Do you remember how yearbook and family photos looked in the 1970s and 1980s? I mean other than the embarrassing haircuts and the staggering amount of brown that could be crammed into a photo? I think the iconic look was a soft-focus picture of the subject in a dark, menacing void, with another angle of their face superimposed behind them, large and looming, in slightly softer focus and a touch transparent. These were the hallmark of a company called Olan Mills, and for some reason in 1979 AMC’s Mexican division, VAM.
VAM stood for Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos, which even if you don’t speak a word of Spanish, I bet you can guess what it means. They were owned by the Mexican government, with AMC having a smaller chunk of ownership, too. They imported and built AMCs and later some Renaults, but mostly AMC cars with funny names.
They did make one fully unique car, the VAM Lerma:
This was a luxury car meant to replace the Matador, and used body panels from the AMC Concord sedan with a hatchback rear from the AMC Spirit. It was a novel idea still, a hatchback full-sized luxury car, and it was kind of a flop, but still, look at that!
More importantly, let’s just take a moment to enjoy these very Olan Mills-style VAM cars, the whole family, in all their glory: