AMC is dead and gone but it left an important legacy.
You'd be forgiven if you hadn't heard of AMC. It was an underdog American company, and one of the country's last truly independent automakers. The marque's most famous car, the Gremlin, has been a star in movies and TV since it debuted. However, beyond the Gremlins and the Pacer from Wayne's World, the AMC story goes back much farther than that.
A new docuseries is looking to tell us all the fabled AMC story in 2024. It'll be called The Last Independent Automaker. The series will be comprised of six parts, running around a half-hour each. The series will, of course, start with AMC's inception, following its contribution to America's iconic muscle car scene thanks largely to cars like the Javelin, which competed with the Dodge Challenger and Detroit iron. The series ends with the demise of the company around when Chrysler picked over the bones and resurrected AMC's Jeep brand into an icon.
According to the documentary's Facebook page, the story will be told by a number of former executives, employees, and engineers. That should provide some real insight into how AMC functioned in a tough domestic market. According to the filmmakers, GM, Ford, and Chrysler sold 90% of vehicles in America in 1950.
The other 10% belonged to independent automakers. As the film's Facebook page puts it, these were "tiny companies struggling to compete with Detroit's 'big three'." At one point, AMC's wild lineup managed to out-sell every brand in America except for Ford and Chevrolet. The series places an emphasis on the lessons to be learned here, especially when Jeep has been so successful for every company that has owned it since.
It's been just over 35 years since the last independent automaker closed its doors. At its height, the company served millions and employed thousands. It was, by all accounts, well on its way to turning the "Big Three" into the "Big Four." How you'll be able to watch this isn't clear just yet. The film also has a GoFundMe page set up to help cover production costs. If you're really passionate about seeing this story told, you can contribute, and you'll get to see the series as a result.
We do know it will go live in 2024 and will be on public TV, so we're also hoping to catch the story on YouTube. It'd certainly help to get the word out as the trailer has less than 10,000 views.