Jimi Day, a long time customer, writes about this experience with Ridetech shocks on his 1969 AMX at the track at Road America:
“This last weekend we attended the Midwest F-Body Association (MFBA) track days at Road America. Randy from D&Z Customs brought Re-Peeled (70 Camaro) and I brought AMXess to mix it up with the Corvettes, BMW’s and Porsches. The weather cooperated with us although we had much cooler temps on Saturday. Over the previous couple of weeks, we had made a couple of changes to AMXess in preparation for the big track in Elkhart Lake. We ordered a brake balance bar adjuster from our friends at Wilwood so we could dial in/out front and rear braking easily, and Mike also reminded us to install their Polymatrix B racing pads.
During our testing sessions in April, we discovered that AMXess had a troubling characteristic I call “snap loose”. The front sticks so well that we were unable to create any understeer, and under hard cornering, the front and rear would stick like glue right up until the time it didn’t, and the rear end would quickly snap all the way around. Not a good scenario. I like a car to be able to drift just slightly under hard cornering and be a little more predictable before it comes all the way around. Randy and I put our heads together and decided that we needed more compression adjustment capabilities to compensate for the short wheel base (97″). A Saturday afternoon call to my good buddy Bret at Ridetech confirmed our diagnosis and on Tuesday, a beautiful set of Ridetech triple adjustable shocks arrived at the shop! AMXess was now ready for the track.
AMXess was fast right out of the box. I was running in the B group with some pretty fast cars – Nissan GTR’s, lots of Corvettes, Mustangs and Porsches. Needless to say, I had the only AMC product on the entire 500 acre facility. However, AMXess and Re-peeled were surrounded by spectators and other racers all day long both days. If we had a nickel for every picture that was taken, neither Randy nor I would have had to pay for any of the 25 gallons of fuel we went through over the weekend! We worked with tire pressures and shock settings and came up with a great combination that makes the car fast, sticky and predictable. We made it drift just as I like, it’s just slightly tail happy and it’s fast! We were reaching speeds of 150 on the front stretch – reminder to self, get hood pins!
A special shout out in this update to Mike Hamrick at Wilwood Disc Brakes and Bret Voelkel at Ridetech. Your products are awesome and of the highest quality on the market and they work! Watch the attached video and see me pass a GTR and a Corvette and then chase down a Porsche that was almost a mile ahead. You’ll see the car handle unbelievably well and you’ll see that I brake late and hard and that can make you fast.
At the end of the day, both muscle cars really impressed not only the spectators, but earned the respect from the other drivers in our group. Of the 30 cars in the B group, AMXess was in the top 10, turning a fast time of 2:41 on Sunday. Not bad for a 42 year old muscle car with a 97″ wheelbase. This is the point in the update where I give Randy Johnson all the credit in the world for being a near miracle worker. I ask him to use an orphan car that’s way under-respected with a short wheelbase and turn it into a street and track dominator – and he did! His suspension knowledge and fabrication skills coupled with his keen eye for clean design made AMXess everything I could have dreamed. I’m raising his status to “just below deity”!
Thanks to all of you for your help and continued support with AMXess. If you need any pictures, video or testimonial, please feel free to let me know.”
- Jimi Day | President of FM3 Marketing