New documentary seeks to tell the story of American Motors
American engines was always a quirky company. Compared to Detroit heavyweights, AMC operated on a shoestring budget, bringing together niche American brands like Rambler, Nash and Jeep. Despite being number four among the Big Three, AMC managed to launch some of the most compelling and cutting-edge vehicles of the second half of the 20th century, including the Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee (which essentially invented the modern family SUV) and the entire Eagle line (which made four-wheel drive available on conventional family cars). Now, automotive journalist and producer Joe Ligo is gearing up to produce an in-depth documentary on the rise and fall of AMC, and you can help make it a reality.
Ligo and his team have just released a trailer for The last independent automaker. In it, we see just how in-depth this documentary hopes to go: Ligo and his team interviewed a ton of people who lived through the history of American Motors, ranging from corporate bigwigs and designers to everyday assembly line workers. You’ll even see current US senator and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, whose father, George Romney, was president and chairman of the AMC before becoming a Republican politician.
Check out the trailer:
AMC is one of those companies that earns a devoted, sometimes rabid fanbase. Every step of the way, the company did things differently from the rest of the Detroit establishment — sometimes out of necessity, sometimes seemingly for the sake of it. At a time when mainstream automobiles seem to be heading towards an evolutionary convergence point where everything looks, feels and sounds pretty much the same, it’s instructive to remember a time when a national automaker chosen to be resolutely and valiantly different.
Ligo and his team hope to release the full six-part documentary in 2024. That’s where you can step in: The last independent automaker is looking for $10,000 via crowdfunding site GoFundMe. As of this writing, they are almost halfway to their goal.
It was 35 years since AMC was absorbed by Chrysler, a decision that helped the greatest automaker survive its closest scrape with death and made Jeep the modern juggernaut it is today. This documentary will help tell the story of the scrappy and dynamic automotive company that helped shape the modern automotive landscape. We can’t wait to see it.