AMC HistoryAMC, the child of the marriage of the Nash and Hudson brands, was the smallest member of the Big Four automakers, until Chrysler purchased it in 1987 to get the Jeep brand into the Chrysler fold. AMC’s corporate headquarters were in the Detroit area, but its cars were built in Kenosha and Milwaukee (a Nash plant built in 1901).AMC and its predecessors also had a history of some unusual design and engineering decisions. Early 1960s Ramblers had push-button shifting for its automatic transmissions. On the other hand, AMC for some reason thought it would be innovative to remove the zeros from speedometers, making them read from 0 to 12 instead of 0 to 120 mph. To get the most out of one steering wheel design, the steering wheel was mounted upside down on the Gremlin and Hornet models. The last Javelin’s air conditioning controls required the owner to read the owner’s manual more than once — one slide controlled the fan, one controlled the heat, one controlled the outlets from which the air blew, and the last was for the air-conditioned air, including a “Desert Only” setting, prolonged use of which, owners were warned, could lead to loss of cool air due to coolant freezing.One unusual AMC niche was in police cars. Anyone who watched “Adam-12,” “The Rockford Files” or “The Dukes of Hazzard” might remember that those series all featured Matador police cars. Many law enforcement agencies used Matadors because they probably were less expensive than their Big Three competition. (I once saw a sign in a National Guard armory that reminded everyone that all of their equipment was produced by the lowest bidder.) I don’t remember seeing Matador police cars in Wisconsin, but for several years in the early ’70s the Wisconsin State Patrol used Ambassador squad cars. So did a few sheriff’s departments, including Dane County, at least until a well-publicized spat between either AMC or the Madison AMC dealer and the sheriff over sheriff’s deputies’ habit of crashing said Ambassadors. (The dealership, from which we purchased a 1973 Javelin (read further), is still in business today, though it sells used cars now.) The Alabama Highway Patrol and the Muskego police used Javelins for a while.