You’re Never Going to Believe Who Built This

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Many of you my age or older will remember AMC, or American Motors.   Formed out a merger between independent car makers Nash and Hudson in 1954, AMC first became know for manufacturing the Rambler make in the 50’s and 60’s.  By the early 70’s however, AMC was having increasing difficulty competing with the Big Three (GM, Ford, and Chrysler).  They tried some innovative things that worked, like the Javelin, Hornet, Concord, Spirit, Eagle and Gremlin (yes, they sold hundreds of thousands of them during the entire production run;1970-1978!), and some things that did not work at all, like the Pacer & Matador.  However, the most stunning thing they came up with did not go into production.  Here it is…

This is the AMX III.  Designed by AMC’s Dick Teague, and built by Italian specialty car builder, Giotto Bizzarrini, the AMX III was to be a mid-engined, low production, high cost, halo car to make some money, but even more importantly, enhance AMC’s image as a car builder.  The car was also meant to have been a competitor for the DeTomaso Pantera, which Ford was planning (and eventually produced), as well as a variety of mid engined Corvette concepts (none of which reached production)

DeTomaso Pantera
DeTomaso Pantera

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Unfortunately, the car never came to fruition.  First, cash-strapped AMC couldn’t deal with cost over-runs for the AMX III program.  A labor dispute at that time cost even more.  The death blow came when AMC would have to see the car for $12,000 a copy, when Ford was going to be able to sell the Pantera for just under $10,000, with increased production.

Here’s some additional information regarding the AMX III from  Kit Car Mag.

Reportedly six of these prototypes were built by Bizzarrini, with further development work by BMW, and were powered by AMC’s tough 390 V8 backed to a transaxle. That set-up ultimately yielded 0-60 times in 5.5 seconds and a top speed of over 145 mph. However the AMX/3 design was never tested in a wind tunnel, and the front end got a little light at the higher speeds.

I’m sure those teething problems would have been sorted out before a production car would had ever come off the line, but the cash-strapped American Motors just couldn’t justify the numbers for this limited-production supercar and the continued problems and cost overruns closed the AMX/3 project before too long. The final blow came in the form of Ford’s new DeTomaso Pantera, with looks that were as sleek as the AMX, bigger production volume, and a more reasonable price tag ($10,000 versus the $12,000 for the AMX).

Six cars were built. Five are currently know to exist.  They escaped the destruction ordered by AMC’s management largely due to Dick Teague himself, who bought two of the cars, as well as the remaining transaxles, which were designed and manufactured solely for the AMX III.  The sixth car is assumed to be somewhere in Europe.

I like this car, not only because it is a beautiful example of design and engineering, but also a company that was barely hanging on to life created it.  It shows what the free market is capable of, if left to it’s own devises.  That, and AMC was the perpetual underdog, and managed to survive until it’s purchase by Chrysler in 1987.  It’s one of those little treasures of automotive history that more people should know about, and be able to appreciate.

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Conservative Guide for Automobiles

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In the aftermath of the 2012 election, many conservatives are questioning and re-evaluating their spending habits and choices.  And out of all things that can be purchased, few are considered carefully as buying a car.   Many are asking themselves, “do I want to support companies that conspire with the forces that want to enslave me?”  Well, to make a car purchase easier, The Morlock Revolt has created  a convenient info-graphic to help you.  

Here is some more from The Morlock revolt…

-BMW is manufactured in the US in South Carolina.  These plants produce the X3, X5, and X6 models

-The Honda Accord, the Accura RDX and CL, and the CRV assembled in Ohio.  This may affect your decision because they are made in a Blue state.  The Honda Civic is made in Indiana.  The Honda Odyssey, Pilot and Ridgeline are assembled in Alabama

-The Hyundai Elantra and Sonata are assembled in Alabama.  The Hyundai Santa Fe is made in Georgia

-The Kia Sorento is manufactured in Georgia

-The Mercedes GL Class, M Class, and R Class are all assembled in Alabama

-Nissan plants are in Tennessee

-Subaru autos are made in Indiana

-The Suzuki Equator is assembled in Tennessee

-The Toyota Avalon, Camry Hybrid, and Venza are made in Kentucky.  The Highlander, Sequoia, and Sienna are assembled in Indiana.  The Tundra and Tacoma are made in Texas.  The Toyota Camry has plants in Indiana and Kentucky. 

That is some solid information.  I would remind everyone that if you buy a new car or truck, you are going to pay a lot of taxes, that will be used against you.  However, if you must buy new, buy from a company that isn’t trying to help fedzilla.

BTW, I’ve added the Morlock Revolt to the blogroll.  It is a great site.

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UAW to Foreign Makes: Organize or Else!

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After helping to destroy company after company, and industry after industry, labor unions are reaping the “benefits” of their “success.”  Many of the companies that the unions haven’t managed to kill off have moved overseas, or to other states.  So, union membership, at least in the private sector, has plummeted.  Like a particularly nasty virus, they have killed their hosts.

And like any other effective virus, the union bosses are mutating to find new hosts to infect…

The UAW is organizing the boycott to protest the refusal of transnational automakers to unionize employees in the US.

The head of the union, Bob King, has admitted that declining union membership rolls means that if the UAW doesn’t “organize these transnationals, I don’t think there’s a long-term future for the UAW — I really don’t.”

He’s given foreign automakers including BMW, Volkswagen AG, Toyota and Nissan an offer they can’t refuse: Unionize their workers or else he’ll single out one automaker and put the screws to them with a boycott. Never mind that the boycott will hurt workers, consumers and the economy.

“This will be the biggest campaign ever undertaken. It will involve hundreds of dealerships,” said Dennis Williams, UAW Secretary Treasurer, adding the union will ask for help from its retirees, community groups and other unions to help with the campaign, says the Tribune.

“We will do whatever it takes,” said Williams.

Once again, we’re going to see some intimidation tactics.   It doesn’t matter that the US workers of these companies have declined union membership, the unions will try to force the issue, regardless of the will of the workers.  I guess that is the union boss’s view of democracy.  if the people don’t vote their way, the bosses will resort to whatever means necessary to force the workers to go their way.

Here’s a thought:  We don’t usually do mass boycotts.  However, we might want to consider a mass buycott.  If you are looking for a new car, why not consider an American made Toyota, Honda, or other make?  If you buy one, you’ll be supporting American workers that have rejected unions.  And, you will not provide much, if any money to the unions (You can’t say how many suppliers are unionized).  After all, why would any of us want to feed the beast that is trying to harm us?

Remember how Ford sales increased after the government takeover of GM and Chrysler?  It might just work.

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