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Mark Donohue Edition: 1970 AMC Javelin SST

To take advantage of their signing famed racers Roger Penske and Mark Donohue to their Trans-Am program in 1970, AMC built 2,501 versions of a street Javelin as a special edition. The car could come in any color and usually with a 360 cubic-inch V8 with Ram-Air induction. We’re told this is one of those machines, but the drivetrain is no longer present. Having been stored in a warehouse for more than 20 years, this rare roller is in Lexington, South Carolina, and available here on craigslist for $12,000. Thanks, T.J., for finding something a little out of the ordinary!

The Javelin was American Motors’ entry into the “pony car” wars that the Ford Mustang is credited with starting. AMC got on the bandwagon in 1968 and would stay the course through two generations of the car and 1974. The Mark Donohue edition in 1970 was a limited run designed to parlay off the short-term success that AMC was having on the SCCA racing circuit. For about $1,100 extra, you could add the Donohue version to the upscale SST model. Visually, the Donohues could be identified by graphics bearing his name on the rear spoiler and dashboard.

Since the Donohue was an option and not a series, there is no technical way to verify if a ‘70 Javelin is one or not. Proving the existence of a factory original is determined by whether the owner has the paperwork that came with the car when new. The seller’s SST, finished is what may be its original Big Bad Blue paint, has neither of its front and rear spoilers, although they could be in a box somewhere. The only hint this car is a Donohue is that his big signature is on the dash.

At 80,000 miles, the Javelin lost its drivetrain as long ago as two decades when it went into enclosed storage. We’re told the automatic transmission is still somewhere, but the (likely) 360 cubic inch V8 is on the MIA list. From being inside, rust doesn’t appear to have inflicted this car, so the body should be nice and solid to begin a restoration. We’re told it’s a Ram-Air car with the desirable Go-Package and a posi-traction rear end. If you can bring this car back to as-built specs (and ditch the racing bucket seats), you’d have quite the muscle car to talk about.

Comments

  1. Avatar photo alphasud Member

    I prefer the proportions of the early AMX Javelin with the longer wheelbase. Initially I thought 12K was strong for this car. Especially since their is no documentation showing this to be a factory Donohue car. I actually think this is a good deal if the body is a good in person as in pictures. I would keep the color and probably look to install the spoilers, get the car painted, redo the interior but keep the seats and build a 401 with Sniper EFI and enjoy this car. If I was in the market to build another I would pony up (pun intended).

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo Gary J Lehman

      The Mark Donohue “Edition” Javelin was only the ducktail spoiler–that’s it. Donohue ruled the TransAm circuit. To use the spoiler on his Trans Am car, it had to be an option that was offered to the public and had sold at least 2500 copies. I was an AMC dealer back in the day and met Mark at Donneybrooke (now BIR) in Brainerd MN and Elkhart Lake WIsconsin when he and Penske were running Javelins and got to know him some. After he won at Indy, he sent me the winning photo signed and noted to me. I still have the envelope postmarked Indianapolis 2 days after the race. Great treasures and memories.

      Like 5
      • Avatar photo walt

        Your wrong! 67-69 Camaro’s, 68 Mustang California Specials/GT’s & Shelby’s had them! HELLO.

        Like 0
  2. Avatar photo Stan

    That Mark Donohue was some driver. Absolutely bombed around Indy 🏁

    Like 8
    • Avatar photo Gary J Lehman

      walt,

      “Your wrong! 67-69 Camaro’s, 68 Mustang California Specials/GT’s & Shelby’s had them! HELLO.”

      Had what? A rear spoiler? The Mark Donohue spoiler was unique to the Javelin and much taller than the smaller spoilers on Camaros, etc.
      At least I think that’s what YOU’RE referring to.
      Hard to tell by your comment.

      Like 4
  3. Avatar photo CCFisher

    The mounting holes for the rear spoiler are clearly visible on the trunk lid. It’s not definitive proof that it’s a Mark Donahue edition, but if the holes are punched and not drilled, then the spoiler was likely factory installed.

    Like 5
  4. Avatar photo GT

    I didn’t pay attention to AMC performance options back in the day. The “Big 3” had my attention. For some reason I’m interested now, so thanks for the info.

    Like 2
  5. Avatar photo Howie Mueler

    So no transmission either? No mention of it.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Rixx56 Member

      Reads ‘have everything but motor’,
      but we shan’t assume anything…

      Like 1
    • Avatar photo walt

      Kinda strange because the Auto Shifter is still there?

      Like 0
  6. Avatar photo BrianT Member

    I have always liked AMC vehicles, especially their special editions. I think the styling was really nice and, and this is a positive comment, it wasn’t a product of the big 3. If I were to have this car, since the engine is missing anyhow, I’d look for a 401, put a 5 or 6 speed behind it and have a really nice street cruiser.

    Like 2
  7. Avatar photo PRA4SNW

    The Seller didn’t help themselves by not including some free pictures of the “STOREROOM OF EXTRA PARTS”.

    Like 1
  8. Avatar photo JLHudson

    Supposedly, Donohue javelins were built in a batch and have VIN numbers all in a certain range.There are others who know more than I about how Donohue javelins were produced. The other tale about Donohue javelins was that the 360 motor had a”thick-walled” block. Some interpret that as having the same casting as the 390 block which was a bit sturdier than 304/360 blocks.

    Like 0

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