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Sleek Survivor: 1974 AMC Matador Brougham

Certainly, one of the most unusual cars to come from any US car manufacturer, this 1974 AMC Matador Coupe Brougham takes AMC’s designs to a new level. There are modern vehicles that make some folks cringe while making others glad that designers took a risk. The Matador Coupe is one of those cars. This nice example can be found here on craigslist in Medford, Oregon and the seller has the price listed as $10,900 or offer. Thanks to Pat L. for sending in this tip!

As a disclaimer, I really love AMCs, they dared to think outside the box and didn’t always follow everyone else when it came to vehicle design. There really isn’t one angle or side on a Matador Coupe that doesn’t look highly-unusual. I wish that the designers and engineers would have figured out a way to design bumpers that met the 5 mph crash regulations without just bolting on big, straight bumpers. But in reality, even much bigger car companies had similar results with bumpers in this era.

See, there isn’t one angle that isn’t unusual. For those of us who like unusual vehicles, that’s a very good thing and not a criticism. The Matador Coupe was made for the 1974 through 1978 model years and they were supposed to give people who wanted a sporty two-door Matador another option. Nobody can argue that they aren’t distinctive, that’s for sure. The Brougham models added some extra features. This would really be a unique car to drive on the weekends and to car shows.

The interior looks very well-preserved and the seller says that it has around 33,000 miles on it so it should be well-preserved unless it was a desert southwest car in which case some of the interior bits may be cracked from the sun but this one looks pristine. Speaking of miles, the seller doesn’t show us the engine in any of the eleven photos that they’ve uploaded to the craigslist ad, but they say that it’s a 304 V8 which should be AMC’s 150-hp version. They don’t say how it runs but I’m assuming that it runs as well as the rest of the car looks. Are there any fans of the Matador Coupe out there?


  1. GuernseyPagoda Member

    I’m sure that it made, and will make someone a fine automobile, but my personal opinion is that either this vehicle or the old Citroens are the ugliest vehicles ever produced. Good luck to the seller and the new buyer.

    Like 14
    • Tman

      I completely agree. I thought why would anyone buy an ugly car. The nose of that car needed to be like a Vette. Pop up headlights and the rear angled the other way or flat with rectangular taillights. Add a small rear spoiler. If only!

      Like 1
  2. Flmikey

    I can’t see myself at an AMC dealership back then saying…mummm….I’ll take it! Now, however, I may be a buyer….nice find!!!

    Like 9
  3. kiteflier

    Ah yes the original flying brick.I knew the head of marketing at the time and what a job that guy had.

    Like 6
    • That AMC Guy

      Actually that’s the term that was used to describe the previous-generation Matador 2-door when Mark Donohue took it racing. This design is considerably swoopier.

      Like 5
      • Little_Cars

        I thought the “brick” epitaph was applied to Volvos of a certain age. Never heard it used in relation to Donohue and the Matadors. Learn something new every afternoon!

        Like 2
  4. Vegaman Dan

    When in high school in the 80’s, a friend had an AMC Matador Barcelona. Black on black, vinyl top. 304 V8. It was wide, low, fat and… well fat. In black, it looked pretty good, but those headlights just killed the appearance.

    Comfy bench seat.

    Gutless for actual performance. Too much smog control devices and detuning by the OEM.

    Like 5
  5. Pookie Jamie

    On top of the 90s Lincoln MarkVII, this is my second best…. 68Corvette taillight sports coupe… this is unusual and awesome at the same time. Good luck to the new owner. 10k is too steep for me

    Like 3
  6. Stevieg Member

    The seller must owe their crack dealer a boat load of money to be asking over 10 grand for it. Sure, it is very clean. Sure, it is nicely equipped. But it is still an AMC Matador lol!
    I actually do like these. I had one. Same year, brougham like this. 232 inline 6 with a 3 on the tree. What a handful to drive that car was! I sure do miss it though.

    Like 3
  7. DualJetfire

    This is, of course, the 70s version of the 54 Nash Country Club. You could get one with a 401, the equivalent of the Lemans version. AMC made a marketing mistake by not labeling its top of the line performance model Lemans.

    Like 3
    • bone

      Since Pontiac had a Lemans model out at the time this Matador was out they probably couldn’t

      Like 1
  8. Rex Kahrs Member

    No cringing here. I like these cars, and to see them in person they are really interesting. Performance might not be all that good, but that’s not why you’d own one of these. I’d own it because it’s DIFFERENT.

    Unfortunately, most car shows I go to (and their attendees) are wholly focused on the same old stuff: Mustangs, Camaros, Chevelles, Corvettes, and GTOs. When I went to the Mecum Kissimmee auction back in January (the Bullitt Mustang was there), there were something like 3000 cars there. With so many cars, I decided not to look at any of those same-old cars, and only look at unusual stuff. The ratio was 10-to-1 or more….hundreds of Mustangs and Corvettes etc, but I enjoyed the oddball cars a lot more than seeing yet another resto-modded Camaro etc.

    But as Matt Foley said, “I’m not the NORM”.

    Like 28
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Well said, sir! And, 10 extra points for a Matt Foley reference.

      Like 12
    • Geebee

      Funny, an hour or so before I saw this car, I was watching old Matt Foley skits on YouTube.

      Like 3
  9. jerry z

    I can’t believe the shape of the car! Absolutely stunning! There maybe many critics of this car but also like these from the days of Mark Donohue and Bobby Allison driving these cars in NASCAR. Some says price is high but when all you need to do is drive it, what a bargain!

    Like 5
  10. Carnut Dan

    I know they used a similar car in a 70s era James Bond movie for the baddies to drive. There has been a red one with white stripes on the side that comes to the Adirondack National car show too! I do like how different they are.

    Like 3
  11. David Painter

    With shaved bumpers, this car is transformed. I’ve seen one in cherry red, and it was a stunner.

    Like 7
  12. dave brennan

    Mine was brown with the brown vinyl top. Over the time I had it , I had the 304, the 360 and the 401 in it. All nice performers. L60/15 out back with air shocks just to bump it up 2 in. Headers, Edelbrock high-rise manifold, and a 4-barrel. The car sounded sweet and ran like a r##ed ape. Wish I still had it and if this one was closer I’d be all over it

    Like 4
  13. Gunner

    I agree David. Lose those bumpers, and it gives these cars a whole new look. I know, I’ve seen it. Add some wider wheels and give it the right stance, and your ready for Saturday night cruising. I am with Rex. I like different as well. So do a lot of other people. I remember the Bond film with a flying Mat. Awesome. I used to think these were hideous. Like my taste in beer, things have changed. How often do you see one of these? About as often as a phone booth. Nice write up Scotty!

    Like 8
    • Little_Cars

      Needs a set of M500 wheels just like every AMC of the period.

  14. Rusty

    I loved the shape when these were new, and was shocked that the reviewers claimed that the interior space was no worse than a 2-door GM collonade or a Cordoba. I thought the lights for and after were overdone when I first saw one, but it grew on me. I didn’t want to own something so large, but it would have been on my short list for sure if I were shopping mid sized couples. I’m relieved that this one is in the opposite corner of the country from me.

    Like 4
  15. Marty

    We had a ‘74, dark green/on green With a 304. I was just a kid but I still remember the rumble of that 304. If I could find one just like it I’d buy it! These cars are rare enough, let alone to find a green on green model.

    Like 3
  16. davew833

    Didn’t Officer Pete Malloy drive one of these in the last seasons of Adam-12? It was the same time they switched to the Matador Police Interceptor sedan for their patrol car.

    Like 7
  17. John

    For me these cars never looked good with a vinyl top. I always liked the the Matador X. In red or black, with a black interior, and nice wheels and wider tires those cars looked good. Remove the front and rear bumpers and they look great.
    I always thought about shaving the headlight bumps off so the hood had a clean sweep to the grille, then mount rectangular headlamps into a custom made grille.

    Like 1
  18. Mike74

    Yes davew833, Pete Malloy did drive one in the Adam12 tv show. He traded in a 67 Mustang for the Matador, his was the same color. I am an Adam12 fan and still watch the show in reruns

    Like 3
  19. Matthew Gowdy

    I love “ugly”, orphan cars of this type. It really is one of the ugliest I’ve seen in a long time. Up until two weeks ago. I just found and bought a Nash 600 Super with 18,xxx documented miles on it.
    It comes within the top 10 of the most unique, unusual cars ever made. You either love em or hate em, there seems to be NO midle ground lol.

    Like 2
  20. Karl

    I give AMC credit for coming out with a couple really nice cars but in my opinion this is NOT one of them. This one should come with a shopping bag for the driver to wear so nobody can see who he is!

  21. Ron L.

    “So that’s a Matador”! …as the old commercial for them would say.

    Like 1
  22. Larry D

    These Matadors remind me of the Boat Tail Rivieras of 1971-73. You either love them or you hate them. I happen to love both!

    Like 3
  23. Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking car. My parents had a 1974 Matador when I was a boy.

  24. KC John Member

    If you don’t think this beauty would draw a crowd anywhere you take it….check out the # of comments. I dig it. Find another one for this money. Good luck to happy new owner.

    Like 2
  25. Dennis M

    I liked these when they were new and they have grown on me. Think about all the complaints about all of today’s cars looking alike – can’t say that about the Matador! A nice driver’s car by the way, had a number of them as field cars and I was driving 50k a year in those days, so I spent some time in them! My CB ‘handle’ was “Bullfighter”.

    Like 2
  26. Rex Kahrs Member

    Break one-nine you got the Bullfighter here, come on? Love it.

    • Dennis M

      Remember the “Monfort Lane”?

      In the ’70’s all you needed was a good radar detector and a CB radio and you were golden!

  27. Juan (alias)

    My ex wife drove one when I met her. 74 Brougham model, brown puke color. Start it up and it made a sucking noise from all the cracked and broken vacuum lines under the hood. AMC must have bought every leftover part from all the majors because every component of this vehicle seemed to have been designed with some other vehicle in mind. I still have a scar on my scalp from the hood latch.
    If I had land I’d buy this, plant it in the ground and use it for a target backstop.

  28. Michael

    Whoever buys it, I sincerely hope they keep it as stock as absolutely possible. How many more will you see ?! If I lived in the U.S. and had the money, it would be mine. Very Chevy looking rear ! Also, I know Brougham was a ” coach ” style, but didn’t G.M. have the rights to that name ? In Australia in 1968 they made a Holden Brougham. It was Holden’s first ” stretched ” luxury car, although it was just a bread and butter Kingswood with a longer boot. It was rushed out to compete with the also new and very successful local Ford Fairlane.

    Like 1
  29. art

    “Sleek”? Definitely not the adjective to describe this design.
    In human terms, “it has a face only a mother could love”.

    Like 1
  30. Louis Chen

    I love those old AMC comercials: It’s a Matador…. I don’t understand why the general public hated the before their time car designs! Like the Pacer, the forerunner of the Porsche 928, the Gremlin, Toyota copied the design and call it the Corolla FX-16. Only the Matador is a Matador! One of my niece bought one in ’74 and it was silver with a 304 V-8. I recalled it was roomy and great outward vision, decent smooth ride. As for the body, it was again “Avant Guarde”. My niece was smart enough to order the vinyl roof! Her Matador lasted till 1984 due to rust. She and I loved it!

  31. Mitchell Ross Member

    I’m looking for one with a 6 cyl and 3 on the tree

    • Stevieg Member

      If you drove one equipped like mine was, you might change your mind. I miss mine, but am not really sure why lol. This one with the 304 & power steering might be far more pleasant to drive lol.

  32. Leon

    Excellent example. Some people ruin these cars by talking the bumpers off and then they look like a flotation device crossed with a speed boat. In original unmolested condition these cars look awesome. Seen one in the flesh? No? Then you really don’t know how nice these cars actually are.

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