The Most Awesome Car That Doesn’t Work Is Currently For Sale

The coolest van ever made?  Most likely.

RM Sotheby’s

The coolest van ever made? Most likely.

American Motors Corporation was arguably the most interesting American automaker of the second half of the 20th century. It was one of the first to consider fuel efficiency in its designs, instead of just ignoring it like other American brands, and it gave us the Pacer sedan that is forever great.

But in the 1970s, AMC nearly built what might have been the best American car ever, a ridiculously cool two-door minivan with the bubbly but boxy AMC design of the era. And the rolling concept is for sale!

Called the AM Van, the first thing you’ll notice is the amount of glass, which makes the compact quite airy, although the rear windows don’t seem to open, so it could get a little stuffy in there.

It might not be very practical, but those side pipes are seriously sexy.

RM Sotheby’s

It might not be very practical, but those side pipes are seriously sexy.

The front has those cool square AMC headlights that mold into the bodywork, four dashes in the hood to let the heat escape from the engine bay, a 4×4 decal to indicate this pickup could definitely go off road, and fog lights bottom, one of who took a hit at one point.

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To the side are aggressively flared arches housing the coolest rims we’ve seen all year, a set of deep red and white wheels with what look like tiny pod filters on the center hub.

RM Sotheby’s

“Turbo” is spelled here the way it should be spelled on the 2.3-liter turbocharged Mustang.

Below the AM Van text is the word “Turbo”, although there is no information on what type of engine the turbocharger would be applied to.

If we were to buy it, we’d ditch the GR Yaris’ 1.6-liter triple-turbo, especially with those side pipes.

Sadly, we can’t even open the hood to see what AMC would have powered the pickup truck with, as the concept was built on a rolling wooden frame with fiberglass bodywork on top and a partial interior for the purposes of show only.

That left fog light took a beating, but that's probably an easier fix than putting an actual motor in the wood frame.

RM Sotheby’s

That left fog light took a beating, but that’s probably an easier fix than putting an actual motor in the wood frame.

It was part of a traveling AMC car show in the 1970s, along with half a dozen other cars, including an electric door stop on wheels and a Gremlin crossed with a Pacer.

The show aimed to get people excited about AMC’s future, and crowds were asked to vote for their favorite car on display.

The AM Van always won, and then AMC decided not to build it at all. I’m not saying it would have saved the company, but I’m not do not say that either.

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