Our 1979 AMC Spirit AMX


This ’79 AMX was bought minus its wheels/tires, engine & transmission…

but it's otherwise complete and very serviceable.




May 10, 2004: Here are a couple of pics of the car with the motor and trans from the '79 Spirit DL parts car installed. You can also see it wears the Turbocast II wheels and RWL tires from the maroon '81 DL.


Much better, eh? The nose sits lower, as it should, and we should be working on it again in another week or two, and hope to have it running then. Oh...and yes, I know that's a radiator from a 4-cylinder car. That's what was in the donor car, so until we find a correct piece, it stays.


The old horn center cap that was cracked is gone, replaced by a '73-style cap... just for giggles. I actually have the proper, un-cracked cap the car should have, but it's in storage until the car is roadable.





May 1, 2004: Today we spent the day pulling the motor and trans from the '79 Spirit DL parts car and put it into this AMX. Stupidly, no photos were taken as we worked, but we didn’t want to lose momentum. The drivetrain is mounted up and about 50% of the normal connections are done. We hope to continue the job in the next week or two. We also installed the Turbocast II wheels and RWL tires from the maroon '81 DL, much to its new owner’s disappointment (he’d been hoping I’d decided against using them…wrong). It now looks more like the older photo, above, than the August shots, below.



October 26, 2003: The same friend that found and sold me this car located another '79 Spirit DL for me that I brought home yesterday. It was bought to supply its 258 engine and 4-speed transmission for this AMX. Some bonus items are it's black cloth seats in excellent shape (except for color fade needing a quick dye job), and a driver-side door to replace this car's rusty one. Also, many black interior trim pieces will be used to improve the AMX's insides. The DL's other door and fender will go to my former maroon '81 DL that is now owned by a local pal.


Today I threw a battery booster pack in the AMX and powered the car up to check electrical functions. The heater blower came right on and was smooth and quiet. All the running lights were working. Best of all, I tried out the radio, and all functions including the CB are working properly…and that's a factory 40-channel CB, folks!





August 28, 2003: Finally made the trip to Virginia and towed this car home to New Jersey. Left home at 5AM, finally got it dropped of at 7PM. In between, lots of miles. Discovered the fuel tank is MIA, as well as the drivetrain. Luckily, the '80 AMX I parted out earlier this year had a good tank that I saved. This car is currently wearing a rough set of 'Steel Rally' wheels (aka Magnums), but will get the Turbocast II wheels from my Spirit DL shortly (much to that car's soon-to-be-new-owner's shagrin).




July 19, 2003: I have a pair of HID-style round headlamps I want to use when/if the 2-round-headlamp conversion becomes a reality. Check them out!

They are quite the ‘NON-DOT’ variety, but since inspection is once every two years and the car will see only rare night use anyway, I’m not real worried about

‘da LAW’.




July 4, 2003: This car turned up in Edinburg, Virginia and I made the deal to buy it last week. It was yet another deal too good to pass up.



Rust seems confined to the driver’s door skin and passenger-side front fender,

both of which will be replaced.

The seller kept the wheels, which was fine since I

already had a complete set of the same wheels on my '81 DL.


Hmm…okay…it appears something under the hood might be missing.



This is the interior after a quicky-cleaning.

Imagine how good it will look after a full detailing!



Full gauge package includes in-dash tachometer.

Then there’s that rare AM/FM/CB Radio unit.


The door tag tells us it’s a ‘real’ AMX.


The VIN# of xxx decodes as follows: 1979 AMC Spirit AMX 2 dr liftback. Engine: AMC 4.2l (258cid) 2v I6. Trans: 4-speed Manual floor shift. This was the xxxxx car ordered from the Kenosha WI, USA plant in 1979. This car has DL interior and seatbelts and the check digit is x.

Its factory-installed equipment includes:

·        258cid Inline six cylinder engine with 2-barrel carb. [Missing]

·        Four-Speed Manual Transmission. [Missing]

·        Power Steering

·        Manual front disc brakes

·        A/C Pkg. (with HD cooling, alternator, parcel shelf, and tinted glass)

·        ‘AMX’ black-out trim package

·        Rear spoiler

·        Bumper guards

·        Remote hatch release [inoperable?]

·        AM/FM/CB Stereo unit

·        Rally Gauge package with tachometer

·        Padded sport steering wheel

·        Floor console with armrest

·        Turbocast II aluminum wheels

·        Rear Defroster

·        Dual Remote Door Mirrors


Here is what this car looked like when it was brand new 24 years ago.

This is generally how it will look again…unless…


My car will look somewhat different, though, as it will receive a

’78 Concord AMX front grille and lights,

Shadowmask paint scheme (as seen on 1970 AMXs)…

…and a custom fiberglass hood with

a 1970 AMX-style Ram Air bubble, like the car below.


I'll likely stick with the stock Cardinal Red paint as that will save

the trouble of repainting the door jambs, underhood area and so on.




Send me your every thought!


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