American Motors Corporation (AMC) was created by the merger of Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson in 1954. At the time, it was the biggest corporate merger in U.S. history.
AMC competed with the Big Three, Ford, GM and Chrysler in the U.S. — with its small autos including the American. Gremlin, Pacer and Rambler; muscle autos including the AMX, Marlin, and Javelin, and 4-wheel-drive variations including the Concord and Eagle.
The organization was known as "a small organization sufficiently deft to expand into special segments of the market ignored by the giants, and was well known for the design expertise of chief stylist, Dick Teague, who "made do with a much more tightly spending budget than his counterparts at Detroit's Big Three" yet "had a skill for benefitting as much as possible from his employer's' investment."
After times of irregular however unsustained achievement, Renault gained a major interest AMC in 1979 — and the organization was at subsequently
acquired by by Chrysler. At its 1987 downfall, The New York Times said AMC was "never an organization with the power or the cost structure to contend confidently at home or abroad."
The merger of Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson in 1954, and the creation of
American Motors, was driven by George W. Artisan to receive advantages from the strengths of the two firms to take on the much bigger "Big Three" automakers (General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler).
Inside a year, George W. Romney, future Michigan governor, assumed control, reorganizing the company and focusing the future of
AMC' on new line of small cars. By the end of 1957 the Nash and Hudson brands were totally eliminated. At first, organization struggled, however Rambler sales took off. A Rambler took the top spot in the 1959 Mobil Economy Run and became the third most well known vehicle brand in the United States by 1960, behind Ford and Chevrolet. After their first two model years (1963 and 1964) of only manufacturing compact autos, AMC began focusing
on bigger and autos with more profit like the Ambassador line from the negative perception of the Rambler's economy auto image. In the face of weakening money related and showcase positions, Roy D. Chapin, Jr., assumed responsibility to rejuvenate the organization, and designer Richard A. Teague economized by creating several new vehicles from common stampings. While costs and expenses were cut, new, more sporty autos were presented, and from 1968 AMC was known for the AMX and Javelin muscle cars.
In 1970, AMC bought Kaiser's Jeep utility vehicle operations to complement its current passenger vehicle business. In the early 1970s, the organization moved towards all-new compact designs based upon the Hornet, including the Gremlin and the Hornet itself. Other new models in the 1970s were the Matador and Pacer. With an end goal to make a more proficient cost structure, in the 1979 model year, AMC killed the Matador line and afterward in the 1980 model year, dispensed with the Pacer, concentrating only on its Hornet-based autos and the line of Jeeps. While the new lines of the late 1970s, for example, the Spirit and Concord, were variants of the Hornet platform, the organization proceeded with existing design innovations: the 4-wheel-drive AMC Eagle, presented in 1979, was one of the first real crossovers
After periods of intermittent but unsustained success, Renault acquired a major interest in AMC in 1979—and the company was ultimately acquired by Chrysler. At its 1987 demise, The New York Times said AMC was "never a company with the power or the cost structure to compete confidently at home or abroad."
Full Size Vehicles
Hudson Wasp (1955-1956)
1955 Hudson Wasp
1956 Hudson Wasp
For 1955 the Wasp became a product of the newly formed American Motors Corporation (AMC). Following the end of 1954 model year production, Hudson's Detroit manufacturing facility was closed and assembly of Hudson models was shifted to Nash's factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin. All Hudsons would be based on the senior Nash models, but would have exclusive Hudson styling.
Nash Statesman (1955-1956)
1955 Nash Statesman
1956 Nash Statesman
A new design was introduced for the 1952 model year featuring a large "envelope-bodied" sedan with enclosed wheels that were characteristic for Nash. The all-new notchback Statesman design coincided with Nash's 50th anniversary and included styling by Pininfarina, the Italian designer
Nash Ambassador (1955-1957)
1956 Nash Ambassador
1957 Nash Ambassador
Although the "senior" Nash and Hudson models continued to be marketed, it was sales of the Rambler that were powering the company's bottom line. As the compact Rambler's fortunes increased, sales of the senior Nash cars, including the Ambassador, decreased. A total of 21,428 Ambassadors were built in 1954
Hudson Hornet (1955-1957)
1955 Hudson Hornet
1957 Hudson Hornet
The first entirely new car from American Motors, the 1955 Hudson emerged as a conservatively styled car compared to the competition. The 1955 Hornet was the cleanest model with a broad egg crate grille and distinctive two-toning. Sedan and hardtop body styles were offered, but the coupe and convertible were no longer available
AMC Ambassador (1958-1974)
1958 AMC Ambassador
1964 AMC Ambassador
1971 AMC Ambassador
1974 AMC Ambassador Wagon
The Ambassador was the top-of-the-line automobile produced by the American Motors Corporation (AMC) from 1958 until 1974. The vehicle was known as the AMC Ambassador, Ambassador V-8 by Rambler, and Rambler Ambassador at various times during its tenure in production. Previously, the name Ambassador had applied to Nash's "senior" full-size cars.
AMC Eagle (1979-1987)
AMC Eagle Wagon
1985 AMC Eagle
1987 AMC Eagle Limited Woodie
The Eagle name was acquired from the AMC Eagle, the remains of American Motors' entirely U.S.- composed vehicles. The Jeep/Eagle division of Chrysler Corporation was shaped after Chrysler's 1987 acquisition of American Motors. The vehicles were primarily sold by AMC dealers along with Jeep vehicles. The Eagle was discontinued in 1997
Mid Size Vehicles
AMC Rambler (1954-1969)
1954 Nash Rambler
1958 Nash Rambler
1964 Rambler American
1965 Rambler American
In 1954, American Motors Corporation (AMC) was formed from the merger of Nash-Kelvinator and the Hudson Motor Car Company. Following the merger, 1955 and 1956 Ramblers were badged as both Nashes and Hudsons, with no visible difference between the two. Rambler became a marque in its own right for the 1957 model year. The Nash and Hudson makes were continued as senior model only through 1957, after which all of AMC's offerings were marketed as Ramblers, with the exception of the imported 1958–1962 Metropolitan.
AMC Rebel (1967-1970)
1967 AMC Rebel SST
1968 AMC Rebel Raider
1969 AMC Rebel SST Cross Country
1970 AMC Rebel Machine
The AMC Rebel (known as the Rambler Rebel in 1967) is a midsized car produced by American Motors Corporation (AMC) from 1967 to 1970. It replaced the Rambler Classic. The Rebel was replaced by the similar AMC Matador for the 1971 model year. The Rebel was positioned as the high-volume seller in the independent automaker's line of models.
AMC Matador (1971-1978)
1971 AMC Matador Coupe
1974 AMC Matador Coupe
1978 AMC Matador Barcelona Coupe
1974 AMC Matador Coupe
The AMC Matador was built and marketed by American Motors Corporation (AMC) from 1971 to 1978. The Matador came in two generations: 1971 to 1973, and a major redesign from 1974 to 1978. The second-generation four-door sedan and station wagon models were classified as full-size cars and did not share the distinctive styling of the Matador coupe that was introduced in 1974.
AMC Concord (1978-1983)
1978 AMC Concord Hatchback
1980 AMC Concord
1983 AMC Concord
The AMC Concord is a compact car manufactured and marketed by the American Motors Corporation for model years 1978-1983. The Concord was essentially a more aspirational badge engineered replacement of the AMC Hornet, discontinued after 1978. It was offered in four-door sedan, two-door coupé (through 1982), three-door hatchback (through 1979), and five-door station wagon configurations. The Concord was AMC's volume seller from the time it appeared until the introduction of the Renault Alliance.
AMC Gremlin (1970-1978)
1970 AMC Gremlin
1975 AMC Gremlin
1977 AMC Gremlin X
The AMC Gremlin (also American Motors Gremlin ) is an American subcompact automobile introduced in 1970, manufactured and marketed in a single, two-door body style in America (1970-1978) by American Motors Corporation (AMC) — as well as in Mexico (1974-1978) by AMC's Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos (VAM) subsidiary.
Featuring a shortened Hornet platform and bodywork with a pronounced, almost vertical tail, the Gremlin was classified as an economy car by 1970s U.S. standards and competed with the Chevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto, as well as imported cars that included the Volkswagen Beetle and Toyota Corolla.
AMC Hornet (1970-1977)
1970 AMC Hornet
1974 AMC Hornet
1977 AMC Hornet Woodie
The AMC Hornet is a compact automobile, manufactured and marketed by American Motors Corporation (AMC) in a single generation from model years 1970 through 1977 — in sedan, wagon, and hatchback coupe configurations. The Hornet replaced the compact Rambler American marking the end of the Rambler marque in the American and Canadian markets.
AMC Metropolitan (1953-1961)
1953 Nash Metropolitan
1954 Nash Metropolitan
1955 AMC Metropolitan
1961 AMC Metropolitan
The Nash Metropolitan was an American automobile that was sold from 1953 to 1961.
It conforms to two classes of vehicle: economy car and subcompact car. In today’s terminology the Metropolitan is a “subcompact”, but this category had not yet come into use when the car was made. At that time, it was variously categorized, for example as a "small automobile" as well as an "economy car".
The Metropolitan was also sold as a Hudson when Nash and Hudson merged in 1954 to form the American Motors Corporation (AMC), and later as a standalone marque during the Rambler years, as well as in the United Kingdom and other markets.
AMC Pacer (1975-1979)
1975 AMC Pacer
1977 AMC Pacer
1979 AMC Pacer
The AMC Pacer is a two-door compact car produced by the American Motors Corporation from 1975 to 1979, sold out in 1980.
Design work began in 1971. The rounded shape and large glass area were unusual compared with the three-box designs of the era. The Pacer's width is equal to full-sized domestic vehicles at the time, and this unique design feature was promoted by AMC as "the first wide small car." The Pacer was the first modern, mass-produced, U.S. automobile design using the cab forward concept.
Personal Luxury Cars
AMC Javlin (1967-1974)
1968 AMC Javlin
1970 AMC Javlin
1973 AMC Javlin
The AMC Javelin is an American front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, two-door hardtop manufactured and marketed by AMC across two generations, 1968–70 and 1971–74.
Styled by Dick Teague, the Javelin was available in a range of trim and engine levels, from economical pony car to muscle car variants. In addition to manufacture in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Javelins were assembled under license in Germany, Mexico, Venezuela, as well as Australia – and were marketed globally.
AMC Marlin (1965-1967)
1965 AMC Marlin
1966 AMC Marlin
1967 AMC Marlin
The Rambler Marlin (later AMC Marlin) is a two-door fastback automobile produced in the United States by American Motors Corporation from 1965 to 1967. A halo car for the company, it was marketed as a personal luxury car.
AMC AMX (1968-1970)
1968 AMC AMX
1970 AMC AMX
1970 AMC AMX3
The AMC AMX is a two-seat GT-style sports car that was produced by American Motors Corporation for the 1968 through 1970 model years. The AMX was also classified as a muscle car, but "unique among other American cars at the time due its short wheelbase". The AMX was also the only American-built steel-bodied two-seater of its time, the first since the 1955-1957 Ford Thunderbird. To a degree, the AMX was a competitor with America's only other two-seater of the era, the Chevrolet Corvette for substantially less money. With a one-inch (2.5 cm) shorter wheelbase than Chevrolet's two-seater, the AMX was often seen by the press as a "Corvette competitor"
The AMX3. In an attempt to make up some ground to America's big three manufacturers, the American Motor Company set out to boost its reputation with an all new mid-engined
supercar. Its name was derived from the front engined AMX coupe, which was the company's more mainstream sports car. After a positive reception by the press and
in a stroke of genious AMC recruited Giotto Bizzarrini to design the suspension and drivetrain. For the Italian master designer it was the first job since his company was declared bankrupt a few months earlier. His experience with the mid-engined Bizzarrini P538 made him one of the very few engineers with hands-on knowledge on this layout.
All in all six examples were constructed; the first prototype and another five pre-production prototypes. Although AMC initially ordered all completed cars to be destroyed, Bizzarrini fortunately refused.
1943 Willys Jeep
American Motors Corporation (AMC) purchased the Jeep Corporation from Kaiser in 1970 when Kaiser decided to leave the auto business.
Chrysler acquired AMC in 1987.
A division of FCA US LLC, the latest successor organization to the Jeep brand,
now holds the trademark off the "Jeep" name.
See the Jeep Page
2008 Hummer H2
AM General traces its roots to the Standard Wheel Company of Terre Haute, Indiana, which expanded in 1903 to include the Overland Automotive Division. In 1908, John North Willys purchased the Overland company, then based in Indianapolis, Indiana, and renamed it Willys-Overland Motors, Inc. In the 1940s, Willys-Overland developed a vehicle to U.S. Army's requirements and later mass-produced "America's first four-wheel drive one-fourth-ton tactical utility truck"—the Jeep of World War II fame. In 1953, Kaiser Motors purchased Willys-Overland, and changed the name to Kaiser-Willys Motor Company. In 1963 the company's name changed again to Kaiser-Jeep Corporation.
Defense and Government Products Division
In 1964, Kaiser-Jeep purchased the Studebaker facilities in South Bend, Indiana, which included Studebaker's "General Products Division", along with its substantial defense contracts.
At the time, Kaiser had been awarded a US$87 million Army truck contract, and under government pressure agreed to perform the work at the South Bend plant it had acquired from Studebaker.
See the Hummer Page
Keep Your Car Looking New
AMC Vehicles Through the Yeara
Reviewed by Gene Wright on