No Reserve: 1973 AMC Javelin AMX

Sometimes we can buy a project car with all the good intentions in the world, but various circumstances mean that the project can stall before it starts. That is the case for the owner of this 1973 AMC Javelin AMX. He found the car languishing in a barn around six months ago and saw that it was an almost completely rust-free car with potential. He trailered the Javelin home and has concluded that it is one project more than he can tackle at this time. Therefore, he has listed the classic for sale here on eBay. It is located in Enid, Oklahoma, and the bidding has worked its way to $4,000 in this No Reserve auction.

I’ve always found the Javelin to be an attractive car, and while this combination of Copper Tan with a Beige vinyl top wouldn’t rate as the pick of the bunch in my book, it would still have attracted attention in its prime. The owner acknowledges that a previous owner treated the vehicle to a repaint in its original color following some minor damage to the driver’s side rear quarter panel. Beyond that, the panels look surprisingly straight, and rust doesn’t appear to be something that will cause the buyer concern. There are a few spots in the lower quarters that should be easy to repair. The vinyl has shredded over the years, and the roof has developed a heavy coating of surface corrosion. However, it doesn’t look like it has penetrated the steel, and the seller says that there’s no evidence that moisture has found its way inside the car. The limited photos of the underside reveal no evidence of anything beyond some spots of surface corrosion, and the owner indicates that everything opens and shuts as it should. Most of the trim appears to be restorable, while I can’t spot any issues with the tinted glass. It seems that the seller had intended to refinish the Javelin in Classic Black with a Black vinyl top. If we want to talk about eye-catching, there’s little doubt that this AMC would meet the description in that combination.

While the panels won’t require much work to whip into shape, this Javelin’s interior is a different story. The headliner is said to be excellent, and the back seat looks like it might be salvageable, but from there, things head downhill in a hurry. The remaining upholstered surfaces have deteriorated beyond the point of no return, while the same appears to be true of the carpet and the console lid. Replacement parts are available, but the sticking point is that they don’t tend to be cheap. A replacement for the missing shifter handle will cost the buyer around $60. A console lid would add $65 to the total, but new front seat covers sell for an eye-watering $560 a pair. A bit of careful searching might unearth less expensive options, and the buyer might also stumble upon a company that can supply a trim kit. Like so many aspects of a project build, it may take time and patience to achieve the best results. The Javelin’s original owner ordered the car with air conditioning, and while it blew cold when the previous owner parked the vehicle, it’s worth noting that this occurred in 1993. It’s probably a fair bet that the system will require at least a recharge before it works correctly again.

AMC offered several engine choices for potential Javelin buyers in 1973, and the original owner ticked the box beside the 4V version of the 360ci V8. He also chose to equip the car with power steering, power brakes, and a 3-speed automatic transmission. That V8 would’ve produced 220hp in its prime, which was enough to propel the vehicle through the ¼ mile in 15.6 seconds. Apart from the Edelbrock air cleaner, it appears that this classic remains original and numbers-matching. The owner indicates that he hasn’t attempted to coax the car back to life since he purchased it, making that an adventure for the buyer to tackle. The previous owner parked the vehicle in 1993 due to a broken rear shock mount. The seller has addressed this problem and fitted new tires, but it was then that the project stalled. Since it last fired a shot in 1993, it will require a careful check and some basic maintenance before the buyer hits the key for the first time. However, if the engine turns freely, a fuel system clean might be all that it takes for that 360 to roar once again.

One of AMC’s strongest marketing points from the era that spawned this Javelin AMX was its emphasis on build quality. Their warranty coverage was well above that offered by other American manufacturers and saw the company sell 30,902 Javelins during that model year. Of those, 5,707 were the AMX version. They have built a strong following in recent years, and that is why I am surprised that the bidding on this car has been relatively subdued. Admittedly, these are currently not the most valuable car in the classic market, but values are starting to rise steadily. That could make this AMX a satisfying project and a promising long-term investment. As combinations go, that doesn’t seem a bad one to me.

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Comments

  1. PaulG

    Having owned a couple of these last Javelin AMX’s this could be a nice project. Too bad it’s got a vinyl top, but the rust in lower quarters is common, and patch panels make for a relatively easy fix. The AMX grill might be difficult to find…Good luck to both seller and buyer.

    Like 5
  2. AMCFAN

    What makes people buy a car and suddenly put it up for sale? Maybe they got a deal. Often greed. The reason the bids are not higher could be we are in a world of uncertainty. High fuel prices. Higher food prices. No more free money flowing and if you rely on your rental property the people living there do not have to pay. It is a bad time.

    On a good note. This 73 Javelin is a nice project. The 360 4V is a major plus. They all can’t be a 401 and this is the next best thing. Hard to find today. Most were 304 2V. We have power front disc brakes and factory A/C. Unusual color combo I really like including the top. The car is very original in fact my interior looked the same in the 1980’s. The seats would naturally split. With a complete chassis restoration brakes and lines, fuel system engine/trans pulled, cleaned and resealled. Correct grille is about $1500. Add fresh wheels and tires would be a nice driver for a little time until the electric cars take over and rule the world.

    Like 5
    • Steve R

      Most flippers don’t title the car in their name nor do they run “no reserve” auctions with a reasonable starting price. These aren’t the most popular cars and this is a non-running project that needs everything. That’s what’s keeping the price low, there are too many unknowns to warrant a significantly stronger sale price.

      Steve R

    • Dave

      You left out the most common reason: “I’m out of my league here.”
      Everyone here has, at one time or another, bought a car/truck/boat/motorcycle/etc. based purely on emotion and after the dust settled realized that they had neither the time/money/talent/desire necessary to do the work properly.
      To me, the fact that the seller has it for no reserve tells me that he just wants to pass it on.

      Like 4
  3. chrlsful

    AMX, yes. Javelin, no.
    Need motivation thru the whole build…

  4. Dave

    Had one in the 70’s. Loved the car except in the winter. Posi-traction just spins the wheels and goes nowhere on ice and snow. Friends used to just spin me around the parking lot and laugh.

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