42 Actual Miles?!! 1974 AMC Matador

This 1974 AMC Matador Coupe is amazing. It looks like it’s had a nut-and-bolt restoration or like it just left the factory in Kenosha and was driven 42 miles and parked in someone’s living room for the next 45 years. This museum piece can be found here on eBay in Sarasota, Florida and the price will be crazy. The current bid is almost $8,500 and the reserve isn’t met.

42 miles. As a guy who drives around 42,000 miles a year, I can’t imagine owning a car that’s 45 years old and knowing that it only has 42 miles on it. I have no idea what the seller’s reserve is on this one, $20,000? Maybe more than that. It would cost $50,000 to restore a car to this sort of condition if not more than that so it won’t be cheap to buy.

Here’s maybe the best angle to show the unusual, swoopy Matador Coupe design. We’ve seen the Matador Coupe before here on Barn Finds and have gone over how AMC’s vice-president of styling, Richard Teague, along with famed race car driver, Mark Donohue, both had a hand in the styling of the Coupe. I personally prefer the two-door Matador but a lot of folks prefer the Coupe body style. Imagine if this were an Oleg Cassini or a Matador X Coupe with a 401 V8 rather than a low-spec model, it boggles the mind.

The seller bought this car from a collector who bought it from an AMC dealership that had the car on the showroom for years. The underside is one of the seven modern wonders of the world and it almost makes me want to sell everything I own and backpack across Mongolia in a quest for enlightenment. Either that or really detail the heck out of my cars. The door cards/panels are a little wrinkly probably just due to being almost five-decades old now, but what a time machine.

It’s a bit of a letdown to see the lowest-spec engine under the like-new hood. This is AMC’s 232 cubic-inch inline-six with 100 hp. With a 258 inline-six and a gaggle of available V8s including a 304, 360, and 401, any one of those would have probably been preferred by a collector. Maybe it doesn’t make that much difference, this car won’t be driven anyway. The seller says that it has new tires with 2 miles on them and new hoses and plugs and other maintenance items, otherwise it’s all original. What’s your guess on the selling price for this incredible 42-mile Matador Coupe?


  1. Moparman Member

    Maybe it will end up in another collection or museum. I’m going to venture a guess that the acution will end with the reserve unmet! :-)

    Like 14
    • Norm

      How can you say that when you don’t know what the reserve price is?

    • Ted

      My first car was a 1977 AMC Matador Coupe, same body style and same exterior color (without the white stripe) and same interior color.The V8 was a monster, but gas was a lot cheaper then. Lots of fun!

  2. BlondeUXB Member

    “So that’s a Matador… “
    The owner must have been too embarrassed to be seen driving it as evidenced by the low mileage.

    Like 19
  3. Tiberius1701

    “So That’s A Matador!”™ (God, I am old.)

    Like 7
    • Louis Q Chen

      “It’s a what? It’s a MATADOR!” My best friend sister bought one with the same engine. It was quite comfortable and reliable as well…it was a ’74 also but silver paint no tacky vinyl roof. She used to let us borrow it to go cruising on wkend around D.C. The high school that my “groovies” had lots of the old HIPPIE LOST GENERATION so we didn’t have problem finding dates….”Oh groovy Man…” If the price was lower and closer to me, I’d relive my “good old GROOVY DAYS” with my wife who was the HIPPIE LOST GENERATION! How lucky I was-true and lasting LOVE!

      Like 9
    • Nick Peluso

      I think I’m even older. Pete Malloy (AKA Martin Milner) had one on Adam-12 back in the day. I have always thought it was a cool looking car. Apparently, I’m in a minority. LOL!

  4. Ike Onick

    Never realized how much the front 3/4 view looks like a Pinto.

    Like 4
    • Norm

      Yes it dose only twice the size of a Pinto it was a big car.

      Like 2
  5. JohnD

    The car sold, after a couple of trips over the block, at Mecum’s Indy sale. Their site only shows the lot number under which it sold, but it went through twice. Hammered sold, with commission at $16,500.00. Gives you a pretty good idea as to what the seller has in it . . .

    I am suspect of every low mileage claim on here BUT this seemed to be the real deal. Unfortunately, a real Matador deal . . . I think they said never been in the rain. As I was walking out of the auction on Saturday it was sitting in the sold area . . . in the rain . . .Go figure.

    Like 8
  6. J_Paul Member

    At least it’s in the Scaramanga-approved color…

    Like 17
  7. Junkyard Jimmy

    So apparently it had 40 miles on the car and then they drove two additional miles with the new tires on it.?

    Like 4
  8. art

    Great condition but how was it stored? I see corrosion on the left rear bumper and under the trunk lid. Why are the documents water stained? And door panels generally will not be warped unless exposed to moisture. I doubt one can go wrong at the right price but an in person inspection is always best.

    Like 4
  9. Will Fox

    Sorry, but these were unloved when new, and I seriously doubt anything’s changed. The owner’s high reserve will be his own undoing; only a total moron will pay much above where it’s at now ($8500.). Not well optioned, and only a 6, I can see why the AMC dealer had it on his showfloor for years. A homely option combo on an even homlier car.

    Like 11
  10. r s

    I don’t care if it’s a six, I’d like to see A/C on it and it doesn’t have it.
    Normally when some amazing original condition car pops up here, someone has to post ‘I’d buy it and drive the wheels off it.’ Fortunately most of us are not like Justin Bieber.

    • Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

      If my father had known about this car, he would have bought it off the showroom floor. IF he bought new cars, he usually bought used cars and always the least optioned, smallest engine available.
      Yeah, this car would have been right up his alley, but still a little too fancy for him.
      His first new car was a 1953 Chevrolet, strip model. His second new car was a 1964 Ford Fairlane optioned with an AM radio and the smallest FALCON engine available. His third and last new car was a 1970 Checker Marathon . My mother and I made sure it was optioned with power steering, power brakes, a/c, V8 engine, AM/FM radio and whitewall tires. My father was not happy.

      Like 6

    I always kinda winced when I saw these, when they were new. Not sure if it was a Dick Teague design or not. They just seemed a bit awkward. I saw a picture of one with the front bumper removed, and what a difference in appearance. I have a feeling it was designed, and approved, before realizing the massive front bumper mandate, for 73/74 cars.

    Like 4
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      For the record, just so you don’t think I’m making things up as I go:

      “The coupe was designed under the direction of AMC’s vice president of styling, Richard A. Teague, with input from Mark Donohue, the famous race car driver. AMC’s styling department had greater freedom because of a decision to design the new Matador strictly as a coupe, without the constraints of attempting to have the sedan and station wagon versions fit the same body lines.[32] Reportedly Teague designed the coupe’s front as an homage to one of the first AMCs he designed, the 1964 Rambler American.[22] Many were amazed that AMC came up with the fast, stylish Matador, considering the automaker’s size and limited resources.[33]”

      Like 10
      • Dave

        Scotty, sometimes it’s fun to take a Joe Isuzu approach to presenting stories about cars. 200 miles to a gallon! Faster than the Space Shuttle! Stuff like that. I miss Joe and Honda’s Mr. Opportunity.

        Like 1
      • Gay Car Nut

        I’ve always found the 4 door Matador sedan and Matador wagon more attractive than the coupe.

  12. Mike

    Never liked these. To me they were over sized versions of the Javalin. I had a friend that owned one, just didn’t like it.

  13. Sam61

    Great color…interesting car. Our family had a 76 Brougham. A freind at college drove an Oleg Cassini coupe.

    I have a great/dorky family picture of ours from 1976 to upload but can’t…must be a member privilege. 😥

    Like 1
  14. Dovi65

    Well, this Matador is very likely the nicest one in existence. Weire that a dealer would keep it on the sales floor for any length of time especially given that it isn’t a special edition of any sort, nor packing any serious heat under the hood. Something about this car was endearing enough to that dealer to justify keeping it in inventory. As for the $16K Mecum price .. yeesh that’s crazy. As nice as this one is, IMHO it’s just not a $16K car. $8500 is fairly reasonable.

    Like 1
    • Dave

      Here in Forest Hills on US30 there was a Studebaker dealer, Kliment Brothers, I believe. For decades they had one of those early 50s models. They hung on until a few years ago, now the place is a restaurant. I couldn’t tell you what happened to the car.

    • Ron

      Who is this Richard Rawlings buy low sell real high!!

    • Terry

      I have a 1977 Matador Barcelona with 101 original miles on it and still has the original window sticker in the window. I bought it from the original dealer that kept 3 new cars from his dealership. I’m sorry to see so many negative comments here, we all have different tastes. My Matador has the original oil and all the belts and hoses, nothing has been changed since new and it has always been stored indoors. Being a Barcelona it is a fully optioned car. It was featured in Hemmings motor news a short time ago.

      Like 4
      • BlondeUXB Member

        You have my sympathies…

      • BRAKTRCR

        Well Terry, I’m sure you are getting a great view of value.
        I really suggest an oil change. Leave the original oil filter on, but… well I’m sure you have heard that before.
        I have noticed, some of the most active Barnfinds postings involve this body style Matador. One, not to terribly long ago, was a post where the owner wanted 250k for a 401 Matador.

      • Bob McK Member

        Terry, that is really wonderful. I just wonder what you do with the car? Does it just sit so it never gets any additional miles on it? I bought a 1952 Dodge about a year ago that has 8000 original miles on it. I do drive it occasionally, but hate to put too many miles on it. So, I may sell it as I love driving my cars. I was just wondering where your mindset is. Does it give you pleasure just owning a car you may not ever drive, or would you rather have one that you can drive? Either way, I am not judging. I know how I feel about mine, I just wondered how yo feel about yours.

  15. sir mike

    A friend bought one new and when it broke down not long after the dealer sent a tow truck.When it was picked up from the front it bent at the fire wall and cracked the windshield also.Was funny at the time.

    Like 1

    Still cringeworthy to be sure.That being said… I can totally see a restomod makeover job giving this puppy a better look.

    Like 4
    • Jay

      Near car

      ” Purple Squirrel “

  17. Chebby Staff

    Deleting the bumpers and adding a sharp set of wheels drastically changes these cars. There’s a cool design in there, you just have to carve it out yourself.

    Like 5
  18. Rube Goldberg Member

    It is an amazing find. I think what happened, someone ordered the car like this and bailed, and they couldn’t sell it. Most of these cars were pretty fancy, and not many would want a 6 with no a/c. These were not popular outside the midwest, even though Pete Malloy on Adam 12 had one like this, only much fancier, had a 401 like their cop cars, Reed made a comment about that. It was his last private car before the show ended. Pretty cool find.

    Like 8
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      +10 for an Adam-12 reference, Rube!

      Like 4
      • Rube Goldberg Member

        It was my favorite show,,,

        Like 4
    • Jeff DeWitt

      And as I recall he said something about how much money it would save him on gas as it got 12 to 13 MPG. LOL

      Like 1
    • Rob

      I seem to remember that Malloy’s Matador broke down and was “in the shop” two or three episodes after he got it. My son and I watched the whole series recently.

      Like 2
      • bone

        I think the matador got hit in one episode and the repair bill was only like $300.00 and they thought that was expensive !

  19. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Pretty crappy tires if you have to replace them every 40 miles…………….

    Like 9

      Or 45 years, whatever comes….

      Like 6
  20. Samuel

    Undercoating looks recent and there is some pitting on the bumpers. Up to $10.6K though.

  21. CCFisher

    This would have been a tough sell with the small six. Probably wound up being a leftover when the ’75s hit the lot, and hung around so long that they decided to make it a showroom fixture.

    Like 1
  22. dave brennan

    Needs: 360 w headers, high rise manifold w 4bbl, 4 speed, and air shocks w 235s out back. Power buckets inside and drive the tires off it. AMC buckets were way comfy! I’ve had 3 Matadors ..I know

    Like 1
    • AMXBrian

      Or go the other way and drop in a Jeep 4.0 stroker motor so you’d have reliable fuel injection, decent fuel mileage, better h.p., and still have an AMC motor.

      Like 3
  23. Gay Car Nut

    If it works, use it. A V8 engine may provide it with more get up and go, but an inline 6 generally gets better fuel economy, and is less complicated to service than a V8.

    Like 1
  24. stevee

    Someone has to say it: imagine the $$ if they had done this with a similar simple low end Camaro or a Mustang or a ……..

    Like 2
  25. uncle al

    MY GOD !!!!!!!!!! This thing is over $13,000 already ! Someone’s priorities are really crazy ……. I am offering a MINT 1995 BMW 840 CI (pretty rare) for under 12,000, and I am getting nowhere ! Has the world gone absolutely crazy ?

    Like 1
    • Uncle al

      631-three eight eight -3106

      Like 1
    • Bob McK Member

      Are you really comparing this low mileage old car with a 1995 BMW?

      Like 4
  26. Jerry

    The only question I have is…why? Back in the day I had a girlfriend that had one and I thought it was butt ugly. It was functional, but I wouldn’t be caught dead in it.

    Like 1
    • TheGasHole

      Back in the day i had a girlfriend that met your girlfriends car’s description. Things have fortunately improved for me.

  27. Jann Halstead

    Love these; have never seen one with a six. Not for those who want a car representative of its era, more a standalone, unique vehicle. They probably expect more than anyone will pay; we all have to learn about THAT at some point.

    Like 1
  28. Porkchopzz4

    The low miles make it a great museum candidate. But that’s where the value stops. A column shift automatic 6 cylinder in brown. It’s not muscle. It’s not class. It’s just low miles.

    Like 1
  29. James Schwartz

    Base model Matador Coupe, I’m guessing the ‘X’ model stripes and ‘X’ model slot wheels were dealer added items. Strange to see those on a 6 cylinder, automatic on the column car.

  30. deak stevens Member

    Seen one of these in a junk yard years ago almostcas clean as this one, tells me one thing nobody in their right minds want one.

  31. deak stevens Member

    Seen one of these in a junk yard years ago almost as clean as this one, tells me one thing nobody in their right minds wants one.

  32. PatrickM

    Both the listings I got (BF and Ebay) do not show any underside, trunk interior pics. When these came out, I thought they were absolutely the geekiest looking things I ever saw, and so did a lot of my buddies. Today, I wouldn’t mind owning one. Too many exterior pics, not enough others. May be somewhat rare, but not that kind of money…for this guy.

  33. Bobdog

    This was the first Matador – I recently saw one of these at a show with a 413 engine, torq flight trans and cross ram duel 4s from the factory – awesome car.


  34. Glenn Schwass Member

    What a surprise to see that interior. My Grandmother gave me her 74 ,4 door Matador. It was a cream puff. It was dark green with the green interior. I had forgotten what the steering wheel looked like. Unfortunately the NH winters rusted out the frame so I traded it in..it had the 304 V8 but with a low rear so it wasn’t fast. It really needed AC here in PA. I saw it again after somebody must have bought a sticker and drove it. It also had a broken front coil spring but you couldn’t tell. It rode like a dream.

    Like 1
  35. Bobdog

    The first Matador was a 1960 Dodge (look it up) – one year only – I recently saw one at a show with a 413 engine, torq flight trans and cross ram duel 4’s factor stock – awesome car !

  36. KKW

    By 1974, American Motors was inching closer and closer to doomsday. These cars were certainly no asset.

  37. mark houseman

    The saying about polishing a dog turd applies here. I don’t care what color, how many doors, what options, how many miles, what the history is, what famous person might have owned it/one, this car is UGLY!!!! After producing some of the ugliest cars on the planet, American Motors really went all out on this model. This model is uglier than the Pacer, Gremlin, Hornet (which was my future and now wife’s first car), Nash, Rambler, Metropolitan, Charger wanna be….Marlin, Renault, ect……..I could go on but it’s late and I have to eat dinner……

  38. Fiete T.

    Fugly…they went broke because of all the goofy offerings they “Developed”- prime example front & center

  39. Bill

    Was this the flying car in the movie “The Man With the Golden Gun” ?

    • don

      Yes it was

  40. Bruce Fischer

    We used to call them pregnant pintos . LOL. Bruce.

  41. Gary Spurgeon

    Even though only 42 miles, 45 year old rubber (tires, belts, hoses) would need to be replaced. I wouldn’t trust them.

  42. Del

    Nice find

    But sadly a six banger.

    Way over bid at 15,700

    Like 1
  43. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: Jul 21, 2019 , 2:06PM
    Current bid:US $18,400.00
    Reserve not met
    [ 44 bids ]


    All above comments about how ugly Matador coupes are are from old foggies who liked the square look Ford and GM cars of the same era with their opera windows and seventies disco kitchy leisure suit interiors. The Matador coupe was AMC’s Studebaker Avanti, with styling even at that time acclaimed as America’s sharpest new design!

    Like 2

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.