360 V8 Survivor: 1971 AMC Javelin SST

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More than three years after the Ford led the new “pony car” market with its Mustang, American Motors got into the fray with the Javelin (and to some extent, its GT variant, the AMX). The car was designed by head AMC designer Dick Teague and the Javelin had clean, understated lines at first with a swooping tail. The cars would see their only redesign in 1971, gaining some size and their most memorable features would be exaggerated wheel arches and a really long hood. This ’71 Javelin has a reconditioned 360 V8 but needs a paint job and a little interior work. Located in Advance, North Carolina, this car is available here on Hemmings Classifieds for $8,000 OBO. Thanks, PRA4SNW, for sending this tip our way!

Javelins could be ordered from mild to wild, beginning with a 232 cubic inch I-6 all the way up to a 390 or 401 V8, the biggest engines built by AMC. If buyers wanted more bling with their Javelin, they ordered the SST edition which added such goodies as reclining bucket seats, wood-grain trim, body cladding, and unique wheel covers. For 1971, 17,707 Javelins left the factory in SST trim, with a starting price of $2,999. The second most often chosen powerplant was the 360 V8, of which AMC built 5,324 Javelins that way. The seller’s car is the 2-barrel version, which had an advertised output of 245 hp.

AMC became a contender in racing with the second-generation Javelins, winning the Sports Car Club of America title in the Trans-Am series for two years in a row, 1971 and 1972. That led to a “Trans Am Victory” package being offered on the Javelin, but that was not until 1973. The muscle car craze went into a downward slide in the 1970s and that wore off on the pony cars. By 1974, AMC ran out of sales steam with the Javelin and it was discontinued. That’s the same year that Chrysler stopped making the Barracuda and Challenger.

Given the customized license plate on the seller’s Javelin, we’re guessing an interesting story is involved as that’s usually the case when someone goes to the extra trouble and expense. The Javelin is said to have 25,246 miles on the odometer but given that the motor has been reconditioned (is that the same as rebuilt?), we’re guessing the counter has turned over to 125,000. This car has an automatic transmission, which seems the likely choice given that the least powerful of the 360s went into the car.

This Javelin wears Raven Green Metallic paint, which might be original, but if it’s not it certainly is tired and ready for a respray. There is no notable rust to discuss, so this one shouldn’t spend much time in the body shop. The chrome looks good, but the canopy vinyl top has had it. The seller has a new one that can go to the painter along with a new NOS stripe kit. The tires are new as is the front linkage and brakes and the center caps and rings for the wheels will go with the car.

AMC cars as a rule don’t command the same prices as the Big 3 of the same time period. A ’71 Javelin in Fair condition (which the seller agrees applies to this car) makes it a $6,700 proposition according to Hagerty. With new paint and a little interior work (one seat back and the carpeting), would this Javelin being able to compete with nicer ones now running in the $20,000 neighborhood? This seems like a nice and fairly inexpensive way to get into the weekend car show game.

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  1. Fahrvergnugen FahrvergnugenMember

    Had a 68 343 SST package. Always felt that in ’71 the Javelin had the same malady that struck the ’71 Mustang. Even though they performed well, they got hit with the Bloat Boat stick. IMHO natch.

    Like 7
    • AMCFAN

      the new for 71 was essentially the same understructure as the 1968. You could in effect bolt the 71-74 front sheet metal on the 68. Some have already done it.

      After AMC won Penske and Donohue from GM in 1970 to race their Javelin. AMC had already planned a restyle for 71. Donohue was an engineer. He worked with Dick Teague the head designer and come up with design. So the 71-74 Javelin was the only passenger car designed in part to win Trans Am races. There is a lot of nuance in the design that most everyone overlooks. This body style dominated the series.

      Much like the racing history at AMC, Which proved and still holds true. With the right people you DO NOT need a Chevy anything to win races. Which includes Chrysler and Ford.

      Like 12
      • DON

        I believe the doors and windshield were also the same as the first gen. Javelin

        Like 2
      • JoeNYWF64

        I’d rather see someone bolt the ’68 front end on a ’71-74!
        Does that ’71 front end alone account for the weight differential between, say, a ’68 & ’71? Or are there addt’l safety features hidden in the ’71?
        Coat hanger proof interior door locks – i guess – tho bad news if you lock yourself out.
        Curious toggle switches on dash.

        Like 0
      • Gary James Lehman

        AMCFAN–I have never heard that you could put 71-71 front end sheet metal on a 68-70 Javelin. The 71 had a 1 inch longer WB and was 2.6 inches overall longer. the cowl and windshield were different, too. I can’t see how this would work. If you have seen it, do you know where I could get a picture?

        Like 2
  2. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    I have always loved this body, the fender humps are awesome. This and a 74 Matador on on my list.

    Like 8
    • AMCFAN

      Gary, Try Googling Dick Teagues 71 AMX. He simply took a 70 AMX and bolted on a 71 Javelin front clip. People have bolted on an early front clip on a 71-74 Javelin. Nope. The windshields and cowl are all the same from 68-74. Might be hard to see by the pictures but AMC were the masters at using existing tooling.

      Like 2
  3. Moparman MoparmanMember

    I’ve always thought that this car had the most “muscular” looks (body wise) of the “pony’ cars. This one looks like a solid base to start from, and although I prefer the later ones, I would happily park this one in my garage! GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 6
  4. Frank

    Had a 1970 sst with ram air 390 4sp fastest car i ever rode or drove in

    Like 5
  5. Steve Clinton

    Looks like the ‘Rust Monster’ has started its attack.

    Like 2
    • Darrun

      The Ohio tags may explain the “Rust Monster”. If it’s an Ohio car, it would be much more likely to have rust than a North Carolina car.

      Like 0
      • Dave

        Depends on where in North Carolina. Ohio cars rust from the bottom up. Coastal Carolina cars rust from the top down.

        Like 1
  6. Ted Pemberton

    I don’t see the rust monster as you say. I see a solid piece of history wanting a fresh start.

    Like 1
    • Steve Clinton

      What’s the old saying? “What’s one man’s treasure is another man’s junk.”

      Like 0
      • Ranco Racing

        AS I recall the saying was, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

        Like 1
      • Steve Clinton

        Ranco, I must be dyslexic!

        Like 0
  7. Jasper

    I’ve always liked these too. Nice color too.
    But listen for weird clicks and check the exhaust system for fire starting, mutant roaches! I had to! Just watched the 1975 movie “Bug” last night. Main character drives a Javelin. As bad as I forgot!

    Like 3
    • Steve Clinton

      ‘Bug’ was a B movie, but was entertaining nonetheless. (And I always loved Bradford Dillman!)

      Like 0
  8. R Ratliff

    Just jumping in for clarifications sake: yes, you can bolt the front sheet metal from a 68-70 onto a 71-74 and vice versa (see Dick Teague’s own AMX for reference on this). There is no difference in the cowl or windshield, doors interchange, rear glass is the same, trunk lid, rear bumper and rear valance all interchange (don’t try a 1970 Donohue spoiler on a 71-74 though, unless you want to do some fiberglass damage to the lower corners). The 68-70 is a 109” wheelbase, the 71-74 is 110”, but that’s only a minor part of the miraculous transformation AMC pulled off on a tiny budget by reusing parts they already had. Yes, the roof and rear quarters are different, so no swapping out there without major surgery. But all the bolt on stuff is just that. AMC’s are still some of the most misunderstood vehicles out there, just one more reason to love them. Someone will be getting a very solid looking vehicle with this one, good luck to the next owner.

    Like 2
  9. EPO3

    Look at the gap and fit on this car it ticks all the right boxes for a none AMX car love this car and I’m a mopar fan true and true

    Like 1

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