Keselowski seizes victory at Indy - Jul 28, 2012 - NASCAR.COM
Not since Kenosha's tiny AMC delivered victories against the "unbeatable" "Big Three" in USAC, SCCA TransAm, and NASCAR in the '70s has Penske enjoyed such success in full-bodied auto racing....
More about lil brother AMC:
Craig Breedlove, legendary racer, piloted the 2-seat AMX to over 100 land speed records before it was even introduced for sale. It was initially introduced with optional leather seats, 140 mph speedometer, “tic-tac” gauge package, and “go pak,” which included either a four barrel 290 or the new forged crank & rods 390 rated at an artificially low 315 hp at 4,600 rpm and Hemi-level 425 lb-ft of torque at 3,200 rpm.
The Javelin was an instant success on the SCCA Trans-Am circuit, finishing every race it entered (unlike any other factory team of the time).
A Vintage Racer With an Unfair Advantage | Hemmings Blog: Classic and collectible cars and parts
Consumer Javelins & AMXs powered by the new 4bbl 290 343, and with the 425 ft.lbs. of torque, forged crank & rods 390 V8s, it were formidable cars on the street and strip. In 1969, Javelin SST and AMX could be purchased with eye-catching “Big Bad” colors: BBOrange, BBGreen, and BBBlue, with less than 300 AMXs in each BigBad color. In addition, AMC, like Chrysler, worked with Hurst, with Crane doing the heads, to develop new models, in this case the dragstrip terror Hurst SS/AMX, the ram-air 390-powered RWB Hurst SC/Rambler. The American "Scrambler" or "Super Car/Rambler" wore two different red/white/blue paint schemes, had r/w/b headrests, a Sun tach strapped to the steering column, and the T10 4-speed with Hurst shifter & linkage, and rear torque links from the AMX. The hood and mailbox-type air scoop were painted "AIR , 390," with an arrow into the air duct. The only option was an AM radio. Only 1512 were built, most employed to massacre the competition on the strip. Two were equipped with 4WD and ran in the Baja 500. One took first place in its class.
Later the 1970 340bhp RWB ram-air Rebel "Machine" grew out of the Hurst bin. "The Machine" had a hood scoop with the tach built into the back, 390, dual exhaust, auto or stick, slotted 15x8 road wheels, and plush interior. Though there were various colors available, most Machines were white with reflective r/w/b stripes.
The AMX/2 and AMX/3 were VERY hot concept projects utilizing hand-made Italian fiberglass bodies and mid-mounted 390s. Seven(?) were built. The Ford Pantera was apparently cloned from this program.
A very-rare Hurst version of the Jeepster Commando was made in white with red and blue T stripes and hood scoop, again with built-in tach.
For 1969, AMC sold 33,990 Javelins and 5,784 AMXs, versus 42,215 and 7,333 in 1968.
In 1970, Mark Donohue and the Penske Sunoco Racing Team dumped their Camaros to run Javelins. AMXs and Javelins had available dealer "Group 19" heavy-duty performance options including 4 wheel disk brakes, torque-link traction bars, tube-headers, edelbrock single & dual quad intakes with Holley carbs, large cams & complete valvetrain kits, forged axles, Detroit lockers, Mallory CDI ignitions, aluminum interior kits, & much more. Forged pistons were aftermarket only & the stock pressed-pin pistons were a needed addition, along with needed oiling mods to reach 8500 rpm with the smallblock engine family, which were all cast in the same exterior dimensions from high-nickel iron, to the frustration of machinists boring these military-grade blocks. Using 1" OD piston pins, as the Hemi did was thought to be strong enough but the pins supplied with period TRW forged pistons (using super-thin 1/16" compression rings) were found to go oval at over 8000 rpm & 600 bhp level, yanking the bottoms out of the forgings. Parts interchange is outstanding & many of these engines are still on std bore 40yrs later. The V-8 heads were refined for over a 50% boost in flow & had 2.025" * 1.68" valves, with flow closely following the Hemi up to .600 lift. Advertising the 390 at an insurance-friendly 340 bhp and 430ft/lb torque was a insightful sales ploy, the insiders knew better.
In 1970, AMC produced 31,090 Javelins and 2,110 AMXs. AMX and Javelin received a mild styling update, and added an optional "Power Blister" ram air hood that boosted the 390s horsepower to 345 (actually closer to 400 bhp). A special "Mark Donohue Edition" Javelin had all the performance options, along with a Donohue-designed spoiler. The 343 V-8 was enlarged to 360 cid and the 290 to 304. For 1971, the beefed-up 390 from 1970 was STROKED to 401ci with longer forged rods and taller deck; it was rated at an insurable 330 bhp net, though the 140+ MPH top speeds reported by the Alabama State Police indicate closer to 400 bhp. Javelin’s dramatic new TransAm derived styling, and moving the AMX to the Javelin line rather than selling it as a separate two-seat model ended the 98" wheelbase, 2600lb 2-seater. Javelin now had hump fenders, the TransAm series-developed twin canopy roof panel with the roof spoiler lip; inside, the Javelin was restyled with a “****pit” feel and many upholstery options. The fiberglass/plastic hood was dramatically raised, and the cowl-ram-air carburetor induction system was included with the optional “Go” package. A wire-mesh “full span” grille was standard, as was the functional rear deck “duck tail” spoiler and dual rearview mirrors. All Javelins were two door hardtops. Javelin was the champion of SCCA Trans-Am racing for three seasons, forcing the big three to take there toys home & give up, while Wally Booth’s Gremlin X and hundreds of AMXs tore up the drag strips. Javelin again killed the remaining competition in the SCCA Trans-Am competition, and the 401 cubic inch V8 became popular in police-edition AMC Matadors. The Chrysler Torque-Command (TorqueFlite A727) fully replaced the Borg-Warner Flash-o-Matic.
Javelins got an optional Pierre Cardin interior package featuring silky black countoured seats trimmed with flowing white, purple and red stripes flowing across them, continuing up the door panels and around the headliner. Another
1973 Javelin option was the "Trans-Am Victory" package celebrating their back-to-back SCCA championships; the Javelin also received new pod taillights.
Though the Javelin and AMX were both still young and dusting the competition, 1974 was the last year & they were dropped from lack of interest, along with their counterparts at Chrysler, the Barracuda and Challenger.
The 2-door Matador was replaced by the flamboyant Matador Coupe. It had an extremely long hood, deeply tunneled headlamps, bulbous curves, and four round taillights. It was a sight indeed. Car & Driver wrote that “It is, unquestionably, this year’s style leader.... You can consider that newly acquired self-assured look a tangible warning to Detroit and the world that AMC is no longer bound by the threat of financial oblivion.”
Ordered with the 401 X package, the Matador could beat any new sport sedan. The styling, under **** Teague’s leadership, was intended to help Penske, Donohue, Bobby Allison and the other AMC racers get more aerodynamic advantage on the track, which it did.
AMC NASCAR Matador
It was the only all-new American midsize car, and had an optional interior styled by Oleg Cassinni. Acceleration with the 401 was brisk, with a 16.3 second quarter mile time recorded by Car & Driver (a tad slower than Monte Carlo S but quicker by far than Cutlass); braking was far superior (184 feet from 70 mph) to Monte Carlo S, Cutlass, and Gran Torino Sport.
AMC AMX: American Motors Experimental sports car (and AMC Javelin)
Thanks to allpar.com for some data found on their site, including some of their errors which I have corrected. Thanks to others whose URLs are included here. This is only the most basic assemblage of MOPAR's lil brother AMC data...my HDD is PACKED FULL, but this here is me Android....