My 1979 AMC AMX (aka Spirit V8)

My third-favorite car of all time is this '79 AMX, which I couldn't really call my "AMX", so I called it a Spirit V8, which is what it was. It had quick steering, 304-V8, a torqueflite (later a 4-speed). I bought it in Massachusetts, and took it with me when I moved to San Francisco in November 1983.

I hated the big turkey/eagle decal and the plastic flares, though I liked the little tail (it's too small to be a "spoiler"), and one black car was enough for me (always dirty, always hot, lots of parking lot dings) so I painted it white and customized the grille. (It came with four square headlights; I hate those too so it got two 7" rounds.)

It died an early death when I fractured the unibody up over the roof (rear pass. quarter) from autocrossing on bad chassis setups. I wasn't competitive at all (as you can see some of my competition) (plus I just wasn't a good competitive driver, the bottom line) but man did I learn a lot about what not to do to a car.

I don't have many photos of this car, this is it. Too bad. I parted out the car, my 1963 Classic has the brakes still, only the unibody and interior got trashed (though that all-black interior would be nice to have now!)

I built this engine up from a shortblock I got from someone down the (San Fran) peninsula, can't recall his name. It was my first and last pre-Yunick rebuild; I just built it in the garage, and wasn't particularly clean. I forget what was in it, but it was a "cheater" 304, RV cam, Edelbrock manifold, stock dual exhaust, etc.

(On those ugly AMC turbo wheels I had a set of Yokohama A001's, very nice sticky tires, rated for 8000 miles! Rear unsprung weight is bad on these cars (light rear) so I cheated, used an AMC15 axle (forget the ratio), which is a hell of a lot lighter. They're cheap, who cares if they don't last long.)