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What’s It Worth? 1974 AMC Javelin

The Javelin was AMC’s primary entry in the hot pony car market of the late ‘60s. By the mid-70s, the market had changed and 1974 would be the last year of the car. This Javelin, likely finished in the color Plum, was last registered in 1983 and has probably been in this dark barn all this time. In an unusual move, someone looking to buy the car posted a listing here on Facebook Marketplace hoping to find out what the car might be worth in Alma, Nebraska.

AMC jumped on the pony car band wagon in 1968 after seeing the success that the Mustang and others were having. The car would only be produced over two generations (1968-70, 1971-74) and would spin off a two-seat GT companion called the AMX. Sales were never on a par with the “Big Three”, but they helped AMC stayed competitive during the lean years. As we’re told, the interested party here found this 1974 Javelin hiding from sunlight in a dirty old barn. He’s honest in saying if he did get the car, he would likely flip it. His assessment of the Javelin is that the body is sound and has no rust, although there appears to be a dent in the front bumper on the passenger’s side. It’s hard to determine what the status of the paint is because layers and layers of grime have accumulated after 37 years of captivity. What little we see of the interior is a mess, at best.

This AMC supposedly has just 54,000 miles on it, but we don’t know why the car was taken off the road. Surely, some mechanical difficulty derailed it and the car was simply forgotten about. AMC produced 22,556 Javelins in the car’s last year, but not that many would have come with a 4-speed manual like this one. So, in a quest to ascertain what engine may be under the hood, you can eliminate the two inline-sixes that were available as well as the low-end AMC V-8. Since we have no photos of the motor, this is either a 360 V-8 (3,477 made) or a 401 (217 made). If it’s the latter and it’s Plum in color, this would end up being a rare car.

If this interested party had consulted Hagerty or one of the other online sources, he’d find that the car is worth $6,500 at best in Fair condition. But this one is far from that and will likely need a full restoration.  Since the most it would fetch in Concours is $19,000, he’d better get the car for far less than fair so he can make a profit and give the ultimate buyer some room to justify a restoration. What would you pay for it?


  1. MitchRoss Member

    That car may be way better than it looks in those photos.

    Like 11

    He should buy it for $1,500.00 and sell it to me for $3,000.00 can’t ever beat doubling his money!

    Like 6
  3. rich

    Tree-fiddy, it’s worth Tree-fiddy.
    It’s a Loch Ness monster.

    Like 8
  4. Maverick

    The dirt floors and the rodent hotel inside I would bet the floors are going. Along with the electrical. Sad.

    Like 9
  5. IkeyHeyman

    Worth a dollar three-eighty. I can imagine what it smells like.

    Like 2
  6. Steve Clinton

    It’s the first time I’ve seen a car where you’d need a shovel to clean off the dirt.

    Like 6
  7. Dave, Australia

    Rodent hotel, classic statement.
    This car deserves to run again, wild colour. A three sixty would be ample

    Like 4
  8. 8banger dave Member

    Rodentis Infestis.

    Like 4
  9. Steve R

    The guy is trying to pre-sell the car. It’s likely to backfire since he nor any potential buyer really know the cars condition. It’s a weaselly move.

    He should do his research and make his own decision.

    Steve R

    Like 11
  10. Jeffo

    I’d give him $20 to just wash it. At least then I could know what condition it is in.

    Like 2
  11. Arby

    Best job of dust application I’ve ever seen.

    Like 1
    • Terry

      It’s “numbers-matching” dust.

  12. Pat

    Dollar two ninety eight

    • Moparman Member

      “A coupla two, or three dollars!” :-)

      Like 1
  13. Bultaco

    I think that if it had a 401, there would be a 401 badge at the front edge of the front fenders. It looks like every open space in the car has been occupied by rats and mice. They do amazing amounts of damage. They can eat through plastic, they destroy wiring, and their urine is highly corrosive and will literally dissolve steel after a while. That’s in addition to the smell and potential for disease. It looks like this interior would have to be completely gutted and cleaned, all insulation, carpet, seat foam, upholstery, etc replaced……in addition to mechanicals that haven’t moved in 37 years. Probably cheaper to just pay for a decent one.

    Like 8
    • Bigbird

      I agree on the rodent problem, big issue. Who ever buys it the seller should get a “no sue medical waiver” on this one. If totally striped the metal body parts and heavy stuff, motor, trans, rear end may be worth something. As to price, it is what ever someone is willing to pay.

      Like 2
  14. 433jeff

    Mice are bad news, after you gut the car and paint it with black rustoleum and use a different interior, the first time you roll the windows up , your subconscious is going to go????? Do I smell a mouse?Some cars they really go crazy in and some seem lesser, sticky paper , moth balls,waste oil poured the floor( no carpets)

    • Superdessucke

      For what it’s worth, very little here but for future reference, peppermint extract does wonders at keeping mice and rats at bay. You have to refresh it periodically but mice and rats hate it. If you spray it in your engine compartment and in and around your car, it keeps them out.

      Like 1
  15. Gerald Zawacki

    It’s amazing how all these are kept in a barn, not a garage

    Like 3
  16. Allen

    I think the car is worth 1500 to 2000 in its current state of decay. It is going to take a lot of work to even make this car a driver, much much more to be a show. Low miles are always great but is care, and this car looks like it was put there and forgotten.

    Like 3
  17. CJM

    What a jerk…whoever placed the ad. The question is, where is the actual seller advertising this car. The fact that there is NO engine callout emblem on the fender leads me to think this is a 6 cyl car with a 3 speed manual. This jerk assumes its a 4 speed because it has a stick, but how do we know that? The VIN should tell what engine it has. I haven’t had a chance to run it yet. More likely its a 6 cyl (232 or 258) with a 3 speed manual. Either way, perfect colors and worth saving.

    Like 3
    • CJM

      I decoded it. It IS a 4 speed and the engine code is for a 360-4v. So a desirable powertrain for sure!

      Like 4
      • Terry

        That makes sense, since only 4-barrel AMC V8s came with a dual exhaust. This version of the Javelin was fairly plastciky , AMC cut some corners when building these. The window lifts are especially troublesome.

    • Terry

      6 cylinder cars didn’t come with a dual exhaust.

  18. Tom Hand

    Of interest to all, the Javelin was designed by GM as a possible design for the Camaro. AMC made a deal with GM for design and production rights for the Javelin. Nice looking car with striking design.


    • Ian C

      Where did you come up with that?

      Dick Teague designed the Javelin and he left GM in the 50’s.

      Like 10
      • Tom Hand

        Do you have to be so offensive in your attack on me? I based my comments on what I had read several years ago that apparently incorrect. The comment by Ian was on point and clarified the “DNA” of the development of the Javelin.

    • James Schwartz

      Tom Hand,
      That is all-out false, and it’s completely inappropriate that you spout off such crap. You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. The development of the Javelin was taking place at the same time that the development of the Camaro was going on at Chevrolet. The Javelin was NOT designed by GM, and there was no deal made with AMC for it’s production rights. How about reading a little history, and becoming educated instead of spreading bogus crap?

      Like 2
      • James Schwartz

        Tom Hand,
        Fair enough. Then, Where did you read that bit of mis-information several years ago? I’m guessing you “can’t remember” the source of that, right?
        As an AMC fan, I very often hear blatant falsehoods about American Motors cars, and yours was just another in a long list. One of the more common ones is that AMC didn’t manufacture their own engines, just “bought” them from others. Which is also completely wrong btw. AMC made the engines in over 99% of their vehicles produced.
        Your comment, which was stated as a fact, is typical of so many other comments I’ve seen. If you don’t know something, and all you have is that you “read something about it several years ago from a place you no longer remember”……. then perhaps make your comment in an inquisitive manner, rather than as stating a fact. Something like: “I read once that the Javelin was designed by GM, is there any truth to that?”
        There are likely people who read your comment, believed it, didn’t come back to see the replies, and will now tell others when they see a Javelin at a car show that, the Javelin was designed by GM. No need to spread false information, when you clearly don’t have the history behind it.

        Like 1
  19. Tom Hand

    I remember reading about the development of the Javelin long ago. I believe where I got my facts incorrect was the GM link and the timeline of the FORMER GM designer who designed the Javelin when working as a designer for AMC.

    I can identify with your devotion to AMC historical accuracy.
    Merry Christmas, Tom

    Like 1
    • Tom Hand

      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and the victory celebration of the end of the Covid tragedy. Tom

      BTW, the reason I got on this website was to sell my 1987 VW Quantum station wagon. I am the original owner, 242,000 miles and in good condition. It was custom ordered by a Mr. Meyer VP of VW Midwest Volkswagen of America. I bought it with 14K on it in May 88 and I have owned and cared for the wagon that I call Darth. I sent a photo array to Barn Finds and tried to register as a member but that apparently did not occur.

      I want to put my buddy Darth in the hands of a collector who will love and show it off. I have taken care of Darth through 242,267 miles with no major breakdowns. For 33 years old, it is in great shape. I am having a lot of troubles with arthritis and I cannot do a lot of things as a result. It is a five speed manual, custom ordered, 1988 paint color Graphite that was unavailable in 87.

      It has some rust but nothing major. And Darth still gets a lot of attention at the occasional car show or just out with me on a shopping trip. My license plate is “87 wagon”. I have a set of new Nokian WR $ radials less than a year old. I have never scrimped on maintenance of repairs and my home file on DARTH is about two inches thick. Quality oil, gas and supplies have kept Darth in great shape. I will probably cry when I see him go to a new home. If you want, my phone number is 937-256-6135

  20. joe

    1500 tops. could cost any where from 5000 to get her back on the road if the motors not seized. removing the carpet and scrubbing the floor boards with strong cleaner before replacing carpet should get rid of the rodent smell. my car was in this condition when i bought her and thats what it cost me. a lot of work i did myself. this car has the go pack guages so that makes it an even rarer car.

  21. Keith

    I have a ’74 Javelin in a step above basket case that I am restoring. It has the 304 and a 3-speed. To get the car running and registered (hadn’t run since 1987), it cost me $2,000 as the brakes were rusted to the rotors, tires shot, motor was froze, etc. It’s an admitted money pit, but I enjoy tinkering with it. It’s my 10 year project! I’d say the $1,500 to 2K for this car at hand is about right I feel. The rear tail lights look ok. Just those cost big dollars, if you can find them. Sometimes personal stuff happens, such as a death. That’s how I got mine. Owner died and the car just got forgotten long ago.

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