This car was made to be driven hard, and rest assured I drive as it was intended to be. "
Raymond Hatcher of Las Vegas, Nevada, tells us that he caught the AMC bug back in 1986. That’s the year when his big brother Rodney purchased his ’70 AMX. Coincidentally, Rodney still owns that car. The story about this particular X begins just a few short years ago. Apparently, a friend of Raymond’s was in Tempe, Arizona, when he found this car. It’s the typical story—man takes road trip to pick up a project car he bought and finds another one while he’s there. How many times has that happened to you? Now you have to figure out how to get both cars home. That’s right, the friend was on a road trip to pick up a different AMC that he had recently purchased, and figured, “While I’m here...” When the transportation situation of getting the second car home was handled, the new project was finally taken to the friend’s house. The friend, Robbie, spent a year or so working on the “X,” having good intentions of restoring it. Unfortunately for him, he only got as far as doing some minor repairs to it, so overall, it sat for a few years not getting finished. This is when Raymond stepped in and saved Robbie from having a car simply taking up space.
Raymond tells us that in 1970 they only made 1,632 AMX’s with the 390 engine backed by a four-speed. Since this one was and is still equipped with a four-speed, it’s known to be a fairly rare car. When Raymond first acquired the car, he told us that even though it still had your typical dents and fender bender marks, overall it was a good starting point for a restoration. “The interior was all there, but you can imagine how very rough and cooked it was by the Arizona heat,” says Raymond. When he got his hands on the little two-seater, he tells us that it did run, but needed an overhaul. He also tells us that the wiring was cooked by the Arizona sun, and unsafe to use. Luckily, with the help of M&H Wiring, new stuff was able to be installed.
There’s another option that makes his little rocket a rare one, and that is it came with air conditioning. We feel safe saying that not many of these “racers” were sent out of the factory door with that particular option. Another option that we’re told this car originally had is leather bucket seats with the center armrest. Although it is a rare option, Raymond likes the car better with the arm rest removed—he still has it though, just in case.
Raymond wanted to let us know that his plans for the car don’t normally involve him sitting in a lawn chair behind it at car shows. Nope, Raymond is the kind of guy that makes sure that this old girl gets to stretch its legs quite often. We’re certain that driving an American sports car like this with a four-speed and air conditioning is a good enough reason to do just that. mm
'70 AMC AMX
Raymond Hatcher, Las Vegas, Nevada
There’s nothing wrong with...
There’s nothing wrong with a simple rebuild when it comes to a car that received an advertised 325 horsepower from the factory.
- Engine: While not exactly a B- or RB-engine, since AMC was adopted by Chrysler, we'll give the little 390 some love. It was given to Jack's Machine Shop in Las Vegas, Nevada, and bored .060-inch over which now makes it 400-inches--maybe it could be a B-block? The crankshaft and connecting rods are stock, steel AMC, while the pistons are Forged Ross pieces. The camstick is an Elgin piece with .520-inch lift, and 234-degrees of duration. It's relatively mild, but it gets the job done. The heads are stock with a good valve job. Up top is an Edelbrock intake with an E-brock 800 cfm carburetor. Finishing it off are a set of Hedman Hedders, and an MSD ignition.
- Transmission: This rocket came with a row-your-own, Borg-Warner T-10 box.
- Rear: In the AMC world, an 8-7/8 inch axle is the unit of choice, and this is filled with 3.53 gears.
- Suspension: Stock rebuilt
- Brakes: Power front discs and rear drums.
- Wheels/Tires: 14-inch Torque Thrust wheels are wrapped in 225/70-14 BFG radial TA's.
- Paint/Body: The bodywork and application of the Sonic Silver and Black Shadow Mask paint was handled by V&S Autobody in Long Beach, California.
- Interior: The interior was restored to stock specs with the exception of removing the front seat's center arm rest as Raymond likes the car without it. Tunes are handled by an AM/8-track radio.