Big in Barcelona: 1977 AMC Matador

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Polarizing doesn’t begin to describe the AMC Matador, which stood out in an era of automotive design flooded with “personal luxury” coupes. This short-lived demographic of cushy, flamboyant big body coupes put a priority on style, and special editions like the Matador Barcelona here on eBay raised the bar ever higher in the looks department. 

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Of course, styling is a highly subjective matter. Some of you likely find the Matador to be downright ugly but I like its oddball looks. This example supposedly has less than 20,000 original miles and the seller hasn’t listed a reserve, so perhaps there’s an opportunity to snag this extra luxurious Matador on the cheap. The 360 is paired to a 3-speed Torque-Command automatic, so don’t count on any serious speed in this Golden Ginger Metallic over Sand Tan coupe.

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The distinctive styling carried around to the rear, where you’ll also notice the body-colored rear bumper that was unique to the Barcelona package. Other dress-up features were designed to amplify the Barcelona’s high luxury ambitions, such as the vinyl padded roof, fixed rear opera windows, reclining bucket seats, a special headliner and power mirrors, among other touches that turned this into a very special Matador.

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The seller says this Barcelona is factory correct, and it does look like it from the pictures. Some of the immediate work needed is replacement of the vinyl top around the opera windows (or perhaps you replace the entire panel) and sourcing a replacement brake booster. Overall, with no reserve in sight, this looks like a great opportunity to own one of the more recognized classics of the 70s and potentially for not much money.

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  1. jim s

    this would make a great daily driver if the bidding stays low and no rust. i think seller should have fixed the brake issue before listing car. great find.

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  2. Peter RettigMember

    “So THAT’S a Matadore… “

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  3. Moparman ElliottMember

    Although I fall in the “likes” camp for the Matador, I think that the body colored bumpers cheapen the look of THIS car, just my $.02 worth!! It is also going to need paint/touch up work as well. :-)

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  4. Gerry

    This one just does not tickle my fancy!

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  5. HoA Howard AMember

    COOL, it’s “Pete Malloy’s” car from Adam-12. During the last few seasons of Adam-12, they drove AMC cruisers, and AMC tried to get as much exposure as possible. Pete brings his new Matador over to Jim Reeds house, where Jim describes the engine, a 360, I believe, as the show ended in ’75, as that’s all there was ( 401 only offered in ’74) Clever watchers will note, the car shown here is the fancy one like this, but later episodes show a much plainer one. I like it because, I like all AMC’s and Ramblers. I’ll admit, this, along with the Pacer and Gremlin, are a little out there, but just the best AMC’s made. I think these may have been more popular than you might think. Living in Wis., where naturally you’d expect to see more, these were actually quite common. I doubt anybody hung onto them after they rusted out. Cool find.

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    • DorsoDoug

      I watch a lot of the older shows, including Adam 12, in part just to see the cars:-)

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    • Jeff DeWitt

      And as I recall Pete was talking about what great gas mileage it got, I think he said something like 15 MPG. Jim commented it would save them money…

      And these cars are unique in more ways then one, with the right options they can fly! Just ask a Mr. Scaramanga.

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    This one is extra ugly with those bumpers. I would take them off as soon as I got it, you wouldn’t believe how much better it makes these cars look.
    The Matador X with console and buckets is a very cool ride along with a 400hp 401 and a 4-spd, now we’re top cheese…

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  7. G 1

    Needed a cheap car like know ,years ago. Bought one for $325. Drove the hell out of it just because it was so ugly. The inside was a lot nicer. Doubled my money. End of story.

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  8. Andy

    I had a 75, in a dark green. We always joked about how ugly that car was – said it looked like a fat pregnant camero! As I recall, it had a 306 and an automatic. Interestingly enough, it kept up with various friends hot rods, much to their chagrin!!!

    Wish I still had that car. Totalled when another car lost control on wet roads and plowed head on into me. That was back when bumpers took most of the impact, but it was still enough damage to bend most of the front end sheet metal…

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  9. Mike

    Just one thing – not so sure this is a ’77. The round turn signals on the front grill (if this grill is original) would indicate this Matador is either a ’74 or a ’75. The ’76 and ’77 models had rectangular turn signals in the front grill. I loved my Matador and, like Andy, wish I still had that car.

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