Javelin

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1973 Pierre Cardin Javelin

Background:

In the mid-1960s, AMC was hard at work on a new compact car; while a small car was already in the works, the success of the 1964 Ford Mustang (and, to a far lesser degree, the Plymouth Barracuda) made sport-compacts seem like a major segment.

Thus, in 1966, AMC sent the sporty two-seater AMX concept car out to test reactions to the forthcoming Javelin. Spectators loved the car and AMC’s chairman, Robert Evans, pushed to have a production version of the AMX concept built alongside the Javelin. His argument may have been bolstered by the new AMC V8 engine, launched in 1967, which reached 280 horsepower in its largest, 343 cubic inch version; that engine would give the AMX needed credibility.

History:

Launched in 1967 to critical acclaim, the 1968 AMC Javelin shared the Mustang’s basic long-hood and short rear deck. It avoided the Ford’s “design clutter,” with clean and smooth sheet metal. Inside, the Javelin had a recessed, functional gauge cluster, with front bucket seats. The dashboard was (in an industry first) injection molded in a single piece, for safety; that was one of the reasons the AMX was named the Best Engineered Car of the Year in both 1969 and 1970 by the American Society of Automotive Engineers.

Available from launch, the “Go” package included power front disc brakes, wider tires, a performance suspension with a front anti-sway bar, and three V-8 engine choices, all from the same engine family. The biggest 1968 engine, the 343 (soon to be eclipsed by the 390) enabled drivers to do 0-60 in under eight seconds, quick for the day, without atrocious gas mileage. The front suspensions used coil springs and unequal-length wishbones, while the rear had the inevitable semi-elliptic leaf springs and solid axle. The standard transmission was a Borg-Warner four speed manual.

Six months later, the two-seat 1968 AMC AMX was released. It was based closely on the Javelin, but around a foot shorter, bumper to bumper. 12,390 Javelins were sold in calendar-year 1967 — more than double the number of Marlins sold in calendar-year 1966.

The Javelin was an instant success on the SCCA Trans-Am circuit, finishing every race it entered (unlike any other factory team of the time); powered by the 232 six or the new 290 and 343 V8s, it was a formidable car on the street and strip. Stylistically, the Javelin’s main unique features were the “no-trunk” look rear, and the AMC flush-mount paddle door handle, which was used on all AMCs but the Rambler American. Javelin was a hit in sales, too, with 56,444 produced in 1968 (just a blip for GM, but a good seller for AMC), along with 6,725 AMXs.

Craig Breedlove, legendary racer, piloted the 2-seat Javelin derivative AMX to 100 land speed records before it was even introduced for sale. It was sold with optional leather seats, 140 mph speedometer, “tic-tac” gauge package, and “go pak,” which included either a four barrel 290 or the new 390 (315 hp at 4,600 rpm and a Hemi-level 425 lb-ft of torque at 3,200 rpm).

In 1969, Javelin SST and AMX could be purchased with eye-catching “Big Bad” colors: BBOrange, BBGreen, and BBBlue. In addition, AMC, like Chrysler, worked with Hurst to develop new models, in this case the dragstrip terror SS/AMX and the ram-air 390-powered Hurst SC/RamblerFor 1969, AMC sold 33,990 Javelins and 5,784 AMXs in the US, versus 42,215 and 7,333 in 1968. Production was 43,099 for Javelin, 8,317 for AMX; sales of the two went from being “midpack” at AMC to low, with Rambler American hitting nearly a hundred thousand units, Rebel coming in with over 50,000, and even the big Ambassador clearing 75,000.

In 1970, Mark Donohue and the Sunoco Racing Team dumped their Camaros to race Javelins. AMXs and Javelins (along with Rambler Americans) had the dealer "Group 19" heavy-duty performance option. The V-8 heads were refined, boosting the 390 to 340 hp and 430ft/lb torque.

In 1970, AMC produced 31,090 Javelins and 2,110 AMXs, despite the opportunity provided by a two-month-long GM strike. The new AMC Hornet was a much bigger hit; nearly 80,000 flew off the assembly lines, nearly replacing the popular but departed Rambler American. The new AMC Gremlin started up with just under 50,000 made in the latter half of calendar-year 1970.

George Barris had an ongoing deal with AMC to produce an AMX bolt-on customizing kit, sold by AMC dealers. He acquired a new 1969 AMX and used it to create the AMX-400, which included a 4.5 inch lower top, revised pillars, an extended nose and tail, hidden headlights, and numerous other changes. The full width tail light lit up green during acceleration, amber when coasting, and red when braking. Each side of the car got a fake race-style gas cap; the real gas cap was under the license plate. The interior and engine were stock. The car, long since sold by Barris to a private party, toured the country and was filmed in TV’s Banacek in 1972.

For 1970, AMC officially adopted the A-mark logo, dropping the “AM” script. AMX and Javelin received a mild styling update, and added an optional "Power Blister" ram air hood that boosted the 390s horsepower to 345. A special "Mark Donohue Edition" Javelin had all the performance options, along with a Donohue-designed spoiler. The 343 V-8 was increased to 360 cid (Chrysler later caused some confusion with their own Mopar 360), and the 290 became the 304.

The AMX/3 was a hot concept car, with a hand-made Italian fiberglass body and mid-mounted 390; seven were built.

1971: AMX dropped as a separate model, adopted as Javelin trim line

The highlight for the American Motors 1971 lineup was the Javelin’s dramatic new styling, and moving the AMX to the Javelin line rather than selling it as a separate two-seat model. The AMC Javelin now had hump fenders, a twin canopy roof panel, and rear spoiler lip; inside, the Javelin was restyled with a “cockpit” feel and many upholstery options. The fiberglass/plastic hood was riased toward the windshield, and the cowl-air carburetor induction system was included with the optional “Go” package. A wire-mesh “full span” grille was standard, as was the functional rear deck “duck tail” spoiler and dual rearview mirrors. All Javelins were two door hardtops.


The Javelin had a one inch longer wheelbase and length, and was three inches wider (110” wheelbase, 192” length, 75” width). SST trim continued, and AMX was the top-of-the-line, complete with a unique dash appliqué and styled grille. The 232 straight six continued as standard on base and SST, with an optional new 258 cubic inch I-6 (1 barrel carb); AMX had a standard 360 V8, with a two-barrel carburetor (completely unrelated to the Chrysler 360). A new 401 cubic inch engine, with a four-barrel carburetor, was optional across the board, replacing the 390.

The curved cockpit dashboard increased visibility of controls, putting them within easy reach; the entire panel was padded, with the passenger side recessed for added knee room and safety. Four toggle switches at the base of the panel were used for headlights, panel lights, wipers, and washers, and four outlets were included for the air conditioner.


Javelin killed the competition in the SCCA Trans-Am competition, and the 401 cubic inch V8 became popular in police-edition AMC Matadors. The Chrysler Torque-Command (TorqueFlite) fully replaced the Borg-Warner Flash-o-Matic.

Javelins got an optional Pierre Cardin interior package featuring silky black countoured seats trimmed with flowing white, purple and red stripes flowing across them, continuing up the door panels and around the headliner.

Another 1973 Javelin option was the "Trans-Am Victory" package celebrating their back-to-back SCCA championships; the Javelin also received new pod taillights. Despite the championships, sales were disappointing; AMC only managed to sell 26,311 Javelins (including AMX) in the US, barely any sales compared with 140,000 Hornets and 133,146 Gremlins. Javelin was the lowest-selling car in the AMC lineup in 1973; and the news in 1974 was worse, with just 17,555 sales.


1974 was the last year for the Javelin, still flaunting its 401 cubic inch V8. AMC was about to launch its new Pacer, which would see 96,769 sales in its first year, and had just started selling its revised Matador, which cleared 77,720 sales. The Hornet hit 118,519 and the Gremlin hit 104,871, while Jeep sales had doubled since the brand was acquired in 1970. Though the Javelin and AMX were both still young, they were dropped from lack of interest, along with the big Ambassador — and, for that matter, their counterparts at Chrysler, the Barracuda and Challenger.

The name AMX was later applied to other cars: the AMC Hornet in 1977, the AMC Concord in 1978, and the AMC Spirit in 1979-1980. These models are fairly rare.


Model Predecessor

Model Successor

Export Versions

The AMC Javelin was also assembled in Australia by AMI in Melbourne Victoria.

Related Models

  • AMC AMX (1968-1970) was a two door version of the Javelin. It late became a package on Javelins.

Competition

Body Styles

2-Door Fastback Coupe

Class

Combination of Pony and lower end Personal Luxury. The car was made to not only compete with the Brand X Pony Cars -- but to also compete against the Pontiac Grand Prix, and later the Chevrolet Monte Carlo. American Motors / AMC always marched to the tune of a different drummer that the Brand X makes.

Platform

AMC’s "junior" cars

The below could use some format cleanup by an editor

Year by Year Changes, Production Numbers, and Cost:

1968 (base) 29,097; factory price $2482.00... Ship Weight 2826 lbs. Body (SST) 26,027; factory price $2587.00... Ship weight 2836 lbs

1969 (base) 17,389; factory price $2512.00... Ship weight 2826 lbs. (SST) 23,286; factory price $2633.00.... Ship weight 2836 lbs.

1970 (base) 8496, factory price $2720.00... Ship weight 2845 lbs. (SST) 19714, factory price $2848.00... Ship weight 2863 lbs

  • Important note: 100 Red, white & blue Trans Am Javelins were officially

produced in Kenosha, WI. These will have a door code of 7079-7. Factory price was $3995.00, shipping weight was 3340 lbs.

1971 (base) 7105; factory price $2879.00... Ship weight 2887 lbs. (SST) 17707; factory price $2999.00...Ship weight 2890 lbs. (AMX) 2054; factory price $3432.00...Ship weight 3244 lbs.

1972 Body 7279-7 22964; factory price $3807.oo...Ship weight 3118 lbs. Body 7279-8 (AMX) 3220; factory price $3109.00...Ship weight 3149 lbs. Note factory price for six cylinder was $2901.00 ...ship weight was 2875

  • Total of 22964 includes 100 401V8 Alabama State Police Interceptors.

1973

Body 7379-7 25195; factory price $2983.00...Ship weight 3104 lbs. Body 7379-8 (AMX) 5707; factory price $3191.00...Ship weight 3170 lbs.

  • Note factory price for base model six cylinder Javs was $2889.00 and

shipping weight was 2868 lbs. A special Trans Am Javelin was introduced which featured a large Trans Am Victory Edition decal on either fender just in front of the doorBody ...22556; factory price $3093.00; ship weight 3117 lbs.

1974

Body 7479-7 22556; factory price $3093.00; ship weight 3117 lbs. Body 7479-8 (AMX) 4980; factory price $3299.00. Ship weight 3184 lbs.

  • Note factory price for six cylinder Javs was $2999.00.... shipping weight 2875 lbs.


1968

1968 Javelin (base model) by American Motors (AMC) a was a "pony car".

Engines

  • 155HP 232cid 2bbl six
  • 225HP 290cid 2bbl V8
  • 280HP 343cid 4bbl V8 Typhoon
  • 315HP 390cid 4bbl V8

Transmissions

3-speed manual

4-speed manual

3-speed automatic

3-speed “Shift-Command” on console

Length, width, height, wheelbase

wheelbase...109 in

Length...189.2 in

Width.....71.9 in

Height.....51.8 in

Curb weight.....2,836 lb

1969

Minor changes for the second model year included revised side striping, an altered grille with a bull's eye emblem, and trim upgrades. An optional side-stripe package consisted of a C-shaped graphic that started behind the front wheel openings. The optional (standard with the "Go-Package") five-spoke Magnum 500 steel road wheels now came with a stainless steel trim ring. The interior received new door panels and upgraded carpeting. Instrumentation featured a 0–8000 rpm tachometer that now matched the speedometer in style. Late model-year production received a cowl over the instrument panel directly in front of the driver.

Engines

  • 155HP 232cid 2bbl six
  • 225HP 290cid 2bbl V8
  • 280HP 343cid 4bbl V8 Typhoon
  • 315HP 390cid 4bbl V8

Transmissions

3-speed manual

4-speed manual

3-speed automatic

3-speed “Shift-Command” on console

Length, width, height, wheelbase

wheelbase....109 in

Length...189.2 in

Width.....71.9 in

Height.....51.8 in

Curb weight.....2,836 lb

1970

The 1970 Javelins featured a new front end design with a wide "twin-venturi" front grille incorporating the headlamps and a longer hood. It also had a new rear end with full-width taillamps and a single center mounted backup light. This was a one-year only design. Side marker lights were now shared with several other AMC models. The exterior rear view mirror featured a new "aero" design and in some cases matched the car's body color. The three "Big Bad" exterior paints continued to be optional on the 1970 Javelins, but they now came with regular chrome bumpers. Underneath the restyle was a new front suspension featuring ball joints, upper and lower control arms, coil springs, and shock absorbers above the upper control arms, as well as trailing struts on the lower control arms....Many buyers selected the "Go Package", available with the 360 and 390 four-barrel V8 engines. This package as in prior years included front disc brakes, a dual exhaust system, heavy-duty suspension with anti-sway bar, improved cooling, and wide Goodyear white-lettered performance tires on styled road wheels.


Engines

  • 155HP 232cid 2bbl six
  • 225HP 304cid 2bbl V8
  • 285HP 360cid 4bbl V8
  • 325HP 390cid 4bbl V8

Transmissions

3-speed manual

4-speed manual

3-speed automatic

3-speed “Shift-Command” on console

Length, width, height, wheelbase

wheelbase....109 in

Length....191.04 in

1971

The new design incorporated an integral roof spoiler and sculpted fender bulges. The new body departed from the gentle, tucked-in look of the original,to the revised front fenders (originally designed to accommodate oversized racing tires) that "bulge up as well as out on this personal sporty car, borrowing lines from the much more expensive Corvette.

The car's dashboard was asymmetrical, with "functional instrument gauges that wrap around you. This design contrasted with the symmetrical interior of the economy-focused 1966 Hornet (Cavalier) prototype.

AMC offered a choice of engines and transmissions. Engines included a 232 cu in (3.8 L) I6 and a four-barrel 401 cu in (6.6 L) AMC V8 with high compression ratio, forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods engineered to withstand 8000 rpm. The BorgWarner T-10 four-speed manual transmission came with a Hurst floor shifter.


Engines

  • 155HP 232cid 2bbl six
  • 225HP 304cid 2bbl V8
  • 285HP 360cid 4bbl V8
  • 335HP 401cid 4bbl V8

Transmissions

3-speed manual

4-speed manual

3-speed automatic

3-speed “Shift-Command” on console

Length, width, height, wheelbase

Wheelbase.....110 in

Length....191.8 in

weight.....2,875 lb - 3,184 lb

1972

232 cu in (3.8 L) I6 135 hp ,258 cu in (4.2 L) I6 150 hp

282 cu in (4.6 L) I6 200 hp (Mexico only)

304 cu in (5.0 L) V8 2-bbl 210 hp

360 cu in (5.9 L) V8 245 hp 2-bbl, 285 hp 4-bbl

401 cu in (6.6 L) V8 335 hp


Engines

Transmissions

3-speed manual

4-speed manual

3-speed automatic

3-speed “Shift-Command” on console

Length, width, height, wheelbase

Wheelbase.....110 in

Length....191.8 in

weight.....2,875 lb - 3,184 lb

1973

The 1973 Javelin had several updates, most noticeably in the design of the taillights and grille, although the AMX grille remained the same. While all other AMC models had bumpers with telescopic shock absorbers, the Javelin and AMX were fitted with a non-telescopic design that had two rigid rubber guards. Doors were made stronger, to comply with a new federal mandate that they should withstand 2,500 pounds (1,134 kg) of impact for the first 6 inches (152 mm) of crush. The "twin-cove" indentations were eliminated from the Javelin's roof and a full vinyl top was made available. The 1970-72 "Turtle Back" front seats were replaced by a slimmer, lighter and more comfortable design that gave more rear passenger leg room.

AMC continued its comprehensive extended warranty on all 1973 models, and promoted improved product quality with an advertising campaign that said "we back them better because we build them better". Profits for the year achieved a record high.

Engines

232 cu in (3.8 L) I6 135 hp ,258 cu in (4.2 L) I6 150 hp

282 cu in (4.6 L) I6 200 hp (Mexico only)

304 cu in (5.0 L) V8 2-bbl 210 hp

360 cu in (5.9 L) V8 245 hp 2-bbl, 285 hp 4-bbl

401 cu in (6.6 L) V8 335 hp

Transmissions

3-speed manual

4-speed manual

3-speed automatic

3-speed “Shift-Command” on console

Length, width, height, wheelbase

Wheelbase.....110 in

Length....191.8 in

weight.....2,875 lb - 3,184 lb

1974

By 1974, the automobile marketplace had changed. Mid-year, Chrysler abandoned the pony car market, the Javelin's big engine option continued until the production of the model ended in October/November 1974 amidst the Arab oil embargo and overall declining interest in high-performance vehicles.

A new seatbelt interlock system prevented the car from being started if the driver and a front passenger were unbuckled. The functional cowl-induction fiberglass hood was no longer available for 1974, and the output of the 401 cu in (6.6 L) V8 dropped by 20 hp Some late-production cars came with hoods made from steel.

Several factors led to the demise of the Javelin model, not least of which was the economic climate of the time. Unlike General Motors' Camaro and Firebird, the 1974 Javelin models were not exempt from new stricter front and rear bumper standards.

American Motors also needed a manufacturing line to build its all-new AMC Pacer. Nevertheless, more cars were built during the final year of Javelin production than the prior second-generation years, with 27,696 units built, of which (4,980) were Javelin AMX models.

Engines

232 cu in (3.8 L) I6 135 hp ,258 cu in (4.2 L) I6 150 hp

282 cu in (4.6 L) I6 200 hp (Mexico only)

304 cu in (5.0 L) V8 2-bbl 210 hp

360 cu in (5.9 L) V8 245 hp 2-bbl, 285 hp 4-bbl

401 cu in (6.6 L) V8 335 hp

Transmissions

3-speed manual

4-speed manual

3-speed automatic

3-speed “Shift-Command” on console

Length, width, height, wheelbase

Wheelbase.....110 in

Length....191.8 in

weight.....2,875 lb - 3,184 lb

Wiki Topic References:

Magazine References:

http://www.hotrod.com/featuredvehicles/hrdp_0401_1969_amc_javelin/viewall.html

External Links

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