Will It Run Again? 1971 AMC Javelin SST

This 1971 AMC Javelin SST is said to be closer to running again than pictures of its current state may suggest. The seller indicates that with fresh gas and a new battery, this 304-equipped example will roar back to life. I’m sure we’d all love to believe that to be true, but it certainly needs to be seen to be believed. The Javelin is listed here on Facebook Marketplace in Troutville, Virginia, for $4,000. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Keith W. for the find. 

The Javelin is a car that leaves me confused due to my personal experience with trying to sell a perfectly decent project-grade example. Here’s the reason: plenty of Javelins seem to be in similar or worse condition, and get listed at higher prices with seemingly no complaints from AMC fans. At the same time, I’ve found that enthusiasts willing to take on such a project are a surprisingly small contingent, leading me to believe there simply aren’t many diehard fans left.

I watch the listings on a few different message boards for AMC owners and fans, and there’s rarely any objection over cars featured in this sort of condition and with this price. But I also don’t see them move onto new homes very quickly (if at all) and most commenters bemoan the lack of available spare parts. However, I find that to be an odd concern given the number of parts cars that still seem to come up for sale, often loaded with good spares. This example will clearly need an interior refresh.

The Javelin has always been an athletic-looking car, but you wanted to step up to the higher tier engines for a true muscle car. The one I’m selling is similar to this, as both are SST trim with the 304 V8 paired, but this one is paired to a manual gearbox. That’s not a bad mill and one that becomes much more interesting with three pedals. This Javelin is definitely rough around the edges, and the big question for me is whether it will find a home at this asking price. What do you think it’s worth?


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  1. Steve Bush Member

    Certainly not the worst seen here and perhaps could be a nice project at a lower price. But it appears to be sinking into the ground and obviously needs tons of work. But unfortunately the seller is seemingly too lazy/stupid to move the car onto dry land, clean it up and take some good pics. And if all it needs is fresh gas and a battery to run, why doesn’t the seller do so.

    Like 14
  2. Mitchell Gildea Member

    Vice Grips Garage should find out if it’ll run again

    Like 4
  3. jeffro

    Does anyone else see the tree growing where the shifter is suppose to be?

    Like 13
    • AMC believer

      Its getting classified as a green car 👍

      Like 2
    • Chuck Simons

      Hmmm, You’re right….(cue Jafar from Alladin)

      Like 1
    • Darrun

      Three on the tree?

      Like 7
  4. Steve R

    A prudent buyer will price it as a parts car, to protect their interests. Based on that, it’s a $1,500 car, max.

    If the seller wants more they need to drag it out of the yard, clean it up and create a better ad. Basically, put in some effort to earn their money.

    Steve R

    Like 13
  5. CCFisher

    True or not, the perception is that AMCs don’t enjoy the aftermarket support that makes sourcing parts for a Mustang or Camaro restoration a simple and relatively inexpensive process. Every article I read about restoring an AMC describes it as a “labor of love,” since parts availability is challenging and the return on investment generally isn’t positive. This could be why people who jump at a rusty Camaro, Mustang, or ‘Cuda shy away from a Javelin.

    Like 4
    • That AMC Guy

      It’s true, and since Chrysler destroyed all the pre-1980 AMC parts they could get your hands on after taking over, NOS parts are also very rare.

  6. Richard Van Dyke Sr

    I, for one, never saw anything in a Javelin that I liked

    Like 4
  7. Steve Clinton

    The only thing this car is good for is to sell for scrap.

    Like 3
    • bone

      You obviously know little about the antique car world . Finding parts for a car that hasn’t been made in 46 years is not easy ;if this car is not restorable , it would provide countless parts for someone .
      Finding a Javelin with a v8 and a manual transmission are very hard to come by

      Like 10
      • Steve Clinton

        Thanks SO much for your ‘expert’ opinion.

        Like 1
      • bone

        Expert enough to know an old car that has a body style that they only made for four years in this condition is FAR from scrap

        Like 10
      • Steve Clinton

        Yadda, yadda, yadda…

        Like 1
    • Arthur

      If the body shell is too far gone, it would indeed be good only for scrap. But only media blasting could confirm that. In which case, if it turns out that the body shell isn’t too far gone, I could see this Javelin being turned into a G-Machine similar to what the Ring Brothers did in cooperation with Prestone some years ago.

      Somebody that might be interested in doing such a project would probably need to have deep pockets, however.

      • Steve R

        I hope you realize people building high end Pro Touring or G-Machine projects start with cars I better condition. The only original component that really matters is the body itself, it’s far cheaper and less time consuming for them to start with the best they can find.

        The people that drag home rusty hulks tend to be novices that are attracted by a cheap entry price.

        Steve R

        Like 3
  8. luckylugnut

    My brother in law has been “restoring” one these for the past 30 years,
    Unfortunately, I think it’s in a worse state now for all his efforts !

    Like 4
  9. V8roller

    People like unusual cars, but they like them better when someone else handles the botheration of owning them.
    If I were to sell my Rambler Ambassador, it would fetch a fraction of the equivalent Ford or Cheby.

  10. Arthur

    Too bad Prestone and the Ring Brothers weren’t aware of this particular Javelin. If they were, I suspect they would have used it as the basis for their ‘Defiant’ project.

  11. Randy

    I use to own a 1974 jab with a 304 two barrel one tough engine but not the fastest.she will start no problem,but the rest of the car?

  12. Ramblin Man

    Heres where a Javelin affectanado could help with experience and knowledge in the restoration of these cars. Is there aftermarket support, as in is there new sheet metal available, that in essence, you could build a new car with? Aftermarket upgrade, suspension, brake parts, etc. We know that someone could/would do an LS swap, so drivetrain has/can be done. This is an old orphan, lower production car, so we already know it will be a labor of love no matter what!

  13. Thomas S Gordon

    .. .. and there it is: My Dream Car at age 13.. Took a greyhound bus from Florida to Tucson Arizona to visit my eldest sister and her husband.. a Lone trek and I spent my few days there ‘summer vacation’ walking the streets and taking in the sights.. .. I like the desert climate geography*… Yep ,, seeing An AMC Javelin put stars in my eyes; however, by the time I acquired my driver license and got my head out of my ass long enough to pick up on self-maint and repair on cars.. AMC was in her death-throws with Emissions and ‘sell-out’ body styles… aw well,, I adore seeing thes Javies restored.. they do set off a unique attractiveness when sitting next to a Camaro or Mustang… the price the seller is asking… well,, lets us all wish him the best of luck and ,, upon a sell, may the buyer, as well, fair decent.

  14. Don P.

    Buried and rotting in the mud and weeds. This thing is pooched.

  15. Farmer John

    Been parked 15 years, last ran 5 years ago – yep, one of those “ran when parked” cars. No Dice, it is far from a running car. Parts. And, I like these, and currently own one, and I still feel the same way.

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