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1973 AMC Javelin news, pictures, specifications, and information

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When the Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson Motor Car companies merged in 1954, the result was the American Motors Corporation. Their purpose was to gain economies of scale and to more effectively compete with the dominant Big Three automakers.

Hudson had a history that dated back to 1909 when it was formed by the Detroit department store magnate, J.L. Hudson and Roy D. Chapin. Nash Motors was founded in 1916 by former General Motors president Charles W. Nash who had acquired the Thomas B. Jeffery Company.

Just like many brands in the late 1960s and early 1970s, AMC aggressively participated in the muscle and pony car scenes. The original AMX was a two seat high-performance sports sedan that was produced from 1968 to 1971. It was intended to go head-to-head with America's only other two-seater of the era, the Chevrolet Corvette. The AMX name originated from the 'American Motors eXperimental' code used on two prototypes shown on the company's 'Project IV' tour in 1966. Also introduced in 1968, the AMC Javelin was designed to compete with the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro.

This car is still owned by its original owner. Power is from a 360 cubic-inch V8 engine with a 4-barrel carburetor producing 285 horsepower. It is equipped with a 3.54 Twin-Grip differential, raised fiberglass hood, cowl induction and the performance 'Go' package. The original selling price was $3,621.
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.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2006
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