The Life and Death of American Motors Corporation: RCR Car Stories

čas přidán 12. 04. 2021
A look into the life of the American Motors Corporation, and the decisions that led to its death. What were the successes that defined AMC, and what were the tragedies that changed its path forever? What lessons can we learn from its demise? It's an all-new RCR Stories! The longest ever. Whether that's a good or a bad thing is entirely up to you.

Special thanks to AutoMoments for additional AMC footage!
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Related RCR Videos Mentioned:

The Life and Death of Mickey Thompson:
History of the Chrysler-Mercedes Merger:
The Legend of Lee Iacocca:
1983: The Year Without A Corvette:
1972 AMC Ambassador Brougham Sedan (Regular Car Reviews):
1976 AMC Gremlin (Regular Car Reviews):
1978 AMC Pacer (Regular Car Reviews):

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  • Great documentary! In interest of accuracy, an improvement would have been to synchronize the photos to the actual cars you were talking about , such as showing a '62 Rambler Classic, while discussing the 1963 winning the car of the year award, and showing a second gen Rambler American, while talking about the return of the Nash Rambler's 100 inch wheelbase and body panels in 1958-'60 (1st generation). Showing an American, which always had an open driveshaft, while mentioning the enclosed driveshaft ( torque tube), of the "senior"cars through 1966. Maybe the video making process is harder than it looks, because I'm sure it took you months of research to do as well as you did, ( very nice reviews, as a whole) so I probably shouldn't nitpick, before making that kind of effort myself. Apologies for my OCD! 😎👍

  • Great and informative video. As a pre 1986 Jeep enthusiast, I found it very interesting. Thank you

  • Watched the whole thing loved it....Big pat on the back! and thanks

  • I had a 1972 Gremlin X, a 1974 Oelg Cassini Matador, and a 1976 Pacer X. Loved them all. Love them more now than I did then. Yes, dummy to trade them off. The Pacer went at a time of crisis in my personal life but se le vi. I'd be happy with any or all three, to keep as a classic, as a Sunday driver. I could say woe is me but I shall for-go the cliches and hold on to the memories.

  • I wanted a Rebel badly when I was a teen.

  • Excellent mini documentary…. Just knit picking, but it seems there was a lack of mentioning the elephant in the room: AMC’s main problems were awful quality. I had a roommate in college who had a Pacer… small footprint, nice and roomy interior but it’s gas mileage was *worse* than my 1976 V8 Camaro.

  • This was a great story. The detail and research is fantastic well done. I remember when the Pacer came out. All the kids in the neighborhood wanted Denis's Dad to give us a ride in it.

  • I owned a 1975 AMC hornet turned it into a muscle car unfortunately I do not have it

  • Thank you so much! You produced a very entertaining historical documentary - A favorite!

  • in the winter of 88/89, i lived outside aspen co in a little town named Basalt. The police chief was super cool, he would come in the bar at night sometimes and i suspect he knew half of the people at the table were underage but never brought it up. I had breakfast with him numerous times, I was 23, he was such a sweet man. He drove an AMC Eagle as a cruiser. So did the cops in Aspen that werent driving Saabs

  • In 1974-1975 i was 9 years old and going to a catholic grade school in Philipsburg , NJ but I lived out in shit spreaderville nj. That was the school year that the local school district stopped providing transportation to schools outside the district. Sooo there were these 2 phillipsburg catholic high school students that signed up to take care of the private transportation and for that whole school year i drove back and forth to St Phillip and James elementary in a dark blue 8 door Ambassador airport limo. It was always dense with cigarette and pot smoke and powered by the loud music of the time. IT WAS GREAT. Those HS students went on to create their own successful limo service

  • Well done. Excellent. Of particular interest to me because my Dad owned Hudsons, Kaisers, Fraser’s, Nash’s, and AMC cars and I had a 1968 AMX previously owned by my Dad and a 1974 AMC Hornet previously owned by my mother. My Dads last AMC was the 1968 AMX. My mother had her last AMC; the 1968 Javelin. My sister owned a 1969 AMX as well. I really loved the AMX and the 1965 Ambassador with the 327 cu in engine. Beautiful car.

  • One thing you didn't mention: When Romney left, GM and to a lesser extent Ford, took advantage of the perceived instability in the AMC hierarchy, and approached AMC dealers to convince them that AMC was dying and that the dealer should change brands. GM has played no holes bared business since day one and always sparing no expense to destroy other companies, especially start-ups. (Tucker)

  • I know of a guy that lives in camrun NY state and he is a posttel worker that has a lot of the AMC eagle and he uses one to deliver the mail in I know that he has collected these cars and has a lot of them if you want to check this out and see if he will sell one to you and I know that he has parts for them too so you would have a good chance of getting one so you need to get on 15 north to the Addison exit and then take a Left trun to Addison when you get to Addison take a right trun to country route 119 follow it and he is on the left hand side of county route 119 just passed camrun NY state and you will see the cars sitting in his driveway and in the yard it's been a while since I been out there but the last time I was there he had around twenty of them actually sitting there so you have a good chance to get one of these cars out there and thanks for the info about the AMC my dad owned a AMX with the big block in it and 4 speed manual in it it was the first car I leaned to drive in and I loved it

  • 1987 eagle medallion station wagon was a great car along with the sedan and they were giving them away, had 3 brand new ones in the family in those days, surprised that no mention that the eagle premier was the fore runner to Chryslers resurgence fueled by the cab forward models they put out . I realize my research is just what I knew or thought I knew back in the day. In no way do I pretend to know what you have researched , great job and thank you.

  • I like the video and appreciate the time for details it makes good bedside listening.

  • I was driven home from the hospital when I was born in an AMC Pacer 😀

  • Please do a contrast/comparison- why can Subaru make it and thrive....but not AMC?

  • I gave you thumbs up and subscribed. Thankyou for your work and wonderful Doc. I was however soured on AMC after I bought a new1974 Gremlin that turned out to be a total POS. I guess I got a Lemon for whatever reason. Anyways that was along long time ago and I survived the ordeal. Thankyou again and Cheers!

  • Full of mistakes!! IE: V-6 engines in 1965???

  • This wasn’t the AMC that I’m looking for.

  • And THANK YOU for such a great video that brought fond memories of me and my AMCs'. Through the years I've had many and loved them all. They gave me good service and to this day, I still have my 1978 AMC Concord. It hasn't ran in years but though I've gotten rid of other cars of different makes, I can't seem to part with this one after owning it 34 years! When that day comes (if I don't go sooner) I'm sure I won't be dry eyed ⚠️

  • I had an AMC years ago ... never again!!!!!!

  • 60 Rambler cc wagon, 69 Rambler American 440, 73 Hornet 4dr, 74 Hornet 2dr stick, 76 Hornet wagon, all good!

  • America is synonymous with cars cars no's that far gone. No one works where they live anymore....all commute. The car's been sold to america as the life culture standard of existance....because it's not real Living. Insurance companies make you pay through the nose with government regulations criminal law to buy insurance....state politicians want gasoline tax money. Oil companies want you hooked on their Gas Pumps...Yes america you work for your car, it does not work for you. From tires to oil changes maintenance and court days for tickets ...Licencing and registrations and more registrations and more Licences and surcharges , the car is a necessity but more like a nightmare that hauntes your entire world....Yeah the p.o.s. plastic molded automobile is your burden to bare. God help you and your wallet....used to be your car had an engine..pretty it has multiple "systems" and computers and hundreds of extra government mandated parts that make you a slave to your car..not it's master. So pay up and shut up and get to work and Pay pal...19% 30%'s a free country alright , if you can afford it

  • AMC made 19,xxx (I forget the exact figure) AMX's. Each one had a production number plate on the dashboard. I was an AMX fan in the '70s and would always look at any I saw on the street back then. I distinctly remember seeing a couple of '70 AMX's that sported numbers higher than 19,xxx, one having a plate saying 21,xxx something. For decades I was always puzzled at this for I knew what I saw. Then finally somewhere I read that in 1970 AMC workers went on strike & when they went back (or maybe before they went on strike) I reckon quality wasn't the biggest thing on their mind. I can just see some worker reaching in to the plate bin, to hell with the correct number, & slapping whatever he had in his hand on the car.

  • torque tube was gone by 1960 good video but your timeline is all over the place and cars shown with audio timeline dont match

  • TAR-PON lol!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think I'll go TAR-PON fishing in Florida this summer!!! Bwahahahaha!!!!!! Just here for the history of the AMX, btw.

  • Great video, but could you provide more dates in future videos? For example when you talk about Kaiser buying Willys. I just really like dates so I can keep the information you are providing in context to the larger automative historical picture. I don't want to having to be internet searching for missing details while watching a "documentary". Thanks.

  • Really really great work! Keep on!

  • Great presentation. Careful buying your first eagle. They get addicting

  • I loved this whole video and share some of your same passion for AMC. I’m a fan that grew up with a ‘73 Hornet Sportabout and later a ‘79 Concord. Always loved the underdog.

  • Inline 6 not v 6s.🙄

  • 2:14:09 1.5 billion in 1987 or 690 billion since Biden took office

  • Excellent documentary, my friend. Had me hooked all the way, even though I knew the story of AMC since I was a teenager, it still very refreshing to hear others keeping the story alive. Thank you very much for this awesome video.

  • Economies of scale were always a problem with AMC and Chrysler. We can sit here in 2021 and armchair quarterback them and look pretty darn good. You missed a generation of Wills Jeep wagons and trucks, there was a generation before the 1963/64 vehicles, they were also the first all steel US Station Wagons. I really have to speculate that their futures may of been better served by using captative imports. Either with an European manufacturer or Asian, Subaru would of been a good match along side their Jeeps. Renault could of been a good match if they cot there a decade earlier and they introduce Renault commercial vehicles through AMC Dealers, A Renault Traffic passenger van may of been a good seller during the fuel crisis. They had experience with the Metropilation. I've seen mock up of a Metropilation wagons/hatch backs a 4 seater that could of been an excellent commuter/2nd car. Similarly British Leyland or what ever the heck they called themselves over the years had a various time developed various new Minis and Midis but never executed them as they didn't have the money to re-vamp a car that was selling okay. That could of given them a front drive sub compact that would of been fuel efficient, and possibly their US Compact cars could be full sized cars in other world markets. Another concept that isn't discussed is that British manufacturers were making different cars that were kind of the same for Australia, the AUS platforms with six cylinders may of been spot on for the US market. You brushed on transmissions. AMC had the Twin Stick overdrive, the twin stick mated to a 4 speed may of very well given them the opportunity to get acceleration when you needed it and economy when you wanted it. Consider a Checker Marathon wagon with a Jeep drive train, move over Suburban there's a new whale in town. Same for the deal with Renault, to little to late and the products weren't well suited for the US had they had their own 4 cylinder engines between 2 and 2.5 liters and started with a mid sized AMC engined Renault they might of gotten the market splash they wanted but the cars may of lasted longer than the payments on them. Ford lopped 2 cylinders off the Falcon six and made the Tempo/Topaz engine, GM lopped 2 cylinders off the Buick V8 to make their V6, did AMC miss the boat by not making a straight 4 from their six or a V6 from their V8, might of worked well for Jeeps. I live in rural Iowa many of the small town auto dealers had interesting doubling franchises. One local Dealer was an Oldsmobile/IHC franchise. He could sell you your car, your pick up, your farm truck, Tractors and all other equipment and take hogs or corn as payment. He eventually got bored and started making Recreational Vehicles, that entity still exists today as Winnebago Industries. Another local Chevy Dealer had Allis Chalmers tractors again full service for the local farmer. Of Course Ford had tractors at their dealers during this era. I bought a new LeCar in 1980, the big issue was the lack of service and parts, I parted with it in 1983 after it sat for 3 weeks waiting for an alternator and the dealer was unable to diagnosis the ignition problem that caused it to randomly quit. I was a small engine mechanic and college student, I could figure it out why couldn't they? Oh buy the way when spark ignition engines randomly shut off and may or may not restart it's probably ignition not fuel, note to the dealer a carburetor isn't going to fix in ignition problem. If you would of figured it out a $4.00 bushing could of made you a $100-$200 service ticket, good gross and a happy customer, a lot more that a $500 carburetor that wouldn't fix the problem.

  • This was a great in depth reporting on AMC. I was surprised to find out AMC lasted so long. But I love the Gremlin the Javelin and the Eagle talon. I wish I could have gotten my hands on the AMX. Thank you!

  • & to think-through the 60s their cars were pretty good- but- Management had Bigger dreams- & as we Know-- just because you've managed to to hobnob your way to the top of the corporate ladder (usually networking) doesn't mean you should have that job

  • Great and detailed video!

  • That explains a lot...Romney. What a fucking loser.

  • thank you for this documentary

  • Eagles are bad ass zero I had a eagle sport 4x4 car

  • Bebop fan?

  • Thanks for making this. You covered it all!

  • around the time of my birth, (1966) my parents bought a brand new Rambler Classic wagon.

  • Lusitania had a load of munitions on board, military and ship management betrayed the passengers but may have eluded responsibility. The ‘revenge’ explanation is probably bunk.

  • Well this was justice a fun informative video thank you

  • I kind of liked the amc pacer yet i could find no rhyme or reason for that. The xke jag made more sense to myself. And the dodge charger 3 experimental.

  • Regarding Pinto . " Estates of survivors " . Estates are usually for the deceased . NON survivors .

  • The Levi Gremlin was cool.

  • No wonder it failed anything associated with Romney is a joke. Never trust a rhino.

  • I have been a fan from when I got my first AMX a 1969,a1970 Javelin ,a 1971 SST Javelin and then back to an AMX in 73 a Gremlin a Pacer an now 9 Jeeps . Do you think I have an AMC addiction or not ?

  • A must watch documentary. Good job and only a few minor dating issues. In print format, Pat Foster is the go-to AMC expert. George Romney re-designed the Rambler for the 1956 model year, not 1957. Rambler American was introduced in 1958 (your photo is of a later, re-designed 1962 American). Nash was a stronger company before the merger than Hudson.

  • The AMC eEagle is one of the first car I fell in love with. I used to walk past one on my way to school in fourth and fifth grade. I still check to see if it's there 20 years later...

    • I bought an ‘85 Eagle after GM screwed me over on an ‘81 Citation and it’s so-called “paint job”. It was a great car except that I couldn’t keep the rocker cover from leaking oil. Even with the $60 gasket they came out with! It anointed my driveway with a quart of oil every 4,000 miles! The paint didn’t fall off like the Chevy though. And that Eagle would go anywhere! I used to drive it in the snow and went past everyone else who got stuck, including 4WD pickups! I embarrassed Subaru owners! The high ground clearance allowed me to take it in rough country roads. Alas, the 255 engine started burning oil and I decided to trade it in. That was a mistake.

  • I got my driver's license in a fish bowl. Great visibility! Pacer

  • I, to this very day am very thankful for the two lessons I learned from owning a Gremlin back in the early 70's.. The first was that I learned a lot of obscure auto parts (idler and pitman arm?) because so many of them kept breaking and going bad. The second important lesson was to Never, ever, ever buy an American car again. Honda to Toyota to Mazda and finally a Mercedes. Fifty years of driving pleasure. Thanks AMC!

  • I used to have a matador, god I loved that car.

  • Great commentary on a great American history of AMC!!!!!!!!

  • Great story!

  • The Dan Carlin impersonator was a little much.

  • I think General motors killed it.

  • Sure wish my father was still alive to see this gem of a documentary. He had a fondness for all of those “ predecessor” companies that became AMC. His favorites were Kaisers, Frazers, and Hudsons.

  • We had an AMC dealer in our small town when I was in high school.I will always remember a light green AMX and a white Rebel Machine on their lot c1969/70. When I got a job I bought a Camaro of course. Why buy a car from the #4 auto maker when you can have #1

  • AMC=All Makes Cars. AMC used components from other automakers.

  • I had a Hornet , 3 speed . It had its own theme song “I fall to pieces …🎶!!

  • County Cork…

  • I miss my AMC Eagle. We went everywhere together.

  • Greetings from Australia, this was most enjoyable and well researched, thank you. Our family had 4 Ramblers back in the sixties, great memories.

  • AMC went on to build Military HUMVEE’S!

  • Good video but I don't remember the AMC Rebel coming with a V6 as claimed at 48.36 in the video. I only saw inline sixes in AMC cars of this period.

  • What a Great Story and Storyteller!! Very interesting. Thank you.

  • AMC Javelin SST was a fantastic car for it's time, along with the AMX. Having previously owned two of them, (one AMC Javelin SST, and an AMX) I would like to know more about the full history of both of these AMC models. The overall design of the outer body, comfortably spacious interior, and a smooth ride, made for a great ride on long road trips ... or short jaunts to the grocery store. Sleek, stylish, and excellent gas mileage for a 3.8 leader, 4 barrel V-8, my AMC Javelin SST was a racehorse that could put it's power on the ground and still maintain true stability on the road. Both the AMC and AMX had a braking system was precise and stable, even in an emergency stop situation, having no loss of traction or control of the vehicle. Overall, with just simple standard, upkeep and maintenance, these cars were the best ever designed by American Motors Corporation.

  • I grew up in the burbs outside of Detroit and graduated from University of Detroit. I had a internship that turned into a full time Director of Public relations position. I had the great opportunity to report directly to Roy Chapin Jr. a true gentleman in every sense of the word and to this day one of my favorite bosses. I was in awe.

  • It Almpost brought down with it HD.

  • Yeah, I Repoed a Car across the street from the old AMC Factory Headquarters a while back. It’s a Beautiful Building… But creepy as hell at night. AMC is definitely a lost American Gem… So sad you can go up and touch something that died so long ago.

  • Loved my Pacer in high school. Easily get 5/7 kids plus a keg

  • Although an interesting novelty AMC sucked they screwed up Harley-Davidson

  • Right well here's the point. It's about AMC, AMC, AMC and not YOU, YOU, YOU. I was frustrated at the outset with the flowery and over-verbose introduction and I made it as far as your play station and you nephews. FYI I don't give a fuck about you, your playstation, or your nephews. Not spending 2 1/2 hours putting up with this public ego masturbation.

  • Saying "USDM market" in reference to the auto market in the united states is redundant and makes one wonder how much you really understand what you're talking about.

  • AMC never really went out of business as I understand it. They just stopped making cars. Somewhere along the line they changed the name to AM General and makes military trucks.

  • As kid from Kenosha hearing the legend of the amc plant that is now just a field to be made into a park, I appreciate this very much. Everyone has a story working at the factory.

  • 👍👍😎🇺🇸

  • AMC the cable channel should go away, too.

  • Bro....that was an epic journey. I enjoyed hearing about the life and struggle of AMC. This company did so many things, and went through so much....their demise was gut wrenching. Now, time to go watch your Pontiac video too!!! 🤘

  • 45:40 Hey a Manitoba plate!

  • It's funny how memory works. In the very back of my mind was a memory of the "Jeep Eagle" signs from my childhood, but I hadn't thought about the Eagle Brand in 30 years!

  • I was listening to this video like an audiobook, clicked on the tab around the 1:28:00 mark, and boom, Big Boss and Major Zero are arrested. Nice

  • Thanks for the video.I once owned a 1965 Rambler Classic,not a bad car,much better to drive than my friends Darts and Valiants. BTW,every single time a car manufacturing company has been involved with some French company..It has ended badly..Opel/Vauxhall,Nissan,AMC,Maserati,Toyota...

  • Definitely a masterpiece, really enjoyed it.

  • I loved this. Great story. Thank you!

  • First rate. Surprised to find something this well done on YT.

  • Owned a bunch of these old ramblers and even AMX 71 , loved everyone of them , Had a 65 Rambler American 330 wagon , loved how simple and reliable it was , it was great for camping and fishing , and the best for drive in movies , lol cheap on gas and handled really well , Thank you for bringing back some great times , with this very well done video

    • @Ernest Valentino oh I know full well what they would do , my 71 AMX javlin was not only fast it handled great and would stop on a dime , I had a good friend that had a 69 he had the 390 , my 71 had the 360 factory pack in my 71, a guy that owned a car lot beat me in a 67 Vet built 350 called my javlin a mommies car , and my buddy with the 69 javlin mopped the vet all over the road and took the vet owner for 500 bucks lol , oh yes the good old days with the best cars and music we were so lucky to see and live those times , wish I still had that old javlin with a good fresh motor , it was a great car for not only saterday night , but it was also a very good and safe car for tripping , I had many hot rods in my life and just plain old cars and my javlin and my old 64 Rambler 330 wagon were my favs , even over my 66 nova , had a 70 GTO as well that I could not keep a transmission in lol , and it was a bit top heavy stock , thats another thing about that 71 AMX it drove like a sports car , my buddy that had the 69 amx said it was the best car he ever seen , and still has his he moved some were out in the midwest I am sure it is even faster than it was back in the day just cause he was that kind of guy lol

    • My cousins had a 1969 .AMC.Javelin. Sports. They said they never lost a race I witnesse the speed and one race . You wouldn't believe

  • I like your short reviews, even though I have to admit, they're sometimes annoying :) But this one was astonishing! I thought I'd check it out, but it had me glued to the seat and the screen, 2 1/2 hours flew by without noticing it. Thanks, and keep up the good work.!

  • I worked in Chrysler engineering in 1969 till 1980 something and in the girly days we did a lot of work today and see because they were in closing down in there engineering seem to lose a lot of early. And I can tell you I’m sure enjoyed building one police car version 401³ I don’t remember if it was a Matador or Ambassador but it sure did give out 440 Monaco a good run. Well I ended up changing AMCs big cube v/8 because of reported main bearing failure BUT good news the original was fine and after making the good block even better bad batch of bearings were found to be the only problem. I went to AMC HEADQUARTERS Often on business and always thought of Gotham City while there.

  • ayy, amc! i grew up in kenosha, actually :)

  • If only AMC would have gotten rid of Romney earlier they might have had a chance..

  • They started out as a Nash automobile.

  • Deserves fewer dislikes.

  • 2 hours, 27 minutes and 5 seconds of an absolute masterpiece.

  • I rented a javelin on vacation in Hawaii and was very impressed with it…own Cameron’s and a fastback barracuda.