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American Motors eXperimental
AMX Project IV Tour
From Auto Topics Magazine 1966
"PROJECT IV", an American Motors road show, has been touring the country this summer with four idea cars. The four cars - the AMX, the AMX II, the Cavalier and the Vixen - are being presented across the country to test the reaction of the public. Questionnaires are handed out at each show to find out what the public thinks and what the public wants.
The AMX (top) was fully covered in April Auto Topics. It is the fastback predecessor of the AMX II (above), which has bigger dimensions which enable it to have a full-size trunk. Front and side glass is curved, and the rear window is "V" shaped to compliment the deck. A novel safety feature is the tri-colored taillights, which are green when accelerating, amber when decelerating, and red when braking. Mag-type wheels give good contrast to the ornamentation free exterior.
The Cavalier (above) looks the closest to a production car. The main idea behind its design was to make many of the body panels interchangeable. For example, the right front and the left rear fender are interchangeable. The hood and trunk lid are the same, and likewise the four doors. Front and rear bumpers are also the same. By designing cars this way, tooling and production could be lowered dramatically. Don't let that thin-looking roof on the Cavalier fool you - it has a built-in roll bar. All the show cars are smaller in size than most of American Motors' production cars.
Overall dimensions of the Vixen (above) are identical to the Cavalier, but with exception of moving the windshield back 12" to make it a two-door fastback. A novel touch is the canted vanes in the roof, which permit better rear vision in the "blind spot". The Vixen is the sportiest of the show cars, with a functional air scoop on the hood. The interchangability theme follows through with doors and other panelling. A bright yellow paint and chromed wire wheels complement the overall styling of the Vixen.
In introducing these cars, AMC President Roy Abernathy said that changes in the car market have placed greater emphasis on advanced testing of consumer opinion, particularly in evaluating the growing interest in specialized and personalized cars. He also stated that reactions to these cars will have substantial bearing on future design and engineering decisions.