1969 AMX SS (Super Stock), “Pete’s Patriot”, Drag car
Original price: $5,994 (about $2,300 more than the base model)
Previous owners: Peterson Motor Company, Kearney; Mike Pearce, Maryland, 2001 – 2017
Number made: 52
Engine, etc.: Original equipment: V-8, 390 cu. in.; 4-speed manual; drum brakes
A 1968 AMX was the original Pete’s Patriot. It raced one year, was sold to Steve Mercer of Kearney, and renamed “Steakmaker”. (It is on loan to the Classic Car Collection.)
Eugene “Pete” Peterson, owner of Peterson Motor Company, wanted to form a car club, buy one of AMC’s (American Motor Company) new AMX’s and prepare it for drag racing. The team purchased a 1969 AMX factory modified super stocker – the new Pete’s Patriot. Loren, “Lou”, Downing would drive the car and a group of high school friends would keep it in competition shape. The AMC club with nine high school students from Kearney raised money for travel expenses and equipment for the car by washing and polishing cars, mowing lawns, washing windows, etc.
The car was modified by Hurst after it left the factory. Changes were made to the engine and transmission and anti-sway bars were added. The interior was modified for racing. These cars were built for racing and were not street legal. Modifications included JE Forged pistons, heads modified by Crane, a manual tach drive, a dual point distributor, an Edelbrock Cross Ram intake manifold, two Holley four-barrel carburetors and Doug’s headers. It was Hurst Car #39 and was listed as having 340 hp for insurance reasons but these cars could produce 420 horsepower.
It raced in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) SS/D class. It was capable of running 11.20’s to 10.70’s at 124 – 130 mph in a quarter mile after the Hurst modifications.
The car took the Peterson Racing team across the U. S. into a record-setting trophy-winning record in drag racing. With Downing driving, Pete’s Patriot took the Division V crown in 1969 and 1970. It became the first AMC car to win an NHRA points meet and set a national record of a 10.81 quarter mile at 127 mph. (See “superstockamx.com” link below for extensive information about Pete’s Patriot – pictures and newspaper articles, etc.)
Other NHRA events: 1969 Spring Nationals, Indy Nationals, World Finals, 1970 Winter Nationals, Supernationals, World Nationals, 1971 Indy Nationals, and many more.
“News from Classic Car Collection”; 9/19/17; JL Schmidt