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1969 AMC Javelin news, pictures, specifications, and information

X-Package Coupe
 
In 1969, dealers were fighting for the attention of the America's youth. For American Motors, overcoming the stodgy family car image was not easy. With the introduction of the all-new Javelin and AMX in 1968, they were finally able to grab some attention. Creative ads touted their available performance options and soon, the AMC offerings were gaining well deserved respect.

Many dealers would create special packages and take this just a bit further. For American Motors, the X-Package was created by customizer Darell Droke to be dealer installed to make the Javelin stand apart from the crowd of wanna-be's. A unique fiberglass hood, the sporty AMX grille, a rear deck spoiler, aftermarket mag wheels, an integrated roll bar and other cosmetic modifications were used to dress up the Javelin. Very few dealers would purchase the package, although those who did enjoyed increased showroom traffic. Soon after, individual pieces would be offered to customizers directly through Droke's business.

Car Craft magazine featured a modified XP Javelin in the December 1968 issue. They were pleased with the additional parts and commented that these features created a 'lower and wider effect.'

This 1969 Javelin features many of the available XP options. Recently restored and unveiled at Chicago's Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals show, this Beale Street Blue beauty is one of the only known example of an XP Javelin in existence.
SST FastBack
 
Chicago's Ronnie Kaplan, former co-driver with Jim Rathman in the Mexican Road Race, and 'co-worker' with Smokey Yunick, built race #3 AMC Javelin in 1969 for a number of drivers, most notably USAC Championship and Indianapolis 500 ace Jerry Grant, and Ron Grable. Grable drove more frequently than Grant. Although factory supported, and beautifully prepared, neither driver was competitive enough in the car. It would take the Penske powerhouse a year later to work the podium hard.
The AMC Javelin was produced from 1968 through 1974 intended as a 'pony' car for the American Motors Corporation. To fit into a wide variety of budgets, AMC offered the Javelin with a variety of engines that included the 232 six-cylinder variant all the way up to the might eight-cylinder power-plants. The 343 cubic-inch four-barrel V8 was a serious performance machine offering, with 280 horsepower and 365 foot-pounds of torque. Optional disc brakes and wide tires helped the driver keep the vehicle in control.

AMC had introduced the Marlin in 1965, right after the introduction of the Ford Mustang. The Mustang easily outsold the Marlin partly due to the Marlins large 112-inch wheelbase. There was seating for six with plenty of trunk space. The thing it lacked was the sporty image that the Mustang had capitalized upon.

AMC's chief designer Richard A. Teague quickly revised the design resulting in the AMX concept cars of the late 1960's. Pressured by upper management and those with financial interests in AMC, the Javelin production car was sent to market. It borrowed heavily from the AMX concept's design and was considered by many to be sporty and attractive. Its design was uncluttered and smooth with its split front grille and semi-fastback roofline. The interior featured front bucket seats and rear bench.

The six-cylinder engine offered 145 horsepower and adequate fuel economy. The 'Go' package, opted by many buyers, featured front disc brakes, tuned suspension with anti-sway bar, upgraded tires, and a choice of three potent V8 engines.

In 1969 a 390 cubic-inch engine became available. Its impressive 315 horsepower and 425 foot-pounds of torque could send the Javelin from zero-to-sixty in the seven-second range.

The standard suspension was comprised of coil springs and unequal-length wishbones in the front and semi-elliptic leaf springs and sold axle in the rear. The optional fast-ratio steering and handling package greatly improved the handling during aggressive driving.

In 1971 the Javelin was restyled and now included a roof spoiler, fender bulges, and arched fenders. The interior was given a stripe pattern.

During its introductory year, 55000 examples were produced. The AMC Company was not known as a company that could produce a performance machine. The Javelin, along with the help of Mark Donohue and Roger Penske, set a new reputation for the AMC Company on the Trans Am racing circuit. In nine races the duo scored seven wins and captured the Trans Am Series Championship. The Javelin repeated its success in the following two years.

The demise of the muscle-car era was mostly caused by an increase in government and safety regulations and fuel concerns. Javelin's sales creped along during the early 1970's but by 1974 production ceased.

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