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1966 AMC Vignale AMX Prototype

Styling of 1960s AMC concept cars often predicted production models. The Vignale concept shown hinted at the upcoming AMC AMX.

The AMX program was conceived in 1965 and in 1966 became "Project IV," a traveling show of prototypes that hinted at some of AMC's future production vehicles. The first AMX prototype, with a fiberglass skin and no engine, was soon replaced by a steel-bodied, fully-operational vehicle built by Vignale, an Italian coachbuilder. The Vignale prototype, completed in 78 days, featured several unique features, including hidden "A" pillars and a "Ramble seat" in the back. Dimensions were very close to the production AMX: 98-inch wheelbase, the overall length of 179 inches, and 48 inches high.


The AMX fastback is operational and powered by American Motors' recently introduced 290 cubic-inch V-8 Typhoon engine. It offers three-wat seating – full bucket seats flanking an aircraft type console; a "Ramble-seat" activated by a push-button control inside the car; and fold-down contoured rear seats, which may be used when the Ramble seat is not in use. Seats are trimmed in glove-soft beige leather.


The roof panel is the cantilever type and includes a built-in concealed roll bar. The self-supporting roof permits extremely thin windshield pillars for a broad, panoramic field of vision. Taillights and backup lights are designed to emphasize the car's width and are set high for maximum visibility and safety. A competition-type steering wheel of walnut wood adds to the fine sports car interior of the AMX. The sporty fastback has a wheelbase of 98 inches. It is 179 inches long, 72 inches wide, and 48 inches high.


Source: auto.howstuffworks.com; www.amxfiles.com; AMC's Project IV Press Release

Images: AMC; www.shorey.net; www.37nash8.net