Saturday, November 25, 2006

The beautiful AMX-3 source of the yellow AMX 3 pics, the only one painted yellow. Only 3 exist I think, it's the only yellow one.

The AMX 3 was the design of Dick Teague. A long time hot rodder, and head of design at AMC.

Dick Teague story written years ago, but a good story.

Listed in his current stable are two of only five AMX III concept, European-style sports cars hand-built in Italy in 1968.

He also has a production AMX 2-seater, a '60 Corvette, A '61 Berlinetta, a rare vintage Ferrari, 1906 and 1932 Packards, one of only six 1904 Ramblers extant, an early Polk-Hartford and his most prized possession -- a 1907 American (no kin to AMC) Underslung he recently acquired after a 35-year pursuit.

He considers it "the first American sports car," and its frame uniquely was placed under its springs. The low, hunkered-down appearance that resulted was striking during an era when most cars looked like phone booths on wheels.

Underslung's 476 cu.-in. (7.8L) 4-cyl. engine, good for 50 hp, stood out as well.

A witty, colorful storyteller, Mr. Teague recalls that while dating his wife-to-be, Marian, he told her he'd marry her if she ever located an Underslung.

Only 2,000 copies were built during the Indianapolis automaker's 1906-'13 existence. By Mr. Teague's count, only 27 survive. Marian, to his surprise, soon got wind of four -- all owned by one family in Pennsylvania. "She said 'I found an American Underslung. Now we'll have to get married.'" Mr. Teague chortles. He kept his vow the next year.

All four cars sat idle until restored in the mid-'60s. It took two more decades to convince the family to part with one, purchased new by its patriarch in 1907. Why'd they sell? "I guess it was my persistence," says Mr. Teague. "Maybe they felt it would get a good home."