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All Original: 1972 AMC Matador Hardtop

Unless a person doesn’t want any doors on their car, we shouldn’t be hearing “Too many doors” comments about this 1972 AMC Matador two-door hardtop. This stored car can be found here on eBay in Wilmington, California with a current bid price of $4,700.

Ahhh… the era of adding on an aftermarket third brake light. Let’s see a show of hands for anyone who ever did that with their vehicles? I think I see a bit of a crease in the right quarter panel? Maybe the car took a rear hit at some point and the owner at that time wanted to stop any further inattentive drivers from hitting this car? That’s speculation, of course, maybe that dent isn’t from that at all, it could have been a runaway shopping cart or any number of things.

The last photo is really the only one showing any of the passenger side which is always a little strange to me, it looked like there was more than enough room to show a right side 3/4 shot, but maybe not. This car looks great, though. It’s a California car and it’s rust-free, my two absolute favorite words in all of cardom. I would have guessed that this was primer but they say that it’s the original paint!

The interior looks great and you’ll need the AC with all of that dark vinyl. According to the seller, this car has been in storage for the last decade and they have now lost that storage spot and that’s why the car is for sale. I’d be remiss in my Adam-12 duties if I didn’t at least mention the Matador’s role in that show.

This is AMC’s 304 cubic-inch V8 which would have had 150 hp and 245 ft-lb of torque. They say that it runs, stops, and drives fine but it should be gone through by the next owner. I’m guessing the usual rubber parts – belts, hoses, etc. – and fluids, filters and all of the regular wear and age-sensitive parts should be changed before you get in it and drive it to an out of state car show. Have any of you owned a first-generation Matador?


  1. Avatar photo dave brennan

    Too bad on the wrong coast, or I’d b all over it!

    Like 4
  2. Avatar photo That AMC guy

    I like these older 2-door models better than the swoopy 1974+ Matador coupes. No idea though why the Ebay ad says it’s an “AMX Matador” since there never was such a thing, unless the seller is not familiar with AMC products.

    1972 is a good year for these. Electric wipers became standard and the automatic transmission was switched from the old Borg-Warner slushbox to the far superior Chrysler Torqueflite. HVAC controls were modernized and far easier to use than the old confusing 4 levers plus AC control knob used through the previous year.

    You won’t win any drag races with the 304 but should have no problem keeping up with modern traffic and the AC should not noticeably drag it down even with the old power-hungry York 2-cylinder compressor (if the AC works). Judging by the master cylinder this car has power drum brakes. Upgrading to front discs is a straightforward bolt-on job. Can’t tell from the photos whether it has reclining seats. Although a California car it would be nice to see some underside photos to verify rust-free condition.

    I’d be tempted myself but it’s on the wrong coast. (Those on the right coast melted away ages ago if driven in the winter.)

    Like 18
    • Avatar photo Jim

      Nice to see a comment about old AMC’s from someone who actually knows what they are talking about. I’ve been an AMC guy for years and I read comments all the time from people who really have no clue about American Motors and who should really just keep their “mouths” shut. Especially frustrating when I’ve brought one of my AMC’s to a local show and listen to the “experts” tell their buddies all about my car, and what an AMC was.
      Thank you for the informative (and well-informed) post.

      Like 11
      • Avatar photo ramblergarage

        You said it. I have been told my 51 Nash Rambler is a Metropolitan.

        Like 4
    • Avatar photo W9BAG

      So until 1972, vacuum wipers were standard ? I recall that AMC sorta dragged their feet with the vacuum wipers. I suppose it was to keep costs down. I really like this color and body style. I would like to have a paint less dent removal place look at the dent on the side.

      Like 1
  3. Avatar photo Sherminator

    I have the same flashback every time I see a Matador. “One Adam-12, one Adam-12, see the man…”

    Like 17
    • Avatar photo Arthell64

      Adam 12 is what I thought of when I saw this as well

      Like 5
      • Avatar photo WILLIAM BABYAK

        Right away, I thought of “Training Wheels”, the fifth-season episode which contains the second-best pursuit of the whole series.
        ADAM-12’s pilot episode, “The Impossible Mission”, included a truly memorable pursuit, which predated BULLITT by a year.

        Like 0
  4. Avatar photo art

    I want to shop in that warehouse…lol

    Like 3
  5. Avatar photo Nevadahalfrack Member

    Scotty, If a shopping cart made that dent I can tell you where it probably happened-the bottom row of a downhill parking lot at a Coast to Coast Hardware store when a guy bought every last anvil on the close out sale! That’s a sizable ding..

    Like 7
  6. Avatar photo Mitch Ross Member

    I want this real bas. Just too many AMC projects on the burners

    Like 1
  7. Avatar photo Del


    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo YourSoundMan

    That bench front seat looks like it’s been sat in by a customer only one time!

    Like 2
  9. Avatar photo Stilbo

    With a built AMC 390 this’d be a killer sleeper.

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Boyd

    This car brings back fond memories of Mark Donohue driving a Penske prepared Matador in 1972. Mark gave Roger his first NASCAR victory driving a Matador at Riverside in 1972……

    Like 3
  11. Avatar photo Johnmloghry

    I think I see another small dent on left rear. 304 V8 automatic with a/c. Perfect car for my 51 year old daughter. Her and her husband have been in the market for a classic car to start their collection. They went to LaMay museum in Tacoma Washington and have been excited ever since.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  12. Avatar photo PatrickM

    Listing ended. $4,800.00.

    Like 0
  13. Avatar photo JustMe

    I bought one of these new, dark metallic green, dark green vinyl top, green interior, top of the line, big, big tires and rims. Was much better car that the comparable Chevs, Fords, Plymouths. Guys that had those as company cars were always in the shop, my Matador just kept going on. Only problem I had, was the wheels, I’m thinking, where so big and heavy. Every time I went in for oil change, they said I need ball joints, sooooooooooo back to the dealer, who would check it over, and say all was ok…But a good looking car, went like crazy, and a GREAT car.,

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo RC Paulsen

      I had a 71 4-door sedan and a 78 wagon. GREAT cars that ran forever. I also had a Goodyear tire dealer tell me I needed ball joints, but when I took it to the dealer, they were still within the manufacturer’s specs. Maybe that was a common scam. I often see people complaining that their AMCs were always in the shop, which is completely opposite of my experience with twelve I have owned. Maybe the problem those folks had was with the shops they patronized instead of their cars.

      Like 2
  14. Avatar photo Hot Wheelz

    I have a 73 model.Bought it in 2003 for $500 and is also a rust free California car that had a 304. I rebuilt the entire car every nut and bolt and is now a show car that has appeared in magazines (November 2019 Musclecar Review) and won best of show trophies. It now sports a tunnel ram 401 making 500 HP. It gets amazing attention wherever it goes. I have also owned every body style of Matador and a bunch of other AMCs in the past but this one is a keeper

    Like 1
  15. Avatar photo jake kelly

    I have one of those! Black primer, sans vinyl top with an old demon spoiler & exhaust coming out in front of the back tires. I call it the “Bad@$$ mobile” (edited, lol)

    Like 1

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