401 V8 Roller: 1973 AMC Javelin AMX

When the AMX was born in 1968, it is was a GT-style, 2-seat version of the also-new Javelin and it gave American Motors something of a competitor to the Chevy Corvette. Sales were light, even by AMX standards, so the AMX became a premium high-performance edition of the 4-seat Javelin after three years. This ’73 AMX has been off the road since 1980 and work has stalled on reinstalling its 401 cubic inch V8. This three-owner car is located in Janesville, Wisconsin, and is available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $15,500. But there’s a reserve that must be met for the project to move to a new home.

The second generation of the Javelin debuted in 1971 and that’s when the AMX moniker was rolled into it rather than continuing as a standalone series. AMC coined the new styling as “1980-looking,” resulting in a Javelin that was longer, lower, wider, and heavier than before. The pony car market was saturated by this point and the declining interest in muscle cars didn’t give Javelin sales a much-needed shot in the arm. Javelin’s production in 1973 would total 25,195 copies plus another 5,707 AMXs. Of the latter, just 1,420 had AMC’s biggest engine, the 401 V8, like with the seller’s car.

As the story goes, the original owner bought this AMX in late 1972 but traded it in for a Pontiac Trans Am Super Duty the following summer. The second owner had the car until 2010, keeping it in climate-controlled storage most of the time, up on jack stands. That’s when the seller found the AMX and brought it home, where it has also been kept inside and away from the elements. This AMX is a numbers-matching car that’s said to have come equipped with the desirable Go Package option. Complete paperwork for the car has survived all these years, including the original warranty tag and window sticker.

The motor is partially restored with about 74,000 miles on the odometer. It was torn down without removing the pistons, inspected, lubricated, put back together with new gaskets, and repainted in the proper color. There were some modifications made to the performance of the car back in the 1970s and from what the seller says it looks as though much of that has been corrected. The engine compartment has been partially restored.

We’re told this AMX is rust free and it does present well. The Tallyho Green paint was redone many moons ago and still looks darn nice. Some of the front-end pieces will need to be reattached, like the grille and bumper. The interior looks mostly good except for the carpeting which is frayed in places. From what we can tell or read, everything may be there for the next owner to complete the work. The car even has its original bias-ply tires which will have to be replaced before hitting the road once more.


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    Not the correct engine color

    Like 8
    • Mike

      Is that the blue from the old 287?

      Like 2
      • Rick

        It definitely looks like 287 blue.

        Like 2
    • AMXBrian

      Definitely not quite right. The correct color is EN-66 Seymour Paint which has a green tint to it, called Alamosa Aqua Metallic

      Like 1
    • AMCFAN

      Sorry Slick. Better do your research. This is the widely accepted AMC engine color. This is exactly what I expect to see.

      • OIL SLICK

        HAHAHA you better do your research. I’ve been in the AMC hobby since 79. Wrong color

  2. jerry z

    Slap it together and drive it!

    Like 11
  3. Al Cotton

    My engine is blue but a lighter shade

  4. Joe Sewell

    Appears to be a good opportunity for the right person. A ‘historical car’ IMO as there were few built and I believe this was the last year.

  5. the swede

    OK, nice color any way on the engine – but what was the right color for that year / engine ?

  6. john hugh

    metallic blue

    Like 2
  7. Chris M.

    I think I’d freshen up that motor while it was out. 74k isn’t a ton of miles but why wouldn’t you before installing. Cool car. This particular design has grown on me as the years have passed.

    Like 7
    • AMCFAN

      Why would want to rebuild an original low mile engine? This was already an excellent running engine. All it needed is sealed up. I would rather have factory OEM rings and bearings instead of parts that are said to be for my AMC application that hasn’t been in production since the 1970’s.

  8. Al Cotton

    I’d like to know how many 401’s w/ Pierre Cardin upholstery

    Like 1
    • Jack Burton


      Like 4
  9. Raymond Hofmeister

    Why wouldn’t you just put new piston rings on awhile had it repart doesn’t make sense tear engine apart not do rings they well fail on other person with it’s driven hard abused

    Like 1
    • Claudio

      If i were to ever own another hard top ;this would be it
      I have always loved these cars, even the interior design is HOT

      I would definitely promod it but it wont happen !

  10. Barry Presly

    sounds like they rebuilt the top end but not the bottom end I did not think any body did that any more

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