Playmate Angela Dorian kept the car till just prior to shooting her husband in 2010

With the death of Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner, we’re taking a look back at one of the more interesting cars associated with the men’s magazine. Starting in 1964, the Playmate of the Year won a pink-colored car as a prize for her… excellent modeling. The same was true for Angela Dorian, 1968’s POTY. For her “work,” she received a 1968 AMC AMX – a car built by the American Motors Corporation to compete with the Chevrolet Corvette.

But the story behind this pink AMX was only getting started back then.

Angela Dorian, a stage name for Victoria Vetri who would later marry Bruce Rathgeb in 1986 and change her legal name to Victoria Rathgeb, actually kept her AMX for nearly 40 years. Early in the car’s life, its pink paint was sprayed over with more inconspicuous colors to avoid attention from police and Playboy readers. In fact, many of the Playmate cars would be repainted for this reason.

Dorian apparently decided to sell the car to a dealership as 2010 rolled around. Its condition was rather regrettable, with dents on nearly every panel and its steel rusting away. The car also lacked a title, which its new owner, Mark Melvin, desperately wanted. However, before Melvin could contact Dorian – aka Mrs. Rathgeb – she pulled a pistol on her husband of 24 years and shot him in the chest. Rathgeb didn’t die, however, but Dorian was convicted of attempted voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to nine years in prison. Nevertheless, Melvin somehow obtained the title to the 1968 AMX and began a frame-off restoration. But that’s not even the strangest part of the story. Wait till you hear who gave her the pistol. It’s in this episode of Jay Leno’s Garage from 2015.


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Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read More
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