AMC Javelin Reviews

1972 AMC Javelin SST 258 from North America

Model year1972
Year of manufacture1972
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 258 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired61000 miles
Most recent distance62000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Suburban

Summary:

This car represents the pinnacle of AMC's ambition

Faults:

Car needed the carb rebuilt, new starter, alternator, belts and battery. It had been parked for over 5 years before I bought it.

General Comments:

I love this car. Having owned a few other Javelins and AMX's, I had a good idea what was getting into when I bought the car, even though it wasn't running then.

After a days work, I got the Javelin on the road. I get more second and third looks driving this car than any ten Corvette drivers do. If I hit a red light, it's about a 50% chance the person next to me will roll down their window and try to strike up a conversation about the car. Almost every time I stop and fill up the tank, I get sidelined by curious people.

The cockpits of the 71-74 Javelins are my favorite place to be when behind the wheel of a car. The layout is biased toward the driver, everything is easily accessible, and it's built on a scale that fits a tall 6'3" guy like me, without compromising my comfort or making me look through the tint strip at the top of the windshield.

The back seat however is more of a shelf than a seat. Like Camaros and Firebirds, the rear seat is vestigial like the tail bone of a human, a throwback to an earlier time when they served an actual function. This isn't a bad thing, just don't try sticking a friend in the back seat and expect them to still be your friend at the other end of the ride.

These cars are great representatives of the pony/muscle car era, and you will never have one just like yours pull up next to you at a stoplight.

An issue to be aware of if you live in a city with notoriously narrow parking spots (like San Diego) is the length of the doors. I have an ace in the hole in that regard, being disabled, but when the disabled spots are full, it can be tough to find a spot to park the car in that still allows me room to get out.

Buying an AMC gains you membership into a tight knit group of enthusiasts, who will be more than willing to bring you into the fold and help you realize your vision for the car... as long as it doesn't involve installing a non-AMC motor.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th August, 2010

8th Aug 2010, 05:33

"Having owned a few other Javelins and AMX's" - why would you buy one with a 258 six-cyl?

9th Aug 2010, 16:38

These kind of cars are harder to find than say a Camaro. Any drivetrain is fine; remove it, and drop in a 390 or 401.

1970 AMC Javelin 304 V8 from North America

Model year1970
Year of manufacture1970
Engine and transmission 304 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Previous carChevrolet Camaro

Summary:

The best ponycar of all?

Faults:

Power brake unit replaced - after 37 years

Windshield wiper linkage came loose - new clip

Front bushings squeak - haven't fixed yet.

General Comments:

Love my '70 Javelin SST. This was the same year as the Mark Donahue Javelin and the last year of the older body (which was updated from 68-69 with different dash, tail-lights and front grille/bumper/hood). I've owned it about a year and have been fixing it up while using it almost daily. It is a V8/Auto with PS and PB. It has drum brakes, but the fronts are 10" and stop the car easily from speed. Disc's were optional. Mine even has factory A/C (rare on 68-69's, but a lot of the 70's had it). In 1970 the auto's had the shifter on the console which is much more sporty than a column shifter. It has some unique features (squeeze the rim of the steering wheel to blow the horn, a low fuel warning light that flashes, etc) not found on other cars of this period. The Javelin is a great alternative to other "ponycars" like the Camaro, Mustang and Barracuda, and quite possibly even better. I've owned 3 Camaro's previously and can say that the Javelin handles better and is more comfortable. With it's factory anti-sway bar the handling is remarkable with almost no leaning in the corners. A lot of people think the Javelin was a 2 seater (the AMX was), but the regular Javelin has a back seat just like a camaro and is quite roomy. The styling of this car is awesome, nothing made today compares. You don't see too many of these at the shows either like the Mustangs and Cuda's. AMC made some darned good cars back then...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th August, 2007

29th Aug 2007, 02:20

The Javelin was a very popular car with my friends back when I was in high school during the late 60's and very early 70's. Like the Plymouth Roadrunner of the same time, the Javelin featured very bright and popular paint schemes with plenty of brand detailing.

Javelin SST was the luxury model. Javelin AMX was the performance version.

The Javelin ran into some bad press. They were powerful and quick at the traffic lights and very good if you liked to burn tires. The safest way to drive Mustangs, Firebirds and Javelins of that time was in a straight line with plenty of room for those underpowered brakes to stop them.

20th Sep 2007, 08:10

The Javelin AMX replaced the original 2-seater AMX. In 1970 the AMX was still in production. The SST (correct me) was the sportiest Javelin of that year.

20th Sep 2007, 16:04

There was no real mechanical differences between the base Javelin and the SST model. Like all other AMC models back then, SST just signified a fancier interior and some additional exterior trim. Whether that makes it sportier or not is a matter of opinion, but someone who just wanted a fast AMC car, but could not afford an AMX, would have more likely chosen a base Javelin, preferably equipped with the 343 or 390 V8 and four-speed.

22nd Mar 2011, 17:44

Javelin is a gorgeous, beautiful automobile, and is just as powerful as the Mustangs, Camaros, Firebirds and Barracudas of the same era. However, the Javelin is about half the price when it was new than those other cars, and you can find a 1968-1970 Javelin in excellent condition, for half the price of a 1965-1968 Mustang in the same condition. Yet the Javelin is much more handsome car and larger car than the Mustang from the same era, even though a Mustang in excellent condition from that era would cost you twice as much.

I think the Javelin is one of the most beautiful cars ever to come out of Detroit from that era.

Average review marks: 7.1 / 10, based on 12 reviews