This page is dedicated to my restoration of the 1970 AMX. As a kid in high school, I worked at a car lot washing cars and I fell in love with a blue 1970 AMX with a 390 engine in it. At the time, this car was sitting on the lot as a victim of the gas crunch and insurance industry. It took a while, I looked at a lot of AMX’s but none were what I really wanted.

Thirty years later, the kid in me found what I had been looking for. This AMX is one of the 4,116 cars AMC produced. 1970 AMX was the last year AMC produced this body in the 2 seat configuration and 1970 was the only year for this front end design. The front end design used a functional ram air hood to feed the 390 CID engine which was rated at over 325 horsepower. My car is one of 1,632 AMX’s made that year with the 390 RAM AIR engine and 4 speed transmission.

The AMX has the GO-Pack option and is one of the 556 which came with an AM 8 track radio. The original color is Sonic Silver Metallic and this car has the optional very rare red leather interior. Just 181 cars were delivered in red leather for the 1970 model year.

This AMX is a true one owner survivor which I discovered in the original owners garage in Columbus, Ohio. His name was Walter E. Bear and I have a copy of his original title and books from Dick Clifton Rambler, where it was bought new. It had been parked in his garage for over 25 years when we found it.

We began the restoration in August 2002, documenting the car with extensive photographs and notes. It had almost all original paint and the engine was unmolested and stock. During the paint stripping process we discovered some slight driver door and quarter panel body scrape repair. Fortunately, there was no significant rust anywhere other than two small holes behind the rear wheels. The body was accident free.

It was a rare find and we are excited to be able to restore it to concourse original. Our target date for showing this tribute to the muscle car era was to be Spring of 2003, but like all projects it fell victim to parts delays. During that time I started doing more detailed work and the project went from nice daily driver to concourse restoration. I decded to make it flawless. This meant, new steel fuel and brake lines, rebuilding calipers, and detailing the suspension.

The AMX received all new upholstery and hours of tedious detail on the engine. We also detailed and addressed the transmission. During the restoration we removed, and restored the gas tank. We also removed and repainted the dash. If it could be removed, we removed it.

The AMX bare body shell and all of its body parts were in the spray booth on April 15, 2003. We started from bare metal on the entire body and engine compartment. We also removed the doors, hood and trunk, and painted those panels seperately.

We began the paint process using Sikkens epoxy high build primers and sealers. Everything was block sanded, guide coated, and checked for perfect fit. With all of my restorations I like to make sure preparation is carefully done and cut no corners. I debated whether to change the color, but in the end, finally decided to keep the the original color of Sonic Silver. I am glad I did, it is a color rarely seen. I used Glazurit paint, which was color sanded and clear coated.

This AMX was painted in pieces; the shell, the bare door shells, hood, trunk lid were all painted seperately to ensure proper coverage and no overspray anywhere. The bumpers and potmetal were sent for rechroming.

Eventually, the new dash pad and rear trim panels arrived, and were dyed them to match the rest of the red interior. We replaced the carpets, and installed a new headliner. The rim blow steering wheel was one of the final details. After reconstructive surgery it found its way back onto the AMX. The red leather seat skins and door panels were finished and installed. We painted the magnum 500’s with the assistance of someone (thanks Bonnie) who was kind enough to loan us a new old stock wheel to use to get the finish just right.

If anyone wants advise on the finish please feel free to ask us. The wheels received a new set of redlines, chrome trim rings, as well as new lug nuts and centers. With the new windshield in place we reinstalled the windshiled trim and are doing the final few things on our punch list.

Recently we took the AMX on its first ride in 25 years. We were pleased by the overwhelming attention it received at the 2004 Pocono Mountain Street Rod car show, where it won its first award.

Below is a group of photos documenting what we did. The final photo shows the 1970 AMX leaving the shop with over 1,000 hours of restoration done. Enjoy!