The Monza High Speed Test Car
American Motors hired BMW to evaluate the AMX/3, car #4 was run on a track in Monza, Italy to test the handling and top speed. Due to the need for a chin spoiler the car had a tendency to lift at higher speeds, so it was only run up to 145 mph, but the engine had room to go. BMW produced a lengthy report and said the chassis was very stiff.
Bill Demichieli was a high roller in Indianapolis, Indiana with a chain of restaurants providing a good cash flow, he enjoyed the finer things in life, especially weekends when he raced SCCA Class D Production and was the SCCA Central Division National Champion. Bill was in his early thirties and on top of his game, for $6,500 Bill bought the red-orange AMX/3 #4. Bill had to make his own arrangements to import the car, so he contracted with a man named Tom Mead in Livorno, Italy who agreed to pick up the car, detail it, crate it and put it on a ship bound for Baltimore, Maryland for $2,000. After several months the car arrived, Bill hired a large truck with flat bed trailer and drove to the port in Baltimore on a cold January day in 1971. After a delay to adjust some of the documentation for import, he saw his crated car for the first time. Then came a big shock, it turned out that Tom Mead, back in Italy, had doubled the COD amount to $4,000 without warning. The only option was to pay, it was noted that the car was well crated, but there were some cross words spoken while the wood crate was nailed with 16 penny nails to the wood bed of the trailer for transport. The plan was to take the semi to a local restaurant warehouse owned by Bill’s friend and store the shipment indoors for the night. Upon arrival to the wherehouse, it was noted that there was not enough room for the truck and trailer, so the entire load was parked on the street. In the morning, the cold has drained the truck battery and the engine would not start, one problem rolled right into the next. Eventually Bill got his prize home and uncrated it to discover the AMX/3 up close and personal. The picture below is what it looked like when it first arrived in the US.
Bill enjoyed his car for several years and put thousands of miles on it, until an unexpected divorce in 1976 forced him to sell it. Mr. Jack Cohen, who also lived in Indianapolis, Indiana became the new owner. Jack was an aircraft mechanic with US Airways and stood 6' 7", it must have been a tight squeeze for him to get into the car. Jack was a close friend of Dick Teague.
In the 1980's Jack sold the car to Mr. Kirtland of Baton Rough Louisiana. Originally American Racing wheels were on the car, however, on a trip to Italy Mr. Kirtland found a set of Campagnolo wheels, including a full size spare. The last time Mr. Kirtland took the car to Pebbble Beach he put 400 miles on the car driving around. The hood scoop brings in fresh air to the HVAC.
Interested in building your own AMX/3?