Jeff Spratt’s 1970 AMX

Anyone who has ever prepared a car for concours judging knows what’s involved!  After the rebuild, which took 30 months, Jeff (and his “partner in crime”, Carol Anderson), brought Jeff’s 1970 AMX to Rockford, Illinois, the site of the 2016 AMO Convention.  It was entered in the American Heritage Cup class so you all know he had to have it shown for at least two years;  first year in Junior where he had to achieve Gold; second year in Senior where he had to win Best of Show in his class!  Achieving these two goals is no easy feat!  The hours and hours and hours spent detailing and cleaning at home are “usually” followed up by hours of detailing and cleaning before the show!  Now, having an enclosed trailer certainly helps to cut down this last piece, but dirt invariably finds its way onto the car.

Many of our AMO+ members have judged before, or at the very least, have had their cars judged.  Now imagine – you’re in the top class for AMO!  Points are deducted by .25 increments for what you might consider very trivial issues!  When you’re at this level, the judges have to be ruthless because the cars are often too close in quality.  This was also NOT Jeff’s first time showing in this class so he knew exactly what he was in for.  He had previously competed in American Heritage with his 1969 SC/Rambler.  Another excellent example of his restoration skills!  Apparently, it’s a real challenge for Jeff to NOT drive the heck out of the SC/Rambler so he was itching to bring another car to show.  Through an unforeseen set of circumstances, he acquired this AMX and set about completing the rebuild.

Came the day of “reckoning”, we were all faced with a deluge of rain which fell the night before into the overnight!  The organizers, in the last 12 hours before the show, had to come up with an entirely different (and much drier) location because the original grounds were so saturated that the cars would certainly have gotten stuck (except for the Jeep class of course)!

Once at the new show field, the car was unloaded and was seen for the first time by many!  There was even a roving television crew there that immediately saw the quality of this car and wanted to interview Jeff!  I’m sure by now you have all seen the video which circulated but if you haven’t, here’s the link: Both the car and driver were very photogenic, don’t you think?

As he waited that long day in the sun, through cocktail hour and then dinner at the banquet, I’m sure Jeff was going over in his mind all the “flaws” he felt his car had (which the judges may or may not have caught).  He told me he really didn’t feel his car was the best on the field that day but the Car Judging Gods were in his favour!  If there WERE imperfections, they were minor!  All the entrants in that class were called to the front and, to Jeff’s total shock, he was named winner of the American Heritage Cup!!

I realize this win was about 18 months ago, but it’s significant for a couple of reasons.  Number 1 and perhaps most astounding is that this was his second car to have competed in the highest class!  Number 2 – only 1 Canadian before him (Don Bennett) had achieved this level twice (Rebel convertible and Gremlin) and 1 Canadian since (Tony Lucas) with another 1970 AMX!

Congratulations to Jeff!  So, will we be seeing a third car??

Written by Barb van der Veen



Tip of the day

When restoring your ride and it comes time to fit the doors, a trick learned working at General Motors was to weigh all internal and external components, add a pound for paint and clearcoat. Now make a flat weight that can be hung inside the door, adjust your for a perfect fit,  be sure the weight doesn’t bounce off the the outer skin or all of your metal work will need to be done again. When the weight is removed you will notice that the door doesn’t fit anymore. No worries, when all the hardware is re installed your doors will fit perfect....