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This One Is An X: 1974 AMC Matador Coupe


Barn Finds reader James L. writes: Here is one you don’t see very often and in a rare color too. We recently featured a similar Matador coupe that we thought was an “X”, but was identified by readers as a non-X model. This one is an X for sure (or someone’s put a lot of effort into a clone) and is being sold here on craigslist for $4,650. It’s in Pinellas County, Florida. Thanks for the great find, James!


The first thing I wondered when I saw this car was “what color is that wild looking green, and is it factory?” It turns out it’s got the boring name of “medium green metallic” and yes, it was available on the Matador in 1974. Evidently AMC didn’t follow some other manufacturers’ lead in naming their more extroverted colors catchy names!


The second thing I was wondering was whether there were bumpers included with the car. The seller assures us in the ad they are included, but that they were removed for looks, despite being in great shape. I’d reinstall them, to protect the sheetmetal if nothing else. You can also see some rust bubbles in this picture as well as some others. The ad points out that the floors, rocker panels, frame rails and trunk are all solid, but with availability of replacement parts a little tougher than with more mainstream cars, the rusty areas deserve careful consideration before taking this one on, especially at this price.


There’s only one picture of the interior included in the ad, and it looks like at least the driver’s seat cushion needs some repair. You can see the differences between this X interior and the plainer interior from the non-X version, though, with a nice center console, floor shift and bucket seats with some surprisingly large side bolsters on the bottom (although none on the sides).


Under the hood looks pretty average, with the 360 cubic inch V-8 sporting non-functional air conditioning and some red plug wires that just don’t look right to me (but are perfect for the Christmas season). A recent cam and lifter change and a newish Holley carburetor along with some aftermarket chrome parts round out the package. The car does have power steering and power brakes. It’s certainly a very distinctive car–are you interested in a green machine like this one?


  1. Avatar photo Scotty G

    Now that’s a great find! And, nice write-up with the added links, very nice work.
    I would assume that bumpers are somewhat of a legal necessity, like taking off your front license plate because “it’s ugly” and then getting a $36 ticket because your state requires a plate on the back and front.. (cough).. (dang it)
    This color combo wouldn’t be my first choice in a perfect world, but it looks like it’s in great condition and that price can’t be beat.

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  2. Avatar photo Vince Habel

    A 401 would be better.

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  3. Avatar photo DRV

    In the top ten of the super ugly. Love it.
    I wonder what bigger wheels and tires would look like on it?

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  4. Avatar photo Karl

    One of my best friends from high school had one of these, a ’74 as well, but not an X–it was the plain Jane with bench seat and 304 two-barrel. We thought it was the ugliest car possible and kidded him endlessly, and he did his best to destroy it. He failed–it took the licking and kept on ticking. He finally gave it away just to be rid of it.

    The main problem with its looks was the excessively protruding front and back bumpers. Without them, this car actually looks pretty clean–almost show car or concept car. The downside, of course is that if you hit something it’s going to do some pretty nasty damage. I believe that some people have cut the bumper brackets to pull the bumpers in closer and look more cohesive, splitting the difference between protection and looks–like, you know, any car built before 1973.

    Like 1
  5. Avatar photo Mark S

    Nice car, great shape, nice interior, still ugly.

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  6. Avatar photo boxdin

    Looks real good wo the bumpers.

    Like 1
  7. Avatar photo Andy

    I used to have a 75 with the 2 barrel 304 engine, in a Forrest green. Everyone used to bust on me for having an ugly car, but when they put their “nicer” cars up against mine going for short drags in the parking lots, the only thing they saw was my rear tail lights. I did an school trick to pull a few more ponies out of the engine – I flipped the air cleaner cover upside down. That left a gap of about an inch all the way around the air filter, but still sealed against dirt getting sucked into the carb. Net effect of a larger opening was that more air could be sucked in. The only way that car was killed was another car skidded out of control and slammed into me head on. Door was jammed shut, so I rolled the window down and exited thru the window!!!

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  8. Avatar photo Barry T

    Love the color and it does not look ugly at all to me. These were attractive cars IMO.

    Like 1
  9. Avatar photo krash

    w/o the bumpers it reminds me of an Avanti from the rear…

    with those big round headlights…paint it yellow and dress it up as the perfect Pixar- Minion-Mobile

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  10. Avatar photo Bruce Rahlf

    Looks to have been repainted at one time, at least the front. Under the hood the shock mount towers were never painted body color. They were flat black. The hood latching assembly would have been flat black also. It is missing the filler piece that goes between the front of the radiator and the body, which would have also been black with a fiber attached. May have had front end damage at one time and they just painted everything green.

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  11. Avatar photo alfred

    I lived in Clearwater before moving to tampa, I have seen this car

    Like 0

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