Sans Trans: 1974 AMC Matador Coupe

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AMC had a lock on unusual cars in the 1970s, there is just no question about that. Even cars within the same model designation could be 180 degrees different from each other. Such is the case of this 1974 AMC Matador Coupe compared to their Matador sedan. Grand Terrace, California is where this example can be found and the seller has it listed here on eBay with a $2,000 buy it now price.

This Matador Coupe appears to be in good condition on first glance but there are a couple of things that stand out a little bit, for me anyway. It appears to have been a blue car that was painted silver at some point but not a full color change. But, if that doesn’t bother you as much as it would bother me than who cares what color the outside is. Maybe the next owner won’t mind at all. The windshield is cracked but the seller says that they “have TWO good windshields in Indiana you can pay to have shipped to you.”

This is the big one for me, the big issue. And, kudos to the seller for being honest and including a photo of the bad stuff, too. You can see a bit (quite a bit?) of rust lurking under the vinyl top. They say that the “Only rust is under the top. Truck [sic] and floors are solid. Body is straight.” This is a second-generation Matador and it isn’t one of the Oleg Cassini special editions or the later Barcelona II special editions. The next owner will have to add their own 1970s posh touches if this design isn’t over the top enough now.

The interior will need work and unfortunately we don’t see much of it, but at least there are a couple of front seat area photos, or partial photos.

The engine should be AMC’s 304 cubic-inch V8 with 150 hp. The good news is that the engine runs great, but there is bad news. “Engine runs good. TRANS has a big leak. Car doesn’t move. So I’m selling it cheap.” Any thoughts on this Matador Coupe?

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  1. That AMC Guy

    The trans is a Chrysler Torqueflite so it shouldn’t be too terrible to take care of even if it needs a complete rebuild. If lucky it might just be the cooler lines are leaking, but it might also be a cracked converter neck. (I think the A998 Torqueflite was used with the 304 and that’s a common problem.) The rust under the vinyl top is more of a concern, it could be quite extensive, and expensive to repair.

    Like 8
  2. PDXBryan

    The NASCAR versions of these, like the Trans-Am Javelins, were incredibly bad-ass looking!

    Like 5
    • frank

      Bad Ass and quite a number of First, Second and Third Place finishes, 13 I think..And for styling….Car and Drivers “Best Styled Car of 1974”

      Like 7
      • Jeepster

        Home sweet Home.
        Mr Allison at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway 1977

        Like 4
  3. Fordboy

    I see rust on top of that quarter panel as well as the roof done I?

    Like 1
  4. frank

    Car and Drivers Magazine’s Best Styled Car of 1974. It might be unusual to look at by Today’s standards but in the Day, it was amazing and no more unusual looking than any other Intermediate Sized Sport Coupe from GM or Ford or Chrysler

    Like 5
    • dweezilaz

      Thank you Frank.

      Always a problem when applying today’s standards to anything, especially cars.

      Like 1
  5. PaulG

    As a kid my BIL and sister bought a new one in 74, 20 years later I purchased a blue on blue car w/ the 304 and A/C from an elderly couple….original down to the wheel covers with only 70K miles.
    I’ve owned well over 100 vehicles, and the Matador was top 5 for looks and comments.
    Always thought the Seinfeld writers missed an opportunity; should have been Kramer’s car!
    BTW, extremely reliable too!

    Like 6
  6. Stevie G

    I had one of these, a 1974 “Brougham” edition. Nothing luxurious about it at all lol. Perfect body on it. It came from a farm in central Illinois & the farmer must have parked it in the winter.
    You could tell by the way it was equipped that the original owner was used to basic transportation. It was originally silver with a blue interior but had cheaply been painted black, still with a blue interior…not real flattering. It was the 232 inline six and a 3 on the tree. Manual steering. I don’t recall for sure but I think it had power brakes. Whatever, it was an odd duck.
    I do miss the looks I got while driving it but other than that it really was not a lot of fun lol.
    Later I had a 1977 Fury sedan equipped pretty much the same way. Converted that one to being a power steering car…made it far more livable for city life here in Milwaukee.

    Like 1
  7. dweezilaz

    That vinyl top always ruined the looks of the Matador two door. In all of it’s versions.

    I liked the looks of it then and I still do.

    Plus it was one of the few two doors at that time that still had rear windows that rolled down [unless one ordered one of those horrible landau/opera window combination vinyl roof treatments].

    Like 3
  8. Vance

    It looks like a grown up Maverick.

    Like 0
  9. Michael Ridley

    I have been waiting for years for these to start looking good. Still waiting….

    Like 0
  10. Eric

    This car was approved for final production either on a Monday morning, or late Friday afternoon!

    Like 0
  11. Troy s

    When I think of the ’74 mid size sport coupe models this Matador would have been pretty cool, would have been even more cool with a few more cubes under the hood but that’s just me. Those wheels definitely give it more curbside authority.
    I like it better than the GM’s of that year, maybe a tad more than the Charger and Roadrunner, but it’s a coin toss with the Gran Torino. I’m strictly thinking of looks here.

    Like 0
  12. Mitch RossMember

    Ón my Buckley list, and I have 3 transmissions to throw into it. I think I’ll have to sell one Lerma and my Gremlin first. And I’m going to Loisiana to check out a Pacer

    Like 0
  13. Gaspumpchas

    love the styling of these. even though its a smog era Kelvinator, this baby would look boss as a straight axle gasser and a monster engine, something off the wall other than a Chevy. Mopar, big Ford, olds 394. Good luck to the new owner.

    Like 2
  14. Justin Plant

    Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder…

    Like 2
  15. Anthony Conte

    Dave Kindig needs to get his hands on this one

    Like 0

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