Well, the AMX has finally ‘made the grade‘ and was declared an official AUTOMOTIVE MILESTONE by the club that does such knighting, the Milestone Car Society. We all knew it would make it. Just a question of when. Here's a brief history of what has happened.
The Milestone Car Society was started in the 1970's by people who felt there were Postwar cars that were ‘classics’. Up until then, the Antique Automobile Club of America declared what cars were true Classics and virtually all true Classics are Prewar cars built to the highest standards of automotive excellence, usually sparing no costs. Cars of this caliber are Pierce Arrow, Dusie’s, certain Cads, Lincolns, etc. Many foreign cars are included such as Rolls, Hipano's, etc. These are the cars called CLASSICS.
But, time marches on and things change. 1955 was a high water mark for cars and the '55 T-bird, the '55 Chev and imports like MG TF's and TD's, Jag XK120‘s and many others appeared. Into the '60's and these cars were looked back upon as, well, maybe not true Classics, but certainly, well.... The Classic Thunderbird Club, International was formed by Vic Take in Missouri in 1962. Vic felt the little Birds were something very special and the word Classic applied to them, but maybe in a different way than what the AACA felt Classic meant. The AACA was steamed but the ‘Modern Classic‘ term was becoming well accepted in the hobby. The Classic Chevy Club, The Classic AMX Club...
In the '70's, a group of people got together and said they liked many different types and brands of cars American and foreign that were certainly Unique. They felt one organization should be formed to honor these cars, cars that were, well MILESTONES in automotive history, but not Classic like the AACA classics. So, the Milestone Car Society was formed. Many members were AACA members who liked certain Postwar cars. Many heavily favored imported cars. The MCS set down a list of 5 criteria as guidelines to judge postwar cars on to decide if certain cars were truly unique and of Milestone caliber. These are Styling, Engineering, Performance, Innovation and Craftsmanship.
Originally the club was for cars made after WWII up to 1964. The founders were selfish, like most car nuts and wanted to knight what they loved the most, '50‘s and early '60's imported cars like Humber Super Snipes, Rolls, Jags, MGs, etc. They desired to try to avoid the American muscle era of GTOs and Shelbys. But, after a surge of members, interest leveled and then fell off. Members like myself who had musclecar interests saw little hope of getting the club to move up in years to include the Detroit HotRods. I ran for the Board, lost, suffered despair and in 1977 dropped out of MCS.
Many others did what I did and in the early '80's the club was in trouble. One of the original founders who had left the management of the original club was desperately called back to attempt to analyze what ailed the club and see if he could reorganize and revitalize the club. He came back and righted what was wrong within reason. He got the Board to move up to include cars built up and including 1970. This brought aboard the Mustang crowd who were dying to have the original Mustang, an extremely popular collector car, recognized as a Milestone. The club ranks grew again.
An attitude change was in order too. Musclecars had to be honored. The original founders were into Chrysler 300s in a big way, but most scoffed at the true Chrysler factory hotrods, the 426 Hemi powered cars. Discrimination in a big way! Attitudes were altered within the club, although some just put their feelings in the closet.
A flood of nominations for American Musclecars hit the review board. I rejoined the club and nominated the AMX in 1983. Due to some mismanagement and infighting in MCS, the current President said the nomination was lost. After much delay another was submitted. That nomination is in this newsletter on page 4.
After a car is nominated, the form is sent out to a panel of noted automotive experts across the land to review individually. They muse and mull over the words on the nomination and decide if they agree or not. If so, and the car gets a nod of agreement in at least two of the areas, the form is sent back to the chairman and tallied. Some are winners, some are losers. The AMX was a winner, but we all knew it would be. I can say I knew it from square one. Helping was all of YOU that support the national club. CACI's presence was a factor, I'm sure. If we didn't care, would others? Probably not. The CACI interest has also given firm backing to all the press we have gotten on the AMX over the last 2-3 years. Your membership in CACI has given the AMX support in the hobby and all of us united have shown the car collecting world WE CARE. And, uphill fight as it has been, they have shown THEY CARE and the AMX has gotten press coverage by the magazine full. But, deep as my love of this car goes, it would NOT have happened without YOU dear clubmember and YOUR support of CACI. Together we have waved the AMX flag at car shows, on the street, everywhere we could. And the AMX is now a MILESTONE! THANKS!!