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AMC Matador X



As I continue to bare my soul and share with you overlooked and, uncharitably, terrible cars that I love dearly anyway, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the AMC Matador X. Though it wasn't really a great car, there's just something about the AMC Matador X that makes me want to buy one and drive around with the windows down, listening to Stevie Wonder.

Some would say the Matador X looks ridiculous today, with its overdone details and quasi-muscle car look, but by the standards of the era, it was swoopy, low, and beautiful. Car & Driver dubbed it the best-looking car of 1974, and I couldn't agree more.

With the top-line 360-cubic-inch V-8, the Matador wasn't necessarily fast, but it wasn't slow, either. And in red with white pinstripes ... ooh, la la!

Besides a pretty face, the Matador was also quite an athlete (albeit after it was gutted and replaced with racing mechanicals) on the race track--it was fielded as a NASCAR stocker by legendary team owner Roger Penske and driven by Bobby Allison.

Strange as it may seem, I'm not the only poor soul besotted with this disease--The Coupe Coop is an excellent resource for photos and other information and was the source of the photo of the lovely brown coupe. Hubcap Cafe supplied the first photo and, as always, is a great source for vintage car photos.

--Chris H.


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Loved the look of the Oleg Cassini variety, with that strange orange trim in the grill. Man, AMC tried hard in those dying days; Gremlin X with blue jean interiors, AMX with limited edition numbers on the dash. God love 'em.

This is my least favourite vehicle. My parents owned one and it turned out to be a pile of shit. It was gutless, it seemed to run on 4 cylinders rather than the 8 cylinders (or was it 3 out of the 6) cylinders under the hood. I didn't like the styling either. I still don't. The sedan is better looking than the coupe.

'74 AMC Matador Coupe owes grille design to an earlier European model; a direct copy. Overall body shape has '70 AMX/3 for it's styling preview car. The all new '73 GM intermediates also claimed sporty styling, as they were restyled to accommodate the new Federal '73/4 five mph safety bumper law, but basically ended each model's former glory. ('72 to '73 Chevelle for example) Juxtaposed to Ford's new Gran Torino, the Matador's styling looks smart. Why did Ford do the rear fenders like that? So, among it's appropriate other make intermediate sized peers, AMC's new Matador was a standout. The top engine was AMC's torque monster 401, 4bbl carb, dual exhaust only. AMC was much criticized for the 'boxy' styling of their former '73 Matador two door which was nicknamed 'the flying brick'. (actually an allusion to an earlier famous race car among those who know) Arguably better looking, there was to be a four door sedan and station wagon model to follow AMC's new '74 Matador two door, but the Arab Oil Embargo of late '73 ended the plan. AMC at this point was just beginning to transform itself into Jeep Eagle, and sold more Jeeps than cars in '77, which concluded with the legendary Jeep XJ and the AM General Humvee.

Put the AMC Matador coupe in modern traffic these days it looks awesome,as most new cars these days look like so boring...

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