Uncovering an Automotive Mystery Years Later

Mar 25, 2021

Back in the 1970s, Marvin was the Director of the Bureau of Automotive Regulation, within Michigan’s Department of State. At the time he hired Kathy as an investigator for a special departmental task force. The task force taught the police some mechanics and taught some mechanics investigative skills. Kathy went on to meet her husband, Scotty, a supervisor of investigators, thanks to this task force.

At the time there was a rumor about the legendary AMC AMX III - one of the rarest American muscle cars in the world. Supposedly Scotty Dawkins, Kathy’s husband, knew something about it. However, the details of this rare care remained shrouded in mystery for almost 40 years!

“Kathy’s husband had worked for AMC. I’m not really sure what he did there, but he had a mid-engine vehicle from there that he said was special. I never saw it at the time,” said Marvin

However, Kathy and her husband moved to Alaska not long after meeting, and Marvin never got a chance to truly learn about the legendary AMC car.

ReKindling A Friendship Through A Chance Encounter In A GetSetUp Class

Guide Deb leads many of the virtual cooking classes on GetSetUp.

Fast forward 40 years to the GetSetUp virtual cooking class that brought Kathy and Marvin together again!

“I was taking this cooking class with Deb when I heard the name, Marv Goldstein. I looked in the chat and saw a Marv from East Lansing. So after the class I did some googling, found him on Facebook, and called him up,” said Kathy.

Marvin was pleasantly surprised to hear from Kathy after nearly 40 years. The two had a wealth of details to catch up on. Plus this chance encounter gave Marvin the opportunity to ask a question that had intrigued him all these years.

“Whatever happened to your husband’s AMC car?” questioned Marvin. “That’s a story in itself.” said Kathy, “My husband worked for American Motors Corporation and was mentored by Dick Teague, I think he was the President of Design and Development.   In the early 70s AMC wanted to branch out. They wanted to make a car that appealed to the younger generation. The original idea I believe came from a design Dick drew on a napkin while in an airplane. There were 6 prototypes made. Scotty ended up with the first one and Dick had 2 of the others. Scotty got the car in '72 and it was the first of only 6 ever made. It’s one of a kind.”

Since it was the initial car in the 6 car series, it had been taken apart for parts to help make the other prototypes. It hadn’t been street-worthy for many years. By the time Kathy saw it when she married Scotty in 1978, it was more of a shell and some equipment. When the couple moved to Alaska they had it kept at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, where the museum considered restoring it. However, the car lay there unrestored and largely unspoken about. The Dawkins took it back when they moved back to Michigan in 1996.

Scotty’s dream was to renovate the car with our son Ian. Unfortunately, that never happened. We didn’t have the money to do it. It would cost about $250,000 to get the right parts to renovate it. So the car sat there,” said Kathy.

The Long Lost AMC AMX III Comes To Light

Concept Carz1969 AMC AMX III | conceptcarz.com

Kathy referred Marvin to a video online that told a bit more of the story, Story of the Long Lost AMC AMX III.

“Turns out the car was like the holy grail of cars, almost a myth,” said Marvin.

The car sat in the back of the Dawkins barn and then their garage for many years and when Scotty passed away Kathy looked to find a new home for the car. She considered selling it at auction. However, little did she know others were also in search of the car.  She found a couple we  were car enthusiasts and had been looking for the car since they first heard a rumor of it. They negotiated a fair price for the car to be added to their private museum.

“I made part of the condition of the sale that I wanted some control over the car. I wanted to make sure my son would be able to have some decision-making and help them with what needs to be done in the restoration process. They have held up their end,” said Kathy.

This way despite the car being in other's hands, Scotty's dream of his own son helping to rebuild the car is coming true one bolt and screw at a time.

The new owners are fundraising and researching to start repairing the car. You can see their progress at AMX3.org.

What mysteries will you uncover through learning and connecting online?

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