AMC Javelin

AMC Javelin

{| border=0 align=right
Infobox Automobile
name= AMC Javelin

manufacturer=American Motors (AMC)
production=1968 – 1974
assembly =Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA
Port Melbourne, Australia
Osnabrück, Germany
Mexico City, Mexico
class=Pony car
layout=front-engine, rear wheel drive
platform=AMC’s “junior cars”
designer=Richard A. Teague

The AMC Javelin was a “pony car” built by the American Motors Corporation between 1968 and 1974. It was intended to rival other similar cars of the era such as the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.

The Javelin can be classified into two generations: 1968 to 1970 (with a distinct 1970) and 1971 to 1974. Javelins competed successfully in Trans-Am racing and won the series with AMC sponsorship in 1971, 1972, and independently in 1975.

Javelins were assembled under license in other markets including Europe (by Wilhelm Karmann GmbH), Mexico (by VAM), Australia (by Australian Motor Industries), and were sold in other export markets.


The Javelin was a production version of one of the AMX prototypes shown around the USA during the 1966 AMX project tour. It debuted in 1968. Available engines were a auto CID|232 straight-six and three V8s. The optional "Go Package" included a four-barrel carbureted auto CID|343 V8, power front disc brakes, dual exhausts, and wide tires. The "SST" trim level gave a greater degree of luxury. In mid-1968 the AMX auto CID|390 engine was offered as a Javelin option. Its impressive Convert|315|hp|kW PS|0|abbr=on and Auto lbft|425 of torque could send the Javelin from zero-to-sixty [convert|60|mph|0] in the seven-second range. [ [ "1970 AMC Javelin", undated] , retrieved on 2008-09-22.] A “Big Bad” paint (neon brilliant blue, orange and green) option was available on Javelins starting in mid-1969 and through 1970. The “Mod Javelin” Package was also introduced mid-year in 1969 and included an unusual roof mounted spoiler and twin blacked-out simulated air scoops on the hood. American Motors supported the AMX and Javelin with a "Group 19" range of dealer-installed performance accessories. These included a dual four-barrel cross-ram intake manifold, a high performance camshaft kit, needle-bearing roller rocker arms and dual-point ignition.

"Road & Track" compared the Javelin favorably to its competitors on its introduction in 1968,fact|date=June 2008 describing the "big, heavy, super-powerful engine" as "an asset in such a small vehicle", and the styling as "pleasant." The disc/drum brakes and the non-power-assisted "quick-steering" option were criticized. Many journalists also complained about AMC’s safety-style interior, saying it was dull or bland.fact|date=June 2008

Also offered was the AMC AMX, a shortened, two-seat version of the first-generation Javelin.


:Note: all engines equipped with carburetors and the horsepower measured in gross values.
* "AMC I6", Convert|145|hp|kW PS|0|abbr=on one-barrel or Convert|115|hp|kW PS|0|abbr=on with two-barrel
* "AMC V8", Convert|225|hp|kW PS|0|abbr=on
* "AMC V8", Convert|280|hp|kW PS|0|abbr=on
* "AMC V8", Convert|315|hp|kW PS|0|abbr=on


American Motors was intent on changing the image of the company and its new pony car competitor. It formed a racing team and entered the Javelin in dragstrip and Trans-Am Series racing. [cite book | last = Holder
first = William
last2 = Kunz
first2 = Phil
title = Extreme Muscle Cars
publisher = Krause Publications
date = 2006
pages = 14
isbn = 9780896892781

The Javelin's first Trans-Am attempt was in the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1968. Starting in January, two Javelins were prepared by Kaplan Engineering with engines by Traco Engineering. Power was provided by the basic auto CID|290|1 V8 that was bored out to auto CID|304.3|2. Ronnie Kaplan recalls that "... we never had enough time to properly develop the Javelins because of our time factor and most of our testing and development took place at the race track."cite book | last = Friedman
first = Dave
title = Trans-Am: The Pony Car Wars 1966-1972
publisher = MotorBooks/MBI Publishing Company
date = 2001
pages = chapter 3
url =,M1
isbn = 9780760309438
] Starting with a 68-car field, only 36 cars finished, with Peter Revson and Skip Scott driving one of the Javelins to 12th overall and 5th in the O-class, a "remarkable" performance considering the program was initiated so quickly. For the 1968 season, although the Javelins finished in third place, AMC established a record by being the only manufacturer's entry to finish every Trans-Am race entered. [ [ "Trans-Am Racing 1968", AMX-perience, undated] , retrieved on 2008-09-06.]


The 1970 Javelins featured a new front end design with a wide "twin-venturi" front grille and a longer hood, as well as a new rear end with as well as full-width taillamps with a single center mounted backup light. This was a one-rear only design. Underneath the restyle was a new double-wishbone 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.

The engine lineup for 1970 was changed with the introduction of two new V8 engines: a base auto CID|304 and an optional Auto CID|360 to replace the 290 and the 343 versions. The top optional auto CID|390 continued, but it was upgraded to new heads with 51 cc combustion chambers increasing power to (Convert|325|hp|kW|0|abbr=on. The code remained "X" for the engine on the vehicle identification number (VIN). Also new was the “power blister” hood with two large openings that were a functional cold ram-air induction system that was included with the "Go Package" option. The "Go Package" with the four-barrel engines was selected by many buyers and it also included front disk brakes, dual exhaust system, heavy-duty suspension with anti-sway bar, and performance tires with white letters on styled wheels.

The interiors were also a one-year design featuring a broad new dashboard and bucket seats with clam shell integral headrests.

Among the special models during 1970 was the Mark Donohue Javelin SST. A total of 2,501 were built to homologate the Donohue-designed, and emblazoned with his signature, rear spoiler. These were designed for Trans Am racing.

An estimated 50 Trans-Am Javelins were also produced. The cars not only featured the front and rear spoilers, but were painted in AMC racing team's distinctive red, white, and blue paint scheme.


:Note: all engines equipped with carburetors and the horsepower measured in gross values.
* "AMC I6", Convert|145|hp|kW PS|0|abbr=on one-barrel or Convert|115|hp|kW PS|0|abbr=on with two-barrel
* "AMC V8", Convert|245|hp|kW PS|0|abbr=on (two-barrel/single exhaust)
* "AMC V8", Convert|285|hp|kW PS|0|abbr=on (four-barrel/dual exhaust)
* "AMC V8", Convert|325|hp|kW PS|0|abbr=on


Three Javelin series were offered: the base model, the SST, and the AMX.

The car was restyled in 1971 to incorporate the integral roof spoiler and fender bulges from earlier Javelins racing in the Trans-Am Series. The media criticized the revised fenders (originally designed to accommodate oversized racing tires) as " the Corvette, but less graceful..."fact|date=June 2008 AMC offered a choice of engines and transmissions. Engines included a auto CID|232 I6 and a four-barrel auto CID|401 AMC V8 with high compression ratio, forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods engineered for 8000 rpm.

The car's interior was asymmetrical, with nearly every componentfact|date=June 2008 unique to its position, unlike the symmetrical interior of the economy-focused 1966 Hornet (Cavalier) prototype.

Racing versions competed successfully in the Trans-Am Series with the Penske Racing/Mark Donohue team, as well as with the Roy Woods ARA team sponsored by American Motors Dealers [ [ Historic Trans Am] , retrieved on 2008-05-14.] . The Javelin won the Trans-Am title in 1971, 1972, and 1975. Drivers included George Follmer and Mark Donohue, the latter lending his name and signature to a limited-edition 1970 Javelin-SST model with a special rear spoiler of his own design.

From 1971 the AMX was no longer available as a two-seater. It evolved into a premium High-Performance edition of the Javelin. The new Javelin-AMX incorporated several racing modifications and AMC advertised it as “the closest thing you can buy to a Trans-Am champion.” The car had a stainless steel mesh screen over the grille opening, a fiberglass full width cowl induction hood, and spoilers front and rear for high-speed traction. The performance-upgrade "Go Package" included the choice of a 360 or 401 4-barrel engine; also "Rally-Pac" instruments, handling package for the suspension, limited-slip “Twin-Grip” differential, heavy-duty cooling, power disk brakes, white-letter E60x15 Goodyear Polyglas tires on 15x7-inch styled slotted steel wheels, T-stripe hood decal and a blacked-out rear taillight panel.

A journalist who road-tested cars for an American auto magazine in the 1970s recalls the 1971 Javelin-AMX as "arguably the worst-built muscle car I have ever driven ... Decal stipes peeled off, loose knobs on the dash dropped off...loose carpeting pulled up, the front grille was barely attached." Also an entire rear wheel and brake assembly sheared off as the test car pulled away from a light, which could "have been fatal had it occurred...while cruising on the highway." The car ran the quarter mile in 14.60 seconds at 98 mph, "respectable for 1971, but certainly nowhere near the top rung of muscle cars." [Oldham, Joe (2007). "Muscle Car Confidential", Motorbooks. ISBN 0-7603-2831-5.]

During the 1972 and 1973 model years 4,152 Javelins were produced with a special interior option designed by fashion design Pierre Cardin (official on-sale date was March 1, 1972). It has a multi-colored pleated stripe pattern in tones of Chinese red, plum, white, and silver on a black background. Six multi-colored stripes, in a tough satin-like nylon with a stain-resistant silicone finish, run from the front seats, up the doors, onto the headliner, and down to the rear seats. The fabric for the seat faces was produced for AMC by Chatham Mills, a veteran maker of interior fabrics. Cardin's crest appeared on the front fenders. MSRP of the option was US$84.95. The trend for fashion designers doing special interiors still continues, but Cardin's continues to be the “most daring and outlandish.” [Foster, Patrick. "Pierre Cardin Meets the Javelin" Hemming's Classic Car #31, April 2007.]

American Motors achieved record sales in 1972 by focusing on quality and including an innovative “Buyer Protection Plan” to back its products. This was the first time an automaker promised to repair anything wrong with the car (except for tires) for one year or 12,000 miles. Owners were provided with a toll-free telephone to AMC, as well as a free loaner car if a repair to their car took overnight. One commentator has said that “ [d] espite the Javelin's “great lines and commendable road performance, it never quite matched the competition in the sales arena ... primarily because the small independent auto maker did not have the reputation and/or clout to compete with GM, Ford, and Chrysler.” [Citation
last = Kunz
first = Bruce
title = AMC's 1971-1974 Javelin was a Horse of a Different Color in more ways than one
newspaper = St. Louis Post-Dispatch
date = 2006-08-26
url =
accessdate = 2008-05-14

By 1974, Chrysler abandoned the pony car market. Whereas Ford replaced its original Mustang with a smaller four-cylinder version, and other pony car manufacturers also downsized engines, 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. American Motors also needed a manufacturing line to build its all-new AMC Pacer. [Citation
last = Langworth
first = Richard M.
title = 1968-74 Javelin: AMC's Thrust Into the Ponycar Arena
journal = Collectible Automobile
volume =
issue =
pages =
date = October
year = 1987


* "AMC" I6, Convert|135|hp|kW|0| gross rating
* "AMC" I6, Convert|150|hp|kW|0| gross rating
* "AMC" V8, Convert|210|hp|kW|0| gross rating
* "AMC" V8, Convert|245|hp|kW|0| gross rating (two-barrel carburetor with single exhaust)
* "AMC" V8, Convert|285|hp|kW|0| gross rating (four-barrel carburetor with dual exhaust)
* "AMC" V8, Convert|335|hp|kW|0| gross rating


"Chicago Sun-Times" auto editor Dan Jedlicka says that the Javelin, which he describes as "beautifully sculpted" and "one of the best-looking cars of the 1960s", is "finally gaining the respect of collectors, along with higher prices." [Jedlicka, Dan. "AMC on target with the Javelin" Chicago Sun-Times, May 28, 2007. page A2.] The first generation Javelin has also been described as a "fun and affordable American classic with a rich racing pedigree and style that will always stand out from the omnipresent packs of Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler pony cars." [Citation | last = Blackwell | first = Rusty | title = Collectible Classic: 1968-70 AMC Javelin | publisher = Automobile Magazine | url = | accessdate = 2008-05-11 ] The basic version of the car does not command the high prices of some other muscle cars and pony cars. However, in its day the car sold in respectable numbers, regularly outselling both the Plymouth Barracuda and Dodge Challenger so popular today.

1971 through 1974 AMX versions command higher prices, according to collector-car price guides.

There are many active AMC automobile clubs, including for owners interested in racing in vintage events. The Javelin shared numerous mechanical, body, and trim parts with other AMC models, and there are vendors specializing in new old stock (NOS) as well as reproduction components.

Export and other markets

* Between 30 December 1968 and 2 July 1970, the German coach builder, Karmann, assembled 280 [Dates and figures given by Karmann on 31 October 2006—via e-mail.] CKD (Completely Knocked Down) Javelins that were sold in Europe. This deal was very significant because it was a completely American designed car that was made in Germany. Karmann’s “Javelin 79-K” came with the auto CID|343. 90% of the parts and components used came in crates from the USA. At Karmann’s facility in Rheine the cars were assembled, painted, and test-driven prior to shipment to customers.
* Right hand drive versions of both the first and second generation models were assembled in Australia by Australian Motor Industries (AMI) from CKD kits. The right hand drive dash and other required components were locally manufactured.
* Javelins were also popular in Europe, primarily because they had the largest and most usable rear seat of the American pony cars.
* Javelins equipped with the auto CID|401 engine were used by the Alabama Highway Patrol beginning in 1971 and ending with the last ADPS Javelin's retirement in 1979. They were the first pony cars to be used as a normal highway patrol police car by any U.S. police organization.


The 1971 AMC Javelin has the following specifications:
*Length: 191.8 inches (4872 mm)
*Width: 75.2 inches (1910 mm)
*Wheelbase: 110 inches (2794 mm)


;Inline; General

External links

* [ AMC Rambler Club] — Club for 1958 – 1969 AMCs.
* [ American Motors Owners] — Club for 1958 – 1987 AMCs.
* [ AMC Police Car Registry] — Club for all AMC emergency vehicles.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • AMC Javelin — SST (1969) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • AMC Javelin — Constructeur American Motors Corporation Années de production 1968 – 1974 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • AMC AMX — (1968) mit Go Package AMC AMX (1969) in Big Bad Oran …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • AMC Gremlin — Fabricante American Motors Período 1970 1978 …   Wikipedia Español

  • AMC Marlin — Rambler Marlin Hersteller: American Motors Corporation Produktionszeitraum: 1965–1967 Vorgänger: Nachfolger …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • AMC AMX — {| border=0 align=right Infobox Automobile name= AMC AMX manufacturer=American Motors (AMC) production=1968 ndash; 1970 assembly =Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States Port Melbourne, Australia class=Grand tourer body style=2 door coupe layout=front… …   Wikipedia

  • AMC Rambler — Rambler American Hersteller: American Motors Corporation Produktionszeitraum: 1958–1969 Vorgänger: Nash Rambler …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • AMC Ambassador — Ambassador Brougham Limousine (1973) mit 6,6 Liter V8 Der Ambassador war die größte PKW Baureihe, die die American Motors Corporation (AMC) in den Jahren 1958 bis 1974 herstellte. Der Wagen war bekannt als Rambler Ambassador, Ambassador V8 von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • AMC Alliance — Renault Renault 9 (1981–1986) R9/R11 Hersteller: Renault Produktionszeitraum: 1981–1988 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • AMC Encore — Renault Renault 9 (1981–1986) R9/R11 Hersteller: Renault Produktionszeitraum: 1981–1988 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.