No Reserve AMC: 1976 Matador Wagon

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This 1976 AMC Matador wagon carries a few scars from being a workhorse, but is still in very serviceable condition. It’s located in North Platte, Nebraska and is listed here on eBay, where bidding is currently at $1,650 without a reserve.

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There’s a few cosmetic flaws in this wagon; you can see the broken filler panel here between the rear apron and the bumper. There is some rust as well, but it appears nothing has been covered up with body filler or other work. It’s nice to see the wagon wearing it’s original wheel covers and thin whitewalls, although the seller notes that the tires are cracked and need replacing. I’m guessing this is original paint; if that’s so, it must have been garaged for at least part of it’s life to avoid fading.

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While the nose on the Matador can be said to be “distinctive,” at least you won’t mistake it for anything else! You can see the dents that the seller notes in the front fender and door from this picture. The seller also notes that the windshield is cracked. I was able to find multiple used windshields for under $100 here. There is also a bent bumper; pictures are in the advertisement. The seller seems to be making an effort to ensure bidders know that they aren’t getting a pristine car, although the unibody/chassis are said to be rust-free.

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The interior is faded but serviceable; the ad notes issues with the back of the driver’s seat and the carpet. It looks like carpet kits are available, even for the wagon, at about $320.

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The AMC 304 V-8 with a two-barrel carburetor should deliver reasonable fuel economy for a car this size if you are thinking of re-creating family vacation trips from the past. While the air conditioning blows cool but not cold air, at least there’s something there to work with. You will need to plan on a muffler and tailpipe replacement as well, but the car is said to start, run and shift well. The aftermarket cruise control even works! What better car to take on a classic family vacation across the United States–maybe catching some car events along the way?

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Comments

  1. Donnie

    I had a 1974 cj5 with the 304 it was a good engine but not good on gas

  2. KarlGustav

    “There’s a few cosmetic flaws in this wagon”

    Not much worse than those it left the factory with.

    • krash

      lol, Karl!!

  3. George

    Is rust through in the quarters ever “minor?” The cable for adjusting the driver’s side mirror is gone too. Minor quibbles aside, not bad at the current price.

  4. Mike H. Mike H.

    This seller has been trying to move this car for a while now. I saw this car with the same photos beginning in September and was amused by the snow on the ground, at least until I figured that the snow was likely from the previous winter season.

    I am a big fan of longroof models and AMC’s, but the late coffin-nosed Matador wasn’t a particularly good car and the 360 was a much better engine than the 304, especially in an smog-choked and overweight beast such as this one. I grew up with a 1972 Ambassador wagon (401 2-bbl) and a 1971 Matador wagon (360 4-bbl) as my primary rides and they still resonate with me; my old man was a low-level (Zone) executive for AMC from 1959 until he was dismissed in the late 1970’s and for my formative years AMC’s were all that I knew.

    But this car. . . It’s been out there a while, and I’ve seen much cleaner examples trading the last few years for very fair prices. I think the current seller is thinking that age drives value and desirability, but the reality is this is a dirt common low-spec turd brown Matador with quite a bit of rust, and the aftermarket isn’t fond enough of the “Spirit of Kenosha” to offer much in repair panels.

    Bring a Welder.

    • Carguy

      That would have been this year’s snow in September. Oddball weather year in Nebraska. My brother-in-law lives in North Platte.

  5. jim s

    at the starting bid of $1650 it would be a driver. car would need to have a PI for more rust. if no more rust then what is in the photos run it till something major breaks. interesting find.

  6. John

    Best commuter car and part time apartment ever. The 304 ran well with little maintenance. It was a college car, I would love to get another! Great car, great price and kind of unique.

  7. sheffield cortina centre

    am I the only one thinking quincy?

    • Mike H. Mike H.

      Quincy? As in “Qunicy M.E.?” the television program? He usually drove a light blue Jeep CJ-7 (with a white hardtop), but did occasionally drive a Matador wagon, which was the count hearse.

  8. jsilves1@tampabay.rr.com

    I vaguely remember these wagons.. Actually like the body style.. If it rides anything like my sisters’ 65 Rambler American,, It’s a good find..

    I like it..

  9. 300guy

    My grandfather had one of these when I was a child…still think it’s ugly. And I’m a bit of an AMC lover (had a ’71 Hornet…wouldn’t die).

  10. David G

    The cool over-the-tunnel Front Floor Mat belongs on a mid-50s Mopar or something, would love to have just that piece of this car!!

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