Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rebel with a Prom Date: 1974 AMC Matador coupe


Bathed in Hai Karate cologne and looking for a fight. You smell him before you see him. The guy taking your daughter to the prom. He drives the red AMC Matador, parked in your spot, in the driveway. Pimples, sideburns and a polyester leisure suit. Unassuming, but he's got no good intentions. He smiles, a bit too assuredly, as he thinks of the fun times ahead.
  Your face reddens and the light that glows in the back seat of that Matador is all you can think about. "My innocent daughter in that ..." 
  Get a grip, man! That flashback to 1974 was just a dream. You know that all the AMC Matadors have gone to hell, or a junkyard.


The AMC Matador coupe was produced from 1974-1978.

Defining style, sales 
  Advertisers will tell you that "newer is better." That mantra helped sell the new-for-1974 Matador coupe. The ambitious shape of the Matador did not grab buyers for the long haul. The majority of all AMC Matador coupes were sold in its first year, with 62,269 of the nearly 100,000 built during its five-year production run. The "new" wore off fast on AMC’s flagship mid-size, luxury coupe. The unmistakable styling, lured, then repulsed buyers as sales dwindled to 2,006 units during the 1978 year model. 


AMC spruced-up the dash with wood grain on the face of the gauges.

Matador parts rare, demand low 
  It was not surprising when we learned our feature car, spotted at Gibbs Salvage in Ridgeville, Alabama, was a 1974 model. The bold, Trans-Am Red AMC paint clinging to the Matador wasn’t the only thing that caught my eye. The  funky, quarter windows and round tail lights have just enough European-flavor, to make you squint, if your not familiar with the Kenosha, Wisconsin-built Matadors. 
  This junkyard bullfighter was missing its drivetrain, hood, radiator and grille. All these wear/crash items are possibly helping to complete one of the rarest and financially negligent restorations of any kind. The Matador. 

– Jody Potter, junkyardlife.com


We hope the hood, grill and engine of this Matador were sourced for project cars. No prom dates were harmed while writing this story. 

Back seat mood lighting courtesy of Matador’s forward-thinking design team. Every fathers' nightmare. A place to talk or read or...

AMC’s Matador wheels feature center caps that extend well beyond the edge of the rim. Reminds me of the wheels used in the movie "Grease." Remember the Scorpions’ Mercury had blades on the wheels? 

AMC Matador coupe production numbers.



Know of a car or a junkyard I need to visit or want to send me photos and info about a barn find, car or junkyard?  
Send emails to junkyardbull@gmail.com.