As was frequently the case, the number four US automaker of the Big Three was playing catch-up in the pony car race. In spite of thin development budgets and frumpy sedans, they found ways to come up with ingenious features and exciting designs to stay relevant. Witness the remarkable Gremlin, the first-in-class Eagle, and the sexy Javelin. That last one is the car featured today – check out this 1973 AMC Javelin SST, for sale for $2000 somewhere in the east San Francisco Bay Area, CA.
The body-color rear fascia suggests this was not one of the Go-Pack equipped cars, although anything can change in 41 years. Vinyl tops are generally not cool, except in an ironic sense, but this one is neat for highlighting the flying buttress look of the C-pillars. It’s definitely the curviest of all muscle cars (the reference in the title is to a remark made by its designer, Dick Teague), and while somewhat exaggerated, it’s an interesting shape that has held up well.
First reaction – find a stock wheel, an aftermarket wheel, any wheel, but take this wheel and chuck it as far as you can. The faux burlwood is also hideous, but was shared by all cars. Unfortunately, this photo does not do justice to the U-shaped handbrake handle (later seen in the Alfa Milano) or the wrap-around, driver-centric dashboard.
For 1973, the 360 engine found in this car put out 175 hp (2-barrel carb) or 195 hp (4-barrel carb). This car comes with a spare 360, though it’s not clear why an extra is needed. The engine is said to run fine, so you can probably just tuck the extra away in your garage, for a rainy day when your current engine fails, or when you feel like pulling the spare apart and assessing its condition.
Nice butt, and probably a California car since new. Between the curvaceous fenders and sunken quad tail lights, they did a pretty good job adapting some Corvette styling cues without being too obvious. And who needs to bring a trailer when the seller provides one!