Despite American Motors being long gone, it still can make an impression. In fact, one of its extremely special prototype vehicles won best in class earlier this year at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, a first for AMC.
Other than the AMC faithful, few are acquainted with the AMX/3, an experimental mid-engine sports car built in the late 1960s with input from BMW, ItalDesign and Bizzarrini. The Detroit automaker was trying to instill some excitement into its lineup, and the exceptionally low-profile and aerodynamic AMX/3 was the result of a program led by AMC design director Dick Teague.
The Bizzarrini connection is what won the AMX/3 Monza its 2016 Pebble Beach first prize in a special class at Pebble Beach honoring the cars of the Italian sports-car marque. The recently restored AMX/3 was picked by the judges as the best of the Bizzarrini bunch, a new high-water mark for an American Motors product. This car became known as the Monza after it achieved a top speed of 170 mph in testing at the famed Italian race track.
But like so make great prototypes and other dream cars, the AMX/3 never went into production, AMC pulling the plug on the program because of anticipated high cost and federalization issues. Just six of the experimental coupes were built.
The Pebble Beach-winning 1969 AMX/3 Monza will be one of the featured lots at Gooding & Company’s 10th annual Scottsdale auction in January, taking its place among exotic high-performance cars that will highlight the sale. With its bronze finish and terrific styling by Giotto Bizzarrini, the AMC should be a standout during the Arizona Classic Car Week of auctions, shows and parties. The car is valued at $900,000 to $1.3 million.
Gooding in Scottsdale will feature a number of limited-production performance cars from the 1960s and ’70s.
Among them are two V12 Ferraris – a 1969 275 GTB Long Nose Alloy designed by Pininfarina and one of 80 aluminum-bodied lightweights built by Scaglietti, valued at $2.9 million to $3.2 million, and a 1965 500 Superfast, valued at $2.8 million to $3.2 million, one of 36 examples produced of the 400-horsepower grand-touring cars that carried an original price tag double that of the next most-expensive Ferrari.
For fans of the most-exotic performance cars, there’s the 1975 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale, a rare road-going version of Lancia’s World Rally Championship-winning race cars. Designed specifically to win rally races with a landmark body design by Bertone, and the chassis and V6 engine of the Ferrari Dino, just 492 Stratos were built.
This fully restored Stradale model in Azzuro (blue) has an estimated value of $500,000 to $600,000.
These four designer-driven performance coupes will among the collector cars offered at the Gooding auction, which takes place January 20 and 21 at Scottsdale Fashion Square.
“Produced in very limited numbers, these striking cars are special to me for their groundbreaking design and impressive performance, which make them exhilarating to drive and highly collectible,” David Gooding, president of Gooding & Company, said in a news release.
For information about Gooding’s 10th annual Scottsdale sale, visit the auction website.