Welcome to the world of classic cars, where beauty and power intertwine to create timeless automotive masterpieces. Today, we embark on a journey through the history and marvels of the Big Bad Green 1969 AMC AMX California 500 Special. This iconic vehicle holds a special place in the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts alike, and it’s time to unravel its captivating story.

A Car with a Star-Studded Past

Our journey begins with a touch of Hollywood glamour, as we delve into the ownership history of this remarkable AMC vehicle. Previously in the possession of none other than actor and wrestler John Cena, this car carries a legacy that adds to its allure. The Big Bad Green 1969 AMC AMX California 500 Special is a testament to exquisite taste and automotive excellence.

A Perfect Blend of Muscle and Sports

AMC, known for its innovative designs, crafted these steel-bodied cars with the intention to captivate both muscle car and sports car enthusiasts. The AMC AMX was a true embodiment of this vision, bringing together two camps that rarely acknowledged each other’s existences. Similar to the Javelin, the AMX featured a shortened wheelbase, reducing it by 12 inches to enhance its sporty appeal.

The Rarity of a True Gem

Only a limited number of two-seater AMXs were built for the year 1969, totaling just over 8,000 units. These exclusive vehicles were offered with a choice of powerful V8 engines: the 290, 343, or 390 cubic inches. The engine options were paired with either a four-speed manual transmission or a three-speed “Shift Command” automatic. The year 1969 also brought forth a few changes, including distinct interiors, instrumentation, and carpeting.

The Allure of Big Bad Green

Midway through 1969, AMC introduced a striking paint option called “Big Bad” to further enhance the AMX’s visual impact. This option included three vibrant colors: Blue, Orange, and Green. The Big Bad Green cars were a sight to behold, featuring color-matched front and rear bumpers. Astonishingly, only 283 of these remarkable Green beauties were manufactured, making them a truly rare find.

A Legacy of Speed and Endurance

Before the official release of the AMX, two specially prepared cars underwent a remarkable feat. These vehicles, meticulously engineered by Craig Breedlove’s “Spirit of America” crew, set an impressive 106 world speed and endurance records at Goodyear’s track in Texas. The success of this endeavor propelled AMC to debut the AMX at the Daytona International Raceway in February 1968, solidifying its sporty image.

The California 500 Special

Further fueling the excitement surrounding the AMC AMX was its role as the pace car for the 1969 Riverside 500, known as the California 500 Special. This exclusive edition captivated the Southern California American Motors Dealer Association network, with approximately 32 fully loaded cars sold. Our featured vehicle was proudly sold by Ben Carco’s Bonanza AMC in North Hollywood, California, showcasing the enduring allure of this exceptional car.

Exquisite Features and Specifications

Now, let’s explore the intricate details and outstanding features of our California 500 Special. This remarkable example boasts a Shift Command automatic transmission, power steering, air conditioning, front disc brakes, an AM radio, tilt-wheel, and a deluxe interior. Powering this beauty is a 390 cubic inch V8 engine, delivering an impressive 315 horsepower. The Twin-Grip 3.54:1 rear axle ensures that the power is put to the ground effectively. Adorned in the iconic Big Bad Green paint with a Black Stripe, this car exudes style and elegance. The Saddle leather interior adds a touch of luxury to the overall experience.


In conclusion, the Big Bad Green 1969 AMC AMX California 500 Special is a treasure from the annals of automotive history. Its rarity, star-studded ownership, and exquisite design make it a highly sought-after collector’s item. This car represents the harmonious union of muscle and sports car enthusiasts, bridging the gap between two passionate communities. With its remarkable restoration and accompanying documentation, this AMC AMX carries a legacy that continues to captivate the hearts and minds of automotive enthusiasts worldwide.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How many 1969 AMC AMX California 500 Specials were manufactured? Only 283 of these special edition cars were built, making them a truly rare find.

2. Who previously owned the featured Big Bad Green AMX?
The car was previously owned by actor and wrestler John Cena.

3. What engine options were available for the 1969 AMC AMX California 500 Special?
Buyers had the choice between three V8 engines: 290, 343, or 390 cubic inches.

4. Where was the California 500 Special sold?
Approximately 32 fully loaded California 500 Specials were sold by the local Southern California American Motors Dealer Association network.

5. What are the standout features of the featured AMC AMX California 500 Special?
The car comes equipped with Shift Command automatic transmission, power steering, air conditioning, front disc brakes, AM radio, tilt-wheel, and a deluxe interior. The 390 V8 engine produces 315 horsepower, providing an exhilarating driving experience.