A letter sent March 25, 1970 contained the "Instructions for
Transformation Completion", or detailed instructions on how
to convert the car to 1970 looks. It is interesting this letter
is dated almost two months after the parts were sent out.
Here is the change over Bill of Laden from above, but I priced the
parts from a July 1969 price book. (Note that the parts without a
group number were components, and I do not have a price for these.
For instance, the taillights included the lens and housing).
If you look at the list you will be able to determine exactly what parts
were used-grill assembly (with parking lamp assemblies, support and
four brackets, and AMX nameplate), fender extensions with headlight
doors, hood with scoop, (don't see the hood front chrome, though),
rear fender extensions with left, right, and center taillight assemblies.
Front bumper with scoops and the two bracket extensions, left and
right door panels (without remote mirror), and a dash assy. (Did this
include a VIN as well? I do not know everything used in a dash
assembly, but can only guess. The VIN was actually part of the kit,
included in a small envelope.). Lastly, a complete set of front seat
The total Dealer cost for these parts? $211.51 plus the cost of the
dash, seats, and taillight and parking light assemblies. So maybe
around $500 dealer cost, less factory cost.
Next, the car owners installed/painted the parts. Taillight
panel was a pain, but everything else was bolt-on. Probably
a few days in the shop. And then....the NHRA said no. Was
it because the 69 suspension was still on the car, not the
new 70 version? I don't think so. The NHRA stated the car
could still be raced with a single four barrel after the
conversions with no mention of the suspension. I bet it is
because there were not the mandatory 50 cars sold in 1970
with a cross-ram installed. Needless to say, the car owners
were not happy. There is an unconfirmed reports that at
least one owner was so upset he sold the car at the track!
Another already sold the 69 items he took off the car, so no
longer raced class. Still others decided the cars were quite
the performers, but now instead of going back to class, they
added automatics, or made other modifications. At least one
got a Chevy engine. Others, such as the S & K car and
Drag-On Lady converted back to 69 components. (I wonder
what everyone did with the 70 parts they either never used,
or took off their car?)
And I wonder about the VINs. Were they on the dash assembly? (No,
they were in a small envelope with rivets). Were they assigned in
relation to the existing VIN on the car? (No, the VINs were sequential,
but not in the same order as the 69 list). Were records kept? (Yes,
see below). Were these VINs counted towards the 4116 total 1970
production? And if I put the 69 dash assembly with 69 VIN in another
car, could I now have two Hurst SS/AMXs? These cars apparently
also came with new paperwork, to include a sticker price. One has
an owner's warranty card (yet no warranty came with the car).
Notice the final price: $5026.50. This is very different than the 69
price! I wonder why? Also, I do not have Beacon Motors as a selling
dealer. I think I may know why they are listed (bought out/changed
the name of another dealer?) but can anyone verify this?
Here is the list of 1970 change-over VINs as provided by AMC:
The VIN sequence does not align with the 1969 VIN sequence at all,
but there are 53 consecutive VINs assigned to the cars. Interestingly,
the original list came out April 24, 1970 and did not include the two
Canadian cars or the prototype, so the list was changed the next day
and "rev 1" was added to the date. I wonder how they determined the
sequence number to assign the VINs?
It's been a number of weeks since I asked someone to produce the
document that shows the consecutive VINs of the 1st batch (and
maybe only batch) of Hurst SS/AMXs. Nobody has been able to
produce it-not one person. A lot of you have done the research, but
came up empty. I asked you all how the "accepted" VIN sequences
add up to 53 cars. Everybody wanted to ignore this fact, and
continue to quote what they always heard, but never saw. I hope
this is a lesson to everyone-do not believe everything you see, you
read, you hear. There are so many stories out there about AMC
cars it is crazy-"It came this way", "AMC would build anything",
"All Donohue’s had 4 bolt mains", "AMC substituted the part when
dealers inventories fell low", "My car is a late/early car, so...” Get
the point? So here is one:
Yep, you've seen this before, only it was poorly scanned and
"fixed". Here is an "unfixed" copy. Note the ending VIN on
it-or note there is NOT an ending VIN on it. The sequence we
all know came about back in the late 70s when an
overzealous owner of one of these cars wrote an article and
just added "52 or 53" to the number. There were only 52
cars in this first batch. Just 52. There was also a prototype
(more on this later). Here is the correct VIN sequence to
these first run Hurst SS/AMX cars:
A9M387X213560 to A9M397X213611.
So why am I saying "1st run"? Because there is
unsubstantiated rumors that there may be another batch
made, or at least some other cars. One of the people who
said this is none other than "Doc" Watson. And there are
many other cars that do not fall in to the accepted (and
hopefully now correct) VIN range they are discounted-just
like my first analogy of the early 68 quarter window trim-
"It's not right" says the Know-It-All, so there is no follow-up.
So what have we learned?
"Real cars did not come with the Go-Pak stripes. This car
can't be real because it has stripes. (It is real, stripes added
Hurst SS/AMX Car #49
"The cars were all white, so should be white under the hood."
This is Hurst SS/AMX Car #34 (and here it is again):
Come on-this is Hurst SS/AMX Car #35 Drag-On Lady
And here it is again-(Note the wiper motor plate is removed
and look at what color is under it. Yep, it was white once,
same as the other one. They were both painted later).
"Then cars had no sound deadener sprayed on the car."
Hurst SS/AMX Car #51 sound deadener in driveshaft tunnel.
And here inside a door (note holes drilled in the window track by owner):
Hurst SS/AMX Car #39 Pete's Patriot with sound deadener in
the inner quarter panels.
Hurst SS/AMX Car #17 McCorkle Brothers with sound deadener in
the inner quarter panel
"Cars had/didn't have hooded dashes."
Non-Hooded (I am betting they all came this way): non hooded
"They all had electric/vacuum/no wipers (They all came with
vacuum wipers except the prototype)"
"They all had modified rear spring locators"
Hurst SS/AMX Car #26 Sheriff of Nottingham rear spring
perch (The bolts through the floor are for the rollbar. Here is a
shot of the front of the rollbar with the bolted brace through the floor):
Hurst SS/AMX Car #17 McCorkle Brothers rear spring perch:
Hurst SS/AMX Car #39 Pete's Patriot with a highly modified
rear spring perch and whole rear suspension geometry (and
you surely don't think Hurst did all this for the price, do you?)
Here are two stock 1969 rear spring perches:
"They all had modified wheelwells, etc. etc."
Hurst SS/AMX Car #26 Sheriff of Nottingham wheelwells:
Hurst SS/AMX Car #17 McCorkle Brothers wheelwells:
Hurst SS/AMX Car #39 Pete's Patriot wheelwells:
We've already mentioned that many owners claim they did
not have these modifications, but here are three that did (and if
they all did, why were directions how to do it in the bulletin?):
"They all had 3 piece crossmembers."
Actually, only one of them came that way-the Drag-On Lady.
H L Shahan was marketing them for all AMC owners shortly
after he began to campaign the Drag-On Lady. Hurst felt it
would take too long to modify these crossmembers and get
them in the car on time. As it was, the release of the car
came after the SpringNationals, the first big NHRA race of the
season and AMC could not afford more delays.
Hurst SS/AMX Car #17 McCorkle Brothers stock crossmember
Hurst SS/AMX Car #26 Sheriff of Nottingham with a Shahan-
designed 3 piece crossmember
"They cost $5900."
We've seen the sticker price of $5900, but when the parts
were added to the car, it was around $5200 plus labor. And
that was on a retail price of the car to begin with. It was
more like $5000 complete. And they all didn't sit around lots
waiting to be sold like some other AMC models. These were
all special ordered, and all but a few were pre-sold, or would
be for dealer use.
And on and on and on. Everything you thought you knew
should maybe have you thinking now. If you see a possible
Hurst SS/AMX car maybe you shouldn't just discount it, but
document it and post for opinions (and don't reply if you
don't know 100%-and not because of what you heard).
Case in point-there was a recent eBay ad for a 1970 AMX
stating it was one of the last ones made. Had a July door
sticker, and there were only 7 AMXs made in July. People
jumped all over this car and the buyer-can't be real. I guess
they didn't check the production numbers on the AMC forum,
because it sure was. But what about potential buyers that
decided to look a little into the car before the purchase?
Were they turned off because of the posts on the forums, or
scared away? I would have at least thought twice about it.
This helped nobody, and actually did a disservice to the hobby.
Another example is the ad from a SC/Rambler owner stating
it was blue, one of the first, and owned by H L Shahan. He
was ridiculed no end. He was right. So were there more
than 53 cars made? Maybe, maybe not. But let's at least
look into them before we jump the gun. I believe there were
some others modified by Hurst, but very few. One of the
things that convince me is the use of factory block-off plates.
Most of the racers who owned these cars and others would
not go to the trouble of pulling the heater assembly, the
controls, then replace them with factory block-offs, especially
the heater motor and control parts. It would be easier and
faster to make your own firewall cover to hide the heater
motor hole, that is if you even pulled it. I'm not saying all,
especially dealer owned cars, but I just don't believe there
are so many out there that bought and installed these parts
(and I could easily be wrong, this is just my opinion). The
Hurst Hemi Dart program started off with 50 cars, and then
made a second run. Why not AMC (and the Dart had a
specific VIN, so is easy to tell).
And Hurst wasn't done with AMC. Remember the Javelin on
the rack in the shot showing all the white AMXs being
converted? What was that for?
Here it is, with an article right from a Hurst Employees
newsletter (and those are the AMXs in the background):
Hurst was making a Javelin GT at this time. They actually
also made a second. More a little later, because what does
Now that they made the Hurst SS/AMXs, Hurst was going to
do one for themselves?
This is from the July 70 issue of Rodder and Super Stock. (Copy of
original. I will post a better scan when I dig out the magazine).
This is interesting to read what else Hurst did to the AMX they kept
to prepare as one of their own. Some common sense things to us,
but would have added extra cost to the car. Driveshaft loop, better
U-joints, reworked synchros, etc. This is some of the stuff the dealers
thought were going to be done when they first bought the car. This
is the "legendary" 53rd car, which is also the 1st car: this is the
prototype car, and Hurst kept it as a testbed for their own. It was
driven by Howard Maseles, a supervisor at Hurst and one of the "Shifty
Doctors". Here is a short story about the car from the Hurst
Employees Newsletter "The Banner":
The car was known as "First Attempt" then later known as the
"AMX-Press". The current owner bought it from Hurst and still
As mentioned, Hurst was not only sponsoring an AMX (I wonder if
they had to pay AMC for the car) they also fabricated a 69 Javelin to
resemble the car in the magazine ad with the blower, and they raced
two Javelins. Here is a Redliner article on one of the race cars:
If you were to look at any of the standings after the races, you would
see where Hurst was mentioned as the sponsor of this car.
And the press release packet:
And here is the magazine ad with the Javelin with the blower. This
particular car used a dummy blower set-up but the ad was so
successful AMC contracted Hurst to build a working one. Hurst had it
completed in time for the Indy Nationals where the car never ran
down the track but drove up and down the return lane all day. The
car was given out as a grand prize at the Oakland Roadster Show.
Ready for the Oakland show:
And inside the show:
And the lucky winner!
Last I knew this car had changed hands. Here is an ad for the car:
And here it is on a parade lap in 1969 with the new SCRambler and
some Hurst Olds:
And here is an interesting picture. Remember that ugly scoop on the
prototype? There must have been some research and design that
went into it, but the NHRA said no. Could this be a similar design? I
also have not seen too many pics showing this car with this scoop,
I have more documents not posted here (though nothing really out
of the ordinary) and I will ad them to this post when I uncover them.
I also have some more pictures of these cars, both documented and
questionable. Just remember to be careful when you have a document
to not take everything at face value. The above document with the
starting VIN for instance clearly lists the wrong carbs. The info
document to dealers clearly suggests rocker panel moldings were to
be removed, yet they were not. Here is a recent article on a very
nice, very real Hurst SS/AMX #19:
High Performance Cars Nov/Dec 1993