Big Bad Blue: 1969 AMC Javelin SST

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While it might not look like it initially, the owner says that this 1969 AMC Javelin SST is a solid car with only minor rust. It will need some work if it is to return to our roads, and there are a few other issues for potential buyers to consider. We always appreciate it when our readers send us through cars to consider, so I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Larry D for spotting the Javelin for us. Located in Lawton, Oklahoma, you will find the SST listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN of $6,000, but there is the option to make an offer.

Before we start delving below the surface on this Javelin, there are a couple of things to consider. Big Bad Blue was introduced to the color palette during 1969, and that is the color that graces this car. It is said to be original, but the door tag with this information is long gone. I am also happy to be corrected on this, but I have always believed that any ’69 Javelin that wore this shade also featured color-keyed bumpers. This one wears chrome, which seems odd. As I said, I could be wrong, so it will be interesting to see what our knowledgeable readers have to say. The Javelin has plenty of surface corrosion, but the worst of the visible rust seems to be confined to the lower rear quarter panels. The owner says that the car has little rust, so maybe what we can see is all that there is. If the underside is sound, that will be a bonus. The glass looks respectable, as does most of the trim and chrome.

The Javelin’s interior is complete, but it is extremely tired. There are plenty of components that could be salvaged and refurbished, but virtually all of the upholstery will require replacement. The dash and pad have survived remarkably well, while the console looks like it could be restored. There are some positives to be noted here because the sports gauge cluster with the factory tach looks good. Also present is the original AM/FM radio/8-track player. The original owner ordered the Javelin with a tilt wheel and air conditioning. Sadly, many of the components for the A/C system are now missing, so the buyer will need to splash some cash if it is to blow cold once again.

If this SST had been a numbers-matching classic, it would have come equipped with a 390ci V8, a 3-speed automatic transmission, power steering, and power front disc brakes. That V8 would have been pumping out 315hp, which means that the Javelin would have stormed the ¼ mile in 14.6 seconds. Unfortunately, this isn’t the original V8, and it also isn’t a 390. The car has received a transplant at some point, and what we have in its place is a 343ci motor. The power output would have dropped by around 35hp, and the ¼-mile ET would have blown out to 15.3 seconds. The V8 doesn’t run, and it isn’t clear when it last did. We don’t even know if the engine turns freely or whether the removed components like the carburetor are included in the sale. I suspect that the buyer will have some work ahead of them on this one.

I have always liked these 1st Generation Javelins because they have a tough and purposeful appearance. These are a car that deserved to be a success, but the sales figures reflected the mountain they needed to climb. Their most natural competitor was the Mustang, and in 1969, Ford sold 299,824 cars. By comparison, AMC only managed to shift 40,675 Javelins. Further compounding the pain for AMC was that this figure marked a massive 25% sales decline over the previous year. Not only does that make the Javelin relatively rare when compared to the Mustang, but it makes its sales total a mere drop in the ocean as part of the US car sales total of 9.5 million passenger cars for that model year. This one has a few strikes against it, but if it is as rust-free as the owner indicates, it also has some positives to consider. The big question here will be financial viability. A spotless example can sell for around $40,000 if it wears this paint color and has its original 390 under the hood. This one no longer houses its original engine, but do you think that it has enough positive attributes to make it a viable project car?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Steve Clinton

    This Javelin is definitely BAD…and not in a good way. Windows open? Obviously, someone doesn’t care 2 bits for this car.

    Like 4
    • richard bradner

      Why, when you can still pick up a decent RUNNING Javelin for $10K.

      Like 0
  2. Steve R

    I’d rather have the AMX he currently has listed on eBay.

    Steve R

    Like 9
    • Don P

      The metal body looks a lot better on the Javelin, that AMX looks like it has a couple gallons of bondo in the back quarters.

      Like 1
  3. Joe Samascott

    Numbers-matching isn’t a term AMCrs use very often.

    Like 4
  4. Ken

    Not an original BBB car…69 Big Bad cars had color-matched painted bumpers. Very unlikely that both bumpers were replaced with chrome.

    Like 2
    • AMCFAN

      Judging by the chrome bumpers missing isn’t a way to say it isn’t true. They unbolt. You need to look closer. There are tell tale signs that one just can see by just by looking at the pics. I call it an original BBB car.

      Like 0
  5. Kevin

    If this was a true Big Bad color scheme car the bumpers would have been painted to match. They wouldn’t have been chrome.

    Like 3

    The Javelin looks like it is solid which is a plus. The 390 is gone which is a bummer and its an auto. Another issue is no door tag indicating the oem paint color. AMC put the data tag on the drivers door.

    I have known several original Big Bad colored cars that the owners changed the painted bumpers to the chrome. Seems the AMC guy that has it knows the reason. Could be the painted front bumper and that unobtanum trim was sold off already with the door tag.

    This is a worthwhile project bodywise. The very items that make it unique 390/Roof Spoiler/hood scoops/paint matched bumpers/front trim and door tag are missing so…….its just another Javelin.

    Like 5
    • Scott Armato

      The car came out of New Mexico so it’s very solid. I took it to an expert that has several of these cars. He believes it to be a true BBB 390 car.
      I am restoring it back to original save for a fuel injected 401. We intend to drive the car and relive our youth from Kenosha.
      We are in Waxahachie TX Mopar fan

      Like 0
      • capatainsad

        A guy i went to school with had one like that 390-same color.His had Thrush side exhaust. Back in Napavine Wa. about 50 years ago! Those were pretty good driveing cars.

        Like 0
  7. wayne osmand

    Why the hell don’t flippers at least take photo’s away from the trailer and out in the open? Clearly this was found at a clearance sale of a property! far to much for a car, that still needs so much IMHO it’s a $1500 car at best!

    Like 1
  8. sirlurxalot

    “A spotless example can sell for around $40,000”

    Well, by all means find that spotless example and buy because it will a lot more than that to make this one “spotless.”

    Like 1
  9. martinsane

    Im not an amc expert, but the noae looks like it has been replaced as there are no black stripes? Did they stop at the door like that?
    And agreed with many comments, i am not a fan of the state of our union where the mantra is lazy, slightly dishonest and retire off of every sale.

    Like 0
  10. Emery Parish

    I owned a 1968 SST, beautiful blue/green with a black vinyl roof. Issues for a 6 y.o. Javelin are too many to list. Pot metal trunions shot, passenger door wouldn’t close, its window flopped in the breeze, phoney aluminum oil pump failed, master brake cylinder shot, if the rear balance piece breaks(between rear tail lights get your pocket book out. For that matter keep your bank account open for this one…

    Like 0
  11. William Cook

    It may very well have been a BBB car. Bumpers can be changed over 50 years. I’d want to see under the carpet to check for a color change. But, in the end, it’s a mote point without the door tag.

    Like 0

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