27K Mile 1971 AMC Matador Two-Door Hardtop

It’s hard to hide a bright red car but this “Matador Red” 1971 AMC Matador two-door hardtop appears to almost be hiding in the photo above. They are very rare to come across today and I would not mind hiding this one away in my garage. The seller has it posted here on craigslist in the New Lisbon, Wisconsin area and they’re asking $4,500 firm. I think that we’ve only seen one other Matador two-door hardtop here at Barn Finds and that was about two years ago here. This Matador Red example looks much nicer and even though I see some possible damage or something going on with the left side of the quarter panel in the above photo, it really looks nice overall.

It’s a bummer that the seller has only loaded three photos in the listing. Three. Photos. That’s always supremely disappointing to those of us who pour over hundreds and even thousands of listings but I need to remind myself that craigslist is almost like an online classified ad that would have been in a local newspaper a few decades ago. There’s some basic info and a phone number or other contact info, and if a person is interested they get in touch. I suspect that a lot of people will be interested in this car as we just don’t see them that often and if it’s even remotely as nice as it appears to be in these three photos, it won’t last long. We see the hood open in the photo above and it’s showing AMC’s famous 258 cubic-inch inline-six which had 150 horsepower.

The seller tells us that this car has 27,255 miles on it which is incredible. It sounds like it has had four owners and unfortunately has sat outside for a period of time before the current owner bought it in September. They have done a lot of work on it since then, including, “New Battery, All New Hydraulic Brake Parts: Master Cylinder, Wheel Cylinders, Brake Hoses and Brake Lines. Fresh Oil & Filter, and Fresh Fuel, Conditioner and Lead Additive” and more. It needs tires and SMS Auto Fabrics most likely has the replacement fabric for the driver’s seat and carpet, which appears to be a little faded. This is quite a find, are there any other fans of these rare two-door hardtop Matadors out there?

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Comments

  1. Sam Shive

    My mom had one with a 304 and it was a SLUG, The 6 would have to go but the rest of the car looks to be complete.

    Like 7
  2. Mr. TKD

    The uniqueness of this is what gets my attention. Whether you yank the drivetrain or keep it original, you’ve truly got something that stands out and grabs eyeballs.

    Like 11
  3. Mike

    On BaT, I commented what would happen if this car pulled up to a Lamborghini? A few people figured out my reference.

    Like 13
    • Steve Clinton

      Bull!

  4. DrillnFill

    That’s a neat looking AMC, you’ll definitely be the only person at the car show with a ’71 Matador. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen one of these in real life. Get some steel “the Machine” style wheels, white letter tires, and lose the anemic 6.
    I just hope whoever buys it replaces it with an AMC V8 and not some overdone, seen everywhere LS-swap. Yeah that’s the cheap and easy power route but IMO that would be a darn shame

    Like 14
    • That AMC Guy

      A potentially suitable swap would be a Jeep 4.0 six with 4-speed automatic transmission from a 2WD Jeep XJ Cherokee. Biggest problem would be the electronics.

      Like 6
      • Psychofish2

        Right there, AMCGuy ^ if one was to do anything. That’s reasonable.

        FFS when was the last time someone saw a Matador two door hardtop much less one with a six ?

        It’s almost mindless, knee jerk, really : pull the 27,000 mile engine and put in a V8, like the “two many doors” cliche and Craig’s List finger over the license plate.

        Yes, that’s the ticket. Remove the novelty and the uniqueness to be like everything else….

        Like 12
  5. Bob19006

    The Matador was the 1st major face lift to the all new 1967 AMC Rambler Rebel that replaced the Rambler Classics. That platform served AMC from 1967 until their last mid-size Matador sedans, wagons and coupes in 1978, 9 years before Chrysler bought AMC-Jeep. The hardtop model was discontinued in 1974, replaced by the totally re-skinned sleek Matador coupe.

    Like 8
  6. jerry z

    If this is truly a rustfree car, that price is a bargain. Red/red combo looks sweet.

    Like 7
  7. Mark Member

    Now $6500

    Like 1
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Whoa! And now it’s gone, dang! That was a STEAL at $4,500 for sure. I sent the seller a text as they asked in the listing but never heard back, weird.

      Like 1
      • Stevieg Member

        The seller has been trying to sell this for a while. I was interested in it but the seller couldn’t even send me some additional pictures of the rusty areas like I asked. He seems more interested in lowering the price than actually trying to sell it.
        The car is not rust free, according to the seller it has plenty of rust.

  8. John Newell

    That car could easily go for 10 grand or more. It’s value, it lands in the right hands, will go through the roof. This is a perfect car to become a NASCAR tribute car or a Matador Machine clone. No matter what, this car will go fast every way you can think about it.

    Like 1
  9. Dale S.

    The 258 6cyl. engine is bulletproof if regularly maintained. I have to agree with Psychofish2. Keep the original engine if you buy the car. My ’75 Pacer had that engine, and the day after a blizzard when the actual air temperature was -25 below my car started after the second priming of the gas pedal. It almost started on the first try.

    Like 3
  10. MICHAEL L SELINGER

    Ad now deleted. Whoever said it would go quick was right.

    Like 1
    • John Newell

      This AMC body style is now the hottest automotive restoration candidate in North America right now. It generally doesn’t take longer than 15 minutes to sell one. The value is rising faster than inflation.

      Why? People are belatedly learning that these were wonderful car to drive and they can be upgraded in many ways all the way to a Matador Machine or a NASCAR clone. They are easier to learn and work on than other makes and parts are still available.

      The motor in this car is the same on used in the Jeeps for many years, so it has a proven drive train. But there are still lots of 360s and 401s around. I doubt this car will be a 6 cylinder for long.

      Like 3
      • Miminite

        401s not so much, but yes 360 still quite a few around if you look. Build one of those up, get an adapter and hang a Cheby 4 sp auto behind it and enjoy. One of my few favorite AMC bodystyles.

        Like 1
  11. David Ulrey

    3 pictures is either uninformed or lazy. I use Craigslist all the time and load lots of pictures.

    Like 1
  12. Joe

    What was ordinary back in the day looks pretty good now. I’d leave it just the way it is and enjoy it. I remember cruising around in one like that with the guys when I was younger. A lot of fun was had in that car. The six is more than enough power. I don’t get the philosophy of making everything a screamer.

    Like 4
  13. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    I’ve never been too fond of AMC, Rambler, Nash, Willies Overland ( did I forget anyone) Even when I work for an AMC /Renault dealer back in the 80s. But, being a member of this site I’ve seen quite a few AMC that piqued my interest. This is a gorgeous car, and I’m not fond of red cars either That 6 has got to go but everything else is great.

  14. WARREN BARBER

    I had two 2dr Matadors both 72. 401 powered and 360 4bbl. Have a picture of both sitting side by side. Diffidently can tell the 401 from the 360. 401 stood at least 2 to 3 inches higher had the high back buckets and 15 inch rally’s all around. and large sway bars all around also. I did install a floor console in the 401 Mat from a 70 Rebel. They both were great cars. I sold them years ago only because I had way to many cars. 68 AMX. 72 Javelin/AMX. 78 Pacer 401 original 304 car bought from Eddy Stakes. All most bought Eddies 72 Matador both got beat to the punch found out later it was 1 number different from my Matador. So now the only vehicle I kept was my 59 Rambler American 2 dr wagon. That’s it no more projects. except for the 70 AMX 4 speed with tilt and A/c I just picked up along with a 70 Javelin 232 car. Oh my favorite AMC I ever owned. 1971 Ambassador Brougham. 401 loaded. high backs, console factory. blue body white painted hard top. Blue cloudy interior. Interior was blue like the sky but had faded areas. looked awesome. bought it off a guy that worked at Wright Pat and he even left the Air Force sticker on the bumper so in a sense I could have just drove onto the base. No never even tride.

    Like 2

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