Motoramic

Exploring the 1970 American Motors AMX/3

Tucked into the corner of the Chicago Auto Show, away from the cameras and fog machines, was one of the greatest American sports car that never was — the 1970 AMX/3, from the same minds at American Motors that brought us the Pacer.

Designed by AMC styling chief Richard Teague, the AMX/3 was AMC's answer to the spread of mid-engine sports cars that had begun in earnest with Lamborghini, spread to the Ford-powered DeTomaso Pantera and had even pushed Chevy to work on a rear-engine version of the Corvette. Six copies of the AMX/3 were built in Italy, using a layout similar to a Pantera, powered by a 340-hp version of AMC's 390 V-8, but AMC's worsening financial troubles and pending fuel economy rules killed the project.

Teague himself later bought two of the prototypes, and restored this one, which is still owned by his family, and his design has aged better than many of its contemporaries. Click below to see what I mean:

Photos: Ian Merritt for Yahoo! Autos