AMX/3 number 0 (zero) was the first AMX/3 to be created, It was made out of fiberglass at the American Motors Design Center on Plymouth Road in Detroit, Michigan from the original mold that was created from the clay design. This is the purest form of Richard Teague's design team, before Giotto Bizzarrini's design influence in making the steel Italian cars. It was a pushmobile and had no drivetrain or interior, there was some 2 X 4 lumber inside, below the belt line to hold the fiberglass shell in place. It had real tires, but there was no steering or suspension, the axles were just rods in a tube from wheel to wheel. The windows were smoked "acrylic glass" or "Plexiglas®". In 1973 Richard Teague had the car painted green and donated it to the Rippey's Veteran Car Museum at 2030 S. Cherokee in Denver, Colorado. On June 17, 1978 Jim Jensen bought the car from the museum. In the 1980's Mr. Jensen bought a stripped down 1973-1974 Pantera chassis and tried to connect the two together, but the car never ran. Tom Dulaney (me) bought the car April 10, 2007 from Mr. Jensen and brought it home to San Diego, California. I have made a mold of the body and several reproduction body shells. The original will be restored back to a pushmobile for display at the San Diego Automotive Museum. It came with the original tires and wheel covers. 1 of 1.
Below is the story of how I aquired the fiberglass AMX/3 and the research that has uncovered it's history.
AMX/3 fiberglass pushmobile found after 30 years.
Finding the lost girl
On Monday, April 9th 2007 in the evening I was reading the For Sale section on an amc forum website and saw a post by "AmcKidd" that read as follows.
AMX-3 !! not mine
Apr 9th, 2007, 11:39am
Even though it had been several hours after the posting first appeared when I read it, I called the number and the line was busy, the line was busy for the next 30 minutes, but eventually Mr. Jim Jensen answered the phone and the conversation went something like this.
Dulaney “Hello, I am calling about the car for sale, I know you have probably been getting a lot of calls.”
Jensen “Yea, you probably heard the busy signal.”
Dulaney “Yes Sir, I did, has the car sold yet?”
Jensen “I was talking to a guy for quite a while and he wants me to send him some pictures of the car.”
Dulaney “I have an idea, you don’t have to send pictures. I live in San Diego and I have a car trailer. I am going to take a quick shower and get in my car and drive up there right away. I will buy your car and we can put it on the trailer.”
Jensen “Well, I am not going to come down in price, I will no accept a penny less than $22,000.”
Dulaney “I would not dream of trying to negotiate with you, I will pay your full price, I bank at Union Bank of California”.
Jensen “Well the first person to show up with the money can have the car”.
Dulaney “ I will be driving up tonight and I will be there tomorrow around noon.”
Jensen “Well if you are the first one to show up, you can have it”.
Dulaney “I’ll take it, I am on my way”.
I drove straight up 600 miles and arrived a little after noon.
Jensen “My son put some pictures up on the forum. I have been getting a lot of calls and my Grandson says there a lot of e-mails about the car. Some folks have been offering considerably more for the car. But I told you that you could have it for $22,000 and here you are, so I will keep my word. Would you like to see the car?"
Dulaney “No Sir, I would like to go to the bank and get you your money”.
After our transaction at the bank and lunch, he showed me the car and parts he had and we loaded the car up. As I looked in the rear view mirror on the drive home, I felt as if I was being followed by a museum piece in primer, thanks Jim.
Chris Zinn has a great book called "AMX Photo Archive, from concept to reality" and on page 115 you can see an identical body in the design room. The paragraph reads...
"These photographs are dated March 17, 1970. AMC decided to tweak the design one last time to come up with what they wanted. In the top photograph the lower stripe calls it an AMX/III."
I spoke with Chris Zinn on 4-27-07
" Cudos to you for your energy into this project and your desire to save a piece of AMC history. Those 6 AMX/3's in museums are not going anywhere, if you can put more cars out there it will create interest in AMC which is good for the hobby, good luck!"
This image is from Chris Zinn's book on page 116, the caption below reads...
"Here the AMX/3 is in it's finished clay form. The men featured (from left to right) are: Bob Nixon, Chuck Hosper, Keith Goodnough, and Jack Kenitz."
I received an e-mail from Keith Goodnough (beard and tie) on April 27, 2007
"Chris`s first sentence on page 116 is not correct, the photo is not of a finished clay form, it is a fiberglas mockup. The clue is that there aren`t any steel stantions that are welded to a four inch angle iron box that runs almost the length of the car, the steel box supports the clay weight, you can see these stantions on pages 44 and 45. On page 115 you can see that the front end (back of doors forward is fiberglas), also the roof and the louver area over the engine. We build a wood armature (two-bys forward of rear wheels and screwjacks under backend) so we could change wheel lip and tail light area. The Styling mockup was just a one piece shell with a full plywood shelf about four inches below the beltline (painted black so you couldn`t see light coming thru)"
I spoke with Bob Nixon (tall man on left) on the phone, on April 25, 2007
"You have a fiberglass pushmobile made from a mold which was made from the original clay model in Detroit at the American Motors building on Plymouth Road, which is now the Daimler Chrysler Engineering Center for Jeep. Originally it had real tires with the wheel covers, the glue on AMX/2 and AMX/3 badges were frequently moved back and forth from car to car by management. Dick Teague was involved with building running prototypes overseas."
I received this e-mail from Rod Dotten and Jack Penningtonon April 16, 2007.
"Tom, the current concensus between Rod and I is that your AMX/3 was a intermediate step between the clay model and the Turin cars. AMC brass wanted to have something to show around, and didn't want to wait for the Turin cars.They probably pulled molds off of the clay and since a fiberglass car could be direct cast from the female molds it could be completed much quicker than the metal cars which required a hammer buck to be created from those molds. When the Turin cars started arriving it was probably put in storage or used for additional promotion. Where did Mr Jensen acquire it?"
Rod Dotten (did mechanical work on the Italian AMX/3's for Dick Teague)
Jack Pennington (painted several of the Italian AMX/3's for Dick Teague)
Jim Jensen told me he purchased the car June 17, 1978 in Colorado Springs, Colorado
I found a post dated March 12, 2006 on ConceptCarz.com by "Kingmidget" who I believe is Mike Jensen, Jim Jensens son, that reads...
"My father owns the original preproduction prototype AMXIII, it was purchased from a museum in Denver in 1978, it was a pushmobile constructed from fiberglass."
This original fiberglass AMX/3 will end up at AMO national events, SoCalAMX west coast regional events (which hopefully will become an AMO chapter) and a few choice museums. This car has a responsibility to the hobby to reappear.
I have the original wheel covers and tires.
(Left Picture) Here I am with Jeff Teague and his Red AMX/3 #3 at Irwindale Speedway in LA.
(Right Picture) In Denver at the AMO International 2007 the AMX/3 "Zero" had the honor of being parked next to Shirley Shayhan's "Drag-On-Lady", Lou Downing's "Pete's Patriot", Wally Booth's "Gremlin X" and "Hornet X".
Check out the Artilcle on John Rosa's website, he refers to the car as The In-Studio Mock-Up
Interested in building your own AMX/3?