I’m not sure what it is specifically about the AMC Spirit AMX that makes my pulse quicken just a little bit, but I’m going to try to find the words to explain it here. Maybe it’s because it was a sporty, RWD hatchback with a V8 up front. Maybe it’s because of the wild graphics and window louvers. Perhaps it’s those massively flared wheel arches and the distinctly utilitarian ground clearance that make it look like someone built a muscle car to go rally racing (which, ironically is exactly what AMC did with this and later the Eagle SX/4). Either way, it was weird by 1980’s standards and in 2019 car culture, weird 1980s cars are massively cool. And despite being weird and cool and unapologetically fun, the example you see here, arguably one of the nicest you’ll find for sale is still cheap, with RM Sotheby’s estimating it’ll sell for between $6,000-10,000. To learn more about the car, head over to Silodrome or take a peek at the auction listing here.
We’re quickly approaching road trip season and with that, I want to share with you a dose of inspiration. After completing a 10,000-mile road trip from Florida to Alaska in a Mitsubishi Evo and STI-swapped Subaru Forester last year, the fine gentlemen at Gears & Gasoline decided to up the ante and try a similar trip in $5,000 cars they found on Craigslist. They ended up with two Japanese tuner cars: a supercharged Mazda Miata and a Honda Civic DX with a JDM Type R drivetrain swap. Both drivers started in Virginia, before driving down to the Florida Keys to begin their journey at the southern-most tip of the continental United States. How will their fare in two stripped out tuner cars? Watch this and the rest of the video series to find out.
Speaking of modified cars that are great for driving long distances, a lot of people were bummed that we never got the BMW M3 Touring (wagon) models in the US. Some people were so upset by this fact that they decided to build their own M3 wagons using a regular 3-Series wagon shell and swapping over as much of the M3’s go-fast bits as possible. In the case of the car featured below, the base car was a 325xi, meaning it left the factory with all-wheel drive. The E46 platform M3 has never had AWD but the builder of this car found a way to match the factory AWD system to the M3’s engine, creating in the process what must surely be considered God’s own chariot. You get all of the power and high-revving fun of a BMW M3 with the practicality and stability of an AWD station wagon. It’s no wonder that this car’s odometer is approaching 300,000 miles. It was built to gobble up freeway miles ruthlessly and efficiently. To read more about what it’s like buying a car like this sight unseen and driving it halfway across the country, head over to Road & Track.
Restoring a racecar is an incredibly tedious process. All the best racecars reached their iconic status by being driven hard, battle-tested to within an inch of their life, race after race. Porsche made a name for itself in racing. They didn’t always build cars for outright speed, but often won races by being lighter, more nimble, and easier on their components than other cars on the grid. Perhaps the purest example of Porsche’s racing heritage is the 910/8 Bergspyder. It’s sleek, powerful, and incredibly light, tipping the scales at around 925 lbs. Naturally, you can imagine that a car this delicate would take some patience and a deft hand when it comes to its maintenance and preservation. With panels so thin, they were virtually see-through, you can imagine how tricky it can be to repair all of the bumps and bruises from racing over 50 years ago. With only four Bergspyders ever built, Porsche intends to keep this car as a time capsule of the era. Think preservation over restoration. To see an inside look at what goes into preserving this special car, click the link or watch the video below.
Jay Leno loves his cars. He loves them so much, that he has a whole restoration and fabrication shop in the massive warehouse that holds his collection. Over the past 11 years, his team of mechanics and fabricators have been building a proper car around this big, hulking Merlin V12 out of a retired Spitfire fighter plane. With over 1,000 hp and 1,750 lb-ft of torque, this 4,800 lb Rolls Royce can really get moving. Jay’s biggest goal was to make this a car he could drive in LA traffic. Because, you know, why not?