Designer Touch! 1973 AMC AMX Pierre Cardin

It’s difficult to discuss European fashion designers without picturing powerful American muscle cars. Well, that’s not actually true, but it didn’t stop American Motors Corporation from striking a deal with French fashion giant Pierre Cardin to grace its top muscle car, the AMX, with his Midas design touch. This 1973 AMC AMX Pierre Cardin in Upper Sandusky, Ohio waits here on eBay for its next owner to click “Buy It Now” and trade $4500 for this unrestored high-fashion muscle car.

Can I get some ham with that Swiss cheese? Most of the car looks solid-ish but this right-front fender will need more than a little Bondo. Anyone about to complain that this mere Javelin is not an actual short-wheelbase AMX may have forgotten that, beginning in 1971, the AMX became a model option of the Javelin (some details courtesy of Wikipedia). Though somewhat obscured by the perforated sheet metal and tired paint, this redesigned-for ’71 AMX features front fender flares that actually rise above the top line of the fender for a decidedly aggressive look.

In true barn find tradition the seller claims this Pierre Cardin AMX sat undisturbed for over 30 years and no attempt has been made to clean it or even disturb the contents, saving the wonder of discovery and exploration for the new owner. decodes this power-train as the 220 HP “N” code 360-2V and three-speed floor-shifted automatic. Only the 255 HP 401 provided more thrust in ’73. This mostly stock-looking engine compartment suggests that Pierre himself would have remained comfortable driving this muscle missile with air conditioning, power brakes, and power steering all assuring that no embarrassing evidence of perspiration marred his grand entrance at the fashion show.

As if the custom-upholstered seats weren’t classy enough, the designer touches continue on the door panels and headliner. Crafted with silicone-impregnated vinyl, these interiors are more likely to return to their original designer colors than ordinary vinyl. Even muscle-car lovers incapable of “owning” the Pierre Cardin flair must respect the comprehensive package. Some designer models boast little more than a few badges and a different pattern of seat material. What do you think of this sporty high-fashion coupe?

Fast Finds


  1. txchief

    I think I’ll wait for someone to sink $50-60K in the restoration, and I’ll buy it for $15,000 at auction.

    Like 1
    • AMCFAN

      Sounds like a great plan if you do not do any of your own work and have to rely on everyone else for doing everything.

      First negotiate a fair price with the seller and get the car bought more in line with what needs to be done. It is a $1500-$2000 car in my opinion. It is still an Ohio car despite being in storage for years. I don’t think the person who quit driving it correctly washed the dirt and salt off it prior to slumber. That being said I can buy two different sets of nice used Cardan interior for $500. each with the headliner. Can be installed in any Javelin.

      Someone who is savvy enough with the internet to source parts and can pick up a wrench could get this car built (or one like it) and on the road for less then the $15K auction price you quote……and know exactly what they have.

      Not rocket science.

      • UK Paul

        Including a respray, weeks of metal work and engine rebuild (plus all the parts) for $13k?

        Like 1
  2. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    I remember seeing one back in the day, thought it was groovy. Looking in the trunk, I can’t recall the last time I saw a pull tab beer can. Tastes great, less filling.

    • Puhnto

      Definitely groovy!

  3. Red'sResto

    Perfect candidate for an Armor All before and after commercial.

  4. Paul

    Certainly different. Shame the interior has suffered.

  5. John Newell

    If I hadn’t just bought an AMX, I’d be all over this. The car needs a new fender. Big hairy deal. There are still lots of fenders out there. The rest looks solid. The interior is dirty and may need some minor repair which would be dirt cheap to do. So you yank the engine and drop in a fresh 401 with a 727 behind it.

    There doesn’t appear to be anything missing from this car. The engine bay looks complete but for the battery.

    You may need to put an exhaust system on it. No problem, that car came with the best exhaust manifolds ever made. They look just like headers. Back in the day they out-performed all of the after market headers but the Doug Thorley units (the only ones that were made correctly for AMC’s dogleg heads).

    Maybe this car needs floor pans you say. Well I make new floor pans so again no big deal. I haven’t made any for these cars yet but this car would be worth it.

    Then you go through the electrical and wash the engine bay which has zero rust i in it. The original wheels are on it. The head liner will need to be re-glued.

    Then a paint job.

    Plus this car has a functional air induction hood scoop on it. Stock. (With a 2 barrel? Weird.)

    I have to say I had no idea that AMC sold Javelin AMXs with 2 barrels on them. That sounds fishy to me but AMC did strange things.

    Regardless, this car is a worthwhile investment. I just don’t have anywhere to put it or I’d go and get it. Money in the bank is what this car is. Buy it.

    • Tom Member

      Correction 2 fenders and 2 quarters. Extreme rot in those fenders…..where it came from …..more lurks, not even up for debate. The rot in these panels extends to what they are attached to…which is the much bigger problem.

      Super cool car, no doubt, I love it..however there is rust everywhere in this car, doors are questionable……. don’t try to pawn off the rust in this car as no big deal, it is a HUGE deal. Good luck.

    • Charles B

      John Newell,
      In ’73 and ’74 it was possible to order the “AMX” package without the “go pac”
      meaning 120 speedo -no gauges,no dual exhaust,single rear end-non functional cold air induction hood etc….these stripper cars usually only had a 304 cid 2bbl.In ’71 and ’72 base engine for the AMX was the 360 4BBL It was not possible to order an AMX without the Go pac in those years.

      • carsofchaos

        Very correct Charles I was hoping someone would mention that. I had a 73 AMX non-Go Pak (much to my chagrin) , though IIRC mine had the 360ci.

    • Ken J

      I’m right with you… So far the car is working out great… Right now engine running great 70, 000 and some change on car… Interior cleaning up nice, re doing brakes, everything is here, I need to find or make a custom maybe wood top to t handle shifter, change passenger fender, fix door slop, no rust underneath, little body work, paint and I will be crusin this dude down the road… Going to go duals too (turbo mufflers), for a little rumble, slowly going to keep working it, but want it to be a driver and shown… Ken

  6. Chebby

    No comments about that oath written in blood on the hood?

    That interior is the prize here, and it deserves a steam cleaning. Come on sellers, if you’re a dealer at least wash and vacuum the damn car.

    • John Newell

      The idea here is that these cars are barn finds. I expect them to look like they were drug outa a barn. Polished and vacuumed , they’d look like any other used car site offering. Don’t want dealers either.

    • Ken J

      Yeah that was scary… lo turned out to be paint… they sprayed couple other areas to include drivers seat… Interior cleaning up excellent… Ken

  7. Rock On Member

    Pierre Cardin would sell his name for use on almost anything in the 70’s. I remember walking through the flea markets and seeing his name on shirts, ties, shoes, pants, pens, phones, notebooks and anything else you could think of.

  8. Rodney

    Good design should pass the test of time. Very hard to imagine that anyone would order this interior today. Time capsule perhaps, classic car, no.
    Sorry Pierre…

    • John Newell

      Introverts buy cars in neutral colours. Extroverts buy cars that make a statement.

      The most valuable cars are art forms. Those are the cars that attract collectors, not the drab and boring.

      • UK Paul

        It is a lovely thing that interior .. love it

      • Rodney

        Yes, I agree. There is good art and there is bad art.

  9. Sam

    Mad Max Pierre Cardin Edition

  10. Mark Nicholson

    Not a muscle car. The AMX is a pony car.

    • AMCFAN

      You obviously have not rode in a 360 4V, 390 or 401 4 spd. Javelin?

  11. Anthony Miraldi

    My buddy had one of these in HS, in a light purplish color.

    It was spotless sample, all original, 30k miles, had the 360 w/3sp, in 1980 he paid $800 for it.

    The funny thing, it was a amazing chick magnet, the girls loved that interior.

  12. Jacob

    What’s the deal with the 71 grille and amx turn indicators?

    • AMCFAN

      It is original and used on the AMX optioned cars on all 1971-74. It is missing the AMX grill screen. Unless the seller has it one could cost you $500.+ for a nice one. It is the details like this that blow a restoration budget.

      • Jacob

        Wow! I’ve obviously never seen what sits behind those amx grilles. This is super similar to the grilles that were used on 71s. Never would have thought.

      • John Newell

        The money spent to restore most AMCs is a pittance compared to some of the Mopars. The problems associated with restoring AMCs is finding the parts. You can spend more finding the parts than the parts themselves cost. Then having found the parts, getting them home economically can be an issue too. That of course isn’t limited to AMCs. Generally the older the car the harder parts are to find. So if you don’t have a realistic budget you’re always going to be in trouble.

      • Jacob

        Have you ever restored an AMC, John? Your suggests that you haven’t. There’s a great community of people surrounding these cars and javelins and AMXs are far and away the easiest AMCs to find parts for. You would have no problem finding parts for this if you know how to use the internet and pick up a phone.

  13. Troy S.

    Sporty, good looking body style, decent power, but that interior is out of sight! You just don’t get those kind of options nowdays.

  14. stillrunners lawrence Member

    Yep a AMX collector buddie of mine has one…..

  15. AMCFAN

    Not too rare and NOT too far gone but wait a min. My guess is not just a simple fender replacement. I am confident the structure UNDER the fender is gone. That is part of the unibody and most often overlooked on these cars. I have seen these panels used for around $150 and up a set and are the same from 1970-1974. Another area is the floor near the inner rockers and the trunk panel seam to watch out for. Not a deal breaker. I mean guys are buying replacement dash panels and firewalls for Camaro’s

    The 71-74 Javelins are unique as many parts interchange and even with used parts they are plentiful. Windshields are all the same from 68-74. It is funny back in the 1980’s and 90’s hard core AMC guys were only into the AMX. Different story now. The 71-74 has come into it’s own and one of my favorites. It is a drivers car in design. Something to keep on your radar. Years ago I drove a 70 SST 390 4 spd. in school. My best friend scored a mint 73 T/A Red 360 Auto. Black interior. The car was like new. Once I drove it (essentially the same car underneath) I was hooked. So much better all around car. I have had one since. Donohue had his hand in the design change for 1971 and is nice to know you would be driving a winner.

    Wasting your money on a 401 unless you plan to go racing. The 304/360 even better will do what you want and sound great. I am up on the fence here. Buy this and restore or buy someone’s cobbled project of mismatched parts? Spend the money on a nice one? Hmmm. Already have one and I’ll enjoy shifting it myself. Hey why keep them all?

    • John Newell

      These rusty panels are no longer an issue since I started making body parts for AMCs. The real issue is educating the people with these cars that there is a source for new AMC body parts that fit instead of the ill-fitting Chinese junk they’re buying now that are not made correctly.

      No I can’t make everything Demi-quarters, floor pans, door skins, fender troughs, fender patches are all either available now for Javelins, AMXs, Rebels, Matadors, Ambos and rear quarters for Americans or do-able with owner supplied template parts.

      I had someone wanting old Chrysler parts too, but his e-mail disappeared, so resend please.

      • Ken J

        What would a passenger fender cost… Ken

  16. S Ryan

    Step brother had a Black one with 401. Awesome car, never seen another.

  17. John Newell

    Yes Jacob I agree finding parts for an AMX or Javelin is easier than for other AMCs but some parts are still tough to find.

    Send me a chrome nosing for the hood on my 68 AMX along with the two small curved chrome pieces that go on each side will you? And the clips thanks.

    • Jacob

      American parts depot has 2 of the 3 items you’re asking for. I’d go on the classifieds of forums for the side trim.

  18. John Newell

    Thanks, will do.

  19. Dean

    Salesman promised me he would supply a “lid” of the finest he could find and lay it on the seat of my new AMX in ’73 (remember tick-tachs)? if and when I bought it. Good times

  20. Fritz T.

    Having lived in the rust belt…ha,ha,ha- you can bet the tin worms have devoured much of this car. That fender is just a mild taste of what lurks below.

    • Ken J

      No rust below… Car survived… that right fender never seen anything like it though, drivers side is getting repaired… Ken

  21. Ken J

    Quick update… I bought the car and love it, so far no major issues, up and running, fuel lines, filter, ignition and hei distributor and even idles great, just did a quick clean since I have other projects… But love to get into this one pretty quick, still have to unfreeze a wheel cylinder but tranny seems read to go… All in all a super buy and what I think to be rare, I been to allot of car shows recently haven’t seen one… Looking for a passenger fender if anyone has one… The other is repairable… More to come Ken

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Congratulations, Ken! Be sure and keep us informed!

  22. John Newell

    Go on Facebook and look for the Javelin AMX pages. There are plenty of good clean fenders out there for that car especially in and around Kenosha.

    Putting that car straight should be a breeze and yes it is very rare.

  23. eddie stakes

    Nice find, neat car. Fenders, if you have not found one (or are looking for fenders for 68-69, 70, 71-74) or AMX & Javelin used parts, google PARTING OUT AMX & a file comes up off my site with 5 old school AMCers who combined parting out 40+ AMXs & Javelins
    Tell them I sent you.

    As for a facebook group dedicated to AMX & Javelin try mine
    which has grown a LOT in year.

    Cardin. In 1971 AMC entered a pact with him to do the Javelin interiors, this is memo off my site

    The Cardin Javelin Registry has done a great job of documenting survivors
    4152 Cardin Javelins produced 1972-74. You could get any engine size on them from 232-6 to 401V8. Hard to find is 401V8 models, and in 1973 the “AMX” saw Cardin duty, even though 12 Cardin AMXs, all black, were made in 1972.

    I have had 3 Cardin cars pass thru my hands of the 392 AMXs, Javelins & AMCs I have personally owned since 1976, (11 currently a 71 SC/360 & 71 Javelin just came in!) & some of you might remember the “Murder AMX” I had a few years ago, parted out, you can google ‘murder amx’ as Hemmings picked up on the story as several auto rags did,

    Yes! Some of the parts for American Motors cars are tough to find, or obsolete, but the cars are worth fixing up (no one says you have to do rotisserie on it) & enjoying for another generation. If that Cardin car is A1 Paint Code Snow White…..not a whole lot of anything, much less Cardin cars painted that color

    AMX or Javelin! You might get with Nick Alfano at Alfano’s Performance in Kenosha listed on my VENDORS list
    as he has a stunning white Pierre Cardin AMX, one of best in country. Good luck in your restoration, and for the rest of you, don’t let things like missing pieces, rust and other things on a old AMC scare you off. There has been a huge jump in reproduction parts in last 15 years for AMC items, including bumpers now. Eddie Stakes’ Planet Houston AMX

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