You had to admire scrappy AMC. Its designers pieced together a car lineup from 1960s Rambler mechanicals at a time when the Japanese were on the march and American cars were going front-wheel drive. We found a sterling example of one of AMC’s more popular sedans with this 1979 Concord D/L.
Model year 1979 was a funny one. The Ford Fairmont grabbed headlines the year before with 400K+ sales in its debut year, and then April 1979 saw the entry of GM’s front-wheel drive X-cars, from which the 1980 Chevy Citation sold a scintillating 811K units in its extended debut year.
And then there was the AMC Concord. Concord was based on the 1970-debuted Hornet, which was based on a Rambler platform. At this late year in this 1960s-platform timeline, the Concord line still sold a bit more than 100K units. Not bad for a car for which the tooling had long been amortized.
There were three levels of Concord – Base, D/L and Limited. All three had this hood ornament.
Tinsel shined up this dated design.
Concords were sniffed at by the buff books; Car and Driver memorably bitched at the wrinkles in the landau roof on its tester sedan, and Concords usually occupied last place in the Consumer Reports comparos. The glitz was pushing against that negative tide.
This detail of the vinyl roof not quite being covered by the shiny trim below shows the the almost-there quality control most AMCs exhibited. It’s not a criticism, it’s quaint now. Part of that company’s storied history.
The Russet vinyl roof rocks your world when you see it. As in the pic above, the redness comes out in the shadows. But when the sun hits it, then the orange presents. Neat.
Love the shiny trim at the roof’s edge, which simulates a convertible’s fold-down hinge point.
Nice that the side rub strips are coordinated with the roof. Pretty sure the paint color is Khaki.
The Concord lasted until 1983, when it sold an inconsequential 17K units: the updated-Rambler concept had fully expired. It lived in on in four-wheel drive mode as the AMC Eagle.
But long afterward, we still like the cut of this Concord D/L’s jibe.