Thursday, November 20, 2008


Does anyone remember American Motors?
Well I do, my dad had a 63 Rambler station wagon that
we used to drive upstate in all the time.

And for all those car buffs, Rambler became American
Motors back in 1967. Just a simple name change to make
it sound cooler and more appealing.

I must have been about six years old when he brought it
home from the dealer over on 39th street near 14th Avenue.
I remember looking out of the window of my grandparent’s
second floor apartment and seeing the two-tone black and
white station wagon parked in our driveway.

It was much smaller than the 57 Plymouth station wagon
we had earlier, but when your six years old the inside of
any car always looks big.

Yeah, the Rambler, just sleeping in the back seat during those
countless Friday night drives upstate. With my dad flooring
the gas pedal the “packed” Rambler would barely make it up
the very steep hills of Huntley Hollow that lead to our house.

Well, although the station wagon was a wonderful car,
I never really fell in love with it. No, I had my eyes on
another American Motors car. And it was simply called
the AMX, and it was the most beautiful car I have ever
seen in my life.

When I was eleven years old back in 1968 I saw my first
AMX on East 4th street. It was a light metallic green AMX
that Bob, the caretaker of the Church on Avenue C owned.
I would just stare as it slowly cruised up East 4th, It was
just such a beautiful car with a perfect stamped tin body.

So I had AMX pictures in my room,
AMX models in my house,
I even had an AMX car that I raced
at the Buzz-a-rama too.

No, there was no stopping my love for this car.
Someday I was going to buy one, no matter what.

Now, the beauty of being single was that you could basically
do anything you wanted without some kind of “ok” from another
person. And while I was single from 1987 until 1997 after my first
marriage, I always did what I thought was “best” for me.
And that “best” was always spending my money on cars.
Sure I bought 399 from my aunt and uncle in the middle of my
second “single hood”, but I always made sure to put anything
"car related" before the house.

Thus the; “wow Ronnie your place looks just
like the house from the Munster’s TV show" statement
from an old girlfriend who I brought home by mistake.

Hell, and it even had a front yard full of weeds too.

No, I wasn’t very good at keeping the house up, and it was once
the worst house on the block too. But hey, at least I had some cool
Plymouth Cudas in my driveway right? And who picks up their
date in a 4600 hundred square foot wood-frame house anyway?

No, we’re parking the “Monte” by the Verazanno bridge tonight,
not the freaking house. The house is for sleeping and making sure
my mom has a roof over her head. No, never to fix up!

Cars are only what you fix up and make
out with your date in, not your house.

But then I met my current wife Virginia back in 1997, and it looked
like I was going to be in the marriage business again.

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Oh no! just one more car, just one more
car God before I get married again.

Because when you get married you
never know what’s going to happen!

And of course it had
to be the AMX!

So with some “jingle" in my pocket and some hope in my heart
we drove all the way up to Connecticut, and I bought a 68 AMX
for my “girlfriend”, well, actually Virginia my future wife.

Because it was going to be "her" car you know.

And that was it folks, my last
car to restore and work on before
I said “I do” again.

A 1968 290 AMX.
I finally owned an AMX
after all these years.

Well, I finally did fix up 399 East 4th, and it no longer
looks like a prop from a “Friday the 13th” movie.

Yes, it’s amazing what influence a woman can have on me,
but at least I got that last car in before I grew up.

Ron Lopez
Website Counter

Free Counter

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine the big three looking for a hand out, what the hell happend here? my brother in law had the same car back around 75, nice car, I remember my brother and him talking about racing each other, Camaro against the AMX, it never happend though. Will