36K Miles: 1975 AMC Matador Coupe

AMC seemed to have a lock on unusual vehicles in the 1970s, or at least American vehicles. This 1975 AMC Matador coupe is exhibit A. This swoopy-woopy coupe’y can be found here on craigslist in Seneca Falls, New York. The seller has an $8,500 asking price listed. Thanks to Ikey H. for sending in this tip!

And I thought that I had an ungainly profile! I love AMCs of all types but the Matador Coupes of 1974 through 1978 were really unusual, to say the least. The seller has this one listed just above Hagerty’s #2 excellent condition value of $8,360.

This car is an amazing survivor with only 36,000 miles on it and no rust, according to the seller. AMC had plans to come out with a four-door version and even a wagon but it never materialized. I did a quick and horribly cheesy four-door Photoshop version to see what it might look like. Hmm…

This isn’t an Oleg Cassini Matador Coupe which would have been made in this era, it’s tan over tan with a brown vinyl top. Ahhh.. the 1970s. The interior looks great. This car has four new tires and AC but there’s no word on if it blows cold or not. I would bet that it does for $8,500.

That is one big expanse of sheet metal on the fender tops! And, those stabilization bars are cool, too. This is AMC’s 360 cubic-inch V8 which by 1975 had either 175 or 195 hp depending on the carburetor. It runs and drives excellent, according to the seller. Any thoughts on this Matador Coupe of the Matador Coupe in general? Like? Dislike? No opinion?

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Comments

  1. NotSure

    Lucious 70’s lines. Firmly bookmarked in History! It will get you there with that 360 under the hood. If the a/c is chill and there’s some wiggle room on the price might make someone a good summer beater? I’d drive it!

    Like 3
  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    Love it, love it, love it. I see one at a monthly car show here near Tampa, and it is just an awesome thing. The sheet metal is so interesting, and the AMC interior is like nothing else from the Big 3. I see them too at the Arthritis Car Show in Columbus.
    If I hadn’t just bought a ’63 Riviera, this would be high on the list of cruisers I’d be looking for.

    Like 1
    • LARRY

      Gotta love it. Back in the days when you could look at a car ( or truck) and know what it was. Sadly these days they all look bout the same

      Like 1
  3. Mark S.

    Swoopy and woopy and 20 minutes from my house. Looks like a pretty clean ride. Tempting.
    IT’S A MATADOR!

    Like 2
    • NotSure

      Olé

      Like 1
  4. Rex Kahrs Member

    And Mark, it has just 36K miles!

  5. That AMC Guy

    I remember when these cars came out. I always liked the look (almost like an updated Marlin) but the buying public did not, flocking to Monte Carlos and Cutlasses instead. This one looks great but being a rust belt vehicle the lack of underside photos is a concern. (Ad says it’s a Maryland car, but they do get winter out there.)

    This was an expensive car to produce despite being mechanically identical to other AMC cars because all of the body panels were unique to this model. Sales petered out quickly and I don’t think the Company even made back the tooling costs.

    Like 2
    • CJinSD

      These Matadors were made for Roger Penske’s NASCAR efforts with Mark Donahue and Bobby Allison, which were gaining some steam after winning the Winston 500 in 1973 with the previous Matador coupe. I have some old Car and Driver magazines where they heaped praise on the 1974 Matador coupe when it arrived, calling it the best looking car of the year. How much of that was Mark Donahue hero-worship I don’t know, but I do know that I liked the looks of these cars as a child and always enjoyed spotting them. I didn’t know they were denigrated until I saw one being used as the sacrifice at a ‘donate a dollar to swing a sledge hammer at a gas-guzzler’ event circa 1979.

  6. Sam61

    Our family had a “76 Brougham..plaid/vinyl interior, metalic brown with gold pinstripes. My dad won it for being manager of the month with Howard Johnsons. It had whote wall bias 14” tires. It ultimately passed to me as a college car. Another guy in the dorm had a white Oleg Cassini Matador. The Rambler seats came in handy.

    Like 1
  7. CanuckCarGuy

    In the top photo, the house and car are colour matched…including the roof colour – that, is a dedicated AMC owner!

    Like 3
  8. irocrobb

    It is as clean as kleenex and I like it. I always loved the cars AMC brought us.

    Like 1
  9. Troy s

    Seems to me AMC had to sway customers into their showrooms to really compete with the big three… somehow. Then the added competition from the foreign market, yikes!
    I’ve seen a very few of these, several with the mag treatment and loud pipes which ain’t bad at all, and to be honest it looks no worse than what was coming out in the mid seventies from the other brands. Maybe better. Too bad more people didn’t get it.

    Like 1
  10. dave brennan

    Imagine…all cars don’t look the same……

    Have had three matadors so far and wish this had been for sale a year ago, before I bought my Tbird . Swap in headers, 4bbl, 15″ mags and 235s with air shocks and this is a whole different car!!!
    BTW… ur Photoshop isn’t terrible

    Like 2
  11. Rusty

    Always wanted one of these, and this one looks great!

    Like 1
  12. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Ex In-laws had one. I got to drive it a fair amount due to FIL having medical issues and MIL drove very little. It was a good driving car but it was a bear to get into the back seat being over 6′ tall.
    This is a good looking specimen and hope the next owner enjoys it.

    Like 1
  13. Gaspumpchas

    Great catch, Mark S!! I remember the TV advertisement went like “Whats a Matador?” Nice shape, clean. the ironworms ate these alive here in New Yawk, and I think they were still struggling with the cooling system corrosion from that Dandy Dowgard antifreeze. Took everything out including the freeze plugs and was impossible to get the coolant clean. They should have stuck to making refrigerators! good luck to the new owner.
    Cheers
    GPC

  14. dweezilaz

    Always loved these and thought they were superior looking to the bloated Torinos of the period.

    The vinyl tops, any style AMC ever used, with or without opera windows, destroyed any sense of design on these.

    Thankfully the rear windows rolled up and down, a useful feature manufacturers were trying to quietly delete at the time.

    Like 1
  15. Scott Marquis

    Espada Americano.

    Like 1
  16. W9BAG

    While stationed @ Ft. Bliss, TX in 1979, my friend Mike had one exactly like this. It was a really nice car. However, for some inexplicable reason, is was dubbed
    “The Tuna Boat” ! I would drive this one in a New York minute,

    Like 1
    • Louis Q. Chen

      It was a common term back in the late 60’s & early 70’s specially back East-New England states to Virginia “Yankees”. “tuna Boat” refers to those cars that are huge, blvd. cruisers. The ride is smooth and the handling is numb and has killer A/C systems-instant cold air on the hottest days and a real gas guzzler.
      This car reminded me when my niece bought one and an old AMC ad for the model: It’s a What? It’s Matador!

  17. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Love to love it, but inclined to dislike it.
    God bless America

  18. Burger

    I guy in town had one in the 70’s, black with red interior and pinstriping, rallye wheels, …. and a 401 4bbl and 4-speed ! It was the ultimate Matador. Very elegant, yet probably had some stout lift off. The owner special ordered it new, and it was a pampered cream puff from day one. Wonder where it is now ? Not a lot of great looking cars from this period, but this body, when painted up and trimmed right, was quite a striking beast.

  19. Andy

    I had a 75, forest green with the matching too. Brought a tear to my eye when some lady lost control of her car and smashed into the front end.

    Yes, the AC on this car was beyond phenomenal. Went to one of the water parks with a cousin, had the AC fan on the first click, and we were about frozen the entire trip. My cousin kept commenting about how cold that car was. As I recall, the temps going were mid 80’s, and coming home it was over 100.

    Now, how to convince the wife we NEED this car…

    Like 1
  20. Queequeg

    Matadors are stunning 2″ cars; however, take one big-boy step back and behold! the most poorly-drawn auto design ever stamped out with a straight face.

    Makes the Aztek seem like Veronica Lake.

  21. Burger

    Gonna have to ask you to get your eyeglass prescription checked, if you are going thumbs up on the Aztek and thumbs down on the Matador.

    Face it, automotive body design was in a steady decline toward “blobdom” since 1970. The Matador may not be everyone’s cup of meat, but it does have curves and shape and a generally cohesive design. Especially for what else was being sold at the time.

    With cars since the Aztek days, generally shaped like a work boot, with variations of window shape, odd side creases, and changes in the plastic “Tupperware parts” and associated lights, it is all about function, and form is a lost idea to the industry. The Matador was a pretty extreme exercise in long, broad, and flat, with coke bottle curves and that distinctive, love-it-or-hate-it, AMC way of delivery they carried forth from the Nash and Hudson days.

  22. W9BAG

    IMO, the Pontiac Aztek was the biggest turd in American automotive history. The Matador was sleek and stylish.

    Like 1
  23. Queequeg

    Burger! Gonna have to kindly ask you to have your reading comprehension checked! :-)
    Agreed; the Aztek is a pretty roundly accepted design disaster. However, such are my both profound and long-lived feelings of revulsion for the Matador coupe, that IN COMPARISON, the Aztek looks lovely!

    • Burger

      Well, I guess it boils down to personal taste. There isn’t a post-70 American car I’d really want to own. Only so much money and shop space, you know ? With so much pre-70 stuff out there to choose from, my shop is stuffed and my budget maxed out LONG before a post-70 car can even get on the radar.

      That said, I find it funny how bad the Aztek gets slammed (and it is awful), but MOST small SUV things now look not very different from an Aztek ! And the drones line up to pay full retail for them all day long !

  24. Queequeg

    I’m right there with you, my brother! Everything they puke out today looks the same…GHASTLY and BORING!!! Thank you, bureaucrats for ruining another of life’s joys.

    Like 1

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