Monday, August 1, 2011

Red, White, and Vroom

Fast Pointy Thing by William 74
Fast Pointy Thing, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Made up of a number of smaller independent manufacturers, American Motors Corporation could always be counted on to offer up interesting cars (some might say "weird"), but nobody was surprised when they entered the performance market in the sixties with cars like the S/C Rambler and AMX. However, the company surprised the road racing fraternity with it's entry into the Trans-Am series in 1970, using the Javelin. Originally run by Roger Penske's famous team, by 1972 the mantle of AMC factory team had passed to Roy Woods Racing, with Woods and George Follmer driving.

The Javelin was AMC's entry into the pony car market, which was dominated by the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford's Mustang (Mopar's Barracuda and Challenger were far less popular, despite their legendary reputations today). It proved to be relatively popular, certainly by AMC's standards, and the car was rated highly by the magazines.

This one is a second generation car, from 1972. The Javelin had grown a bit, but was available with big-block engines to make up for it. The car proved to be just as popular, even making it as one of the few two-door sports coupes to be used by police forces (those big blocks again!) in the States.

Red, white, and blue liveries were an AMC trademark-special editions of the Javelin were available in this exact scheme (less numbers and sponsor stickers), and the patriotic theme returned on the S/C Rambler and Rebel Machine muscle cars.

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