Basic Transportation? 1971 AMC Javelin

Am I looking in the wrong places or do you agree that nearly all Javelins for sale are of the SST or AMX variety or at least have a V8? I don’t know where all of the base 6-cylinder cars are hiding, but Barn Finds reader, Matt R., found this one here on craigslist in Monroe City, Missouri. The selling dealer is asking $11,900.

The Javelin received a pretty significant refresh for the 1971 model year. I’m partial to this 2nd generation, but I know there’s lots of 1st generation fans out there. I may be partially answering my leading question here, but based on production numbers alone, the 6-cylinder was not a very popular choice. Of the nearly 27,000 Javelins built for 1971, just over 3,300 left the factory equipped with a 6-cylinder engine.

Aside from some black side stripes, this base Javelin really looks the basic part. The silver paint looks at least driver quality with the exterior looking (based on the photos in the listing) to be in rather good shape. I’m no AMC aficionado, but I look at listings for them regularly and I have never seen a Javelin with just center caps and a trim ring like this one has. Now that I’ve seen it, you can call me a fan of the look.

The red interior also looks like it’s in pretty good shape. Perhaps that’s due to this Javelin having a claimed 74k miles. I can’t tell if the door panels, carpet, and dash are dirty or worn, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed that a deep cleaning can make this interior look fresh again. This Javelin is equipped with air-conditioning, but it is not working. No matter the car, I still find bucket seats with a column shifter to be an odd look, but that wouldn’t stop me from buying this car.

As mentioned earlier there’s a 6-cylinder engine under the hood and a column-shifted automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels. The seller doesn’t tell us if it’s the 232 or 258 cubic-inch engine, but the former was a much more popular selection for the 1971 model year. Maybe the AMC experts can weigh-in and tell us which one it is.

Low option or not, the AMC Javelin is a car that will get lots of looks wherever it goes. I think if my grandma ordered a 1971 Javelin new, she would’ve optioned hers nearly identical to this one, right down to the colors. Would you keep it as is, do some engine and suspension modifications to give it that sleeper status, or do an AMX tribute of sorts?

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  1. Moparman Member

    I’d HAVE to change the wheel covers, they just don’t do the rest of the car justice, even if it is just a Basic six cylinder! Really would blow minds at the local C&C when the hood was raised! GLWTA! :-)


    I’m not an expert however I do have a 1971 base model Javelin. Mine does have the optional 304 V8 but that’s it. Base 1971 Javelins came without all the bright trim at the front of the fenders and hood, drip rail moldings ,belt line trim, rocker or wheel opening moldings etc. It’s my understanding that AMC dropped the base model after 1071 due to lack of sales thus making them rather rare.

  3. alphasud Member

    I like the look of the longer wheelbase but I never cared for the bulge over the front wheels. I couldn’t own this without removing the 258 six and installing a 401.

  4. 8thNote 8thNote Member

    That is a surprisingly good looking car. Im not generally a huge fan of American iron from this era, but I like this Javelin. If it had a manual transmission, it would be perfect.

  5. bobhess bobhess Member

    My Javelin time is in rental cars which meant they were pretty new. The last one I drove from south of LA to Portland literally started falling apart before we even left the airport. The rubber on the brake pedal fell off pulling out of the rental lot. No big deal but a noise in the trunk got us stopped at a rest area to check it. Bracket holding down the spare tire broke off at the weld underneath the tire. No big deal there until we crossed the border into Oregon and the radio speaker fell off into the glove box. Not too good a sound after that. AMC wasn’t the only car maker with problems like that as the new Blazer we bought off the dealers lot in Portland had the bottom of the passenger door fall out due to rust eight months later. Can’t win them all.

  6. bobhess bobhess Member

    P.S. Nice looking car jack! That’s how they should look.

  7. TimM

    I really like the color combination of the grey with red interior!! The body is in really good shape and if I were building one this would be the one I’d want to start with!! A 390 with a four speed would definitely do justice for this ride!! Oh and new wheels too!!!

  8. That AMC Guy

    Aside from the six-cylinder engine this Javelin is optioned out fairly well with power steering, air conditioning, automatic transmission, and electric windshield wipers. Can’t see the master cylinder in the engine photo provided but would not be surprised to find non-power drums.

  9. Mitchell Member

    Swap a Jeep 4.0L straight six in, slap on a turbo, swap in a T5 with a Jeep bellhousing, and go stomp some V8 muscle

  10. Kenneth Carney

    Reminds me of the Javelins used by the
    Alabama Highway Patrol. They looked
    exactly like this car with the exception of
    the bubble gum machine on the roof and
    the AHP markings on the doors. Under
    the hood was where the AHP cars really
    shined. Those good ol’ boys down there
    packed the engine compartment chock
    full of tricked out 401 cube police interceptor. And along with the go fast
    goodies, they also made ’em handle like
    a rocket sled on rails! It was said that
    these AHP Javelins could top out at over
    160+MPH or better too. What a way to bust the bad guys!

    • JagManBill

      I had heard a story once that the AHP sent a few boys up to see Penske. They came back with “instructions” and “parts”.

  11. Claudio

    LS time once again
    Engine /trans/diff/brakes /wheels/steering colum/floor shifter
    These were beautiful cars and with modern touches
    It would be awesome

  12. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    This posting has expired.

  13. Stevieg Member

    I recently told a story about my Godmother having a purple base Javeline. It had stripes going down the sides just like this. It to (I think) had the puppy pan hubcaps, but no trim rings. It too had the bucket seats, but I believe it had console shift.
    The other car reminded me of her Javeline a bit, but this one really strikes a cord with me regarding her car. I would love to have this car.
    I don’t recall what engine hers had, but I am almost positive it was a 6 popper, knowing her & her conservative nature. The fact that the car was a plum purple was really against her nature. It might have been her husband’s influence. He owns a vintage Corvette.

  14. bone

    The only problem I have with this car is that someone with a can of Ford blue spray paint tried to spray the valve cover without taking it off – theres paint all over the place !

  15. George Louis Member

    It is a nice car BUT: I do not care for the red interior, should have been blue, needs console and shifter on the floor, Would like to see picture of open trunk.

  16. Eric

    It is most likely a 232 under the hood. Running the VIN would confirm.

    I know this will probably get shouted down, but a basic Javelin is really sexy, and you have a really nice one here that should be left stock. Anyone could tear this one up and rebuild it as something the factory would not recognize, and IMO that would make it no more special than any other build of any other pony car.

    I do not believe those wheel covers are stock, as I am pretty sure those did not appear until 1973. That said, they fit the car well and could be swapped for a set of dull wheel covers that were right for it. Pictures of those are on the web and a set should be available.

    Javelins with sixes, column shifts and standard steering wheels are sexy, my vote for this one is preservation.


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