2-for-1: 1971 AMC Javelin SST 401 4-Speed Project

The Javelin was AMC’s entrant into the pony car wars. It ran for two generations from 1968-74 before disappearing from the landscape. By AMC standards, they sold well enough for a while, though not in the kinds of numbers that Ford or Chevy produced. The seller has two Javelins from their redesign in the early 1970s. One from 1971 is rarer because it once had a 401 V8 and 4-speed. The other from 1972 is more complete and in a little better overall condition, plus its drivetrain is intact. They will be sold as a package deal in Severance, Colorado, and here on craigslist. $4,500 takes the pair. Hats off to Lee S. for finding this interesting pair!

Redesigned for 1971, the AMC Javelins were “swoopier” than their predecessors and had small, raised arches over the front wheel wells. AMC built 26,866 of the cars in ‘71, including the AMX which had been rolled into the Javelin as a performance package. Of those, just 582 were the fancier SST models with AMC’s biggest motor. On the other hand, ‘72 overall production numbers were almost identical at 26,184, with the SST using a 360 V8 coming in at 5,801 copies. Let’s look at the two cars offered by the seller.

1971 AMC Javelin SST

With the big motor and 4-speed transmission, it’s likely that the number built was far less than 582, so this is a scarce car today. However, the engine and tranny are long gone, and replacing them with period-correct components will make this car more costly to restore. It was once painted light green. While it looks rough and the hood is also missing, the seller says the only major rust is in the rear quarter panels. The trunk and floor pans are said to be okay. It still retains its 3.91 posi-traction rear end and front disc brakes. The odometer reads under 58,000 miles, but we’re told it’s rolled over.

1972 AMC Javelin

This is a more common car compared to the other and still has its 360 V8 and 4-speed manual. They are paired to a 3.55 posi-traction rear end. Unlike the other car which has a title, this one does not and will be turned over to the buyer with a Bill of Sale. Though in better physical condition than the ’71, its body also has issues, and the copper paint has given up the ghost. It does still have factory-style mag wheels compared to the basic steel rollers on the other car.


The interiors on both cars are shot, so there isn’t much to save there. You could choose to restore both cars in their entirety or use the ’72 as a donor for the rarer ’71, but what parts would you move over? And if you got the drivetrain in the copper car to run, putting it into the ’71 would diminish whatever future value it may have. Either way, this looks like an expensive and time-consuming project for cars that might fetch $20,000 each in great shape. What would you have to spend to get there?


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    If I could get them both here for a grand I’d buy them, find a 401 use the 4spd from the 72 and what other parts I needed and restore the 71 to a fine driver and do just that. it’s my humble opinion that the 1971 has the best looking tail lights and grill of all the 2nd gen Javelins.

    Like 4
    • jerry z

      To me its a toss up as far as the taillights go but also would like to have them in my driveway!

      Like 1
  2. David

    Like these don’t come around too often. Someone like the current owner is gonna buy um. Get in them for the long haul.

    Like 1
  3. David

    I am going to do a 71 someday soon, I want to do a Hellcrate powered Javelin. Dependable and quick.

    Like 3
    • AMCFAN

      David. Just keep it simple (all AMC) and it will be dependable. Russ, Skip the same old same old AMC history.

      These have been featured before. I am surprised they are still available. A real 71 SST 401/4spd IS rare and would be worth restoring but don’t plan on it if you are a GM/Ford/Mopar only person.

      These do have big three parts however they are a very different sum of parts when together. That being said you won’t find 1-800 build a car catalogs. So without parts or friends in the hobby you won’t go far.

      A true AMC enthusiast can turn both cars around.

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