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The final days (and cars) of AMC

by | Apr 4, 2024

In the last days of AMC, two employees brought a video camera into the Kenosha, Wisconsin plant to document the end of an era. Billy and Danny take a thorough tour of the old AMC buildings and production line, which was producing its last L-body Plymouth Horizons and Dodge Omnis, along with larger M-bodies.

This time capsule might have been lost if not for a chance encounter at an auto parts store. Video uploader Craig Strzyzewski says that he “obtained this video on a DVD given to me by friends of [Billy and Danny] when I worked in a Milwaukee auto body parts store in 2008. I had it for years, then decided to post it for history. The entire plant grounds are leveled and gone for many years and have been replaced by a marina and condos.” The tour is long, grainy, and a bit unintelligible at times, but it’s a neat look into a pivotal time in automotive history.

There’s pride in the work, too. About an hour into the video, the employees check out a quality control chart that shows Kenosha’s hourly workers outperforming two automated plants in production of L-body cars. Later, they wonder what will happen to Kenosha and where they’ll find new jobs, finally asking a few other employees for some parting words.

Although Chrysler shuttered the last of its powertrain operations in Kenosha in 2010, local residents haven’t forgotten AMC’s role in their city’s history. The Kenosha Homecoming Car Show is billed as the world’s largest gathering of AMC vehicles, and any Kenosha-made car can attend.

As for Billy and Danny? Strzyzewski comments that he was able to find them after posting the video. “Both retired with pensions, and are doing very well.”

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