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Yesterday I was at Mike Mendeolas shop in Chula Vista picking up parts, today I went to Dave Ward's chassis shop in Fontana to drop them off.

We stretched the body 2 inches for more legroom. Bizzarrini did the same thing in Italy in 1970 when AMC sent him the molds from the original prototype, since we are also working with the original prototype we did the same thing.

Dave made two panels for the bottom of the chassis that will be attached later.

Mike Mendeola machined a custom bellhousing that will allow us to use the AMC V-8 engine with the Mendeola SRD five speed.
Mike also made custom axle stubs that allow us to use CV's for the SDR 5 speed transaxle instead of the stock half shafts that the C4 Corvette normally uses. Mike made a fixture that will allow this conversion to be done much quicker in the future.
These two parts took quite a while to make, because they required some R&D. Now that the process has been established and some new tooling has been developed, we can get these with a much quicker turn around time.

That was the number one question by far, what will it weigh? I don't know, the steel is .090 mild steel and it may be between 2700-3000 lbs. I am not worried about the weight, the chassis was built by Dave Ward who built the Big Red Camaro and Big Red weighs close to 3500 lbs, but with 1,000 HP it still goes 222 MPH. Safety is most important to me, with enough HP the weight will move. The AMX/3 wheelbase is 105".

The 2009 SoCalAMX 3rd annual "All AMC Car Show" at the NHRA Museum in Pamona California on May 30th, 2009 was a blast. This is the best AMC event in Southern California all year. Congratulations to all the winners. Thanks to Mark Melvin and his crew for putting on this super cool event.
I followed the AMX3 long before the Pantera.

At the time in the US the AMX was the only mid-engine car being "leaked" to the public. No one outside of Ford knew what the Pantera looked like and if I recall correctly, it had no name yet, only a code number designation.

Calling the AMX3 the superior car, may in fact be true, but in retrospect is just sour grapes.

Ford held the $10,000 line for a reason. The AMX3 cost analization by them internally, certainly fits into the story of what happened.

The problem was that AMC was virtually bankrupt at the time and the AMX3 was a last desperate stab at making a miracle comeback.

Personally I was ready for it, but not at $12,000 or even $10,000.

Back in '73, I filled out a mail in free Pantera brochure offer and as a result got the "yellow" brochure in the mail from Ford.

In addition I got a call from "Park Lincoln-Mercury" in Yonkers, NY, and got an offer over the phone of $5,100, for a new Pantera with a trade of my '68 Shelby for a new white Pantera.

I was in my senior year of college and concentrating on graduating and keeping out of the draft so that never happened for me.

Timing I'm afraid is everything?

Here are some pictures from one of the AMX3's taken at a Cobra Club meeting in MI back in '74.

They are from Jeff Burgy. Don't know which car this one is, but it certainly is not an aberration. Look at the hair stiles. Yikes.

I guess we all have stories to tell. For me I sometimes I wonder if they really ever happened or I just imagined it all?

Ask me about Jim Webb calling me and wanting me to buy his 427 Cobra. One of two with the dual Paxtons. His and Cosby's.

My wife tells me to stop the BS. I tell her it isn't BS. I had to pick between her and that car? Sometimes she still believes me? Cool


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  • AMX_3_(Burgy)
Last edited by panteradoug

...probably the Patera of Dr.Jodar, Bruce Jodar's father, sitting there.

Bruce Jodar was the original organizer of the original Cobra Club which was independent of the Shelby Owner's Association and later was absorbed into the the original SAAC, or Shelby American Automibile Club, organized by Rick Kopec and Ken Eber.

I went to a Cobra Club meeting in Sparta, NJ, in '75 where he came in from MI, in the car.

He was wearing a Dr.'s gown with a name tag of Jodar on it.

The story was that he made the drive in 8 hours from Grosse Point Shores, MI. That is a subburb of Detroit.

Now I can tell you that I have made that drive straight across Rt.80 several times and the best that I could do was 16 hours.

We figure he AVERAGED something like 100 to 110...AVERAGED, to do it in that time.

The significance of the doctors identity was Bruce was going to say he was his father, who was a heart surgeon as I remember, and he was on an emergency call, if he was pulled over for speeding.

This was before photo radar was put in on 80 in Ohio, and the Police were issued an edict of not to pursue over 85mph...and the CANNONBALL WAS REAL, not a pipe dream.

Wince and frown all you want to. Sometimes the background stories on this stuff are more entertaining then the newspaper clipping ever was.

The stories can be so stupid that you just can't make this stuff up? Big Grin


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  • AMX_3_at_Cobra_Club_Meet_'75
Last edited by panteradoug
It really was the little, too late thing for AMC.

Penske-Donahue was tearing up Trans-Am in the Javalin but little attention to it kind of emphasizes the "win on Sunday, buy on Monday" feeling that the auto makers had didn't really mean anything at all.

AMC was just the "bastard" of the industry in the general public's eyes and that image was difficult to overcome in such a small period of time.

How many of the AMX3's could they really sell?

I KNOW that if you talk to the "bean counters" at Ford, they actually have a number in dollars at what the LOSS per car was on each and every Pantera sold.

Much like the Boss 429's, you can't actually make a profit on low production cars.

The newest Ford GT's are the same story. These cars were made to PROVE to the automotive world that they can make them, and that's all that they are about now...or then.

Incidentally...great article...thanks for posting.
Originally posted by Rocky:
Thanks, Doug -

What would be the better deal now, the Shelby, or a new $5100 Pantera?

Regards -


...well, I still have the Shelby...and my Pantera is red? Missed the oportunities for a Cobra and the Mangusta is still illusive. Paid a little more then $5100 for the P, but a lot less for the Shelby. Such is fate. Go figure? Wink
Last edited by panteradoug
The younger guys wince when the older guys start telling stories a little?

It helps if you have some pictures to go along with it.

The 68 Shelby went out and found a kennel mate, a 67 GT500.

The Pantera needs a Mangusta to keep it company.

Got a couple of stories on the ones that got away.

Well actually more like I think I got close to them but that's like saying that the Super model was flirting with me. The reality was that her face was probably twitching in fear that I would approach her? roll on floor

Best to see the glass half full right?
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