AMC Concord
Overview
 
The AMC Concord is a compact car
Compact car
A compact car , or small family car , is a classification of cars which are larger than a supermini but smaller than or equal to a mid-size car...

 produced by the American Motors Corporation
American Motors
American Motors Corporation was an American automobile company formed by the 1954 merger of Nash-Kelvinator Corporation and Hudson Motor Car Company. At the time, it was the largest corporate merger in U.S. history.George W...

 for the 1978 through 1983 model year
Model year
The model year of a product is a number used worldwide, but with a high level of prominence in North America, to describe approximately when a product was produced, and indicates the coinciding base specification of that product....

s. The Concord replaced the AMC Hornet
AMC Hornet
The AMC Hornet was a compact automobile made by the American Motors Corporation in one generation beginning with the 1970 model year and continuing through the 1977 model year. The Hornet replaced the compact Rambler American marking the end of the Rambler marque in the American and Canadian markets...

 and to some extent the mid-size AMC Matador
AMC Matador
The AMC Matador is a mid-size car that was built and sold by American Motors Corporation from 1971 to 1978. The Matador came in two generations: 1971 to 1973 and a major redesign from 1974 to 1978...

, discontinued after 1978 in a market moving to downsized
Downsize (automobile)
Downsizing in the automobile industry is the practice of redesigning a vehicle to retain the interior volume, and often the nameplate and styling of a larger car to a smaller, more efficient platform. General Motors was among the first to announce a downsize strategy for the whole company as a...

 automobiles. Offered in four-door sedan, two-door coupé
Coupé
A coupé or coupe is a closed car body style , the precise definition of which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and over time...

 (through 1982), three-door hatchback
Hatchback
A Hatchback is a car body style incorporating a shared passenger and cargo volume, with rearmost accessibility via a rear third or fifth door, typically a top-hinged liftgate—and features such as fold-down rear seats to enable flexibility within the shared passenger/cargo volume. As a two-box...

 (through 1979) and four-door station wagon
Station wagon
A station wagon is a body style variant of a sedan/saloon with its roof extended rearward over a shared passenger/cargo volume with access at the back via a third or fifth door , instead of a trunk lid...

 forms, AMC sought to give its, by this time venerable, compact car an image of luxury, class, and value.
Encyclopedia
The AMC Concord is a compact car
Compact car
A compact car , or small family car , is a classification of cars which are larger than a supermini but smaller than or equal to a mid-size car...

 produced by the American Motors Corporation
American Motors
American Motors Corporation was an American automobile company formed by the 1954 merger of Nash-Kelvinator Corporation and Hudson Motor Car Company. At the time, it was the largest corporate merger in U.S. history.George W...

 for the 1978 through 1983 model year
Model year
The model year of a product is a number used worldwide, but with a high level of prominence in North America, to describe approximately when a product was produced, and indicates the coinciding base specification of that product....

s. The Concord replaced the AMC Hornet
AMC Hornet
The AMC Hornet was a compact automobile made by the American Motors Corporation in one generation beginning with the 1970 model year and continuing through the 1977 model year. The Hornet replaced the compact Rambler American marking the end of the Rambler marque in the American and Canadian markets...

 and to some extent the mid-size AMC Matador
AMC Matador
The AMC Matador is a mid-size car that was built and sold by American Motors Corporation from 1971 to 1978. The Matador came in two generations: 1971 to 1973 and a major redesign from 1974 to 1978...

, discontinued after 1978 in a market moving to downsized
Downsize (automobile)
Downsizing in the automobile industry is the practice of redesigning a vehicle to retain the interior volume, and often the nameplate and styling of a larger car to a smaller, more efficient platform. General Motors was among the first to announce a downsize strategy for the whole company as a...

 automobiles. Offered in four-door sedan, two-door coupé
Coupé
A coupé or coupe is a closed car body style , the precise definition of which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and over time...

 (through 1982), three-door hatchback
Hatchback
A Hatchback is a car body style incorporating a shared passenger and cargo volume, with rearmost accessibility via a rear third or fifth door, typically a top-hinged liftgate—and features such as fold-down rear seats to enable flexibility within the shared passenger/cargo volume. As a two-box...

 (through 1979) and four-door station wagon
Station wagon
A station wagon is a body style variant of a sedan/saloon with its roof extended rearward over a shared passenger/cargo volume with access at the back via a third or fifth door , instead of a trunk lid...

 forms, AMC sought to give its, by this time venerable, compact car an image of luxury, class, and value. The Concord was AMC's volume seller from the time it appeared.

Origin and Development

American Motors was unable to develop a completely new car to replace its successful, but aging, Hornet
AMC Hornet
The AMC Hornet was a compact automobile made by the American Motors Corporation in one generation beginning with the 1970 model year and continuing through the 1977 model year. The Hornet replaced the compact Rambler American marking the end of the Rambler marque in the American and Canadian markets...

. Competition was expected from the new Ford Fox platform
Ford Fox platform
The Ford Fox platform is a rear wheel drive, unitized-chassis, automobile architecture used by Ford Motor Company in North America. Introduced for the 1978 model year, it would go on to be produced until 1993 in its original version; a substantial redesign of the Ford Mustang in 1994 extended its...

 (also introduced for 1978) and the rear-wheel drive GM X platform
GM X platform
There have been two X-body automobile platforms from General Motors. All X-bodies were small entry-level models.-Rear wheel drive:The rear-wheel drive X-body underpinned the Chevrolet Nova and similar cars of the late 1960s and 1970s. It was also the basis for the Cadillac Seville's K platform...

 (introduced in the late 1960s) was still popular. Therefore, the financially strapped, smallest domestic American automaker needed something fresh to continue competing in a class that had long been their core market segment
Market segment
Market segmentation is a concept in economics and marketing. A market segment is a sub-set of a market made up of people or organizations with one or more characteristics that cause them to demand similar product and/or services based on qualities of those products such as price or function...

. The 1978 Concord was not much different structurally or mechanically from its predecessor, but with a new appearance and a higher level of appointments and features, it looked more "important" and, like the other AMC models, benefited from an urgent stress on workmanship and quality that was prompted by the growing success of cars imported
International trade
International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories. In most countries, such trade represents a significant share of gross domestic product...

 from Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

.

Richard A. Teague
Richard A. Teague
Richard A. Teague , born in Los Angeles, California, was an industrial designer in the North American automotive industry...

, AMC's top car designer, took AMC's compact platform
Automobile platform
An automobile platform is a shared set of common design, engineering, and production efforts, as well as major components over a number of outwardly distinct models and even types of automobiles, often from different, but related marques...

 and gave it noticeable changes starting with a new front end with a slope that gave it a sporty, yet formal appearance. American Motor's design studio under Teague mastered of the art of getting attractive new cars from a minimal investment. The "new" car utilized the facelifted
Facelift (product)
A facelift is the revival of a product through cosmetic means, for example by changing its appearance while leaving its underlying engineering or design intact....

 1977 Gremlin's front fenders with a new hood over a chrome six-section egg-crate grille
Grille
A grille or grill is an opening of several slits side by side in a wall or metal sheet or other barrier, usually to let air or water enter and/or leave but keep larger objects including people and animals in or out.-Spelling:In the United States, "grille" is used to differentiate the automotive...

 incorporating white rectangular parking lights, as well as new rectangular headlights, bumpers, fiberglass rear fender end caps, rectangular tri-color taillights, and a stand-up hood ornament
Hood ornament
A hood/bonnet ornament, or radiator cap, or car mascot is a specially crafted model of something which symbolizes a car company like a badge, located on the front center portion of the hood...

 with a new Concord emblem. The roof featured an outlined quarter-vinyl cover
Vinyl roof
Vinyl roof refers to a vinyl covering for an automobile's top. This covering was originally designed to give the appearance of a convertible to models with a fixed roof, but eventually it evolved into a styling statement in its own right. Vinyl roofs were most popular in the American market, and...

 that was available in matching or contrasting color.

The new model featured increased sound insulation and suspension upgrades to isolate the interior from vibration and noise. It was also loaded with numerous standard comfort and upscale features. American Motors equipped the "easy-to-handle size" car with a "roomy sumptuous interior that was stuffed, folded and carpeted to within an inch of its life". The Concord also gained an extra inch (25.4 mm) of rear seat headroom, as well as two additional inches (50.8 mm) of legroom for rear seat passengers. The transformation of the old Hornet into the new 1978 Concord included promoting the new model as an upscale luxury compact with competitive starting price in the mid-US$
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

4,000 range.

1978

Three models were available: Base, Sport, and the top-line D/L. The AMX version was available only on the liftback. The D/L featured many of the luxury cues that were popular on cars in the 1970s; a "landau" vinyl roof
Vinyl roof
Vinyl roof refers to a vinyl covering for an automobile's top. This covering was originally designed to give the appearance of a convertible to models with a fixed roof, but eventually it evolved into a styling statement in its own right. Vinyl roofs were most popular in the American market, and...

 with opera window
Opera window
Opera Windows are small porthole sized side windows in the C-pillar of some cars. Typically offered in unison with a vinyl roof, they were a very common design feature of American automobiles during the 1970s. The design was new at the time, "... and would prove to be very popular, indicated by its...

s (coupé only), color-keyed wheel covers, reclining seats covered in velveteen
Velveteen
Velveteen is a cloth made in imitation of velvet. Normally cotton, the term is sometimes applied to a mixture of silk and cotton. Some velveteens are a kind of fustian, having a rib of velvet pile alternating with a plain depression. This fabric has a pile that is short , and is closely set. It has...

 cloth, and woodgrain instrument panel overlays. The D/L wagon featured exterior woodgrain trim and reclining seats in a leather-like perforated vinyl. The Sport package included slot-style road wheels and bodyside tape stripes on the lower half of the vehicle, running up around the wheel flares. Options included cruise control
Cruise control
Cruise control is a system that automatically controls the speed of a motor vehicle. The system takes over the throttle of the car to maintain a steady speed as set by the driver.-History:...

 and air conditioning
Air conditioning
An air conditioner is a home appliance, system, or mechanism designed to dehumidify and extract heat from an area. The cooling is done using a simple refrigeration cycle...

; however, power windows and power door locks were unavailable.

A 232 CID
AMC Straight-6 engine
The American Motors Corporation straight-6 family of engines was used by a number of AMC and Jeep vehicles from 1964 through 2006.-195.6:American Motors' first straight-six engine was the...

 six-cylinder engine was standard, with a 258 CID six-cylinder and a 304 CID V8 being optional on the D/L models. Transmission options included a 3-speed manual
Manual transmission
A manual transmission, also known as a manual gearbox or standard transmission is a type of transmission used in motor vehicle applications...

, a 3-speed automatic
Automatic transmission
An automatic transmission is one type of motor vehicle transmission that can automatically change gear ratios as the vehicle moves, freeing the driver from having to shift gears manually...

, and a 4-speed.

A Concord with the V8 engine accelerated from 0 to 60 mph
0 to 60 mph
The time it takes to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph is a commonly used performance measure for automotive acceleration in the United States and the United Kingdom. In the rest of the world 0 to 100 km/h is used...

 (0 to 97 km/h) in 10.4 seconds, and had a top speed of 100 mi/h.

American Motors also introduced an optional Volkswagen/Audi-designed 2.0 L (122 cu in) I4 engine, which was also available in the Gremlin and later the Spirit. The engine was the same as used in the Porsche 924
Porsche 924
The Porsche 924 is an automobile produced by Porsche AG of Germany from 1976 to 1988. A two-door, 2+2 coupé, the 924 replaced the 914 as the company's entry-level model, and was the model that finally retired the 912. In production terms, the 924 was the first Porsche model powered by a...

, although the Porsche was fitted with Bosch fuel injection
Fuel injection
Fuel injection is a system for admitting fuel into an internal combustion engine. It has become the primary fuel delivery system used in automotive petrol engines, having almost completely replaced carburetors in the late 1980s....

 instead of carburetor
Carburetor
A carburetor , carburettor, or carburetter is a device that blends air and fuel for an internal combustion engine. It is sometimes shortened to carb in North America and the United Kingdom....

s on the AMC models. This engine provided improved economy, but was not as powerful as the standard six-cylinder engine. Because of the expense of acquiring the rights to the new 2.0 L engine, AMC could not afford to make it standard equipment.

American Motors marketed the Concord as a more economical alternative to larger luxury cars. The tag line in the ads at the time of Concord's introduction touted it as the car with "The luxury America wants, the size America needs." The most popular body style was the two-door coupe accounting for almost half of total Concord production in 1978. The Concord outsold the Pacer
AMC Pacer
The AMC Pacer is a two-door compact automobile produced in the United States by the American Motors Corporation between 1975 and 1980.Its initial design idea was started in 1971. The car's unusual rounded shape with massive glass area greatly contrasted with the three-box architecture with "square,...

, Matador
AMC Matador
The AMC Matador is a mid-size car that was built and sold by American Motors Corporation from 1971 to 1978. The Matador came in two generations: 1971 to 1973 and a major redesign from 1974 to 1978...

, and Gremlin
AMC Gremlin
The AMC Gremlin is a two-door subcompact car produced in the United States and Canada by the American Motors Corporation between 1970 and 1978. AMC reduced its development and manufacturing costs by adapting a shortened Hornet platform with a Kammback-type tail...

 combined for its first year.

Owners in a nationwide survey conducted by Popular Mechanics magazine responded that they like their AMC Concords based on 1,127,000 miles of driving. Drivers reported "few and rather minor gripes". When asked to name their complaints, an "amazing" 30% of AMC Concord owners wrote none, thus beating the record of all the 17 automobiles that were surveyed by the magazine in 1977 by a wide margin - including the Honda Accord
Honda Accord
The Honda Accord is a series of compact, mid-size and full-size automobiles manufactured by Honda since 1976, and sold in a majority of automotive markets throughout the world....

 (with only a 18.9% "no complaints" rate).

1979

The next model year saw moderate upgrades to keep the luxurious Concord fresh. Front-end styling changed appreciably with a "waterfall" grille with a fine chrome vertical bar treatment, quad rectangular headlights atop slim, wide clear parking/signal lights, and lighter aluminum bumpers were new for 1979. The 3-speed manual transmission was a "downgrade" option for Concord in 1979. The D/L sedan was given a new vinyl roof design which extended only over the rear passenger compartment was complemented by chrome trim that overlaid the B-pillar
Pillar (car)
Pillars are the vertical supports of the greenhouse of an automobile — known respectively as the A, B, C or D-pillar moving in profile view from the front to rear....

 and wrapped over the vinyl roof at its leading edge. 1979 also saw the introduction of the Limited model, available on coupe, sedan, and wagon models, and appointed with leather upholstery, thick carpeting, full courtesy lighting, body-colored wheel covers, and a standard AM radio. The Concord Limited was very well equipped for a compact car at the time. The D/L package, now the middle trim level, was extended to the hatchback, which was given a brushed aluminum Targa-like
Targa top
Targa top, targa for short, is a semi-convertible car body style with a removable roof section and a full width roll bar behind the seats. The term was first used on the 1966 Porsche 911 Targa, and it remains a registered trademark of Porsche AG....

 roof band and a half-vinyl roof to differentiate it from the standard hatchback. The Sport package was dropped, as was the AMX
AMC AMX
The AMC AMX is a two-seat GT in style and approach sports car that was produced by American Motors Corporation for the 1968 through 1970 model years. The AMX was also classified as a muscle car, but "unique among other American cars at the time due its short wheelbase"...

 which moved to the new AMC Spirit
AMC Spirit
The AMC Spirit was a subcompact marketed by American Motors Corporation from 1979 to 1983 as a restyled replacement for the Gremlin. The Spirit shared the Gremlin's platform and was offered in two hatchback variations, each with two doors — marketed as sedan and liftback...

 liftback body.

On May 1, 1979, AMC celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Nash-Hudson merger and released a limited number of specially appointed "Silver Anniversary" AMC Concords to commemorate the event. The special models received a two-tone silver metallic finish, silver vinyl roof, commemorative badges, and individual reclining front seats upholstered in special black or russet "Caberfae" corduroy.

A Popular Science road test of three traditional compact cars (AMC Concord, Ford Fairmont
Ford Fairmont
The Ford Fairmont is a compact car produced by Ford Motor Company for the North American market. Introduced for the 1978 model year, the Fairmont was produced in several bodystyles until it was replaced by the Ford Tempo for the 1984 model year...

, and Plymouth Volaré
Dodge Aspen
The Dodge Aspen, produced from 1976 to 1980, was a compact car from Chrysler Corporation's Dodge division; its Plymouth-branded counterpart was the Volaré . It was launched as a two-door coupe, a four-door sedan, and a unique-for-the-segment station wagon...

) facing the challenge of GM's new front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive is a form of engine/transmission layout used in motor vehicles, where the engine drives the front wheels only. Most modern front-wheel drive vehicles feature a transverse engine, rather than the conventional longitudinal engine arrangement generally found in rear-wheel drive and...

 "X cars" (Chevrolet Citation
Chevrolet Citation
The Chevrolet Citation was a compact car sold by the Chevrolet brand of American automaker General Motors for model years 1980-1985. The Citation and its X-body siblings were among GM's first front wheel drive compact cars, following the trend of front drive compacts such as the Honda Accord...

 and Oldsmobile Omega
Oldsmobile Omega
The Omega was one of 2 more X-body Chevrolet Nova clones introduced in 1973 . Naturally it shared the Nova's body and many of its mechanicals, but it had its own unique nose and tail, and, being an Oldsmobile, it had a little fancier trim than the Nova...

) summarized that AMC is committed to serve market segments not served by the other domestic automakers, and concluded that "Concord is the best-looking inside, and offers the plush feel of a big, expensive sedan."

1980

The hatchback was dropped for 1980, as was the old 3-speed manual. Remaining Concord models were given a smoother appearance. The sedan versions of the D/L and Limited were given full vinyl roofs with nearly triangular opera window
Opera window
Opera Windows are small porthole sized side windows in the C-pillar of some cars. Typically offered in unison with a vinyl roof, they were a very common design feature of American automobiles during the 1970s. The design was new at the time, "... and would prove to be very popular, indicated by its...

s embedded in the C-pillars; the coupe versions received squared off opera windows, and revised chrome opera window trim with vertical strakes occupying the space between the window itself and the outer piece of trim. Limited wagons received blackout paint and chrome trim surrounding their rear quarter windows. Base sedans and coupes retained the same rooflines and treatment seen on Hornets since 1970. Taillights were modified and given a wraparound treatment reminiscent of the old Hornet. All Concords received a new horizontal bar grille, with the Concord name in script to the driver's side, and a new, squared-off hood ornament bearing the AMC tri-color logo. That same year, options such as power window
Power window
Power windows or electric windows as well as electric or power window lifts are automobile windows which can be raised and lowered by depressing a button or switch, as opposed to using a hand-turned crank handle.- History :Packard introduced the first power windows in the 1940 Packard...

s and power seat
Power seat
A power seat in an automobile is a front seat which can be adjusted by using a switch or joystick and a set of small electric motors. Most cars with this feature have controls for the driver's seat only, though almost all luxury cars also have power controls for the front passenger seat.In addition...

s were also made available. General Motors
General Motors
General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

' Iron Duke
GM Iron Duke engine
Iron Dukes were fitted with fuel injection in 1982. This version was christened the Tech IV, though Car and Driver later ridiculed it as the low-Tech IV. Power output remained at ....

 I4 engine was also made available for 1980 to replace the rarely ordered VW/Audi four. The 304 CID V8 and 232 CID I6 were dropped outright for 1980, leaving only the outsourced
Outsourcing
Outsourcing is the process of contracting a business function to someone else.-Overview:The term outsourcing is used inconsistently but usually involves the contracting out of a business function - commonly one previously performed in-house - to an external provider...

 151 CID I4 and AMC's durable 258 CID I6 engines as the available choices. All AMCs were offered with Ziebart
Ziebart
Ziebart International Corporation is a company based in Troy, Michigan, and is the worldwide franchisor of the Ziebart brand of automotive aftermarket stores...

 Factory Rust Protection for 1980 that included a new 5-year "No Rust Thru" transferable warranty, in addition to the Buyer Protection Plan 12 month/12,000-mile (19,312 km) warranty that AMC introduced in 1972.

Although it was the oldest design and biggest engine in the group of station wagons that were road tested by Popular Science, the Concord recorded the best acceleration and fuel economy figures (compared to Chevrolet Malibu
Chevrolet Malibu
Malibus and all other Chevelles were completely restyled for 1968 with semi-fastback rooflines on two-door hardtops and wheelbases split to on two-door models and 118 for four-door sedans and station wagons. Engine offerings included a new V8 rated at that replaced the V8 that had served as the...

, Chrysler LeBaron
Chrysler LeBaron
The Chrysler LeBaron was originally a classic luxury car of 1930s manufactured by Chrysler which competed with other luxury cars of the era such as Lincoln and Packard....

, and Ford Fairmont
Ford Fairmont
The Ford Fairmont is a compact car produced by Ford Motor Company for the North American market. Introduced for the 1978 model year, the Fairmont was produced in several bodystyles until it was replaced by the Ford Tempo for the 1984 model year...

).

1981

The 1981 Concord was "the most luxurious of all the U.S. compacts". A new grille treatment was featured at the front. It consisted of chrome horizontal bars spaced further apart than in 1980, and added three vertical bars, one in the center and two outboard, dividing the two halves into quarters. Noryl
Noryl
Noryl is a blend of polyphenylene oxide and polystyrene that was developed by General Electric Plastics in 1966 . It is a rare example of a homogeneous mixture of two polymers. Most polymers are incompatible with one another, so tend to produce separate phases when mixed...

 wheel covers embodying a pseudo-starfish pattern were new to the options list. All AMCs were marketed as the "Tough Americans" in print and television advertisements, indicating the presence of fully galvanized
Hot-dip galvanizing
Hot-dip galvanizing is a form of galvanization. It is the process of coating iron, steel, or aluminum with a thin zinc layer, by passing the metal through a molten bath of zinc at a temperature of around 860 °F...

 steel bodies, aluminized exhausts, and the aforementioned of comprehensive Ziebart rust protection processes from the factory.

The biggest change for the 1981 Concord was the availability of a 4-cylinder engine, the 151 CID GM Iron Duke engine
GM Iron Duke engine
Iron Dukes were fitted with fuel injection in 1982. This version was christened the Tech IV, though Car and Driver later ridiculed it as the low-Tech IV. Power output remained at ....

. The 258 CID I6 was redesigned for 1981 with an aim to shed weight. Fuel economy figures for the 49 states in 1981 were 23 miles per US gallon city and 34 miles per US gallon highway for the 4-cylinder with 4-speed manual, 20 miles per US gallon city and 26 miles per US gallon for the 4-cylinder with automatic, 19 miles per US gallon city and 28 miles per US gallon for the 6-cylinder with 4-speed, and 19 miles per US gallon city and 26 miles per US gallon for the most popular 6-cylinder with automatic combination. Popular Science magazine highly recommended "this well-proven power plant" compared to the standard four-cylinder engine. The Concord was road tested with the 258 engine and recorded better acceleration compared to Dodge Aries
Dodge Aries
The Dodge Aries is an automobile sold by the Chrysler Corporation from 1981-1989. It replaced the Dodge Aspen as Dodge's family car with "mid-size room" in a size and front-wheel drive format commonly associated with compact cars...

, Chevrolet Citation
Chevrolet Citation
The Chevrolet Citation was a compact car sold by the Chevrolet brand of American automaker General Motors for model years 1980-1985. The Citation and its X-body siblings were among GM's first front wheel drive compact cars, following the trend of front drive compacts such as the Honda Accord...

, and Mercury Zephyr
Mercury Zephyr
The Mercury Zephyr is a compact car sold by the Lincoln-Mercury division of Ford Motor Company for the North American market. Introduced as a replacement for the Mercury Comet, it was produced from 1978 to 1983...

.

There were four wheel options this year. The first was the "Custom Wheel Cover" standard on the Base model, full styled wheel cover (stainless steel) standard on Concord DL, the wire wheel cover standard on Limited models, and the 14 x 7 inch "Turbocast II" aluminum wheels that were optional on all 1981 models. There were 15 exterior paint colors this year, they were Olympic White, Classic Black, Quick Silver Metallic, Steel Gray Met, Med. Blue Met, Moonlight Blue, Autumn Gold, Sherwood Green Met, Cameo Tan, Copper Brown Met, Med. Brown Met, Dark Brown Met, Oriental Red, Vintage Red Met, and Deep Maroon Met.

The AMC Concord offered interiors that not only looked expensive, but were also comfortable and finished to a level equal in appearance to expensive American luxury cars. Even without the top-line "Limited" upgrade, the Concord "was trimmed in first-class fashion". Interiors were available in "Deluxe Grain" vinyl in black, blue, beige, and nutmeg. Sculptured "Rochelle Velour" fabric came in black, blue, wine, beige, and nutmeg. Leather was available only in nutmeg.

1982

Changes for 1982 were minor, as well. A new 5-speed manual transmission made the options list, allowing a 151 CID Concord to achieve up to 37 miles per US gallon on the highway, according to period United States Environmental Protection Agency
United States Environmental Protection Agency
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is an agency of the federal government of the United States charged with protecting human health and the environment, by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress...

 (EPA) estimates. The Chrysler
Chrysler
Chrysler Group LLC is a multinational automaker headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA. Chrysler was first organized as the Chrysler Corporation in 1925....

-designed 3-speed automatic transmission received wider ratios, and low-drag disc brakes were also added, both as fuel economy measures. The DL and Limited coupes saw the removal of the vertical strakes on their Landau vinyl roofs.

1983

Concord coupes were dropped from the line for 1983, and with them went the availability of the 151 CID I4 engine and the Limited sedan model, leaving only the base and DL sedans and base, DL, and Limited wagons in the Concord line. Therefore, all 1983 Concords came with the 258 CID I6 engine as standard equipment. Sales slowed to a trickle in the wake of the introduction of the Renault Alliance
Renault Alliance
The Renault Alliance is a subcompact automobile manufactured and marketed in North America by American Motors Corporation , with 623,573 examples manufactured for model years 1983-1987, and with a three and five-door hatchback variant, the Renault Encore marketed beginning in 1984.The two models...

, and all Concord and Spirit models were quietly dropped by the end of the 1983 model year.

Concord AMX

Reviving a name that was associated with the performance two-seat sports car that was introduced 10 years earlier, AMC fielded a new model in the youth and performance market segment. Based on the Concord hatchback model, the new AMX
AMC AMX
The AMC AMX is a two-seat GT in style and approach sports car that was produced by American Motors Corporation for the 1968 through 1970 model years. The AMX was also classified as a muscle car, but "unique among other American cars at the time due its short wheelbase"...

 was available for 1978. The car did not have Concord badges or identification, but the coupe represented 'the performance expression of the Concord line."
In contrast to the Concord hatchback, the AMX version included a different front fascia with single round headlights, a flush grille, round amber parking lights, and a "power bulge" hood that was also used on the Gremlin. Engines included the standard 258 CID I6 with 4-speed manual or optional 3-speed automatic floor shift transmission, or the optional 304 CID V8 with a 3-speed automatic.

The AMX included performance DR78 x 14 BSW steel-belted radial tires, front sway bar, vinyl bucket seats, a center floor console, "rally gauges" with tachometer
Tachometer
A tachometer is an instrument measuring the rotation speed of a shaft or disk, as in a motor or other machine. The device usually displays the revolutions per minute on a calibrated analogue dial, but digital displays are increasingly common...

, brushed aluminum instrument panel overlays, black "soft-feel" sports steering wheel, and special trim on the door panels with map pockets. The standard interior color selection was limited to black, blue, or beige, with optional upholstery in the "Levi's
Levi Strauss & Co.
Levi Strauss & Co. is a privately held American clothing company known worldwide for its Levi's brand of denim jeans. It was founded in 1853 when Levi Strauss came from Buttenheim, Franconia, to San Francisco, California to open a west coast branch of his brothers' New York dry goods business...

" Trim Package
.

The exterior featured a blacked out grille, headlight bezels, rear window molding, door and quarter window frames, rear license plate depression, and wiper arms, a black front air dam
Spoiler (automotive)
A spoiler is an automotive aerodynamic device whose intended design function is to 'spoil' unfavorable air movement across a body of a vehicle in motion. Spoilers on the front of a vehicle are often called air dams, because in addition to directing air flow they also reduce the amount of air...

, black front and rear fender flares, dual flat black rear-view mirrors, black rear window louvers, black body side scuff moldings, silver "targa
Targa top
Targa top, targa for short, is a semi-convertible car body style with a removable roof section and a full width roll bar behind the seats. The term was first used on the 1966 Porsche 911 Targa, and it remains a registered trademark of Porsche AG....

" roof band, contrasting "AMX" decals ahead of the rear wheels, silver slot-styled steel wheels, and body painted bumpers with black rubber guards and scuff moldings.

Exterior colors were limited to Alpine White, Firecracker Red, Sunshine Yellow, Quick Silver Metallic, or a special version in Classic Black that included gold body side stripes that continued up and over the roof band, as well as gold paint accents for the slot-styled wheels. A carryover 1977 Hornet AMX decal was available for the rear deck and hood, in either gold with orange or black with gold. Polished aluminum 5-spoke road wheels were optional.

According to automotive journalist, Michael Lamm, the new AMX had "noticeably tighter shocks and gives a firm and comfortable ride"; "corner[s] with the very best" with little lean, as well as the standard six-cylinder engine that combines good performance with fuel economy, and the four-speed "gearbox that's fun to use and has long, long gears."

Convertibles

A Sundancer convertible
Convertible
A convertible is a type of automobile in which the roof can retract and fold away having windows which wind-down inside the doors, converting it from an enclosed to an open-air vehicle...

 conversion by Griffith Company was available for the 1981 and 1982 model years. The Sundancer was available one year before the introduction of the 1982 Chrysler LeBaron
Chrysler LeBaron
The Chrysler LeBaron was originally a classic luxury car of 1930s manufactured by Chrysler which competed with other luxury cars of the era such as Lincoln and Packard....

 ragtop.

The modifications to the Concord started with a two-door sedan monocoque
Monocoque
Monocoque is a construction technique that supports structural load by using an object's external skin, as opposed to using an internal frame or truss that is then covered with a non-load-bearing skin or coachwork...

 (unitized) body. To add strength to the platform
Automobile platform
An automobile platform is a shared set of common design, engineering, and production efforts, as well as major components over a number of outwardly distinct models and even types of automobiles, often from different, but related marques...

 after the removal of its roof, fourteen steel reinforcements were welded
Welding
Welding is a fabrication or sculptural process that joins materials, usually metals or thermoplastics, by causing coalescence. This is often done by melting the workpieces and adding a filler material to form a pool of molten material that cools to become a strong joint, with pressure sometimes...

 to the undercarriage and a steel targa roll bar
Targa top
Targa top, targa for short, is a semi-convertible car body style with a removable roof section and a full width roll bar behind the seats. The term was first used on the 1966 Porsche 911 Targa, and it remains a registered trademark of Porsche AG....

 was welded to the door pillars for rigidity, as well as additional passenger compartment protection. The front section of the roof (ahead of the targa bar) was a removable lightweight fiberglass hatch, while the rear section of polyvinyl
Polyvinyl chloride
Polyvinyl chloride, commonly abbreviated PVC, is a thermoplastic polymer. It is a vinyl polymer constructed of repeating vinyl groups having one hydrogen replaced by chloride. Polyvinyl chloride is the third most widely produced plastic, after polyethylene and polypropylene. PVC is widely used in...

 material folded and included a tonneau cover for use in the down position.

The cars were available through any AMC dealer, but less than 200 conversions were manufactured (Concord and four-wheel-drive Eagle
AMC Eagle
The AMC Eagle is a compact-sized four-wheel drive passenger vehicle that was produced by American Motors Corporation . The AMC Eagle line of vehicles inaugurated a new product category of "sport-utility" or crossover SUV....

 versions).

VAM Models

The Mexican government-owned automaker Vehiculos Automotores Mexicanos
Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos
Vehiculos Automotores Mexicanos S.A. was an automaker in Mexico. The original organization, a distributor for Willys-Overland vehicles, became government controlled in 1963 with American Motors Corporation holding a minority interest. The company imported and produced automobiles and light...

 (VAM) manufactured a number of models in Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 under license from AMC. The cars came with different trim, interiors, and model names than the equivalent AMC-made models. In addition to rebadged Concords, VAM developed model was the VAM Lerma
VAM Lerma
The VAM Lerma was an automobile designed and manufactured by Vehiculos Automotores Mexicanos in the early 1980s. The car was based on two other vehicles by VAM's license partner American Motors ....

 that was based on the Concord with AMC Spirit
AMC Spirit
The AMC Spirit was a subcompact marketed by American Motors Corporation from 1979 to 1983 as a restyled replacement for the Gremlin. The Spirit shared the Gremlin's platform and was offered in two hatchback variations, each with two doors — marketed as sedan and liftback...

 hatchback and body panels. All engines built by VAM were of AMC design incorporating appropriate changes to deal with lower octane
Octane rating
Octane rating or octane number is a standard measure of the anti-knock properties of a motor or aviation fuel. The higher the octane number, the more compression the fuel can withstand before detonating...

 gasoline and the higher altitudes in Mexico. This included a unique 282 CID version of AMC's straight-6 engine.

Racing

An AMC Concord was entered in the 1978 World Challenge for Endurance Drivers. The car started the 6 Hours of Talladega
Talladega Superspeedway
Talladega Superspeedway is a motorsports complex located north of Talladega, Alabama, United States. It is located on the former Anniston Air Force Base just outside the small city of Lincoln. It was constructed by International Speedway Corporation, a business controlled by the France Family, in...

 Camel GT Challenge with 40 other cars, but ran for only one lap on February 4, 1978. The same car then ran the Pepsi 6 Hours Champion Spark Plug Challenge at the Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway is a race track in Daytona Beach, Florida, United States. Since opening in 1959, it has been the home of the Daytona 500, one of the most prestigious races in NASCAR. In addition to NASCAR, the track also hosts races of ARCA, AMA Superbike, Grand-Am and Motocross...

 three days later and finished in 17th (out of 71 cars) with 130 laps. On March 9, 1978 the Concord placed 27th (out of 70 entered) with 162 laps racing the 6 Hours Champion Spark Plug Challenge at Road Atlanta
Road Atlanta
Road Atlanta is a 2.54-mile road course located just north of Braselton, Georgia, USA. The facility is utilized for a wide variety of events, including professional and amateur sports car and motorcycle races, racing and driving schools, corporate programs and testing for motorsports teams...

.

A 1979 AMC Concord was campaigned on the west coast from 1978 to 1981 by Buzz Dyer. Power was provided by a Traco Engineering built AMC 366 CID V8 engine that was originally in the Penske AMC Matador
AMC Matador
The AMC Matador is a mid-size car that was built and sold by American Motors Corporation from 1971 to 1978. The Matador came in two generations: 1971 to 1973 and a major redesign from 1974 to 1978...

 that won the 1973 season-opening event at Riverside
Riverside International Raceway
Riverside International Raceway was a race track or road course in Riverside, California. The track was in operation from September 22, 1957, to July 2, 1989...

 driven by Mark Donohue
Mark Donohue
Mark Neary Donohue, Jr. , nicknamed "Captain Nice", was an American racecar driver known for his ability to set up his own race car as well as driving it to victories. Donohue is probably best known as the driver of the 1500+ bhp “Can-Am Killer” Porsche 917-30 and as the winner of the 1972...

. The Concord raced in six Trans Am events, as well as International Motor Sports Association
International Motor Sports Association
The International Motor Sports Association is an American sports car auto racing sanctioning body based in Braselton, Georgia. It was started by John Bishop, a former employee of SCCA , and his wife Peggy in 1969 with help from Bill France, Sr...

 (IMSA) events with a GTO entry and several IMSA AC races. The car was in the following Kelly American Challenge races: the 1979 Road Atlanta and Mid-Ohio, the 1980 Golden State and Portland, as well as the 1981 Sears Point and Portland events.

Epilogue

The Concord was "AMC’s last best shot at trying to stay in the market with an American designed car" until it was discontinued after 1983. The Concord was built on AMC's "junior" platform
Automobile platform
An automobile platform is a shared set of common design, engineering, and production efforts, as well as major components over a number of outwardly distinct models and even types of automobiles, often from different, but related marques...

 served as the basis for the four-wheel-drive AMC Eagle
AMC Eagle
The AMC Eagle is a compact-sized four-wheel drive passenger vehicle that was produced by American Motors Corporation . The AMC Eagle line of vehicles inaugurated a new product category of "sport-utility" or crossover SUV....

 that "pioneered the crossover SUV" and "predated a whole generation of crossover vehicles". The AMC Eagle remained in production until it was discontinued after Chrysler
Chrysler
Chrysler Group LLC is a multinational automaker headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA. Chrysler was first organized as the Chrysler Corporation in 1925....

 purchased AMC in the middle of the 1988 model year.

For 1987, AMC introduced the imported Renault Medallion to replace the discontinued Concord, as well as the similarly-sized, but poor-selling Renault 18
Renault 18
The Renault 18 is a large family car produced by French manufacturer Renault between 1978 and 1993 .-Development:...

-based 18i/Sportwagon, which had been sold at AMC dealerships from 1981-86. The Medallion, like its 18i/Sportwagon predecessors, also failed to sell in large numbers, and Chrysler canceled the captive import
Captive import
Captive import is a marketing term and a strategy for an automobile part or entire vehicle that is foreign-built and sold under the name of an importer or by a domestic automaker through its own dealer distribution system....

s at the end of 1989.

In 1993, Chrysler
Chrysler
Chrysler Group LLC is a multinational automaker headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA. Chrysler was first organized as the Chrysler Corporation in 1925....

 introduced the LH platform
Chrysler LH platform
The LH platform served as the basis for the Chrysler Concorde, Chrysler LHS, Chrysler 300M, Dodge Intrepid, Eagle Vision, and the final Chrysler New Yorker. A Plymouth to be called the "Accolade" was planned, but never saw production...

 series of full-size sedans that was based on the AMC-developed and Renault
Renault
Renault S.A. is a French automaker producing cars, vans, and in the past, autorail vehicles, trucks, tractors, vans and also buses/coaches. Its alliance with Nissan makes it the world's third largest automaker...

-derived Eagle Premier
Eagle Premier
The Eagle Premier was a full-size automobile developed by the American Motors Corporation and Renault partnership, inherited by Chrysler Corporation when it acquired AMC in 1987, and marketed from 1987 through 1992...

. Significantly larger than the AMC Concord, flagship of the LH line was similarly named, the Chrysler Concorde
Chrysler Concorde
The Chrysler Concorde was a large four-door, full-size, front wheel drive sedan produced by Chrysler from 1993 to 2004. It replaced the Chrysler Fifth Avenue on the lineup. One of Chrysler's 3 original Chrysler LH platform models derived from the American Motors/Renault-designed Eagle Premier, it...

.

Concords in Film

The 1978 film
1978 in film
The year 1978 in film involved some significant events.-Events:* February 1 - Bob Dylan's film Renaldo and Clara, a documentary of the "Rolling Thunder Revue" tour premieres in Los Angeles, California....

, The Betsy
The Betsy
The Betsy is a 1978 film made by the Harold Robbins International Company and released by Allied Artists. It was directed by Daniel Petrie and produced by Robert R. Weston and Emanuel L. Wolf with Jack Grossberg as associate producer. The screenplay was by William Bast and Walter Bernstein, adapted...

is a story about a family-owned automobile manufacturer and hopes for a return to profitability on a new model. Actual 1978 Concords can be seen being completed and painted on AMC's assembly line in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Kenosha is a city and the county seat of Kenosha County in the State of Wisconsin in United States. With a population of 99,218 as of May 2011, Kenosha is the fourth-largest city in Wisconsin. Kenosha is also the fourth-largest city on the western shore of Lake Michigan, following Chicago,...

.

The film The Pursuit of Happyness
The Pursuit of Happyness
Varèse Sarabande released the soundtrack on January 9, 2007, which included sixteen tracks.-Box office:The film debuted first at the North American box office, earning $27 million during its opening weekend and beating out heavily promoted films such as Eragon and Charlotte's Web...

used AMC Concords to help set the period as the 1980s.

American Motors was a sponsor of the TV show Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman is a DC Comics superheroine created by William Moulton Marston. She first appeared in All Star Comics #8 . The Wonder Woman title has been published by DC Comics almost continuously except for a brief hiatus in 1986....

in later seasons, and as a result AMC cars such as Wonder Woman's 1978 Concord AMX were given extensive "face time" on the series.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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