American Motors Hall of Fame

 

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The American Motors

Hall of Fame

 

Dedicated to the recognition of individuals, innovations and vehicles of American Motors Corporation and its subsidiaries from the years 1954 to 1987

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Hall of Fame winners are determined annually with votes cast by registered members of TheAMCForum.com in these four categories: these cainnnnnnn

Category 1:  Person of American Motors, an executive or employee of American Motors or subsidiary company instrumental to the success of the company.

Category 2:  Person or Entity, non-AMC, not directly employed by AMC but known for their contribution to the American Motors legacy or aftermarket.

Category 3:  American Motors Innovation, significant engineering, feature, option or policy pioneered or popularized by American Motors.

Category 4:  Significant Vehicle, an American Motors or related vehicle noteworthy for its concept, design, engineering, utility or volume of sales.

 

Presenting the Hall of Fame Inductees:

 

Category 1 - Person of American Motors

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   Richard A. Teague                       George W. Romney

  Class of 2012                                  Class of 2013

 

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Roy D. Chapin, Jr.

     Class of 2014     

Richard A. Teague,  Vice President of Design for American Motors from 1964-83. The first AMC models influenced by Teague's styling were the 1963 Ambassador and Classic, Motor Trend's Car of the Year. He was also responsible for designing the AMX, Javelin, Gremlin, Pacer and Jeep XJ Cherokee. His skill and creativity allowed AMC to introduce fresh designs on a tight budget. Teague died in 1991. 

George W. RomneyChairman and President of American Motors from 1954-62 following the sudden death of George Mason. Romney soon began the process of phasing out the Nash and Hudson brands to focus on smaller Rambler models, as well as increasing efficiency at AMC, and saw the company return to profitability in 1958. He would leave American Motors to become Governor of Michigan from 1963-69, then Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Richard Nixon from 1969-73. Romney died in 1995.

Roy D. Chapin, Jr.  The son of Hudson Motor Car Co. co-founder Roy D. Chapin Sr, the younger Chapin was born in 1915 and began his career with Hudson in 1938 as a salesman, test driver and engineer. Chapin's automotive career continued with AMC, and in 1967 he was appointed to fill the CEO position. In the years which followed he was instrumental in introducing many successful models like the Gremlin, Hornet, and Javelin. He also spearheaded the purchase of Kaiser Jeep. Roy D. Chapin Jr. retired from AMC in 1978 and enjoyed retirement until his death in 2001.

 

Category 2 - Person or Entity, non-AMC

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         Mark Donohue                      Amos Johnson        

 Class of 2012                         Class of 2013

  

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Shirley Shahan Bridges

    Class of 2014      

 Mark Donohue,  A talented driver and 1972 Indy 500 winner, Donohue would drive many types of race cars before representing American Motors in the Trans-Am and NASCAR series. Highly successful during the "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" era, Donohue died a day after a 1975 crash during practice for the Austrian Grand Prix. He is immortalized with the special edition 1970 Mark Donohue Javelin which bears his signature on the rear spoiler. 

Amos Johnson,  Along with racer Dennis Shaw, Johnson operated North Carolina-based Team Highball, campaigning factory sponsored AMC Gremlins, Pacers and Spirits in IMSA races throughout the 1970's and early '80s. The team saw much success including placing first and second in class at the 1979 24 Hours of Nurburgring race in Germany, driving a pair of 304-powered Spirit AMX's for co-sponsor BF Goodrich.

Shirley Shahan Bridges,  The "Drag-On Lady" began drag racing competitively along with her husband in the late 1950s driving a new Chevrolet. After switching to Hemi-powered Chrysler products, Shirley would go on to win her class at the 1966 NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California, the first woman to do so. After being approached by AMC late in 1968, Shirley saw much success racing a new 1969 Super Stock AMX, and later an AMC Hornet.

  using a modified Hornet Hatchback. using a 

 

Category 3 - American Motors Innovation

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                                               4 Wheel Drive Eagle                     AMC Door Handle

                                                      Class of 2012                                              Class of 2013

 

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Gremlin V8 Option

Class of 2014

4 Wheel Drive Eagle,  Under the direction of Jeep engineer Roy Lunn, the groundbreaking 1980-88 Eagle line combined AMC's proven Concord and Spirit bodies with a durable Jeep type running gear in order to create the first civilized 4-wheel-drive passenger cars.

AMC Door Handle Introduced on most models for the 1968 model year, AMC led the industry with sleek, completely flush-mounted exterior door handles. Although the Big 3 automakers would also abandon push button handles by the early 1970s, AMC door handles were superior in their fluid movement since they are pulled in the direction the door opens.

Gremlin V8 Option,  While Ford Pinto and Chevy Vega owners had to make due with small 4-cylinder engines, AMC began offering 304 cid V8 engines in the subcompact Gremlin beginning in 1972. Standard with the V8 were AMX-style rear axle torque links and AMC's Buyer Protection Plan. 304-powered Gremlins were available through the 1976 model year.

 

Category 4 - Significant Vehicle

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1970 AMC Gremlin                                    1968 AMC Javelin

 Class of 2012                                              Class of 2013

 

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1970 AMC Hornet

Class of 2014

1970 AMC Gremlin,  America's first modern subcompact, the Gremlin was brought to market before the competing Ford Pinto or Chevrolet Vega. Basically a shortened AMC Hornet, the Gremlin was known for its unique rear end styling and became a strong seller for AMC. Later versions would feature optional V8 engines and Levi's denim interiors.

1968 AMC Javelin,  American Motors' response to the popular new "pony cars", the Javelin was a good seller in its first season despite being available in only one body style, unlike its main competition, the Mustang and Camaro. With its clean styling and many performance and appearance options, the first edition Javelin has become a prized collectible in recent years.

1970 AMC Hornet,  The replacement for AMC's popular but aging Rambler American, the Hornet was a completely new car including the body, interior and updated front suspension. Available in 2-door and 4-door configurations in its first year, the Hornet line would prove to be a volume seller throughout the 1970s. Its platform would be the basis for many variants including the Gremlin, Sportabout, and Eagle. AMC Hornets were produced through 1977.

 

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