2,414 Miles? 1975 AMC Matador

A person could argue that a car like this 1974 AMC Matador sedan is one of the most unusual products to come from AMC. For a company so well known for odd or highly-unusual small cars like the Pacer and Gremlin, a normal-sized sedan would seem to be, well, just weird. That being said, there’s nothing weird about this great looking car which can be found listed here on eBay in Cream Ridge, New Jersey with a buy-it-now price of $7,500.

The Matador evolved from AMC’s Rebel in 1970 and they were available for the 1971 to 1978 model years. The famous/infamous pushed-out grille was really pronounced on the second-generation Matador sedans from 1974 to 1978. There was also a totally different body style in the Matador Coupe and we’ve seen a few of them here on Barn Finds. Talk about unusual, AMC had the patent on unusual cars, in my opinion, at least for American car companies. There was also a Matador two-door hardtop in the same body style as shown in this four-door sedan but that configuration wouldn’t make it into the second-generation cars – they’re very rare to see today.

The first thing I noticed is the unusual color on this Matador, and that’s saying something for a company that made orange, lime green, and purple cars. This is, I believe, a 1974 color called Renegade Yellow, it’s much brighter and crisper than Mellow Yellow, which is a 1975 color. The color code is E9 on the door tag for Mellow Yellow but this does not look like that mild yellow color to me. It appears to have been repainted, at least in certain areas, as seen on the door tag. That’s not a bad thing, just an observation.

The second thing I noticed is the unbelievable condition of this car. The seller says that this ray of sunshine has a mere 2,414 miles on it and this is one case where I tend to believe that it’s an incredible low-mile car. This seller has had vehicles highlighted here on Barn Finds in the past and they always show an incredible number of photos, 174 photos in all on this one, believe it or not! Compared to sellers who can barely summon up the willpower to show three or four photos of their car, a solid gold star goes to this seller for proving such a treasure trove of fantastic images. Well done!

As expected, the interior looks great, too. The only thing I noticed that would take away from it looking like new are what look like two stains in the upholstery in the back seat, but otherwise, this car looks great both inside and out. They have provided quite a few underside photos and it seems like vehicles from this seller usually have been coated underneath. I’m not sure why that is and I would always rather see bare metal even if it’s coated with surface rust. I don’t like covering anything up like that, but it is what it is, as they say. They say that there is absolutely no rust on this car.

The clean engine is AMC’s 304 cubic-inch V8 which should have had 150 net horsepower. It clearly has had a new upper radiator hose and the seller mentions new fluids and filters but I don’t know if that included the Chrysler TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic transmission fluid and filter or not. Are there any fans of the Matador sedan out there?


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  1. Howard A Member

    Nah, not clean enough. A great find, but a car with 2400 miles would be like brand new and not need a pitman arm, although, they never really say it’s original low miles. 102K for a 45 year old car, and looking like this, is possible. AMC made great cars around this time, but could never muster better than #4, for whatever reason. They were as good or better than the others. People that bought them ( mostly from the midwest) found out, they were good cars. Might not be collectible,,,yet, but if you want a great 6 passenger car, you simply can’t go wrong here.

    Like 9
  2. jcnspots

    E9 was a 1975 color called mellow yellow; it’s more of a butterscotch color and I’ve never seen a Matty sedan painted that color. AMC did some oddball things with early model year or late model year production so it’s possible it has a color from 74 or 76 (I didn’t look those years up) but that doesn’t explain the E9 coding. It may have had a total repaint and color change, but why, with only 2,4xx miles on it? AMC paint jobs weren’t the greatest- none of the domestics were especially great in that era, so the overspray on the data plate doesn’t raise a red flag to me, but the difference between the color and the color code does.

    Like 3
  3. nlpnt

    I always thought it was too bad they didn’t put a neoclassic grille on the Matador to make that shoved-out nose look a little more intentional.

    Like 4
    • Little_Cars

      They did, on the Hornet, ah uhm, I mean Concord coupe. And the Pacer too. Not quite classic, but somewhat upright and with a hood ornament to boot!!!!! LOL

  4. Luke Fitzgerald

    102000 with a jam job – shame. Like to see it before that

    Like 4
  5. Ken Cwrney

    If the miles are correct, it could’ve been an estate car. You know, the type of car
    that someone might keep at their summer home to use while they were there. I knew kids in school whose
    parents actually did this. They would
    either fly or take a train to their summer
    destinations, where a filling station employee met them at the airport or train
    station. After that, the family would drop
    him off back at the filling station. That was when families took anywhere from
    two weeks to three months for a summer
    vacation. Bear in mind that this was the
    ’60s when anything was possible. That trend continued until the 1980s when the
    first recession hit. After that, vacations
    vanished for most Americans. There’s
    one good thing about this car, you’ll always be able to see anytime of day.

    Like 4
    • CCFisher

      I would hope someone with a summer estate could afford a nicer car than this. I can’t imagine a family tooling around the Hamptons all summer in a bright yellow Matador. Perhaps the help drove it.

      I believe this car has seen 102,414 loving miles.

      Like 4
  6. Steve R

    The seller specifically says multiple times that the there are “2,414 miles on the odometer”. He goes out of his way not to claim the car has 2,414 actual miles.

    Steve R

    Like 14
  7. robh693

    If you zoom in on the eBay image of the gas cap area, you can see the original color on the lower edge between the new yellow and the black. It was a much more pure yellow.

    Like 3
    • Little_Cars

      Hell, you don’t even have to zoom in to notice how bad the masking job was, and doubtful AMC would paint the insides of the gas door and door pocket for the filler in chassis black. These Matador sedans have the face only a mother could love. I wonder if some backyard mechanic ever attached a Matador coupe front end to one of these? The rear treatment on these sedans works so much better than the proboscis .

      Like 1
  8. Bryan

    I’ve seen a few of this dealer’s listing in person. They do a great job with both detailing and photography – a potential buyer would want to look at everything with a critical eye.

    Like 3
  9. Car Nut Tacoma

    Nice looking car. Given its condition, and how low mileage it is, I think $7500 is a good price for the car.

    Like 2
  10. Big Mike

    This model was on the last season of Adam 12. Pete Malloy drove it in one episode.

    Like 1

      In the episode “Lady Cop” with JoAnn Pflug. Malloy was acting watch commander, supervising crowd control at a rock concert.

      Like 1
      • Dave

        Our local fuzz had a fleet of these

    • Howard A Member

      I think it was a ’74, but good one. The show ended in early ’75.

      Like 1
  11. JT

    I have an Mellow yellow 74 Gremlin x that looks great in that color, but is definitely a repaint on this car. AMC had two or three yellows and my guess the restorer thought we wouldn’t notice. Another poster has it right, mellow yellow is a more butterscotch color. In 74 it was called “Daisy Yellow “. Close match, but to bright.

    Like 1
  12. Sheldon Kirschbaum

    I drove these cars as a federal agent in the ‘70’s. They were reliable great running and very roomy. On snowy ice roads they held the road if you took it easy.

    Like 2
  13. Jim

    No way this is 2414 miles. It has to be 102414 at least. Look at the wear to the dashboard (the lighter, the radio, the ashtray, the steering column, under the glovebox) and the wear to various other components. Add to that the poor paint job (the engine bay and the exterior are two different colors), and $7500 is way to much.

    Like 1
  14. Lance

    The bright cheerful yellow makes this Matador hard to miss. Would have made a great taxi cab! The midsized sedan appears in great cosmetic condition for a 45 year old model and looks roomy and comfortable. That said, other than having been made by a defunct manufacturer, there is little to generate collector value. No oversized engine, no Javelin sleek pony car body, just a junior AMC Ambassador that outlived it’s era. Would make a wonderful family car and the 304 engine would be adequate and more fuel efficient than the previous 401 from AMC but nothing to stir a buyer’s passion.

    Like 2
  15. Joe

    Ok, if it has only 2k on it why is the spare so low on tread? The tires on the car look to have more than 2k on them and the rubber and felt on the doors for the windows are cracked and worn. He never says in the ad that it a 2k car, just that it shows 2414 on the odometer.

    Like 2
  16. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    1 Adam 12 code 2. Heh, heh, heh. Mileage is negligible on a car like this. It’s worth the same in this condition anyway. Besides It wouldn’t sit very long in my ownership as mileage would stack up rapidly. My 2015 SUV would sit idle throughout the rest of my ownership. I would only drive this head turner to my occasional grocery and V.A runs and to shows, parades and coffee meets.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  17. JT

    Edit- I ment to say that the color name in 74 was “Daisy Yellow “. Many web sites list the available colors on most American cars

    Like 1
  18. JoeNYWF64

    Odd I see 2 catalytic converters whose exit pipes meet, becoming a single exhaust into 1 muffler.
    Can’t say i seen that before ever! Weren’t converters expensive back then? & didn’t most cars have just 1 that 1st year – in ’75?

  19. fred

    So the front seat doesn’t match the back seat because the fabric was so worn out that they replaced it with a vinyl insert and patches, you can even see where it’s been sewn. Pretty sloppy job, no way a car with 2414 miles would have a front seat that worn. I’m the owner of an identical car but with a brown interior, same bright yellow color and white roof. Check out the photos of the seats on ebay, it’s pretty crappy. It’s such a shame when people try to defraud folks on ebay with reconditioned used cars and turn back the mileage.

  20. Comet

    By the looks of the arms on his lift (see the underside pic with transmission) this doesn’t appear to be the first car the seller covered the undercarriage with in black schmutz. Why would the door jamb need repainting? See VIN plate pic. 2400 hundred miles? I think not.

  21. Joe

    My father bought a ‘74 Matador wagon new (I was 10 years old), and i don’t know if my father kept up with maintenance or not, but by the time I started driving six years later, that car burned two quarts of oil every week. We ended up scrapping that car in 1983 with 77K on it.

  22. Steve Bush Member

    My parents had a 1974 model with the 304. Unfortunately, the thing was unreliable, poorly built junk. Even my mom, who was a “cautious,” driver, thought it had poor “pickup.” She commented on how much quicker my 1969 Grand Prix SJ with the 428-370 hp engine was.

  23. bruce r estus

    WellI have a 1964 Rambler 440H okay with 64000 miles okay second ower okay. been reading that amc did dip their cars from the factory in undercoating okay in many books okay. mine still has it on okay..the old owner would of not have it done okay either just drove it okay.. bruce r estus . Bestus@westel com.com okay. its hard to find parts okay for it now okay. like reading your adds ok too!

    Like 1
    • Little_Cars


      Like 2
  24. Leon

    Clearly been repainted. And front seats have had something done to them. Why would you need to re upholster and repaint a car with 2400 miles on it? Sounds fishy to me…

  25. Liam

    I own three of these cars. For years. This car has clearly been repainted. I’m 100 percent sure this was the car advertised for a while on Portland Craigslist and was over in the Vancouver Washington area. You can even rest assured that the mileage is 102,400.

  26. Hunter

    Work has obviously been done to the car as well as a change in the VIN. Here is the original ad from Washington a while back. http://topclassiccarsforsale.com/amc/135171-amc-matador-sedan-304-v8.html

    Like 1

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