The AMX/GT was shown to the public in 1968, shortly after the production AMX was announced. According to stylist Dick Teague, it was "for all intents and purposes a forerunner of the Gremlin."
American Motors' top brass new they needed a new compact offering to replace the aging Rambler, but as was often the case at the independent automaker, money was tight. Designers, however, had an idea: take the all-new two-seat AMX, lop off the seductive fastback and flying buttresses, and add both a rear seat and a stubby Kamm tail. Voila-the AMX was transformed from a muscle-bound coupe into a lumpy four-seat compact car.
Hotness then (1-10): 6
The AMX (along with its larger Javelin sibling) was one of the cleanest-looking muscle cars around, but its aesthetics were no match for the concept's tall, angular rear end.
Hotness now (1-10): 7
We'll bump the score up only because hindsight is 20/20. Yes, that roofline is still ungainly, but it was executed in a much cleaner fashion than it would be on the Gremlin, which launched two years later. The sliding rear cargo drawer was also more useful than the Gremlin's cargo hold, which was accessed by flipping up the small rear window.
Could it have saved the brand?
In this form, it's anyone's guess, but the idea did help sustain AMC during the '70s. A similar rear end grafted onto the 1970 Hornet coupe created the Gremlin, which allowed the company to compete, for a while at least, in the burgeoning small car market.