Collection Sell-Off: AMC Matador Eliminator + Parts Car

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A listing on craigslist claims the seller is getting out of his AMC hobby and putting his collection of cars and parts up for sale. Both cars are interesting specimens, with one being a 1974 Matador wagon NHRA Stock Eliminator, as seen here in the top picture. That thing just looks mean and I love the idea of a longroof beating up on Mustangs. He’s also put his Matador coupe up for sale, with a hint that swapping the drivetrain out of the wagon and into the two-door might be worth doing for the weight savings. Find this pair and parts here on craigslist for $6K.

Now, I’m not a professional drag racer, but that seems like a deal to me. The seller doesn’t wax poetic about race history or big wins or anything like that, just that the wagon is turnkey and he was fully prepared to swap everything over to the coupe. “I have a 401 block, heads, crank and a T400 I was going to put in the wagon once I transferred everything over,” says the listing, but life happens and plans changed.

Few good pictures are offered of the Matador, but most of can hardly forget its iconic styling. The seller notes that he’ll sell the cars separately, with the wagon listed at $5K and the coupe at $2K. He does promise that “race details” will be provided to the buyer that shows up the fastest with the cash, and I’d love to know your thoughts on what the best option is: $6K for everything or take a cheaper and more piecemeal approach?

Personally, I’d buy both and keep the wagon as-is. Use the coupe as my track support vehicle, and just enjoy the oddball nature of both vehicles. Would the weight savings make a difference if the wagon drivetrain was swapped in? Probably, but then the wagon loses all of its period cool and whatever it did to earn the nickname, “Like A Rock.” Thanks to Barn Finds reader Miguel for this find; let us know in the comments how you’d build this pair of unique Matadors.

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  1. CadmanlsMember

    Love the wagon, build the 401 dial it in and bracket race the heck out of it.

    Like 6
  2. That AMC Guy

    Although I never cared much for the “coffin nose” pasted on the ’74 Matador that wagon really does look mean as h-e-double-hockey-sticks, even with those spindly lower control arms peeking out from underneath!

    Like 5
  3. Steve R

    As it sits, the only support vehicle it needs is the truck used to tow it to the track.

    The above suggestion of making it a bracket car by installing the 401 is the smart move. There is only one track within a couple of hundred miles of the sellers location that runs NHRA class oriented races. In its current configuration as a stocker it doesn’t necessarily make a great bracket cars due to the turn around time in later rounds, the 401 would go a long way towards solving that problem.

    I wouldn’t be interested in the Matador, leave that for someone else to deal with.

    Steve R

    Like 0
  4. Steve Meli

    I would buy the wagon as I had one new in ’74,ordering it with the 258 6 during the height of the Arab oil embargo of ’73.”Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder;” Don’t like it? That’s ok too.

    Like 5

    I’m having a 401 built for my AMX now with 550 hp. That 304 is limited but still can make decent power

    I’m not a fan of the wagon it’s heavy and ugly but the coupe’ has some serious rot under that vinyl top. God i hate vinyl tops. Rest of the car looks straight.

    Like 4
    • JoeNYWF64

      Vinyl roofs seem to look best on mid size GM cars(for ex, Lemans) before ’68, ’70’s challengers & cudas & ’68-70 chargers & full size Chryslers around ’70-72.
      Maybe some others. Saves you having to wax the roof. lol
      The worst car to put 1 on is a ’70’s t/a! I’ve seen a few.

      Like 1
      • scottymac

        Back around 1973, I was looking for ways to make my Mustang stand out from among the millions then on the road. It was a great car, one of few bench seat cars, 302 4 barrel, four speed. I finally settled on installing a vinyl roof. Some people liked it, some didn’t. I think it looked better than Shelby’s version.

        Like 2
    • Steve Meli

      I’d like to try several runs through the quarter.A built,supercharged 304 with low rear end could even work…

      Like 1
    • Jett

      @scottymac—google 1969 Shelby de Mexico…

      Like 0
  6. Troy s

    Never know what you’ll see running in the stock classes! That wagon would be killer with a built 401 but I bet that 304 2 barrel runs a little quicker than some might expect, just not breath taking.

    Like 2
  7. Steve Meli

    You’re right.Put in a supercharged 401 but hide the induction so you’ve got a real sleeper.I’m ready…

    Like 3

    Never cared for this year Matador fugly, in a car mag. a few years ago there was an article about a AMC American with a built up 290 with a CROSS RAM intake that had been drag raced with some success, it was called the rumbler I believe, so a supercharged 304 even in a wagon should be fun

    Like 2
  9. Gray Wolf

    Use the Matador to tow the Wagon! Totally different!

    Like 1
  10. stillrunners

    Sounds like a buy….

    Like 0
  11. Eric

    I would save the Matador–with a little touch-up, it is cool also!

    Like 1
  12. Cris Carver

    Any car named after a Bob Seger song is ok with me & if I had 6k, as well as a place to storage them, this deal would be done.

    Like 1
  13. michael h streuly

    I like the wagon.

    Like 1

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