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Original 401: 1973 AMC Javelin AMX

Hiding in this barn is an American classic that shows promise. This 1973 AMC Javelin AMX appears solid, and the fact that it runs and drives suggests returning to active service to enjoy some summer cruising is an achievable aim. Its crowning glory could be the 401ci V8 hiding under the hood, although the interior may pack an added surprise. The Javelin is listed here on Facebook Marketplace in Fort Collins, Colorado. It could be yours for $19,900, and I must say a big thank you to eagle-eyed Barn Finder T.J. for spotting this classic.

I have long admired AMC as a company that managed to create some genuinely interesting cars on a shoestring budget. The fact that the shoestring was quite worn made the achievement more noteworthy. The Second Generation Javelin hit the market for the 1971 model year, with AMC following the prevailing market trend by increasing the dimensions of its pony car offering. The seller located this 1973 Javelin AMX in a barn beneath a layer of dust. A quick squirt with a hose revealed Snow White paint that looks surprisingly good. The car’s history is unclear, but there is no evidence or mention of rust problems. The Black vinyl top appears in good order, and the overall impression is that some effort in a home workshop with a high-quality polish should produce positive results. The Javelin rolls on Rallye wheels, and the trim and tinted glass are comfortably acceptable for a survivor-grade classic.

The seller supplies no engine photos, but there is plenty of good news for potential buyers craving on-road action as an achievable short-term goal. This Javelin’s engine bay houses a 401ci V8 coupled to a three-speed Torque-Command automatic transmission. It is unclear whether it features power assistance for the steering or brakes, but the odds favor that being the case. The 401 is an impressive engine, producing 255hp and 345 ft/lbs of torque. Cars of this genre suffered in the wake of tighter emission regulations, although this Javelin could hold its head high in elite company. The ¼-mile journey should take 15 seconds, which doesn’t sound startling. However, with an auto-equipped ’73 Mustang Mach 1 producing a 15.2-second ET and a Camaro Z28 lagging on 15.5 seconds, the only time this Javelin raised the white flag was against a Pontiac Trans Am powered by the SD-455 V8. Whether the car is roadworthy is unclear, but the seller confirms it runs and drives. That gives potential buyers a sound foundation for returning it to active service if it isn’t ready to go.

I commend the seller for their consistency because we only received one interior shot. It doesn’t tell us much but reveals that it may feature a desirable factory option. AMC produced the Javelin Pierre Cardin Edition in 1972 and 1973, and 2,952 buyers splashed the additional $84.95 for the distinctive interior trim. The Black upholstered surfaces received White, Plum, and Orange stripes that were an acquired taste. It is believed that only around 1,200 examples of the Javelin AMX received the treatment, and this may be one of those cars. The slipcovers and image angle make it impossible to be sure, but the door trims carry the correct stripes. I didn’t spot the “Cardin” badges on the front fenders, adding to the confusion. The first thing it needs is a deep clean, but the interior looks promising. I am unsure what other options it may feature beyond the tilt wheel and factory tach, although I’m pretty sure it doesn’t score air conditioning.

The market dip of 2023 hit many fancied classics, with values dropping significantly in some cases. However, the 1973 AMC Javelin AMX rode the wave well, with prices climbing by around 10% across the board. That raises the question of this seller’s price and whether the figure is justified. Recent sales results suggest it is, especially if it is rust-free and in sound mechanical health. The possibility of the Pierre Cardin trim adds to its appeal, and this factor must be considered when assessing the car’s possible rarity. AMC only built 5,707 examples of the Javelin AMC in 1973, with a mere 1,420 rolling off the line with a 401 under the hood. Factor in the trim, and that total could easily drop into three-figure territory. It might not be a unicorn, but it is a classic that deserves a close look.

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Robert Parks

    If only I had the money and the time for this beautiful car a 401 can be upgraded real easy and the car looks like it does not need much to make it road worthy I hope the next owner enjoys it

    Like 22
  2. Avatar photo Ed

    Thats a Javelin with an AMX hood and Spoiler. Woodgrain teim and Javelin grille are dead giveaways. AMX would’ve had turned metal interior trim and a metal mesh grille with round running lights

    Like 37
    • Avatar photo Big Len

      Agree with Ed.

      Like 9
    • Avatar photo Jett

      But there was a javelin AMX model. A 401 would certainly fit that bill.

      Like 2
  3. Avatar photo amx68@aol.com

    If someone is serious about this car, do your research. There is a mixed bag of items that indicate this car may be a sheep in wolfs’ clothing. Start with asking for the VIN.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Greg

      I had a true 73 AMX with 401-4 speed. Dam I miss that car.

      Like 1
  4. Avatar photo DRV

    As a result of your questioning I looked at a dozen posted online.
    I saw badging and one common paint stripe design which this one does not share All had a metal dash. These door panels are AMX. I didn’t see any vinyl roofs.
    It boils down to the dash for me because al else can be personal customizing.
    Is the wood dash an option for the AMX?

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Stephen Wilson

      I had a friend that bought a 401/ 4-speed new in 1974 and it was fantastic car in the corners and in a straight line run. I liked it so much that I cloned it on a 73 Javelin. The AMX had round parking lights in the grill, a rear spoiler, turned metal dash, full instruments and several other options including a fiberglass hood that was a few inches taller than the steel hood the Javelin used. I wish I had one today.

      Like 2
    • Avatar photo Kevin Yancey

      I lived behind the AMC factory in Kenosha. I worked inside what was left of it, as Daimler-Chrysler from 2002-2006. My first car was a 73 Javelin, with the 360 V8 auto. There are 401 equipped Javelins out there that served as police cars, but I haven’t seen an AMX from 73 or 74. Unless someone ordered this car specifically, there’s less chance it’s original as pictured.

      Like 1
  5. Avatar photo Rock

    I agree with Ed, it’s a Javelin. I worked for AMC for years, never saw a AMX like this.

    Like 6
  6. Avatar photo Honcho49er

    This is not an AMX. Big difference in price between a Javelin and a Javelin AMX.

    Like 10
  7. Avatar photo Dan

    I wonder if all those stripes are original. The vinyl roof looks original though, and this car looks a lot better without it. And where are the Pierre Cardin and original 401 badges?

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo Jeff

      The javelin and AMX were in my opinion some of the most beautiful cars of the 60s and 70s. What held them back from being truly great cars was the weak engine block configurations. The 2 bolt mains and archaic valve trains did not like or last long seeing RPMs above 5000. Some expensive machining could overcome most of that but who at that time wanted to take a new expensive car straight to the machine shop when the big 3 had all the stoutness worked out for sticker price. My dad worked at AMC in Milwaukee for years as did his brother. True AMC guys till their graves.

      Like 6
      • Avatar photo AMCSTEVE

        You must be young. AMC used a higher nickel alloy to produce it’s engines and the design resulted in higher reving. I don’t know where you get your info but it’s completely wrong.

        Like 10
      • Avatar photo Jeff

        If you really think the AMCs were reverse, I have a bridge in New York to sell you. Cheap.
        And I’m 66.

        Like 1
      • Avatar photo ramblergarage

        AMCsteve is correct as far as I have read about the nickel alloy in the block. Read it in several books.

        Like 1
      • Avatar photo JLHudson

        AMC had the same basic valve train as the other companies. At that time, the only American V8s with “advanced” valve trains were the 426 Hemi, BBC, Ford Cleveland and 385 series motors. Every other engine had the typical wedge-head valve train. It is also true that AMC castings had a high nickel content. My uncle, a lifelong resident of Detroit, said the heavy alloy was from Hudson methods.

        Like 2
      • Avatar photo Tony Marazzo

        Bought a ’71 SST from a guy that built the engine. He could not make it run. I was in HS and very patient trying every combination and it really paid off. So for starters, I don’t remember the wood. I had the ‘there should be a t-top there’s paint job. Car was great pressed into the corners and fantastic in the straights. Beautiful blue paint really fast.
        Seriously, that engine was teenager proof…. sadly the body, not so much… it was Easter Eve when me and another Javelin went racing off to an I35 on ramp and passing a semi that changed lanes I found myself mated to the concrete wall divider well over triple digits. My budy came back and we pulled a really, REALLY long nose off the ground and sheet metal out of the tire. Drove the car home and into the garage. Like anyone who has ever had one will always want another! Damn, damn, damn, miss that car! One day I’ll have ’73, 401/4spd….

        Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Ronald Member

    Faux wood dash is Javelin SST. Door panels should have AMX on them. Paint stripes are custom, not available from AMC. Still a very solid looking nice Javelin. A few more pics including motor, trunk and underneath would really help.

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo Timothy Vose

      Yes, right off I thought SST. I’d buy this if I had the space for it.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo Ronald Reed

        It’s not as it came from the factory so I’d have no problem updating the engine, they’ll make great power.

        Like 0
  9. Avatar photo C Force

    You know AMC was never really serious as far as the muscle cars went.401 being the biggest offering they ever made,considered a small block in some respects….restoring these cars is always a challenge since there are no aftermarket parts for these cars

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Bunky

      IMHO AMC was as serious as it could afford to be, when it came to high performance offerings. The 401 is a “small block”, as all AMC V8 engines used the same block from ‘68 up. However, they are potent and durable. A zillion or so 401 Matador police cars attest to that fact.
      Mark Donahue Javelin, original AMX, Rebel Machine, Hornet S/C 360, etc., demonstrated AMC’s commitment to performance. Remember, they didn’t have the deep pockets of “The Big Three” I’m not an AMC Guy per se’, but I do believe in giving credit where credit is due.

      Like 25
    • Avatar photo AMCSTEVE

      Again you are misinformed. Ever heard of the SS AMX? They were factory made drag cars and only 50 or so made. When they showed up at the track most other makes would pack up and go home as the AMX dominated the scene.

      Like 9
    • Avatar photo stillrunners Member

      There’s a guy named Mark up in heaven that would beg to differ…..drove a big bad red white and blue one….

      Like 2
      • Avatar photo Kevin Yancey

        There’s been a few in that paint sheen scheme, even one sitting on a 4WD chassis in Kenosha! What was even better was the SC Rambler, during the early days of AMC’s muscle cars. Innovation was a key to a company that started out as the number 2 automobile company in the US, ahead of Ford. They started life as Jeffery Motors in 1902, bought by Charles Nash in 1916, merged with Hudson in 1954, bought by Chrysler in 1988, merged with Daimler Benz in 1997, then finally sold off to Fiat in 2008. In 2010, the oldest continously operated auto factory in the country closed, after 108 years and was torn down in 2013. At one point, they employed nearly 14k people in Kenosha alone!

        Like 2
    • Avatar photo ramblergarage

      Of all the AMC cars, The Javelin and AMX are the AMC cars that have aftermarket parts made for them for restorations. Try finding a part for a Nash!

      Like 0
  10. Avatar photo AMCSTEVE

    Adam, if you’re going to cover these cars do some homework or reach out to me. Your article is incorrect and misleading these not in the know.

    Like 3
  11. Avatar photo Jimmy

    Had one of these, when I was 16, brown and tan 1971 401. Not the best car for a 16 year old. Dash was metal, tech and speedo. My mom made me sell it when I flue past her at about 80..in a 35..loved the car though.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Luis T

      Ed is totally correct. Since l have a 73 AMX. No front chin spoiler. I do not believe that a vinyl top was available on a AMX only available on a Jav. C pillar would have AMX badges 401 would be badges not tape or paint or stickers. Steering wheel would be 3 spoke sport wheel.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo Scott Kadash

        Ya it’s been painted and stripped incorrectly, 401 was badges as you say not stickers.
        It does have a Cardin badge on the door panel however. It’s likely a javelin that someone tried to upgrade themselves.
        The VIN will tell you what it really is.
        Nice car though, will make someone happy.

        Like 1
  12. Avatar photo Jon Calderon

    I love these old cars. Remember them as a kid in the mid, late 70’s into the 80’s. If I bought that, def true dual exhaust, and more importantly in SW Florida, AC is a must.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Peter Pasqualini

      I really wish the second generation would have been shortened as the first gen was. That really made the AMX special. Not sure this is a real one anyway.

      Like 0
  13. Avatar photo David Cox

    It’s a sst which could be had with cardin interior. If it was a amx it would be pushing 30k. Still a nice car😁

    Like 0
  14. Avatar photo Ronald Member

    AMCSteve, howdy do. My dad was a clay modeler for AMC from 1959 until Chrysler bought them for the JEEP line. He took me to work with him when they were doing these in clay. He was Lead Stylist on the Javelins and the AMX3.How many speed records did their cars and engines set in the late 60s and early 70s. What other company could do what they did engineering wise with the limited budget they had. Look at the oil pressure, 12 to 14 psi at idol for the AMC V8, the other 3 need 35 psi and up to survive. My built 450 hp 360 in my 70 AMX runs 12 psi at idol and 55-60 psi at 5000 rpm and that’s all she needs. I would love to get this Javelin, but then I would have to find another place to live. My wife thinks I spend to much time and money on the AMX and 1980 Spirit as it is.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo AMCSTEVE

      I get it Ron. I chose my 71 AMX over my last eye after she laid down an ultimatum to sell it. Me or the car she said. Bye bye I told her. Btw my first 71 I bought in hs1979

      Like 3
  15. Avatar photo Charles Wilton Simpson

    First of all the SS Amx, it wasn’t streetable,I miss my 1970 amx with a brand new 401 police motor in it,it was for LA sheriff matador police cars in 1972.

    Like 0
  16. Avatar photo Rw

    Okay I’m the only one that’s going to say something about the mailbox 401 call outs

    Like 3
  17. Avatar photo JagManBill

    Well, its been pretty well thrashed by the time it gets down here, but I’ll add only one thought. When I first looked at it, the only thought that came to mind was “ain’t never been an AMX with a vinyl top”. So to me it was either a dressed up Javelin or an SST…I’m guessing SST as you could option out an SST pretty much just like this one sits

    Like 0
  18. Avatar photo Robert K Wade

    My cousin bought a 73′ AMX with the 401 engine and the 727 Torqueflite Transmission 3 speed automatic brand new,and I bought it off of him years later and it had a factory vinyl top roof, just because YOU never seen one, it doesn’t mean that they don’t exist! Because I had one! And yes,the car posted is definitely NOT an AMX!

    Like 2
  19. Avatar photo Mike Cernick

    Not sure what to think here the car has the wrong steering wheel does not have a AMX package dash or front end and also has the Pierre Cardin door liners in it . Probably just a SST Javelin that acquired parts along its life .

    Like 2
  20. Avatar photo JLHudson

    FYI: AMC 290-401 motors are considered to be a medium block. About 100 pounds lighter than a BBC or FE 428 and ~50 pounds heavier than a 350 sbc. AMC, despite a very limited budget, made the unique dog-leg head & strictly for racing, the trapezoid head. Look up Ike Knupp. Team AMX, in some ways, did way more than Penske/Donohue. With almost no money, they whipped everyone in SCCA class B. Should have won the national title.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Ronald Member

      Thanks JLHudson, few people know about the employee race team. My dad painted his 1970 AMX, in my care now, as a tribute to the TEAM AMX.
      Technical Employees of American Motors used a 1969 AMX with the 343 V8.
      I wish I could upload some photos I have.

      Like 0
  21. Avatar photo Joe DeAngelo

    The dash cover is not AMX. It is the one for the SST Javelin. Would have to see the VIN number to see what this car really is

    Like 0
  22. Avatar photo Henry Nevins

    The author of this article reveals his total ignorance, this car is far from original Javelin AMX. It is a 1973 Javelin only with a 401, if that is even true or was added. If it was a Javelin AMX it would have rally-pack gauges, a turned dash, not wood grain, would have an AMX mesh grill, parking lights and AMX nameplate. The AMX rear spoiler and raised hood were added. The stripping on the fenders and lower body are a homemade creation.

    Like 0

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