X Marks The Spot: 1976 AMC Matador X Coupe

061216 Barn Finds - 1976 AMC Matador X - 1

This one will turn a few heads. It’s a 1976 AMC Matador X and it’s in Orlando, Florida. It’s listed on eBay with only a day left and the current bid price is at $6,000!

061216 Barn Finds - 1976 AMC Matador X - 2

This cool and unusual car has a couple of my absolute favorite features and one of my absolute least favorite. Frosting first, I mean, favorites first: that’s easy, it’s an AMC and it’s orange! Cake/least favorite last: those ridonkulous exhaust tips sticking out several inches past the rear bumper! Arghhhh.. Give me an aftermarket Continental kit any day over those things, and I’m not a fan of the aftermarket Continental kit in the least. I guess it would be easy to fix, just take the Pep Boys chrome extensions off for a starter. But, the previous owner liked the look of those, obviously, and that’s all that matters in the car hobby. We all like what we like and that’s the way it is, and the way it should be.

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Back to the other 95% of the car that’s great! This is such a nice looking car, in such fabulous condition. AMC only sold about 10,000 of the Matador coupes in 1976, way down from the inaugural year of 1974 when almost 63,000 of them were sold! The final year, 1978, saw just 2,006 of them being snapped up. It’s a polarizing design, to say the least, it truly defines the oddball nature of AMC to me, which I love. I think this car may have been at least partially repainted, how about you? There is no mention of it at all, just that it’s a “rust free car from a private collection.” I’m not positive if the hardware, such as in and on the underside of the trunk and trunklid, would have been painted, would it have been? One of you AMC gurus would know that.

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The interior looks like new!! Well, at least it does from the strategically-taken photo above. Not so much from this one; whoops-a-daisy, the driver’s seat will need some attention, but you can have your favorite upholstery shop fix that in a New York minute. This is why I highly recommend paying the $250 that it would be to have a vehicle inspection service check out any and every vehicle that you’re thinking about buying. The driver’s seat fix will likely cost about the same as the inspection would have, and if that one, lone photo wouldn’t have just barely happened to show the damage, you’d never have known about it because the seller doesn’t mention it at all. They just say that the “pictures speak for them selves however if you have any questions please feel free to call.” Pay the $250, you will never, ever regret spending the money.

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The engine compartment looks like you could eat off of it. It doesn’t really look like it’s even been detailed for the sale, it must be just a really clean car overall to look this great under the hood. This is AMC’s 304 V8, two-barrel engine with around 120 hp. This car has power steering, power brakes, and thankfully, AC, as you can see by that mini-Maytag-looking compressor over on the far side. You’ll need that if you also live in Orlando. I love cars like this one, especially when they’re in such nice condition like this one is in. Are there any other fans of these unusual, mid-1970s AMCs out there?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. rmward194 Member

    Auction already ended

  2. angliagt

    I don’t know why,but there’s something alluring about that design.
    Dare I say that the headlight surrounds work,the same way my TR6 did?
    What I mean is that it enhances it.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Just curious–could you have meant a TR4/4A/250/5 rather than a 6? I always thought the hooded headlights were reminiscent of the those earlier TR’s.

  3. Fred W.

    ” exhaust tips sticking out several inches past the rear bumper! Arghhh!”

    Better take another look- I don’t think they are even an inch past the bumper guard. The 5mph bumper gives the illusion that they are 2 feet long.

  4. '72 IH Travelall

    The best part about owning an AMC is that moment when someone asks you what you drive, you tell them proudly, and the look of confusion on the persons face just makes you feel so bad for them! :) AMCs are great cars! I own an Eagle wagon at the moment and it is a awesome 4×4! A.M.C- Always More Capable!!

    Like 1
  5. Howard A Member

    Scotty, you missed the most important part of this car. Officer Pete Malloy ( the late Martin Milner) drove one of these on the show Adam-12 while they were driving Matador’s as cruiser’s. Early shots show it was an “X”, while later appearances show it with dog-dish hubcaps. I always thought these mimicked the Chrysler turbine car, or the “cross-eyed” Merc’s and Lincolns of the late 40’s. Man, this is a clean car. Great cruiser for shows, and a classy ride just getting there.

    • David Stigall

      AMC furnished the cars for Live and Let Die. James Bond jumped a Hornet and the police drove Matadors and Ambassdors. but no Javelins ,it were have been their last year.

    • Rob L

      An interesting side note about Pete Malloy’s Matador was that he “bought” it new and then they wrote into the story line that it broke down shortly thereafter. I thought it was strange since the show had their vehicles supplied by AMC.

  6. duke

    ALL matador X were coupes…..(yes, they made 4 doors and long roofs too)

  7. American_Badaz

    I always thought these looked like they were begging for 10+” wide tires. Same with the 71-4 Javelins. Stock wheels just look lost inside the wheel wells.

    Like 1
  8. DRV

    A very unique design that looks like Bangle learned from the concept.
    It flows so much better without the vinyl roof…

  9. AMCSTEVE

    Ok so the first thing you do is pull off those terrible bumpers, then the real lines of these cars come out. They look much smaller and sporty with those off. Next you pull the weak 304 and put a 401 in, no one will know the wiser and performance is night and day.

  10. Bill
  11. angliagt

    Jamie,

    Yes,I meant TR6,as I owned one for almost 20 years,
    but the 4 fits as well,or better.

  12. starsailing

    Dear Lord…my wife back in 1978-80 had to drive one of these , exact same color….for her work car going out on Casio Equip service calls. Sometimes the car would be blocking the driveway to my two cars…when I needed to go to the store….There was no way I would have considered driving it anywhere back then….or now.

  13. Texas Tea

    I have to be honest. The only word that come to mind is ugly.

  14. grant

    AMC never did a lot for me, honestly I always thought they were a bit stodgy looking. The square instrument faces are a testament to that. I can see Ward Cleaver driving one of these 20 years later. With that said, aside from the bumpers, this car has an awesome rear end, the tail lights always reminded me of a Ferrari or something else exotic. The drivers seat is the worst part of the interior. For 40 years of butt sliding in and out of it it really isn’t that bad, and easily repaired. Nice find Scottie.

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