Fresh Plum Humpster: 1973 AMC Javelin

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This Fresh Plum-colored 1973 AMC Javelin is in the biggest little city in the world: Reno, Nevada. It’s on Craigslist with an asking price of $7,500. This Javelin was garaged for the last twenty years and it does look rust-free from what photos are provided, although there is no mention of the body condition at all. Thanks to Barn Finds reader, Pat L., for sending in this tip!

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We’ve already established that I’m weird, but there’s something about a Javelin with a vinyl top that gets to me, in a good way. Actually, I like vinyl tops on most cars. Just think how cool this one would look with opera lights! Kidding! This vinyl top “needs replaced”, as a lot of folks say, or maybe it just needs to go away during the restoration? Being an OEM guy, I’d have a new one put on, but that’s just me. I love the luggage rack, too. Actually, I love everything about this car, other than the automatic transmission, but that wouldn’t be a deal-breaker for me on most vehicles.

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This is a second and last-generation Javelin, they stopped production in 1974. This Fresh Plum color has to be one of ones to look for, collectibility-wise. This car is “fully optioned”, according to the seller, and it has 90,000 miles on it. That’s about two years of driving for me so that’s low miles in my world. Some folks refer to these second-generation Javelins as “humpsters” because of the prominent upward curve on the top of the front fenders.

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The interior even looks good, just in need of a good, deep-cleaning. I’m guessing that wear parts will need to be changed, especially on the suspension, and things like brakes, hoses, belts, etc. I would want to change the wheel bearings or at least check them out. This sort-of-houndstooth interior looks fantastic! As does the headliner. There are no photos of the trunk area or underside shots, but I’m sure the seller will take a few and send them to you. I’d want to hire an inspection company to check it out for me if I would going to buy it sight-unseen, it could be the best $250 you’ve ever spent.

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This is the coveted and rare, in this model, AMC 6.6L, 401 V8 and it’s the one to have. I have seen horsepower ratings for the 1973 Javelin as being 235 and 255, but I’ve also seen 330 hp listed for 1973. I know that in 1974 the horsepower dropped to 235, according to a Hemmings article, which I’m pretty sure is the most trustworthy info out there. The seller says that this beauty runs and drives but that it’ll need a full service with all fluids being changed, etc. You’d do that anyway, I hope? No worries, seller, we’re all over those sorts of things, that’s half the fun of owning a classic vehicle, doing those sorts of maintenance tasks in the garage, just you and your car/truck/motorcycle/boat, etc. Nothing but peace and quiet and relaxation, other than maybe having a radio on and listening to the hum of your garage ‘fridge in the background. This car looks great to me, I don’t see any major tasks to be done other than sort out that peeling vinyl top and spend a few weekends on deferred maintenance items and then cleaning and detailing the heck out of it! Are you with me?! Are there any Javelin humpster fans out there?

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Comments

  1. American_Badaz

    I still regret selling my 73 a few months ago. The best looking muscle car in the early 70’s in my opinion. They just look angry. lol And the dash is the sportiest looking by far.

  2. Rich Truesdell

    The huge drop in horsepower is due to the way the engines were rated, gross vs. net. There was some horsepower loss due to increased emissions regulations, but if the earlier engines were rated net, then the gap would not be nearly as large.

    The one option this car lacks is the very rare Pierre Cardin trim option. Fresh Plum was one of the few colors that you could order that option. Any 401 Javelin with the Pierre Cardin trim, especially in Fresh Plum is exceedingly rare.

    And when compared to almost any car from the early 1970s, that instrument panel with the engine-turned trim, has to be one of the best.

    Let’s hope this goes to a real AMC enthusiast who will give it the restoration it deserves. These cars are now starting to creep up in value after being undervalued for so long.

    Here’s photos of an especially nice 1973 Pierre Cardin Javelin I shot a decade ago.

    http://automotivetraveler.fotki.com/1973-amc-javelin-am/?view=roll

  3. Kent Pearson

    his baby is so sweet! Job #1: Take that damn air filter off. The 2″ intake is choking the poor beast. Job #2 put headers and a decent dual exhaust on her; next tear the vinyl off the roof an prep it for paint. Finally find a set of that PC seat covers or someone who can copy it. After that you can get on with other stuff, (assuming you’ve taken care of fluids, brakes, etc.)

  4. Rock On Member

    First time that l heard the term humpster. We used to call them jammers.

  5. Luke Fitzgerald

    Scotty – those luggage racks are bollocks

  6. AMX Brian

    Proud owner of a 71 AMX here! It’s a nice original car and it even has the A/C still hooked up. Changing things around doesn’t really hurt the value too much, but I’d leave it as is and fix the top. I kept the vinyl on my car. It makes them really pop.(71/72 have the “T-Top” vinyl pattern)

    I wouldn’t be too worried about the auto, you can either install a shift kit as the 727 torqflite behind the 401 is a Chrysler product built for AMC engines and parts are available to upgrade it. Or just swap it for the Borg-Warner T10 from another AMC. People also swap in the T5’s since the later bellhousings from AMC make it possible.

  7. Biggles21

    I’m thinking Counts Kustoms would be all over that.

  8. JCW Jr.

    Still miss my 74. Had 401 4speed put traction bars, headers and a curve kit in distributor. Great fun car. Would actually pull the frt wheels when you got the right traction. Could spin the tires on every shift even 4th gear if really on it. Had to let it go family more important than toys.

  9. Joe M

    My older sister had one of these in pink, now that’s not a color you see rolling off of the assembly line today. When I was younger I couldn’t get over the color, but looking at them today, they are worthy muscle.

  10. Car Guy

    I’d leave evething looking original except the top. To me this body style does not look good with a full vinyl top. Love all the stripes!

  11. Rustytech Member

    I always liked the 1st gen Javlins better, but these have grown on me over the years. Very muscular look, and with 401 under the hood this one would live up to the image. I always did like the purple paint, but I too would loose the final top. Great find and great price if it’s not rusty where you can’t see.

  12. Mike Leonhard

    Mom bought one new same color vinyl top no stripes 304 auto. Nice car price seems good from others I have seen in worse condition.

  13. jack lalonde

    My dad bought one from a guy that blew his motor, it Had a 401 4 speed, it was the Pierre Cardin Edition, it was purple and stripped and had a white hounds tooth vinyl roof, it had a rainbow color interior i remember

  14. joe donnelly

    enjoy my 1973 p code 4 speed. people love it and i’m partial to the gen 2 looks

  15. Joe

    I purchased this car in early December, surprisingly, it is in good condition considering its age and lack of use over the past 20 years (as told by previous owner). There is through rust on the right rear quarter, and surface bubbling on left rear which is common in these locations. Fuel was left in the tank for what I would assume would be the last two decades, the tank is trashed on the interior with rust from condensation, I am looking for a solution to help clean it but do not have high expectations on being able to salvage it and am open to any suggestions. The old (varnish-fuel) is also requiring replacement of the main fuel line and a rebuild of the carburetor. The transmission pan had pieces of an old speedometer gear in the bottom as well as a coating of old gunk, there was no visible metal flaking which I am hoping is a good indication of working properly once I get it on the road, I was surprised to find the gear had been replaced but the pan had never been pulled and cleaned out. I pulled the valve covers today and found them clean with no rust issues from condensation. Tomorrow I will start inspection of the front and rear brakes, shoes, pads and calipers.

  16. RC Paulsen

    Those aren’t the factory side stripes, but I have seen some Javelins with both the side stripes and the T-stripe on the hood. Whenever I see that combination, I can’t help but wonder, “What’s wrong with some people?” One thing you gotta admit about the full Javelin vinyl tops (68-69-70 and 73-74) is that the way they were carried to the back of the fastback roof looks a hell of a lot better than the way GM’s intermediates (Chevelle, GTO, etc.) had the vinyl abruptly cut off right in the middle of the slope. Unfortunately, AMC committed the same sin of breaking up the body lines on the two-door Rebels, Ambassadors and Matadors starting in 1970, not to mention the horrible vinyl half-roof on some 1970 Javelins. Of course, by the mid-70s, ALL of the American carmakers had lost their way styling-wise and were putting padded partial vinyl roofs on every make and model, truly the epitome of the malaise era.

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