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Junkyard Crawl

Lost At AMC

Photography by Steve Magnante

There's been an upswing in the popularity of AMC machinery from the days before Chrysler's acquisition of the ailing carmaker in March 1987. Though AMC was ahead of the industry in rust prevention, with the heavy use of galvanized metal and numerous dips in the phosphate tank, in the end nature always wins out. Witness this quartet of extra-salty AMC wonders we found at the recently closed Curboy's Auto Wrecking in Sturbridge, Massachussetts.

As AMC's bid for a slice of the ponycar market, this inaugural-year '68 Javelin SST was built with a 290 V-8. Unlike the rest of Detroit, AMC's VIN system includes a helpful transmission code in the third position of the sequence. This one bears the letter C to identify its three-speed Borg-Warner automatic transmission with console shift. Seeing the letters F or M would have really got us going, as they identify a four-speed (F equals console, M equals no console).

Looks like something blew up big time in this 304-powered '70 Javelin SST. While 55,124 Javelins were built in 1968, and production totals for subsequent model years began a downward slide, with 40,675 built in 1969 and a mere 30,180 for the final '70 model year. The radical restyle of the '71 Javelin-with its Corvette Stingray-inspired fender bulges-didn't save the day; only 29,054 sold.

This '66 Rambler American 440 convertible is so rusty, its tin repair patches are flapping and ready to tumble. Still, it's a rare bird, with a mere 2,092 built. By contrast, the highest-selling '66 model-year convertible was the Ford Mustang (72,119 built), followed by the Chevy Impala (38,000 built), and the Ford Galaxie 500 (27,454 built). The most scarce convertible in 1966? Another Mustang, the Shelby GT350 (six built).

Party on! Excellent! Judging from the gratuitous window smashing and dance-floor roof modification, some good-ol' boys had the Molly Hatchet cranked, as several beer balls got drained in/on this '79 Pacer two-door coupe. Dig on the '79-up bulged hood and arched grille, details that added room for the optional 304 V-8.

Groovy Factoids
*Even though the second-generation '71-'74 Javelin look radically different from the first-generation '68-'70 offerings, all Javelins share the same trunklid, rear bumper, and doorskin stampings from '68 through '74.
*The final year for Rambler American convertibles was 1967. There'd be nothing but fixed-steel roofs for '68 and '69.

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1 comments
Route66Rambler
Route66Rambler

Judging by its taillights, I believe that convertible is more rare than you think. It's a '67, which I believe was promoted to the Rogue model line and something over 800 were built, I believe. I own a '66 440 convertible and the taillights are long, flat and rectangular, similar to a '65 but not as rounded.

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