Second Report of Work Done - Auburn Hills, MI Stop

December 6, 2006

I've been holding off posting an update for a little bit now, time to fill you guys in with where the project is at and what's being done to move it forward. Some of what I'm going to say is a rehash, some not, here it is:

PR: I've sent information to Car Craft, Hot Rod and Popular Hot Rodding magazines, I am sending info to Hemmings Muscle Machines shortly to get some coverage for the project and to solicit parts and donations. I'm also meeting with a local newspaper to get an article on the car shortly.

Parts currently being obtained: I'm working with Legendary to try to get the interior soft parts, I'll update as things happen. A buddy also has put me in touch with Summit Racing's PR department.

Supplies obtained: I have gotten basecoat/clearcoat and primer donated by our local paint shop for the purpose of painting the car the original color.

Commitments for labor: Hedidit Paint has committed to doing the body work (more on that later) and painting of the AMX. They will be starting that phase once we have removed mechanicals and gotten it to the point they want to begin work. I'm currently talking to an automotive stripping business to see if we might be able to get it down to a workable point for free, I haven't heard back yet with a yes or no.

Parts that are missing that were seemingly there at one time (disappeared at some point):

  • Tail lights
  • Tail light buckets
  • Center light (reverse light)
  • Center light bucket
  • Correct grill turn signals (NOS set donated by Benvie)
  • All the trim for the front end of the car headlight/hood and fender trim/bumper scoops

[Note: Zion Auto Body contacted John on January 9th, 2007 letting him know that they found a large number of parts for the car.]

Missing parts that are currently needed and were not previously believed to be with the car can be found at More to be added from the spreadsheet we are putting together (don't have the copy here like I thought I did)

Parts that are in rough shape that could be repaired but might be easier to find decent examples or get them donated:

  • Dash pad
  • Shifter (very worn)
  • All wood grain overlays (I could do custom but this is a stock restoration so we need some)
  • Arm rests
  • Lock levers
  • Pull straps
  • Gauges faces are very faded
  • Many more that I'll post shortly

Body work we are correcting before paint can be applied:

  • Passenger door perfectly aligned to the front fender that's very much in the wrong place (meaning the door and fender are both way off).
  • Rocker panels are VERY rough and mostly composed of filler at this time (anyone has some it would be nice to weld them in).
  • Rear of roof panel is somewhat "S" shaped at this time. It looks like someone roughed in some filler then shot primer over it (looks BAD).
  • Hood skin is not connected to the hood right now except at the edges which is distorting the shape. We're reattaching the two before we form more opinions.
  • Finding body seams that were bondo'd over, using an original AMX for reference.
  • The guy who did this work no longer works for Zion and I'm not judging their work by this car. It is however a long way from being ready for paint. They did a very nice job putting the quarter panel on the car and I've got no complaints about how it looks.

With regard to the missing parts listed above: I've been in touch with Zion Auto Body, they don't remember these parts being on or with the car when it arrived. They also state that it's possible they were there when it arrived. Zion stated if anything turns up they will contact me and we'll ship them to rejoin the car. I have no reason to think they would do otherwise, nobody acted like a princess or got all offended when I asked, I came away having respect for these guys.

I do want to take this opportunity to make one very clear statement if I may: It does not matter to me a bit who misplaced this or any stuff, who may have taken it, or broken it, or allowed it to be taken hostage by an international drug ring, I furthermore don't care a bit where these parts are currently unless they can be found. If they turn up we need them in a bad way. I do care a great deal about making this car a success, to me what's already happened is irrelevant, what I'm concerned where we are going and concerned about getting what we need to finish it. This stuff is not cheap and putting broken old stuff on the car is pointless so we are left needing stuff that's rare and spendy when it's nice. This is part of owning/restoring/liking a 1970 AMX and one of the major pitfalls of this car.

The Charity AMX is a good STARTING point right now. It's not close to saleable, it's not close to nice, it's honestly worth a few thousand dollars right now and there is no way in hell some paint alone is going to get it in an auction much less sold. HOWEVER when I stare at it with my eyes squinted just enough I can see a beautiful car though and that's enough right now.

My friends and I are willing to work it like our lives depend on this car happening, unless we or somebody else gets lots of parts this car is never going to be done. I'm working to get people donating and involved from the outside of the AMC hobby. That's something I can do besides working on it.

I bet you are saying "I don't have the parts that are needed or a shop to work on it in but I want to help....". if you want to take part of the responsibility There are things you can do:

Compose an email (this one I sent is for us on the list, not outsiders) and tell people about this project, ask your buddy or boss to throw a $20 or whatever into the pot to help kids. It's the holiday season, no better time. Frank has the purse and here are the details for how to help him fill it.

If anyone has any issue with what I've said, or what's going on, or what's missing I expect it to be dealt like grown up men or women, that means posts to the list are factual and bring added value. I don't mind criticism (in fact I should have had my sheets with me before even starting this mail) and if it's going to bring value, it's appropriate. If anyone wants to attack anyone with things that aren't going to help or have no relevance to moving ahead then deal with it off list. One of my biggest fears has been starting a flame war by stating things about this car when I have no idea which people have a hand or emotional investment in it, thus starting a flame war.

Lets see how this mail goes and I'll send more updates shortly


John Widiker (
On-Site Coordinator, Project Charity AMX, Auburn Hills, Michigan


Last Updated: 09/08/2008