Grandma’s 401 V8 Javelin: 1972 AMC Javelin SST

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The AMC Javelin was all over the board in the early-1970s as far as their models and trim levels went. They had quite a selection and sometimes they changed from year to year. This 1972 AMC Javelin SST is listed here on eBay with a buy it now price of $6,350. It’s located in Topeka, Kansas and it has a pretty interesting story.

This is an SST, which was the base level for 1972. In 1971, the SST was a level above the base Javelin and in 1973 and 1974 the SST went away and the base model came out of hiding again. Confusing. And then when you throw in the Pierre Cardin editions..  In 1972 there were around 23,000 Javelin SSTs made.

This car has an unusual and fun history. It was the seller’s “Grandmas car that she bought brand new from my Great Grandpa in Hillsboro, Kansas he was an AMC Dealer there.” That’s one cool Grandma and Great Grandpa. That’s it, she was the only owner, ever. There have been no accidents with it according to the seller, but that right side quarter panel looks fairly dented, unless those are shadows. The photos aren’t zoomable but hopefully you can make out the window sticker, what a great car Grandma got!

Whoa, the interior needs a lot of work. The seller says that this car is a “Full Project inside & out” and that it “has been sitting for many years.” The interior is pretty scary but hopefully it can be saved. You can see that the floors are not looking good. The seats are ripped and who knows if rodents have been living in there or not. The door panels need work as does pretty much everything. As they said, it’s a full project inside and out. This car has Chrysler’s TorqueFlite automatic transmission which was renamed “Torque-Command” for AMC.

One thing this car does have going for it is this sweet 255 hp 401 cubic-inch V8. It’s hard to believe that a 401 V8 with a 4-barrel was only a $161.60 option, man those were the days. Grandma even shelled out $377.45 for factory AC! Hey, when your dad owns a car dealership why not go for it. One thing this engine doesn’t have going for it is that it doesn’t run from sitting for so many years. This car sold for $4,735.50 in 1972, the equivalent of $27,945 today. That’s barely enough to get a Ford Fusion or Chevy Malibu today. With Hagerty listing a #2 excellent car as being worth $15,800, can this one be saved without breaking the bank?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. slickb

    I wish my grandma grove stuff like this !!!!

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  2. MH

    What a great car. If i needed another project i would consider it! I love it. Very fast and underrated.

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    Definitely worth saving. Not a rotisserie job, just save it, drive it, and burn some rubber. Then turn on the A.C. and enjoy a Sunday drive or a trip to the grocery store

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  4. Classic Steel

    Do we get grandma in the trunk or ashes in the glove box?
    I wish grannie was a clutch girl in lieu of horse shoe shifter but nice grocery getter!

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  5. HoA Rube GoldbergMember

    I know it looks haggared now, but this was the best car to come out of Kenosha. I could never figure out why these always played 2nd fiddle to all the other “pony” cars, it had everything. Maybe if it had a Ford, Dodge or Chevy badge, it would have sold better. 401 was a dynamite motor and a good, not great, racing history. If nothing else, we proved, AMC could indeed make an awesome, competitive car. Lot of work, but I think parts are around. Be sharp when done, for sure.

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    • Beatnik Bedouin

      Rube, your comment about the Javelin selling better with another marque’s badge is spot on. AMC never really got past its stodgy ‘Rambler’ image with the buying public, yet the company built some very worthy and interesting cars.

      I once described a 390 Ambassador SST coupe in an article I did for a local car magazine as a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing from America’s most boring car maker’ – and, outside of the pile of crap ’62 American wagon I once owned, I happen to like AMC products.

      Legends like Dick Teague could come up with inspired models for a company that was on the bones of its backside for decades. AMC’s 1970s models are some of the most fascinating for collectors, today. I’d only wished the company had had enough money to build both the Hornet hatchback AND the proposed ‘Cowboy’ pick up. Unfortunately, for us commercial vehicle fans, Kenosha went with the hatch.

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  6. RicK

    So according to the CPI, the equivalent of $161.60 in today’s dollars is about $25 less than a grand – so the 401 option wasn’t what I would have considered to be cheap. The real surprise is the cost of the factory a/c; the modern equivalent of $377.45 is almost $2,300.00 in today’s dollars – back when this car was new the a/c was closing in on 10% of the cost of the whole car!

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    • Miguel

      That was a common price for most cars of the time. 10% is what it cost to be cool.

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  7. Nrg8

    So unknown motor condition, but complete car, crunchy in places. Needs windshields? Probably could be a driver 65k entry fee and couple g’s to make it safe and buff up the paint that is there.

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  8. frank

    Just saying, “That’s one cool Grandma and Great Grandpa” is kind of a really dumb comment. They weren’t Grandma or Great Grandpa in 1972, the person selling it probably wasn’t born yet. It was 46 years ago…..the mental image of a Grandma driving around in this car is funny, but not likely……..just saying.

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    • Art M.

      Had a neighbor back in the 80’s who had a 72 GTO that he had since new. He was a Grandpa and in his early 60’s when he bought it, he drove the crap out of it until he passed away in his mid 80’s. Left it to his son, who won’t sell it and it is under a dirt floored carport rusting away as we speak. Sad, but he was a cool old man, who took really good care of it while he was alive.

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  9. Angrymike

    My grandfather had a Corvair Spyder, not sure of the year or if it was a turbo, but I was told I really liked it as a young child. I’ve never liked them till lately. If it was a turbo, I’d have been in love if I got it. It was sold after he had a stroke, so he only had it till the late 60’s. I was born in 65, but I really don’t remember it

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    • Kevin A Russell

      If it was a Spyder then yes, it was a turbo, they all were. The later Corsa’s (starting in ’65) came with either 4 carbs or a turbo.

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    • Tyler

      For her 50th birthday, my grandmother bought a new 73 Trans/Am. Every 3 or 4 years after that, she got a new one, always white with either a blue or black interior, & usually with t-tops after they became an option. Her last one was a 2000 or 2001 model. A couple years later, she had to have back surgery & she wasn’t able to drive anymore. She kept it for another year or so, hoping she would be able to drive, but she had too much difficulty getting in & out. It was a really depressing day when it was sold & went out the driveway.

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  10. Miguel

    Unfortunately all of these Javelins here in Mexico are 6 cylinders. That seems like too small an engine to power this beast.

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    • Beatnik Bedouin

      Was that a taxation thing, Miguel, i.e. smaller displacement = lower vehicle registration/licensing tax?

      It is surprising, as I remember seeing ’70s Mexican market Mopars having ‘8 cilindros’ badges on the front fenders.

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      • Miguel

        I was talking about the VAM cars. All of them had the 6 cylinder.

        It was weird but in the ’60s, all the Chrysler products had a 6 cylinder as well as the Chevys, but the Fords had the V8.

        I guess somebody at Ford knew somebody in the government that allowed that.

        It is hard to find literature about that time.

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  11. EHide Behind

    First off as an ex oval track, paved and dirt 14 &1/2 mile, of 68-70 AMC Javelins, the 401 as to power,after initial release ate gas, slower than a tortoise off line and took a half mile to build up to freeway speeds. They had changed heads by ports, had damn dual tappet springs , low pump up hydraulic lifters. Anything over 5500 rpm bent pushrods, and the big 2,025 valves never had a cam to use em, and the highway gearing In many 8cyl was taller than a 6 banger. COULD not corner, rear springs to onboard and rolled and wallowed on twisties.
    LOTS of parts out there yet and Edelbrock even had an aluminum head carb and intake, hydraulic cam and lifter kit. Back seat made you want to stand up to see where you were heading. As drivers power steering was worse than a tiller outboard on a scow.
    Other than that they were great autos, for grandma’s trying to look cool.

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  12. Beaver

    Not to blow my own horn but this old grandpa drives a Hot rod Caddy 6.2 L 510 HP Escalade, Now back to the SST this could be a great car but I would really want to know if it will turn over and smell the trany. As someone that buys his Bacon by buying and resealing Old cars and trucks I would need to know! I would have loved to date the GrandMa she sounds like my kind of GIRL!!!

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  13. Whippeteer

    Go granny, go granny, go granny go!

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  14. Thomas M Benvie

    Only 470 1972 Javelin SSTs had the 401, while 825 1972 Javelin AMXs had it.

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