Last Call: Am Not Edition

This non-functional 1977 styling buck was as far as The AMC Am Van had gotten toward production when American Motors decided they couldn’t afford the buy-in required to make their “Concept 80” micro-van design a reality, even though consumer response was favorable. Based on the surprisingly intense combination of lustful longing and gnashing of teeth common to Internet comments I’ve run across regarding this vehicle — especially in its alternate porthole-window guise — that decision may have been, like, AMC’s worst call EH-VAR. In reality, if you don’t have the dough…you don’t have the dough. A run at Am Van production probably would have just emptied the coffers that much more quickly and hastened the company’s demise.
Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged.

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21 responses to “Last Call: Am Not Edition”

  1. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    The rear greenhouse would have been pretty cheap. But it looks like they also stretched the wheelbase, which would have been very expensive. And not looking so fly with the standard Pacer front clip.

  2. P161911 Avatar

    My Volt shark at last night Trunk or Treat at church. Alternated between Jaws theme and Baby Shark on the Bluetooth.

  3. Batshitbox Avatar

    Is that a concept car or a Pacer in a last minute Halloween costume?

  4. Sjalabais Avatar

    The wheels w/ flares are really the only giveaway that this isn’t a Soviet or British production car of the time. It really screams that antique proportional rules are borgeouis luxury.

  5. Zentropy Avatar

    I think this car was up for auction last year, but I’m not sure if it sold. I doubt AMC had any serious intentions with it– they were probably just trying to create marketing buzz. With a nose shorter than the Pacer’s, it’s unlikely the company’s inline six would fit without a doghouse in the cabin. It might have accepted that rotary engine that never came to be, but looks to be best suited for a transverse four (which AMC didn’t have, either).
    I’m a little surprised Hot Wheels never made a toy version of it– I surely would have had it!

    1. neight428 Avatar

      Slap in a Honda V-TEC (yo) and you have a Fit Transit!

    2. P161911 Avatar

      It was the AM Van TURBO. Wonder what engine was going to get the turbo?

      1. Zentropy Avatar

        Likely the rotary that was intended for the Pacer.

        1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

          By ’77, when this was made, the rotary option was long dead.

          1. Zentropy Avatar

            Good point. That engine was at least 5 years DOA by ’77. No idea what it was meant for then, other than… nothing. Best guess is AMC threw it out there solely to generate interest, and had no intention of a legitimate drivetrain (turbo or NA) at all.

  6. outback_ute Avatar

    Would you start with a Pacer wagon to build a replica, or is it completely different?

    1. Zentropy Avatar

      Probably. It likely has the Pacer’s platform, but despite a passing resemblance in the headlights, there’s nothing from the Pacer’s panels or glass. That’s all one-off. It’d be hard to duplicate, with that windshield that extends to the front axle. The Pacer’s front clip is much longer.

      1. P161911 Avatar

        That windshield looks like a rear hatch from…something.

      2. outback_ute Avatar

        Yeah I was thinking firewall back, then graft on a fwd front end

  7. GTXcellent Avatar

    Side pipes and raised white letter BFGs – yup, I’m in.

  8. Moon Unit Explorer Avatar
    Moon Unit Explorer

    Coulda, shoulda, woulda been a one hit wonder – Jonathan King Everyone’s Gone To The Moon

  9. Manxman Avatar

    Time to replace the tires on the 09 Scion XD with the weird 195/60 R16 size that nobody keeps in stock. But, huzzah, Discount Tire opened a store last year in my neck of the woods and has a a large selection of different brands that, if not in stock can be had in a day. Why Toyota picked this size for the XD is beyond me. They should have used the Prius size which everyone including Walmart has in stock. I tried to persuade the tire folks at Walmart to fudge on the tire size but they’ll have none of it. They go by the door sticker and that’s that. Next time I buy a car I’ll check the price of consumables first.

    1. Alff Avatar

      Walmart is pretty draconian about tire size. They wouldn’t even install the same size tire that my pickup came from the factory with because the door sticker showed the narrower base tire size.

    2. Zentropy Avatar

      I just bring in the wheels and tell them what size tires I want mounted. If they balk, I just say I’m putting them on a trailer.

  10. Volvo_Nut Avatar

    I would daily drive the hell out of that.