.com

Studebaker hawk promo model, studebaker hawk, studebaker. savageonwheels.com

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