Parking Lot Spotlight: AMC Matador Drag Car

Yes you read it correct!!!  What you see below is a rare sight.  An extremely well preserved ProStreet/Drag AMC Matador.

Sure I’ve seen AMX as a drag car and I’ve even seen a Gremblin and a Pacer with V8 shoved between the fenders, but I’ve never seen a Matador with a drag set up.  And the condition is amazing.

See for yourself.

This is the Matador X

This is the Matador X

Also referred to as Matador Series 10

Also referred to as Matador Series 10


Control Freak Suspension specializes in AMC suspensions (and other makes).


The Matador X was a true sub-model not just a option package.

The Matador X had only a two year run 1974 and 1975.

As best as I can tell this is a 1975 and if the 401 badge on the side is correct, the is one of four cars (two door coupes) that left the factory with those engines that year (rest of the 84 cars with that engine were 4 door…hiss….boo!!!)

I would seriously consider doing up a Matador like this!!!

Got an interesting AMC?   Drop me a note, we can get it published.

Thanks for reading.


Friday Afternoon Challenge: Find A Car Name From Two Other Cars

I realized that the name, Tempo Matador, could be formed from the model names of two other notable cars, the Ford Tempo and the AMC Matador. Realizing this, I screamed like a banshee and flipped over the table at the soft-serve frogurt shop I steal my

Friday Afternoon Challenge: Find A Car Name From Two Other Cars

I realized that the name, Tempo Matador, could be formed from the model names of two other notable cars, the Ford Tempo and the AMC Matador. Realizing this, I screamed like a banshee and flipped over the table at the soft-serve frogurt shop I steal my

Scale Model Kit of the Week: Wild Custom AMC

Today, however, we’re going back in time and to Detroit — actually, to Kenosha — for a long-out-of-production AMT kit that has us cranking up the Frijid Pink and catching a buzz off the Testors fumes: this AMC Matador Coupe. Yes, the seller hopes to

1965 FIA World Manufacturers’ GT Championship – Bob Bondurant

You no doubt know about Ford and Carroll Shelby’s Cobra winning the 1965 FIA World Manufacturer’s GT Championship – breaking Enzo Ferrari’s reign on the in that event.   But this short video tells more about what Bob Bondurant endured during those races.   He is a true racing icon.


I’ve had the thrill of running Bondurant course here in Phoenix, AZ., include the F1 event held at Phoenix International Raceway.   All great experiences from a well run organization.


Check out the story of how the U.S. Team (with Bob and two English drivers) took home the win.



Enjoy and thanks for reading.


1965 ford cobra gtcarroll shelbybob bondurant

Stolen car alert: 1958 Rambler Ambassador | Hemmings Daily

via Stolen car alert: 1958 Rambler Ambassador | Hemmings Daily.

Keep an eye out for this car:

Any Northeasterner into AMCs must have seen Bob Majeski’s 1958 Rambler Ambassador over the last 14 years: In the time that he’s owned it, Bob has put 34,000 miles on it driving it to pretty much every major AMC show in the region. Now Bob is counting on that familiarity to bring his car back to him after thieves took it in broad daylight over the weekend.

“I used to joke, ‘Why would anybody ever steal it?’” Bob said. “It’s pretty much the only one around, and nobody needs any parts from it. And yeah, it’s a beautiful car, but it’s a 1958 Rambler, so who’d want it?”

Nevertheless, after he came back from a drive with some friends, mapping out the weekend’s dust-off run for the Connecticut region of the American Motors Owners Association and AMC Rambler Club, he found his Ambassador missing from where he left it earlier that afternoon in the parking lot of the All Seasons Inn and Suites in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

“I’m floored,” he said. “I can’t believe anybody would want to steal this car with AMXs and Javelins around it. All I can figure is that somebody thought they were stealing a ’57 Chevy, and somebody opening a container in South America will be surprised when they see my car.”

stolenAmabassador_01 stolenAmabassador_02

via Stolen car alert: 1958 Rambler Ambassador | Hemmings Daily.

Auto Factoids – Week of 4/20/2014

Here are your Auto Factoids for the week of April 20, 2014;


Only 3 major hits this week.

The first is that the American Motor Corporation (AMC) was formed by the merger of Nash and Hudson that happened on 4/22/1954.  It was actually Nash-Kalvinator and Hudson.   Cars were still produced under the Hudson name until 1957.

Hudson Hornet Hollywood.

Hudson Hornet Hollywood.

You know that AMC brought you some pretty out of the ordinary cars (Gremblin, Pacer) as well as some class muscle, (AMX, Javelin, Rebel).

There is great article on a Rebel in the May 2014 Hemmings Muscle Machine on a 1970 AMC Rebel.



Next up Chrysler purchases Lamborghini on 4/23/1987. What?   Yes….funny now Chrysler is owned by an Italian car company (Fiat).  Oh it was a smoking deal, only $25 million dollars.  That lasted until 1994 when Chrysler sold Lamborghini to an Indonesianan company.  In 1998 Volkswagen took over Lamborghini.


Finally this week back on 4/25/1970 Mazda’s first cars show up on U.S. shores.



Mazda’s 1970 RX-2

Thanks for reading.  


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lamborghini countachamc





Auto Factoids for Week of Feb 23, 2014

Here are your Auto Factoids for this week in automotive history.


A very light week, but a couple of biggies.


First up is the debut of AMC’s AMX that happened back in 1968 on Feb 24th.  Born to be muscle and destined to be a classic from the start.

They were sharp-looking and a curb weight of only about 3,000 lbs they weren’t heavy weights.  Impressive engine configurations of 290, 383, 360, and 390 with nothing but a 4 barrel carb (and one twin 4 barrel) you got horse power from 225 (the 290) to 420 (390 with twin 4 barrel carbs).  Impressive!  Sadly only a two-year run.

1969 Hurst version...NICE!!!

1969 Hurst version…NICE!!!


Had to dig for this one. Found it on   Back in 1905 a Cadillac was the first car to cross the Andes (the mountain range not Andes, New York) that happened on Feb 25th, but I don’t know why, nor does anyone else seem to know.  I can tell you  the Andes are in South American and average about 14,000 feet in altitude.  The ’05 (that’s 1905 not 2005) Caddy was, well let’s say “airy”.   That ‘brave’ (pronounced ‘Crazy’) soul was Jose Piquero. But wait, some sources say it wasn’t a Caddy at all, but a Oldsmobile.

So I would imagine either in either ride the trip was a tad bit chilly.

1905 Olds

1905 Olds

1905 Caddy

1905 Caddy


Less we forget that Ralph Nader has a birthday this month, you can celebrate that (anyone?  Bueller, Bueller…) if you absolutely can’t find another reason to have an adult beverage.  That day was Feb 27 back in 1934.  I wonder if he fell out of a car seat when he was young?

1962 Lakewood

1962 Lakewood

As luck would have it Mother Nature tends to even the playing field, so a few years later Mario Andretti was born in February on the 28 back in 1940 in Montona, Italy.


Mario Andretti

Mario Andretti


Thanks for reading.



Auto Factoids for Week of March 31st 2013

Let’s start with April 1st:

1961 the Amphicar debuted.

Amphicar - a flip of a lever and two propellers kicked in and made water-crossing a breeze.

Amphicar – a flip of a lever and two propellers kicked in and made water-crossing a breeze.

It was powered by an iron block and iron head  Inline 4 engine with 2 valves per  cylinder. It  displaced 1147 cc and had  2.72 x 2.99 bore and stroke with  8.0:1 compression produced 47 hp and 61 ft lbs of torque.

For years later one of the most important cars (although not this particular version) was introduced – the 1964 Plymouth Barracuda.  Little did Plymouth know at the time 6 to 8 years later the version of the ‘Cuda’ would break collector car value records.

1964 Barracuda - Glassback.

1964 Barracuda – Glassback.

Not the powerhouse that the 70’s versions were but it did have a V8 available that net you 180 hp.  Dubbed the “Glassback” because most of the slanted back was class (not unlike my 07 Corvette).

A few years later in 1970  AMC showed off their oddest car yet – the Gremlin. (Although the Pacer was arguably the worse.)  Ugly or not it was a good seller and it’s standard 6 cylinder was economical and produced 128 hp.  There were  872 2 passenger and 27,688 4 passenger made that year.

1970 Gremlin.  Fastback or 'no back"

1970 Gremlin. Fastback or ‘no back”


Also this week Mr. Walter Chrysler was born in 1875 on April 2 and Charles Hall patented Aluminum in 1889 on the same day.

In 1923 on April 5th, Firestone produced the first balloon tire.

Thanks for reading.








Engine Line Up for the 1967 American Motor Company

With names like  Rogue,  Rebel and Marlin you have to imagine some monster power plants moving these hunks of steels across the face of the earth.  So where they?  Here is the line up.

The body styles ranged from stately station wagons to slick fastbacks.  Some of the names are iconic like Rebel SST and Marlin.

1967 Rebel SST

1967 Rebel SST

Both nice cars and you could get them with the following engines.

First up was the Inline (straight) Six.  This engine was has a cast iron block and overhead valuve.  Displacement was 199 cid with a bore and stroke of 3 3/4 “x 3″.  The compression ratio was 8.5:1 and producing 128 hp.  It sported seven main bearings and topped with one of two single barrels carbs a Cater Type RBS or a Holley Model 1931C-3705.

From there  you could graduate to the next level Inline Six.  This one mirrored but with 232 cid displacement and a bore and stroke of 3.75″ x 3.50”. Compression ratio stayed the same and so did the carb options.    However it did manage to squeeze out 145 hp.

Now you could get both of these in the other models, including the wagons, but the engine you wanted in your Rebel or Marlin was the  V8.

This was an overhead valve cast iron block engine.  It displayed 287.2 cid and have a bore and stroke of 3.75″ x 3.25″ and had a compression of 8.7:1.  Five main bearings and hydraulic lifters topped with either two barrel Carter WCD or Holley.

Inlline Six


1967 V8

Thanks for reading.




Auto Factoid for the Week of Jan 27, 2013

Wow.  January 2013 is almost over.  Here is what was happening this week in auto history.

Jan 27 1974- “I CAN’T DRIVE 55”  But didn’t stop then President Richard Nixon speed limit reduced to 55.

1/29   – Karl Benz patented 1st car with Gas engine  1886

1/30 – Rambler debuted   1958

1/31 – Pontiac first 2 door Safari wagon – 1955

I love two wagon!!!!


1/31 – Studebaker – Packard Clipper debuts 1957

I did a post a while back on the ill fated  merger that resulted in the PackardBaker.

Thanks for reading.


Auto Factoids for the week of Sept 23

We have a couple of debuts’ this week and a couple of Birthdays.

First up on Sept. 23 in 1969 the iconic and now recreated Dodge Challenger.

From this:

1969 Challenger

And this:

The Iconic General Lee

To this:

The 2012 version.

Virgil Exner was born on the 24th of Sept in 1909.  Who was “Ex”?    A car designer.  Oh…ok…of what?  Just a couple of designs, like all of these:

Studebaker Champion
Studebaker Starlight
Chrysler C-200
Chrysler 300 letter series
Chrysler 300 non-letter series
Chrysler New Yorker
Imperial 1955-1961
Chrysler Diablo Concept with Ghia
Plymouth Savoy
Plymouth Belvedere
Plymouth Fury
Plymouth Suburban
Plymouth Valiant
Dodge Coronet
Dodge Firearrow Concept
Desoto 1961
Desoto Adventurer
Bugatti 1965 concept with Ghia
Mercer-Cobra 1965 concept
Duesenberg 1966 prototype with Ghia
Stutz Blackhawk

Bill France was born on the 26th in 1909 in our nations capital.  Mr. France was an American race car driver. He is best known for co-founding and managing NASCAR, a sanctioning body of United States-based stock car racing.
The final debuts was on Sept. 26, 1967 when AMC released the Javelin.

1967 Javelin

Thanks for reading


Engine Line Up – 1966 AMC

Often over looked is the first year AMC products.  AMC invested approximately 300 million dollars in  advanced engine designs, bodies and plant facilities as it prepared for the move from Nash Rambler hold over to AMC proper.

Of course the company was formed from Nash Rambler (AMC Rambler) in 1958 and eventually just American  Motors Corp.  So 1966 found a fair amount of “redesign” going on.   The available models for that year were:

Rambler American Rouge Series 01 (4dr w/V8)

Rambler Classic 770 Series 10 (2dr conv w/V8)  (4dr station wagon w/6cyl)

Rambler Rebel  Series (2dr w/V8)

Marlin Series 50 (2dr w/6 or V8) (My favorite besides the Javelin)

I love these cars. The two-tone paint is great. I love the yellow and black, blue and black and the silver and black combo.

Ambassador 990  Series 80 (4dr w/V8)

Rambler Ambassador 990  Series 80 (2d conv w/V8)

1966 Rambler Ambassador 990 Convertible

Rambler Ambassador DPL Series 80 (2dr w/V8)

Gone from the engine line up is the 196.5 6 cylinder overhead valve engine.  It was replaced with the 198.8 In Line Six. It was a cast iron block with overhead valves and a bore and stroke of 3.57 x 4.00 inches.  It displaced 198.8 cubic inches with a compression ratio of 85:1 and mustered up 128 hp. It was topped with a 1bbl Holley carb.  This was the base engine and all of the models could have been optioned with it.  But that wasn’t the only 6 banger the American 232 cid with produced 155 hp which sported a 2bbl Holley carb.

On the V8 side of things there was the 287 cid.  It was a cast iron block with overhead valves with a bore and stroke of 3.75 x 3.25 which produced a compression ratio of 8.7:1.  Topped with a 2bbl Holley (model 2209-2699) it made 198 hp.  The other option was the 327 cid that put out 270 hp and carried a 4bbl Holley on top.

New for that year was the 290 V8 (4.8L) it had a bore and stroke of 3.75 x 3.28  and with an iron block and overhead valves which produced 200 hp with a 2bbl plopped on top for 225 with a 4bbl carb.  Snap up the car with an original 290, only 623 of these engine were place in the 1966 models (all may the “American” models vs the “Classic” (those should have 287 instead).

The 290 used sparingly in the 1966 models.

The 327 was available in 1966. It was 5.4 liters with cast iron block.  The bore was increased over the 287 (they were similar set up) and it had hydraulic lifters.

The AMC 327 was similar to the 287, but displaced 327 cu in (5.4 L) due to the bore increase to 4.0 inches (102 mm). Unlike the 250, the 327 was available with hydraulic valve lifters.  The bore and stroke was 4.0 x 3.25  and topped with 2bbl carb it produced 250 hp.  Put the 4bbl option and you push it up to 270 hp.

I really these early AMC.

Thanks for reading.