AMC Javelin: 1968-1970, 1st generation

posted in: Muscle cars | 1

This car is probably one of the least popular pony muscle cars. It was built by American Motors Corporation . The production of AMC Javelin was done in between 1968-1974 with a possible generation split into two one – 1968-1970 and 1971-1974.

1st generation Javelin

The concept Javelin was firstly shown in 1966 as AMS AMX project. In order to compete with other pony cars Javelin got into production line in the 1968. The pony car template for the Javelin was the same – small car with a big engine. The AMC’s choices were: the standard 232 cubic [3.8 liter, 145-155HP] I-6 and 290 cubic [4.8 liter, 225 HP], 343 cubic [5.6 liter, 235-280 hp] and 390 cubic 6.4 liter, 315 H] V8s. The horse power range depended on the barrel number. The “Go Package” included a 4-barrel one with carburetor on a 5.6 liter V8. This package also had power front disc brakes, dual exhaust and could be enriched with the SST trim that made Javelin look quite luxurious muscle car. The 6.4 liter engine was offered as an option engine in middle 1968 and helped AMC Javelin reach 0-60 in 7 seconds.
Javelin was roomier and “cleaner” than other pony cars [Mustang, Barracuda and Camaro]. Even though Javelin got critics for its dull interior, drum brakes and unpowered steering over 56.000 units were sold only in the first production year. The next model year got minor design changes such as revised striping, new grille and trim. One of the most interesting and unusual features for the 1969 Javelin was the roof mounted spoiler in “Mod Javelin” package.  This package also had simulated exhaust trim and hood air scoops [simulated too]. During the same 1968 year AMC was the only manufacturer that managed to finish every Trans-Am race. The “Big Bad” body color option was offered in the same year and consisted of the famous neon brilliant blue, orange and green color options with match-painted bumpers.
The 1970 model is worth separate mentioning just because it faced many exterior changes just for one year: new “twin-venturi” grille, longer hood, full width taillights and new V8s – the standard one was 304 cubic [5 liter, 225 HP] and optional 360 cubic [5.9 liter] muscle heart.  The top option was an upgraded 6.4 liter V8 pumping 325 HP because of the 51 cc combustion chambers. The 1970 “Go Package” consisted of  front disc brakes, dual exhaust, heavy-duty suspension and performance tires with the most popular among buyers 4-barrel option. The dashboard was also new and also one-year.
AMC had a few special models and one of them was Mark Donohue’s Javelin SST with a 2.501 unit production. Sadly, Donohue’s are difficult to authenticate because there were no special VIN numbering for this range making them easy to replicate.  On more special model was a 100 unit production of Trans-Am Javelins that were painted in racing team’s matador red, frost white with commodore blue paint scheme.

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