It’s Baaack! 1974 AMC Matador Brougham

When we write about some of the cars that are advertised on various sites here at Barn Finds, it sometimes crosses my mind as to whether the owners actually take the opportunity to read our articles. Barn Finder Iain spotted this 1974 Matador Brougham, so thank you so much for that Iain. If this is a car that looks familiar to you, this may be because my illustrious colleague, Scotty Gilberton, wrote about it in this excellent article back in November of 2017. He pointed out a few glaring things about the car, so let’s take a look at it and see if the owner has done anything about the issues since then. If you are really attracted to the Matador, you will find it located in St Louis, Missouri, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding is currently sitting at $9,100, and the reserve hasn’t been met yet.

So, let’s address the first and most glaring thing that Scotty G discussed with the Matador. In his article, he discussed the price, and in particular, the BIN price. The owner had set this at a whopping $250,000! Has he done that this time? No, this time there isn’t a BIN price. Leaving that aside, now let’s look at the car itself. The styling of the Matador Brougham is somewhat polarizing. Some like it, while some don’t. It isn’t a car that does it for me, but I do respect the condition of the body and paint of this one. The overall condition of the Matador’s exterior looks extremely nice. The Classic Black paint shimmers under the sun, the panels look straight, while the trim and chrome all look pretty good. So far then, so good.

Now we open the door and get our first look inside the Matador. One of the things that Scotty noted last time was the seller’s apparent inability to use a vacuum cleaner. It seems that they’ve learned something here because that is a problem that has been addressed. However, that would appear to be the least of their problems. For a car of this type and supposed rarity, the presentation of the interior is disappointing, to say the least. The passenger seat has a sizeable tear in it, while the butchering of the door trims to fit aftermarket speakers is ordinary, at best. It also looks like there is a tear in the base of the driver’s seat, while we can’t see the condition of rest of the interior. All up, I think that it should probably have been better.

Let’s lift the hood to find out what all of the hoopla has been about. As Scotty previously noted, powering the Matador is the 401ci V8. Normally, this would have been backed by an automatic transmission, but not in this case. The owner claims that this is 1-of-5 that were dealer-converted to a 4-speed manual transmission. This might be true, but I’d really like to know whether he has any documentation to back this claim and to verify that this vehicle is one of those cars. If he doesn’t, then the conversion would add no more value to the vehicle than if it was completed by a guy who lives around the corner. One area where I note that things have changed since 2017 is the cleanliness of the engine. It still isn’t perfect, but that 401 looks significantly cleaner than last time we saw it. Maybe the owner did read the last article.

From the outside, this Matador appears to be in good condition, but the interior of the car is a major disappointment to me. If there is some form of documentation in existence that can verify the 1-of-5 claim, then that might have some impact on the potential value. If that doesn’t exist, then that makes this a Matador that has been modified by an unknown party. At least this time they aren’t asking $250,000 for it.


  1. Rosko

    I like it a bunch. The stance is perfect and those wheels are some of the best looking of the era.

    The folks at AMC tried stuff and took risks. This car us certainly proof of that. They maximized creativity on a budget that the Big Three must have looked on at with some envy.

    I had a ’74 AMX and a ’74 Gremlin back in the early eighties. Miss them both.

    Like 9
  2. Bob

    In 1978 I bought a 1977 Barcelona coupe. It was one of the most comfortable cars I’ve ever owned. It had the 304 with a very troublesome electronic ignition. That car was always leaving me stranded. Once I straighten that problem out it was an OK car. Looking at them today I wish I had kept it instead of letting it go for $800.00. The body and interior were in perfect condition.

  3. Cadmanls Member

    AMC did put it out there, just too little too late. Didn’t have the resources to keep R&D alive. This is a decent looking car except bumpers hang out in mid air. Hood is a little too much but all and all a decent looking car.

    Like 1
  4. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    To me this is one of the best looking cars of late 70’s. looks to have nice aerodynamics. Bumpers were not the fault of the company, they were Government mandated. I did own a 74 Gremlin X and a 77 Hornet wagon, both were incredible cars. I’m curious as to what the seller thinks it’s worth, nowhere near 1/4 mil. Not even six figures. I’m thinking under $20k. But to each their own.
    God bless America

  5. TimM

    Rarer than the Mustang and Carmaro of that era!! Never saw one with a 4 speed!! The last one of these I saw the bad guy was driving in a James Bond movie!! It had Roger Moore in it so it was a while ago!!

    • That AMC Guy

      Weirder than that, the bad guy FLEW away in a Matador coupe that was equipped with detachable wings!

      This was in the movie “The Man With the Golden Gun” which AMC must have paid heavily into for product placement. Practically every major vehicle in the film was an AMC product. Moore drove a Hornet Hatchback out of a Hong Kong (!) AMC dealership and did a corkscrew jump across a river. Even the Hong Kong police drove Matadors.

      The flying Matador was obviously a model, but the Hornet jump was a stunt done with a real car.

  6. Just Pete

    Our family had a Matador like this. The suspension was so soft it was scary to drive at speed on winding country roads. Those roads were much more fun in the Camaro I bought with high school graduation cash.

  7. Kermit Netherton

    I had a 1977 Sport Coupe with the 360 4bbl, automatic on the column, and factory aluminum slotted mags with white letter tires. It was a very comfortable car. I won quite a few “Street Races” with it against a few of the common “Muscle Cars” of the day! People where surprised that they got beat by an AMC “Sport Luxury Car”! It was a fast sleeper! Wish I still had it!

    Like 2
  8. Moparman Member

    I LIKE this one! It’s a shame about the door cards, though; for what it’s worth, that was a common thing back in the day. I’ve found that MotoExotica often has the rarer gems with a bad case of “Barrett-Jackson-Itis” pricing! :-)

    Like 1
  9. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    I find the design of this car polarizing: on one hand I love it, and on the other hand I really love it.

    Like 3
  10. Mike Mike Member

    I was looking to buy my first new car in 1974 and liked the look of these but became disappointed when I found out the 401 was only available with an automatic OR a 3-speed!
    So this one looks like it was converted, but like it says, by whom.
    Ended up buying a 1974 Challenger instead… Wish I still had it, you never see the 74’s for sale. Last year, limited production.

  11. PatrickM

    Here, again, we see a really good car that most folks laughed at when they arrived on the scene. AMC mad some really good stuff. I liked it then and still do. Bidding at $12,000.00…so, that leaves me out. Sigh. I’d really like to have this.

    Like 1
    • PatrickM

      Bidding at $13,100.00. It’s gonna go higher….betcha.

  12. Dave Mazz


    Look at it this way; $12,000 in 2019 would only be worth $2,310 in 1974. All you need is some of those 1974 dollars…or a time machine. :-) :-)

    • PatrickM



    Call me a kook if you want, but I would rather own a ’72 or ’73 Matador 4-door sedan than the coupe. But, then, I did grow up watching ADAM-12 religiously.

  14. MB

    The rare dual snorkel air cleaner is worth at least $1,000, maybe 2 times that if it’s perfect. The 401 is a decent find in any car but would be a more valuable item in a 73-74 AMX than it is in this car. All in all it’s a car worth maybe $10,000 and that’s being very generous. I would be looking swap the 401 into a Spirit and take the 304 from the Spirit to power this daily driver.

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