AM VAN AMC concept heads to Kenosha County for AMO meet

Angelo Van Bogart |

Bortz Auto Collection loans the ‘CONCEPT 80’ AMC AM VAN to the Kenosha County Historical Society for display throughout Kenosha Homecoming

The Kenosha County Historical Society will be displaying the 1977 AMC AM VAN prototype from this July to September 2015, conveniently overlapping the American Motors Owners Association/Kenosha County Historical Society “Kenosha Homecoming” from July 22-27, 2014.

The 1977 AM VAN concept car was styled by AMC Richard Teague’s Design Team and was part of American Motors “CONCEPT 80” nationwide show. It was designed to give three- across seating as well as exceptional visibility. The press release for the concept AM VAN stated, “….AM VAN was conceived as a go-anywhere 4-wheel-drive vehicle with excellent potential for recreational and utility use in addition to family transportation:  American Motors sees a future trend in smaller, fuel efficient automobiles for the 1980s.”

The 1977 AMC AMVAN concept styling mock-up will be on dispaly in Kenosha County during the AMO Kenosha Homecoming.

The 1977 AMC AMVAN concept styling mock-up will be on dispaly in Kenosha County during the AMO Kenosha Homecoming.

The AM VAN was given to the Bortz Auto Collection by Chrysler Corp. when it purchased AMC in appreciation of the Bortz Auto Collection for saving so many Chrysler concept cars from extinction.  The AM VAN is a styling buck built in the styling studio to look like a fully running car.  However, this vehicle is set up on a platform without an engine and heavily tinted windows which show little of the interior. Among all the U.S. concept cars that are in private hands, this and only one other styling buck are known to exist.

It has the original paint and finish and still is near show condition. Every piece on this car is as it was when it was first shown at the auto shows in Washington, Detroit, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“Of all the concept cars in the Bortz Auto Collection, this one has only been displayed two or three times in the last 30 years,” Joe Bortz of the Bortz Auto Collection said. “It will be a great treat for the eyes to see it in person.

There will be several other activities during the week-long Kenosha Homecoming including presentations by AMC/Nash historians such as Old Cars Weekly‘s own columnist Pat Foster. Many former AMC employees are expected to be in attendance.

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