1979 Spirit AMX #2





This car was sponsored by AMC, BFGoodrich and driven by Lyn St James, Gary Witzenburg and Jim Downing in the 1979 Nurburgring 24 Hours. Wearing a brilliant black, blue, orange and yellow paint scheme, the car represented America well as it finished first in class, its sister car finishing second, for a one-two Team Highball finish. Even more surprising, both cars competed on BF Goodrich street radial tires, a significant sales promotion for the new high performance Radial T/A tires. The BFG Company filmed the event from the air as well as several points around the circuit and a short movie was made of the event titled "The Ultimate Challenge". Both a VHS tape and DVD of the race will be included with the sale of this car. Automobile Quarterly featured Gary Witzenburgs story on the Nurburgring effort in their Volume 1 Number 1 book. a copy will be included. After the Ring appearance, this AMX sat idle until late in 1980, when it was used as a pace car at an IMSA race at Road Atlanta. On worn old racing tires it spun off the rain soaked track and into mud. Race officials decided to leave the car there until after the race. A bad decision as not long after the restart another racer spun off the track crashed into the front of the AMX. Back at the Team Highball Raleigh, NC race shop mechanics replaced the front clip with one of their IMSA-AC (Kelly American Challenge) AMC Concords that had rear end damage. After the repair, the AMX car was upgraded to IMSA-GT spec. The car then competed in the 1981 Kelly American Challenge Series driven by Amos Johnson, the Daytona 24 Hours in 1981-82 as a customer car and the Daytona Finale 'Free For All'in late 1982 by a Team Highball employee.  The Nurburgring race was featured in Automobile Quarterly Vol 19 No 1 and also Road Test magazine March 1981. Others mentions include misc AMC Owners magazines, 'Victory Lane' March 2004, 'Hemmings Muscle Machines' Feb 2005, 'Classic & Sportscar' Feb 2005 and just recently a barn finds book by Tom Cotter titled "the Cobra in the Barn".

Built by Team Highball which was a factory AMC supported race team as one of a two car team for the 1979 Nurburgring 24h. This was the number 2 car. The sister car was number 1. Car has been media blasted and epoxy primed. Rear quarter panels replaced to bring car back to FIA Gp1 appearance from it's last raced IMSA-GT flares. For the FIA Nurburgring 24h it had a 304 4V engine. Later in IMSA-AC a higher spec 304 and in IMSA-GT a dry sump 360 engine from the Penske NASCAR race program.


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