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1974 AMC Javelin AMX - Junkyard Crawl

AMX Extinction

Photography by Steve Magnante

Many AMC performance fans freaked when the classic two-seat '68 to '70 AMX was replaced by the redesigned pontoon-fender four-seater in 1971. But time has been kind to the second-generation Javelin AMX, and it's gone from unwanted to nearly unobtainable in the last decade. While it isn't all that uncommon to stumble onto the crusty shell of a basic Javelin in the boneyard, spotting an actual AMX is a rare thing. Feast your eyes on this final-year '74 Javelin AMX at Desert Valley Auto Parts in Phoenix (dvap.com; 800/905-8024). It's the last of the breed.

Original paint-even baby-poop brown-is a sad thing to waste. We dig the fact that AMC put fiberglass hoods on the second-generation AMX. Even though the Fed required all '74 passenger cars to have 5-mph impact-absorbing bumpers, AMC somehow got away with the simple addition of the rubber bumper guards seen here and met the requirement.

AMC door tags offer a wealth of vehicle information. Let's decode from the top: Body 015601 = the production sequence, Model 7479-8 = '74 model year, 79-8 = AMX (we'd see code 79-7 if this was a regular non-AMX Javelin), Trim 426Q = Cinnamon vinyl bucket seats, Paint F9-BU = Copper Metallic with Buckskin vinyl roof.

Lifting the hood reveals a nice surprise. Though it's only the 220hp P-code 360 four-barrel mill and not the top-dog 255hp Z-code 401, there's a bunch of bolt-on magic to perk things up. Scope the Mallory distributor, Edelbrock carburetor, and chrome Milodon valve covers. The headers and Offy aluminum dual-plane intake are less visible but present. Our X-ray glasses are in the shop, but there's a better-than-even chance a hot cam lurks inside.

And speaking of inside, there's not much left but we can see the remains of the unique football goal shift handle and three-spoke AMX steering wheel. Want to learn more about these cool cars? Get Chris Zinn's Javelin and AMX From Concept to Reality photo archive books from iconografixinc.com.

Groovy Factoids
* All Javelins and AMXs built from '68 to '74 use the same trunk lid.
* AMC Design Chief Dick Teague had a prototype '71 Javelin front clip installed on his two-seat Javelin in '70 as a last hope of selling the two-seat body to upper management. The idea was rejected, but the mule still exists.

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