Project 1970 AMC Javelin SST 390 CID V8

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American Motors was caught flat-footed by the pony-car phenomenon. Known for economy cars more accomplished at hauling families than laying rubber, AMC knew it had to carve out its share of the market quickly. Dick Teague’s styling department launched the Javelin in 1967 – and right on its heels, the AMX. These two cars were AMC’s primary representatives in the go-fast niche, and unfortunately, they arrived just in time to meet high insurance costs, emissions regulations, and soon, a fuel crisis. Despite these headwinds, AMC sold over 227,000 Javelins from 1968 through 1975. Here on eBay is a 1970 AMC Javelin SST (Super Sports Touring), bid to $5600. This Javelin is a rolling project, and it’s located in York, Pennsylvania.

Decoding the car’s VIN shows it came from the factory equipped with a 390 CID V8/four-barrel combination, backed by a three-speed automatic. A disassembled 390 is included – no word whether it’s the original block. The side striping and four-barrel option mean this is a “Go Package” car; also included in that wrapper are beefier suspension, dual exhausts, front disc brakes, and a functional ram air scoop. This car was no slouch, hustling to 60 mph in just over 7 seconds. Race success came easily to the Javelin, with the Penske-led AMC Trans-Am team placing second overall in its series in 1970.

A hallmark of the Javelin was the attention to comfort that AMC believed set its performance car apart: the cabin was roomy, air conditioning was available, safety features were paramount. This interior needs everything, but here we see the SST/Go Pack elements, including faux woodgrain trim, a 140 mph speedometer, two-spoke sport steering wheel, and reclining buckets – the last year these were offered by AMC. The floors and trunk show heavy rust scale at the very least.

The Golden Lime paint should be refreshed, and the rare landau roof is similarly needy. Several undercarriage photos show an accident-free chassis with the usual grease and surface rust. Slightly worse is a front cross-member that’s rusted through. The Javelin was offered in only one body style, though that style accumulated different elements from year to year. By the end of its run, the car had grown wider and longer, with fenders that were almost a caricature of itself. Collectors value these cars by year, color, options, and motors. First-generation models (’68-’70) average around $34k, with bonus points for the four-barrel but a deduction for the automatic. If you were directing the restoration of this Javelin, how would you handle it?

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Comments

  1. HoA HoAMember

    Gee whiz, we’re getting to the bottom of the barrel here. I know ethnic slurs have no place today, but hillbillies, or mountain Williams seem to fall through the cracks, hence, “a hey pa, you knows that old Rambler Javylin in the weeds? Telly says thems a bringing big bucks,,,well, go fetch it son”,,,I know, go to bed, Howard, just having fun after that dismal Ford/Chevy kerfuffle, not doing THAT again, but really, this is pretty typical of what happened to these cars. This is a tired old “skewer”, but got to admit, from whatever camp you hail, it was a sharp car. BUT, it didn’t get much respect, and when they got to this point, it was off to Mr. Popolopolous’ yard. Nobody kept one, and sadly, the motors, which I felt were outstanding, heck, my neighbors could have been turning the crankshafts,, got crushed with them. This car? Good heavens, not a lot of interest then, less today. Now, if it had the plastic on the seats, be a different story, for the sheer novelty, but to sink a kidney into this, I just don’t see it. It was a heck of a toboggan ride while it lasted.

    Like 15
  2. Andy K

    Ya know…. I’m not one for cross breeding cars but I have a well built
    440 that’s itching for a place to roost
    & It would make a great sleeper…

    Like 7
    • AMCFAN

      No need for a 440 here. The 390 is lighter and more robust with factory forged internals. With little effort can make 500 HP.

      If you want a sleeper just change the fender emblems to 304

      Like 8
  3. Richard Webster

    The 1970 Javelin did not have reclining seats. The high back seats replaced them I 70. I had a 70 Javelin SST 360 in 1970 and many parts on the car were unique to that model year.

    Like 4
  4. C Force

    Restoring this car will be a real uphill battle.There just aren’t aftermarket resto patrs for these…no one makes them.Would have to scavenge and source parts from donor cars.And as far as an engine you might have better odds finding a 401 from a Matador

    Like 3
    • Michelle

      Wasn’t the 390 from Ford?

      Like 2
      • AMCFAN

        That would be negative. American Motors built their own V8 engines.

        Like 4
      • Ronald Reed

        And I’ve seen 390 and 401 equipped AMC’s win Finals in Factory Stock Nostalgia drags twice, and yes that’s against cars like the Hemi powered Challenger and 70 454 Chevelles and the like. Also the Marlin was the first AMC Pony Car although 65 Marlins top engine was the 348 or 343. A buddy of my Dad’s brought a 65 Marlin to try to sell, it was New but unsold and had been at his new car dealership for 3 years, that’s how popular they were.
        Also to answer your question, no AMC 390 or 401 were made by Ford. The FE 390 by Ford is heavier and physically larger than the lightest of all.small.blocks, AMC engines up to 401. They never made a big block like Ford’s 352/390/428

        Like 2
  5. JLHudson

    The 390 motor always had a 4 barrel carburetor whether or not Go-Pac was ordered. Yes, there are some Javelins & AMXs that have the 390 without Go-Pac. The 140 MPH speedo/tach cluster was not part of Go-Pac or SST. It was standard on a 1970 AMX & a $50 extra for Javelins that have a V8. This is an A/C car. This car is not for the feint of heart, but could be made nice with some determination.

    Like 5
  6. D

    So my family owned this car from the mid 70s till its sale in 2018 .

    Car had a long history with my stepfather and mother

    Like 4
    • Ronald Reed

      So I’m guessing you’re trying to say, you were conceived in the mid 70’s then?

      Like 1
  7. Michelle

    Wasn’t the 390 from Ford?

    Like 0
    • Greg

      No. AMC made their own blocks including the 390, which I have in my 1970 AMX.

      Like 2
    • Richard Webster

      The 1970 Javelin did not have reclining seats. The high back seats replaced them in 70. I had a 70 Javelin SST 360 in 1970 and many parts on the car were unique to that model year. The 390 was AMC’s own design, it was from the same family as the 290, 343 engines and were enlarged to 304, 360 and 401 cubic inch

      Like 2
    • Beauwayne5000

      AMC also had their own 390

      Like 1
    • JLHudson

      Actually, it is a Cadillac 390………………………………………………………………………

      Like 0
  8. Beauwayne5000

    Rough as a cob, bad & odd yr for parts.
    It’d make a good old school DIRT TRACK racer tho – strip interior including dash tack weld up a race dash & gauges add a roll cage & track reg fuel cell.
    Then whatever your circuit allows ya to run.
    Probably best to dump the Front suspension to someone looking for the parts & go Mustang II
    Could be a fun dirt track car or go WILD & drop it on a 4X4 frame like Grave Digger add Flags a HUGE engine GIANT tires & go on the Circuit.
    It’s not worth restoring no parts

    Like 1
    • AMCFAN

      You clearly do not know what you are looking at. AMC enthusiasts are a one of the most resourceful groups of on the planet. Those people could restore this car and either have the parts or the resources or are friends with someone who does.

      For one the 1970 is unique largely for being a single year of production. Many through the years 1980’s and 90’s were parted out for restoring an AMX. Today nice examples command good money. Especially an X code 390 car.

      Like 7
      • Joseph J. Salas

        I’ve always loved the AMC..
        Javelin/AMX model they’re
        not everywhere you look,so
        when I see one..it’s a Wow-
        Moment..sadly it’s when it..
        is either abandoned and/or
        to far gone..it’s a Sad One.

        Like 1
      • JLHudson

        I have tried to tell BW5000 to “shut your festering gob ya twit”, as John Cleese would say…..he does not listen

        Like 1
  9. PRA4SNW PRA4SNWMember

    Ended at 6K, Reserve Not Met.
    I’m not sure how much more this seller is expecting…

    Like 1
  10. Eddie Stakes

    My first AMC was 70 Javelin in 1977, that was 395 AMCs ago, have driven nothing but AMC cars whole life, drive them daily year 2024 in Houston, Texas. There were only 28210 70 Javelins made, 1/2 the production of 1969, mostly due to big UAW strike. A LOT of unique to only 1970 AMX & Javelin parts reproduced, tail light lenses, housings, simulated exhausts, radiators, dash overlays, I could go on. But 70 Javelin has highest rate of cannibalism because so many parted them out for big brother AMXs. A ton of production 1970 was painted Golden Lime Metallic like this car. My FIRST 70 AMX built A0M397X100090 (look it up) painted this overused color. On the 390, the 70 390s were blowing up right and left whether in Ambassador, AMX, Javelin or Rebel Machine, and why so many “dealer replacement engines” shoved into network. Hard to find. Good luck but easier project than you think. http://www.planethoustonamx.com

    Like 1
  11. Pacerman

    There is a slowly growing list of aftermarket vendors supplying parts for these cars. Get inside the hobby and get educated.

    Like 1

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