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                       AMC American Motors Corporation, Costa Rica

 

AMC American Motors Corporation, Costa Rica

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       Timeline of American Motors in Costa Rica

1957- Xavier Quiros, owner of Purdy Motors (then H.T. Purdy) imports its first two vehicles into Costa Rica, 2 Toyota Land cruisers.  It is the 4th oldest distributor of Toyota in the world.  The family today maintains the first Land cruiser in mint condition at its dealership.

1959- Purdy Motors acquires the franchise of Rambler vehicles, probably based on the fact that the Rambler American broke many records in the USA for a compact car, in 1959 & 1960.

1964- Roy Chapin announce that Rambler vehicles were in second place worldwide for export of US vehicles, and first place in Latin America.

1964- Taking advantage of new laws in Costa Rica, Quiros builds an assembly plant for Rambler & Toyota vehicles, under the name ECASA.  The first vehicle off the line is a 1964 Rambler Classic 660 (photo right, actual 1st car assembled, as preserved today)

1964 Rambler Classic 660 Costa Rica

1968 Jeep Commando Costa Rica

1965- The American, Classic, and Ambassador are all under assembly and for sale by Rambler in the country.

1966- The Rambler Rebel arrives in Costa Rica.

1967- A new sub-distributor (dealership), Auto Tica EIRL opens in Costa Rica.

1968- Functionaries of Kaiser Jeep visit Costa Rica to review the operations of its local Distributor and assembly plant, Auto Tecnica S.A.  Here they assembled the Jeep Universal, Pick-up Gladiator, Pick-up Commando, and the Jeep Commando (photo left).

 Ambassador
 Rebel
 Javelin
 AMX
 Matador
 Hornet
 Gremlin

Check out the the gallery for Ads published in Costa Rica for AMC, Willy's, Jeep, Ramblers, and other related topics.  I have collected a great deal of memorabilia over the past few years, and also plan to upload photos of prototype or concept cars, brochures, press kits, and so forth.  All coming soon (I hope!)

          Timeline of American Motors in Costa Rica- Continued...

1968- Shortly after their arrival in Costa Rica, a Rambler Javelin wins the local Hill-climber race in the open category.

1968- While the AMC brand began to sweep across North America, Rambler would remain as the brand in Costa Rica for several more years, such as in Australia and other export markets.

1969-  Purdy Motors offers its first sub distributorship to a used car company, Auto Tica.  Both American Motors and Toyotas would be offered.

1969- The Jeep Dealer, Autotecnica, is also offering Subaru and MAN vehicles in Costa Rica.

 

 

1968 Javelin racing, Costa Rica

1970 Rambler SST (Hornet), Costa Rica

1970- The new Hornet becomes available in Costa Rica, as the model Rambler SST.  This appears to be based on the name used in the International Brochure from AMC, whereas in Mexico the Hornet was marketed as the Rambler American, as the SST make was already used to name the Ambassador.

1970- At the end of the year, Purdy Motors opens a new Sales office for its continuously expanding operations in the country.

1971- Another dealership, Cen-Auto, receives sub distributor rights from Purdy for both Toyota and Rambler vehicles.

1971- The main showcases for the year were the still popular Hornet, and the new Matador, an apply named vehicle for a country with bullfights.

1972-By the end of 1971 Purdy had several sub distributors working alongside them in Toyota and Rambler products, including the outer provinces like Limon.

 

 

1973- Somewhere around 1973, a new player appears on the block.  A large corporation called Grupo Proin starts to amass holdings in Costa Rica, and sets its sights on the acquisition of AMC's products.  Under a new company, MOTORIZADA de Costa Rica, they would purchase Autotecnica, and later the rights of Rambler distributorship from Purdy Motors.

1974- Motorizada is fully operational, and the American Motors name is brought into the picture locally.  In addition to AMC & Jeep, they would continue assemble MAN and Subaru vehicles, along with other makes.

1974- The Jeep Wagoneer is offered in Costa Rica, along with the AMC Hornet Sportabout, which debuts locally under the unusual name of the AMC Unisex, known in Mexico as the American 75.

Motorizada Costa Rica, AMC Jeep Dealer

1975 AMC Unisex (sportabout), Costa Rica

 

1975-

1976-

1978/9- Somewhere along the way something went very wrong, and it appears that AMC was led to an early demise by its owners, who apparently had paid no taxes to the local government.  Thus Motorizada was liquidated by the local tax authorities, and American Motors disappeared from the country nearly 10 years before it finally faded from existence itself.  Although, there is a much bigger story to its end that is clouded by the passage of time...