AMX/3 DESIGN EVOLUTION
The first model created under the AMX K - AMX/3 project. May 1967 AMC gave Richard Teague, the head of design at American Motors, and Bob Nixon, his chief designer, are given the go-ahead to propose a mid-engined prototype. The project was called AMX/K at that time and it convinced AMC management of the idea to actually build a mid-engined sports car ultimately named the AMX/3.
The first photo is the rendering by Eric Kugler. The next 2 photos are the "AMX K" in the early phases of clay, note how the tail lights shape resembles the below later AMX/2. The 4th photo is the first completed AMX K in clay and the next 3 renderings are based on this photo. The next 4 photos are the AMX K in-house presentation in clay, note the round tail lights and note the side window back glass shape is different on this "first model" compared to later models below. In the next 6 photos the car is simply labeled AMX, dated April 11th 1968. All photos here are clay except the last photo. This clay version this seems to be the basis for the fiberglass body sent to Italy to be used for the shape of the steel body cars, seen in the last photo.
Under the AMX/K project, the AMX/2 "teaser" side program was created to generate public interest in a mid-engine sports car without giving away the actual shape of the AMX/3 under development at that time.
Introduced and shown at the February 1969 Chicago Auto Show
The second model in the evolution of the program displayed in-house as the AMX/K. This may have been the first in fiberglass.
August 1969 photos of the AMX/K. Note the 3-slot taillights and rear fascia similar to Car #1. This is the second model evolution of the three mockups built during the project. Note the more familiar rear side window design. The last photo is interesting: appears to have DOT side markers and Magnum 500 wheels.
After the initial prototype #1, the first group of metal bodied AMX/3 cars includes #2, #3 and later, #5.
The bodies were formed from a wooden jig based on a fiberglass model splashed from the original clay design. June 1969 Car #1, the first steel bodied prototype was sent to BMW.
Car #2, the second prototype followed in 1969. December 5 final BMW testing reports on the improved torsional rigidity thanks to development by the design team.
AMX/3 fiberglass mockup, the February 1970 Chicago Auto Show. The third model in the project. The Feb '70 Auto Show may have been the second model in fiberglass, followed by the under construction March '70 fiberglass model and this third model I believe was donated to the Rippey Museum, now owned by Tom Dulaney.
While the steel body cars were being developed in Italy, AMC continued design modifications on the third fiberglass mockup pushmobile independently of the Italian steel bodywork. The result was the February 1970 Chicago Auto Show display. Note the similarities the second group of steel cars #4 and especially #6 and #7. Note how AMC continued developing the pushmobile adding DOT side marker lights and the air inlet at the rear quarter window.
The first steel body running press release Car #3 is imported to the U.S.
March 1970 Car #3 was the only one finished and imported to AMC in the U.S. during the AMC funded project. Cars #2 and #3 (and later arriving #5) are the "early" steel bodies. It is possible Car #5 was not imported until '71-'72, more info to come...
The AMC design evolution continues
June 1970 the design changes continue at the AMC Design Center in Detroit. Note the design work to "conceal" the wipers was done by AMC. It has been suggested and reported that the later cars are different, therefore not "real" AMX/3 cars but these design photos and continued rear body design on the fiberglass pushmobile prove the later cars were finished exactly as designed and intended by AMC appearing on Cars #4, #6 and #7.
The body design modifications are introduced in Car #4
July 1970 the project funding is canceled by AMC but AMC offers Bizzarrini to continue the project self funded with parts and commitment from AMC for 10 AMX/3 cars with Bizzarrini marketing 20 Sciabola cars. Bizzarrini declines, but not until after he and Diomante finish Car #4 with all the AMC design modifications, then presented at the October 1970 Turin Auto Show. Car #4 is the first of the "later" styled steel bodies.
The final modifications by AMC are introduced
Car #6 and later #7 are finished using the AMC design modifications. This is the car that would have been available to the public if the project continued to market in late 1970 / early 1971. Car #6 was again shown at the 1976 Turin Auto Show funded by OTO Melara to sell transaxles. In addition to the new rear body shape and raised cowl on #4; #6 receives the lower front hood scoop elimination and the pop-up rear spoiler elimination per AMC design changes present on the final mockup pushmobile AMX/3.
* All photos borrowed from the internet and/or selected bibliography items..