Back To Black: 1972 AMC AMX

This AMX first appeared on Barn Finds in March 2021. At the time, it was unrestored and in fairly rough condition. It didn’t find a new home, so the seller decided to do a major refurbishing of the automobile. And now it looks nothing like it did before. Available here on Barn Finds Classifieds, this AMX is in Costa Mesa, California, and is offered for $39,000.

Though the AMX was a 2-seat GT style car built on a shortened Javelin chassis for 1968-70, after that it became a performance option on the 4-seat car it was originally based on. Second-generation Javelins and AMXs were in production from 1971-74 and just 3,220 of the latter were built in 1972. Only 825 of them had the 402 cubic-inch V8 like the one in the seller’s car. When we last saw it, this AMC was painted red (faded) and patches of earlier rust had been repaired.

When the AMX didn’t find a buyer, the decision was made to take the nearly 50-year-old car back to original and mostly stock. The OEM engine with Ram Air was redone and tweaked a bit, with a Ford 9-inch rear end added to the mix. The seller has the original posi-traction rear end (this was a Go Pack car). Equipped with an automatic transmission, we’re told the car runs great and is healthy now.

The car has gone back to deep black paint like it had when new. Whatever bodywork was needed looks laser straight now. The split vinyl roof that was original to the AMX has been replaced with new fabric. The interior has received a makeover and looks great although not OEM from 1972. This was an A/C car, but the compressor is not attached but comes with the deal. All the brakes have also been redone.

A brief video is provided of the car. It’s a compilation of still photos and the car being driven. It looks as though a capable rework of this automobile was done. The photos here are “before and after the transformation” from when it was featured here on Barn Finds the first time. Amazing what a difference that six months and further investment can make!


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  1. Don


    Like 11
    • AMCFAN

      Call it what it is. The seller thought his beat Javelin was a goldmine. The public said no way. He painted it. Now he is asking three times the original ask. That is showing everyone.

      A Ford rear axle?

      I would advise ANYONE considering to have this car inspected. Better still. Take someone who knows these cars. AMC people are passionate and would help out. This looks in the same vein as the Silver Bullet Gremlin.

      Like 6
      • Ray

        9 inch Ford axles are nearly bulletproof, especially on a street car. Plus parts are easy to find and ratio options are huge. That’s a good upgrade for a car that needed work.

        Like 2
  2. Don

    401 not 402

    Like 9
    • AMCFAN

      While I do agree with what you say about the 9″ being nearly bulletproof. I will end it at that.

      The AMC rears were excellent for the street and strip. The Javelin above would have had a 3:54 Twin Grip which is all you need. There is any number of gear sets and parts available. You can even get a locking diff. Jeeps are in high demand and axle parts are widely available,

      Most savvy people in the know use gears out of a 4X4 Jeep anyway. So to sum it up a Ford 9″ has no business in an American Motors 401 Javelin one of only limited numbers built. If a full time race car then maybe. The seller made a mistake with adding a critical non original part on such a limited production car. Big red flag. That is why I would encourage an all out inspection.

      The money spent on the rear could have been spent on new correct seat covers and sourced door panels instead of using self tapping screws to hold them on. Source original trim rings. Paint the motor the correct shade and fix the A/C. NOS lenses etc.

      He is asking what a correctly restored car is going for but didn’t do the work.

      Like 1
      • AMCSTEVE

        You are wrong on the value

        And he still has the AMC 20 rear end. If you only knew how hard it is to find 72 taillights you would know that they are close to unobtanium.
        Why are all of you being so hard on this guy?

        Like 1
      • Deano O'Steen

        Agreed. That Ford 9″ has no business being in the AMC. My Great Uncke and myself both worked for American Motors Corporation. He was number 3 top dog in Parts nation wide. I was 17 years old and a young and aspiring mechanic. I have worked on many Javelins in my 55 years of life. The rear differential was a beast. The owner, in my opinion, decreased the value if the car by putting the 9″ Ford diferential. Slapping a paint job on it does not cover the fact the Ford differential is not factory. What you do to a car for racing is one matter. Changing the differential to one never used in the Javelin, Rebel, or AMX off the assembly line depreciates it’s value. I’ve personally owned 3 Javelin and 2 AMX. The AMX’s are still my possession and have been in my family since both rolled off the assembly line. One is a 68 and it’s my race car. The 70 is all original and has less than 80k original miles. Two of the Javelin’s are still on the road and have been all over the country having won several trophy’s for best in show.

        Like 1
  3. Steve Clinton

    if only AMC had survived…sigh.

    Like 9
    • AMCFAN

      Steve, OK so the seller has the rear end means what? Is that supposed to be a bonus? It was in the car but he took it out and replaced it with a whole other non original Ford unit.

      There were only 825 AMX Javelins with a 401 as stated above. That total is for both 4 spd and auto cars together. What it DOESN’T say is there is no breakdown for the transmission. Take that figure and knock it above half. What is the total of survivors left in 2021? 50? 75?

      Bottom line you have a rare car that is INCORRECTLY restored. You hanging AMC as your handle Steve that seems OK to you?

      NOS 72 tail lights are NOT unobtanum. It’s true you can’t buy them in a 1-800 catalog. They show up on ebay all the time. Go to Eddie Stakes site and post a free want ad. They are out there. You know that too.

      On price Since when did NADA values for collector cars mean anything? Not a go to place for me….or anyone I know. For the sake if a pristine number one condition car (according to NADA) is $57,000 this slapped together build done in six months is worth $40,000? If you agree Steve…..good luck with the sale.

      Like 1
      • AMCSTEVE

        First off NADA high retail is $72,650 NOT $57,500.

        Second; No, the tail lights are NOT readily available and are very hard to find, especially an intact eggcrate grill. Also very expensive.

        Just because it has a Ford rearend doesn’t mean it’s an incorrect resto. Easy change back because he has the original AMC 20.

        You prove my point on the rarity numbers. Go try to find one dude. Yeah I’ve been in the AMC hobby since 1979 so I know some $h1t

        Calm down will ya, I’m not your enemy

        Like 1
  4. Howie Mueler

    Nice, too bad it is not a manual.

    Like 4
    • AMCFAN

      Steve not your enemy bro. 1981 for me. I still have my 71 SST M-Z code as well as 7 other AMC’s.

      Like 1
      • AMCSTEVE

        Cool, I’ve mainly owned 71 JAVELIN/AMX 401’s. 4 of them but currently a 4-speed car. I have two Jeep Cherokees, 79 and 82. My son has a 68 Rebel SST 401


    Cheap buy. Grab it up!

  6. XMA0891

    The owner does appear to have done a nice job resurrecting this vehicle. However, I have to agree with H.M., if I was to get one of these, I’d have to hold out for the 401/manual combo. GLWTA, hope your gamble pays off!

    Like 1
  7. tiger66

    This is a Javelin AMX, not an AMX-AMX. The true AMX was a 2-seater. This is just a top of the line Javelin that continued the nameplate. Cool car, but it should be referred to by its correct name and not lumped in with the earlier 2-seater. IMO, of course.

    This is also on OC Craigslist. The $39k ask seems quite optimistic. Especially with the automatic and no A/C.

    Like 1

      The AMC AMX was a real super car – 390/ 4-sp, top speed of 170mph … designed by Bizzarrini in Italy, only nine made, six survive … chassis No 02 sold for $891K in 2017 … in my opinion, one of the most beautiful cars ever made …

      • Ray

        That was the AMX 2. It was a design study to compete with the DeTomaso Pantera being sold through Lincoln/Mercury dealers. That didn’t go well for the “expensive Ford”.

        Nobody was willing to pay what it would cost since it was “just an AMC”, despite how awesome it would’ve been.

        Like 2
      • AMCSTEVE

        You are incorrect. The prototype is an AMX 3

  8. Chris

    Its a cruiser

    Like 1
  9. AMC Luse Screwball

    Gotta comment on this…..air condition dash without ac under the hood. UMMMM somethings wrong with this. Although it looks nice, I agree, it needs an AMC guy to check it out. From the pics that I can see, the rear does not resemble the shape of a 9 inch Ford. IMO

  10. chrlsful

    I know many go cross platform in their mods but the mopwr rear was often swapped in chevies, etc as it was so stout. No need for the ford.

    Also this is a typical flipper – does not know the Y/M/M as it’s done up improper. Finally it aint even an AMX…trouble is? most buyers don’t know either. “Just gimmie. Here’s the cash.” Insane~


      It is an AMX whether you like it or not.

      Like 1
    • JLHudson

      @ chrlsful: you seem to be implying that AMC used a “MoPar” rear end. That is not accurate. The AMC 12 bolt rear end had an 8 7/8″ ring gear and was sourced from Spicer/Dana. The AMC rea rend had axle shafts with a splined hub. This is the main weakness and can be replaced with one piece axles or, as some have done, machined for an extra woodruff key. It should be noted that the AMC 20 is a bit lighter than the Ford 9″. That extra mass is all unsprung weight.

  11. Charles Simpson

    I miss my 1970 amx with rebel machine intake and 750 Jolley plus 3/4 cam,former member of Javamx Originals of Orange County of California,he should have left the pumpkin intact.

  12. Michael Abate

    Didn’t AMC, in 72, move from the metallic to the flat blue engine paint?

    Like 1

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