In the 1950’s American Motor Company (AMC) led the industry in a new direction by staking its future on compact cars. In 1956 AMC was the only company selling compacts. A few years later almost every auto division was offering a small car. Unibody automobile architecture, the stiffer, lighter, safer method of construction (versus frame on body), having been pioneered by Nash in 1941, was used on all AMC cars by the mid-1950s. Today, nearly every car utilizes a form of unibody car architecture. AMC introduced unibody construction for SUVs in 1984. It is now the standard. As for excitement, the AMC rebel was the fastest sedan in the US in 1957.

In 1991 we began a similar pioneering journey. Today, it is hard to relate the impact the first two Hellcat prototypes generated in 1995. Those American V-Twins started a revolution in the custom world and spawned a handful of knockoffs by envious former employees. The machines featured the lightest wheels, the lightest most powerful brake systems, state-of-the-art suspension components, perfect road bike geometry, massive overbuilt frame and powertrain mounting system technology which was impervious to stress, flex and fatigue (awarded engineering patent # 005857538A for these features), the rebirth of the neo-modernist long slim fuel cell design in the now iconic complex multi-teared shape, the bold segmented floating saddle which emphasized the inherent beauty of the negative space between the single 3-inch backbone, the fuel cell and the rider’s perch, the monocoque swingarm – fender combination together with long-travel geometrically ideal shock ratios, the first wide tire specification with precise alignment and perfect balance of power delivery, the first modern application of the right-side final drive system and the first and still only architecture featuring a unified welded cradle based chassis and powertrain mounting system (through the use of our patented dual threaded swingarm axle) and our patented outboard final drive bearing support system.

As I write, we are readying production of our second act, the world’s first carbon fiber monocoque motorcycle architecture. It is fun to lead from the front.

We hereby salute the 1954 merger of Nash-Kelinator and the Hudson Car Company that created AMC. With modern information technology, those gentlemen would have enjoyed sustainable success.

For more information, please see the Hot Rod Bikes (May 1996) comparison test.



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May 2007
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