The Last Independent Automaker - a documentary

The Last Independent Automaker is a six-part documentary series about the rise and fall of American Motors Corporation, told by the people who lived it. With over 30 hours of interviews featuring former employees, local historians, and automotive journalists, as well as over 100 hours of archive footage, we're producing the story of American Motors like it has never been seen before.

From 1954 to 1987, AMC employed thousands of people and built millions of cars, trucks, and SUVs. As a result, it forever changed the automotive industry. Yet, today the company is no more.

Our goal is to make sure it will never be forgotten. That's why we're asking for your help.



Where will the money go?

Every dollar contributed will go directly toward the production costs of the documentary.

Filmmaking is expensive. There are cities to travel to, hotels to book, cameras and equipment to rent, people to interview, cars to film, archives to sort through, tapes and film strips to digitize, copyrighted footage to license, music rights to secure, videos to edit, computer animations to generate, contracts to negotiate, and a hundred other things to make sure we produce the highest-quality documentary possible.

So far, we the producers have covered these costs out-of-pocket because we are passionate about this project. However, we don't have the resources to finish The Last Independent Automaker on our own.

With your help, we can finish shooting interviews, film footage of beautiful classic cars, and pay licensing fees for the massive number of copyrighted images, videos, and songs we need to complete this documentary.

There are countless TV shows and movies about Mustangs, Corvettes and other popular cars, but nobody has ever produced a comprehensive history of American Motors. With your help, we can do that.

Our small team doesn't want to use donors' valuable time or money designing t-shirts, mugs, or DVDs to give away. Instead, our goal is to produce a great documentary series that everyone can watch, for free!

NOTE: Due to legal requirements, everyone who donates to our series must be willing to have their legal name potentially listed onscreen in each episode of the finished documentary; this includes donations that GoFundMe publicly displays as “Anonymous.” The dollar amount will still be kept private.


Why this documentary matters:

The automobile industry is a mirror of America. What people drove reflected what the country was going through at the time. The story of American Motors is about art, technology, politics, the environment, civil rights, pop culture, and how cars tie all these things together.

Most importantly, this is a story about people. People like...

Daniel Wojeiechowicz, a Polish immigrant who was hired at AMC's Kenosha factory on the same
day as his two brothers and worked his way up to becoming a quality control inspector.

Mitt Romney, the son of AMC president George Romney, who remembers his father's
crusade to sell Americans economical, fuel efficient cars during an age of excess.

Susan Tassi, a color and interior designer, who discussed both the tremendous opportunity and the
unique challenges that women faced in the automotive industry during the 1970s and 80s.

Joe Cappy, the last CEO of American Motors, who witnessed the backroom dealings as company shareholders tried to sell AMC to Chrysler without telling him.

Vince Geraci, a car designer who joined American Motors in 1959 and worked there through almost
every major event in the company's history.


American Motors was more than a car company; it was a family. During their interviews, we were moved by the emotion in their eyes and the passion in their voices. We hope that you will feel the same way.





Frequently Asked Questions:

How and When can I watch the finished documentary?

We are currently scheduled to complete production of The Last Independent Automaker for a debut in 2024. We are partnering with Maryland Public Television, which will distribute the series to other Public Television stations so people can watch it on TV around the country. The series will also be made available online. Follow us on social media for updates on how to watch!

Who is doing this?

Our team consists of Producer / Director Joe Ligo, Co-Producer Jimm Needle, and Writer Researcher Patrick Foster. You can learn more about us on our website, AmericanMotorsMovie.com.

What parts of AMC history will you cover? Will my favorite car be in it?

The Last Independent Automaker will cover the entire history of American Motors, starting with its creation from the merger of Hudson and Nash in 1954 until Chrysler's purchase of AMC in 1987. For necessary context, we'll also cover a bit before and after that period. We can't guarantee that every car AMC ever made will be mentioned in the program, but we will cover some of the most iconic, influential, and infamous vehicles made by American Motors, Jeep, and Renault.


Why should I donate?

If you've read this far, we'll assume that you are passionate about history and maybe American Motors history in particular. We are, too. We're producing this documentary because it's an incredible story that nobody else is going to tell. We see it as our job to preserve the past so that future generations can learn from it, and we hope that you'll want to help do that, too.



NOTE: Donating to this project does not create or imply a legally binding contract between the donor and American Motors Movie LLC. As per GoFundMe rules, no raffles, sweepstakes, giveaways, or returns on investment are offered in exchange for any donations.

NOTE: Donations made to this GoFundMe fundraiser are considered to be personal gifts and are not deductible as charitable contributions. If you have any questions regarding donations and eligibility for tax deductions, please contact us first, before donating.


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Organizer

Joe Ligo 
Organizer
Owings Mills, MD