1969 AMC AMX

California 500 Special
RM Open Roads, April 2021 (Online Only)
Wednesday, 21 April - Thursday, 29 April 2021
Sale Price
$100,000 - $120,000
Est. Range
29 April 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Recent restoration
RM Sotheby's
Auction House
Chassis no. A9C397X280454. Big Bad Green with black stripes over brown vinyl. 390/325hp, automatic, power steering and front disc brakes, air conditioning, woodgrain steering wheel, console, tinted glass, pushbutton radio, tilt steering column, Magnum wheels, trim rings, red line tires, 3.54 Twin-Grip axle, owner's manual, build order sheet and dealer invoice documented, AMX 13394 badged.

Evaluation: One of 32 California 500 Special pace car replicas believed built. These cars were all finished in the same colors and equipped with the 390 Go-Package. This one has been restored to far better than new condition than it ever was when it left Kenosha.

Bottom Line: This is a prize, rare, eye-catching AMX in impeccably restored condition that holds its own with any Boss 302 or Z/28. It was ambitiously estimated but sold for a responsible number that is fair to both the buyer and the seller.

by Rick Carey
7 May 2021
amx california 500 front
amx california interior
amx california 390 engine
amx california rear
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  • John Fritz says:

    If that car came from North Carolina back in the 1990’s I got to drive it to a win at Farmington Dragstrip against a 440 Road Runner I got a big hole shot on.
    Was still damn close (he just threw me the keys and said don’t break it!) but had room to sand bag it on the top end.
    Had redlines on it back then, have a vhs of the race (and heating up those redlines BOILING THEM in the water box) down in my barn “somewhere”.
    Told my buddy not to sell it with those lil brass plates “500 Special” but he did anyway (R.I.P. Dan). Looks exactly like his car.

  • John Fritz says:

    Oops, my eyes aren’t what they use to be,just noticed this one has redlines too. Beautiful car.

  • Tony R Shimmin says:

    After seeing this article I almost want to hang myself. Back in 1994 I found one of these sitting under a tree in the San Fernando Valley (CA). It was painted black with gold stripes, but you could see where the black paint was peeling off everywhere and it was BB Green underneath. It had the tan leather interior and the holes on the hood where the brass plaques went. It was covered in sap and bird poop. There was no rust and it was all complete. I made a deal and bought it for $900. Took me a week to get it running and it was hot. I don’t know what they did to that motor, but it was scary fast. I kept it for almost a year,,,but then fell on hard times and had to sell it. God how I wish I would have kept it now!

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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.