Second Report of Work Done - San Antonio, Texas Stop
March 9, 2002
The following is, to the best of my knowledge, EVERYTHING you could possibly want to
know about the Charity AMX project. Here at Alamo AMC we are well on the way to providing
a running and driving car, and are very excited to be able to accomplish this major
milestone in the project. Please take the time to read the following carefully, as I will
try to answer everyones questions at some point during the post. Remember,
this project reflects on the AMC hobby -- not any particular club, organization, or
individual. Lets ALL work together to try and complete this project in the spirit in
which was intended!
CHARITY AMX PROJECT OBJECTIVES: (A reminder)
OBJECTIVE #1: Promote the AMC hobby by conducting a nationwide, apolitical, non-club
specific restoration project that will generate publicity and goodwill among hobbyists and
clubs while raising money for a charitable cause.
OBJECTIVE #2: Donating 1) time/labor 2) parts and 3) cash contributions in order to
produce a reasonably well-restored, desirable automobile to auction at the conclusion of
the project, with all proceeds to benefit the Children's Hospital charity.
In my opinion, it's crucially important to understand how these two objectives work
together. The objective is not to collect enough money to pay someone restore the whole
car and auction it off. If that were the objective, we could just take monetary
contributions and de-personalize the whole projectmake it into a raffle,
so-to-speak. Tom Benvies recent post (in which he proposes to end the project and
finish the car himself) is born out of frustrationfrustration that we havent
had ANY club commitments to sponsor the car after Alamo AMC. Why is that? (Remember, this
will be a running and driving car once it leaves here--storage of the car should not be
NEARLY the imposition as it has been for the previous clubs.)
Which is not to say that getting involved is easy. I will be the first to
admit that I have been very disappointed in many of the aspects of this project so far.
The fundraising and/or PR opportunities have simply not materialized. The media (at least
around here) doesnt seem interested. (I dont know why this is
maybe if we
changed the charity to the New York Firefighter Fund or something wed get some press
coverage!) Very little (if anything) has been donated by non-AMC shops and/or
services. Many of the major AMC vendors have been silent about the project. On top of it
all, Ive certainly managed to draw criticism for my handling of the project, and I
know that some of folks involved before me also weathered similar hassles.
Perhaps some of these issues have discouraged other organizations from getting involved.
However, I choose to remain hopeful that this project will be completed. Maybe Kenosha
will be the catalyst to raise interest and get things moving again. Hopefully some of you
out there will take this to heart and rally your clubs and talk to your vendors and be
willing to make the sacrifice to help us finish this project.
PARTS RECEIVED/DONATED: (Since the car arrived in San Antonio)
- Russ Hathaway (email@example.com) has
donated a left side bumper 'scoop'.
- Dan Whitehead (firstname.lastname@example.org)
contributed the carburetor spacer plate.
- Brian Johnson (email@example.com)
has donated a new, reproduction '70 battery tray and a used blower motor assembly. The old
blower motor (which was suspect) actually works fine!
- Steven Booth (firstname.lastname@example.org) has donated
an NOS blower motor, but unfortunately the motor was not compatible
it was a
two wire instead of three and was the wrong style for the 70
model. I will look up the part number/interchange and sell this on eBay with proceeds
benefiting the project in Stevens name.
- Brian Schneider of Alamo AMC has donated a full set of 70 AMX circles
and letters for the rear quarter panels. Brian also contributed the 68 drivers
door in exchange for the 73.
- Brett Schneider of Alamo AMC has donated an excellent 70 model radiator
- Fender support rods have been received from a variety of sources, so we have quite a
selection to choose from.
- Tom Benvie, the benefactor of this whole project, has dug deep into his personal stash
- Four additional steel Magnum 500 style wheels (more on this later).
- Five additional chrome wheel centers.
- Four NOS trim rings. (awesome!)
- Two door trim strips.
- A decent 70 AMX grille, complete with a parts grille for spare pieces.
- A complete set of electric wipers including motor, rod assembly, and switch.
- A correct, part number-matched 70 engine fan.
RECENT WORK COMPLETED:
- Brian Schneider has been methodically finishing out the engine compartment as parts (and
time) have become available. The new fan (from Tom) and belts were recently installed,
which resolved the previous clearance problem. The new carb spacer worked like a champ.
The reproduction clip/hanger kit has been wonderful! The car is now very close to firing,
and we expect to accomplish this within the next two weeks.
- I have replaced the 73 drivers door with the 68 door donated by Brian
Schneider and aligned it to the body. I have also gone through the entire window mechanism
to make sure it is workingall we need is the glass! I am also going to try and match
the door locks together and provide a key for them. Are the doors keyed the same as the
- I recently dropped the fuel tank in order to have it cleaned. It was rather nasty on the
inside, and the fuel sending unit is massively rusted and gunked up. Im going to try
and save it if at all possible. Alamo AMCs Ron Story attempted to steam clean the
tank, but some of the rust spots have developed into holes. Alamo AMCs Andre Jacobs
is going to investigate having the gas tank repaired and sealed with a liner.
- I have started to reinstall the bumpers and lights in anticipation of having the car
running in the next couple of weeks. It will be making trips to various shops for the
exhaust, front-end alignment, etc. These parts will (obviously) have to be removed once
again when the bodywork and paint commences.
WORK TO BE COMPLETED BY ALAMO AMC:
Alamo AMC is fully prepared to fulfill its original commitment and present the next
club or organization with a running, driving car. This will include:
- Completion of the engine compartment
- Installation of the driveshaft and clutch parts
- Freshening of the brakes
- Fuel system cleaning and restoration
- Completion of the cooling system
- Completion of the exhaust system (See note below)
- Front end alignment
- Lights & bumpers reinstalled for driveability
- And last, but not least: Delivery of the car to Kenosha for the 100th Anniversary of the
PARTS STILL NEEDED:
- Correct Steering Wheel. We need a good, black steering wheel for a 70 AMX. Tom
Benvie (email@example.com) has offered the
AMX center horn bar if a non-AMX steering wheel can be donated.
- A clear driver's door glass. Dan Whitehead (firstname.lastname@example.org)
emailed me just today to say that he might be able to provide this piece. I would like to
install the door glass so the car could be closed up and stored outside in the future (if
necessary). Dave Meger (AMXtasy@aol.com) very
graciously offered us an entire door from a 70 (including glass), but I felt it was
more trouble than it was worth when we had a suitable door available here. We may need to
revisit this with Dave if Dans glass doesnt work out.
- Door weather seals. We need the fuzzies as well as the perimeter and hardtop
seals. I know these are available in a reproduction kit. The appropriate vendors should be
approached about donating this kit.
- One front bumper 'scoop' (right side)
- Directional light units for the grille. Tom Benvie may have a source for these.
- AMX nameplate for the grille.
- Black passenger door armrest
- Taillight Assemblies. We have the complete set, but they are MASSIVELY pitted and nasty.
George Graham (email@example.com) has
offered a decent set in exchange for the nasty set. However, if we want a
good set (i.e. restored with no pits) we should pursue having the existing
units redone. The lenses are dark and clouded (from age) and I noticed yesterday that one
is partially melted.
- Fuel Tank Sending Unit. I may be able to salvage this, but it is nasty. It may be easier
to get a new/reproduction one from one of the vendors.
- Fuel tank. This is a long shot
we havent been able to find one down here, and
I doubt anyone just has one lying around. (The interchange is 68-70 AMX or Javelin.)
We will probably have to get the existing one redone. Anyone have connections in the tank
- Ram Air/Air Cleaner parts. Tom Benvie recently purchased some of these parts from Tony
Champlin. Tony describes the parts (which have not yet arrived in San Antonio but are due
next week) as follows: The pieces he bought were the large round part that is above
the air cleaner. It needs a bit of work. Missing flapper door, vacuum solenoid/bracket,
rear tab. Has good foam seal in real good condition, and the Y duct is in
excellent condition. Those of you who know these cars should be able to translate
this and know which parts we still needwe currently have nothing to set on top of
- One simulated exhaust rocker panel molding. (See note below)
- Correct heater valve. Tom Benvie has just donated a heater valve for the engine, but
upon installation we discovered that it will not work
the orientation of the hose
inlet and cable bracket are wrong for the V8. Therefore, we still need a V8 Javelin
or AMX heater valve.
- Tires. Tom Benvie is currently collecting contributions in order to purchase a full set
of reproduction performance tires. The existing tires (two pairs of radials)
are already mounted on the car and look quite good
they will suffice until someone is
ready to finish the wheels. (See note below)
- An OEM jack assembly. We have the orange inflatable spare, but need the jack
and air can.
(DISCLAIMER: Undoubtedly there are more parts that will be needed. I cannot possibly
anticipate everything that will be required to finish this car. The parts discussed above
are those that I have made note of, and should be considered priority parts at
WORK STILL NEEDED AT FUTURE STOPS:
- Body work/rear quarters. The replacement left rear quarter panel has been reunited with
and its an excellent piece, with all the spot welds properly drilled
and original tabs in place. It needs to be installed. Unfortunately, the right rear
quarter on the car is also bad and a large section of it has been cut away, along with a
section of the trunk floor on that side. The first thing that a body shop needs to tackle
is replacing the LR quarter (with the piece provided) and reconstruction of the RR
quarter. Andre Jacobs (firstname.lastname@example.org) of Alamo AMC
has offered the chunk of trunk floor that is required, and may be able to provide a patch
piece for the RR fender. We do have a reproduction patch panel for that area, but it is
- Body work/floorboards and rockers. The floorboards look quite good
from inside the
car. Underneath the car is another story. The floorboards have been patched, but the
patches were installed over the top of the old floorboards, creating large pockets of
empty space where debris can collect and cause further rust problems. This
needs to be addressed, especially if our goal is to restore the car to reasonable
- Body work/miscellaneous. Other than the quarter panels and floorboards, the rest of the
body is excellent and will only need the usual alignment and blocking to complete. The
front core support is a little rumpled and could use some reworking, but the rest is good
to go. Of course, a paint job would be the next task.
These tasks are the biggest obstacle remaining to completion of the project, but they
wouldnt all have to be done by the same shop. It would be nice if an AMC-friendly
body shop (or shops) would come forward to offer some of this work. Ron Akerman (AMX1970@aol.com) once approached me about arranging
for some bodywork, but I never heard back from him. Lets hear from you AMC body
- Interior. We have two good bucket seats, but the upholstery is different. There is only
one seat back.
- Bumpers. The bumpers are useable, but need to be straightened and rechromed.
- Chrome trim/taillights, etc. refinished. The chrome surrounds for the Ram Air hood need
to have the pins replaced and be rechromed as well.
- Glass/seals. All the glass (exc. The aforementioned drivers door glass) are
present and in good condition, but new seals should be installed all around and the glass
checked for leaks.
- Grille restored. The grille Tom provided is complete but needs some minor
gluing/reworking. Tom has also provided a chunk of another grille for parts. I
know someone out there is an expert at this!
- Wheels. In my last post, I talked a lot about the mismatched wheels
powder-coated set that came with the car were of three different styles and widths. Tom
Benvie has just donated another set of four wheels, but THOSE wheels are of two different
two are the correct early style and two are the later 70s
style. In addition, one of the early style wheels is bent rather badly. Regardless, this
issue will need to be addressed when the tires are purchased
at present, I think we
only have two good correct early rims out of the eight. If another pair of
late-70s rims can be found, we can use the set of four of those. Whatever rims are
ultimately used will need to be refinished. We do have NOS trim rings and plenty of center
- Striping. Are we going to put a C-stripe on the car?
- Exhaust system. Alamo AMC was prepared to install a new exhaust system, retaining the
original exhaust tips at the back. The car has been converted to free flow
exhaust manifolds, so a stock set will not work. Recently, however, reproduction
Trendsetter exhaust systems have become available, and I know Randy Guynn has been working
on this project. Is this something we want to pursue? Could such a system be donated
and/or offered at a substantial discount, perhaps as a sales test bed for the
new reproductions? This issue needs to be discussed and decided ASAP, so we know whether
to complete the exhaust system. If we stay with a stock setup, Ron Story of Alamo AMC has
offered to pay for the installation. (This also dictates whether or not we need the second
rocker panel molding.)
- Electric wiper wiring. Tom has donated a dash switch, electric motor, and wiper rods. Is
there a special wire harness to accommodate this? I would like to get this system
installed, as it will help us finish out the engine bay.
- Door tag. Tom Benvie has the original door tag, which will be reunited with the car.
- Theres been a lot of discussion/debate about accurate vs.
adequate. I know Tom anticipated an accurate and complete
restoration. Such a restoration takes a lot of time and effort and/or money
more than has been spent so far. Frank Swygert (and others) anticipated an
adequate restorationfinishing out the car as well as we can in an
allotted amount of time (i.e. in time for the Kenosha show). Certainly there are pro
and con aspects of both of these approaches, and in all likelihood the project will always
be a series of compromisesespecially with the majority of work being donated.
However, if Tom ends the project and takes possession of the car, it will be Toms
money and Toms labor and Toms time and effort going in to finishing the
carand thats not how the project was intended. I feel guilty even asking Tom
for parts, since he has donated so much already (not to mention the entire car to begin
with!) Granted, we are talking about a 70 AMX
had Tom donated a Gremlin,
wed all have a lot more parts to give. But I would think that we would all be able
to reach a reasonable compromise and donate enough parts/labor/funding so that this
project isnt all coming out of Tom Benvies pocket. At the same time, I think
we all want to see a result that we can be proud to put our names on. A Krause auction is
a high-profile event--what better time for the AMC hobby to really shine then to bring
that car up on the auction block, with all of our names along with it, and say This
is representative of the handiwork, and charitable generosity of the AMC hobby. We will
get out of this project what we (collectively) put into it.
- Joe Fulton (email@example.com) has
most generously offered the following: I will be in Kenosha with a Chevy pickup. If
someone in the western half of the U.S. is willing to take the project, I will tow it to
them. I will need to get back to work within a few days of Kenosha, so will probably make
a direct trip to whoever wants it. I don't think there is enough organized AMC activity
here on the Central Coast of California to take on the project, but I will gladly pull the
car to whoever west of the Mississippi wants it. I will pay for the U-haul trailer and
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
The Charity AMX has its own Internet website hosted by Matt Haas:
The local contact for the car is:
25667 Green River
San Antonio, TX 78258
Thanks for reading this far, folks
if we all work together, we can do this!
San Antonio, TX