Stylish Survivor: 1976 AMC Matador Brougham 32.5K Mile Coupe – SOLD!

by | Mar 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Malaise Monday

(To stop the slideshow and expand the pictures, click on the current photograph below)

March 21, 2022, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Asked to rank the most wildly styled American cars of the early 1970s, the 1974 American Motors Corporation (“AMC”) Matador Two Door Hardtop places a close second to the third generation “Boat Tail” Buick Riviera. Nearly three years into running this website, we’ve long been hoping to feature a second-generation Matador two-door for Malaise Monday. We finally got our chance with this 32,454 original mile, white over light blue vinyl, 1976 AMC Matador Brougham originally listed in March 2022 in Oxnard, California (Los Angeles). The third owner indicates the only non-original items on this Matador are the tires and hoses. Mildly optioned, this example features the more desirable 360 cubic inch V8.

Currently offered for $15,000, comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Matador priced between this guide’s #2 “Excellent” estimate of $11,700 and its #1 “Concours” appraisal of $21,300.  As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask is two hundred dollars higher than this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $14,800.

For 1974, American Motors’ executives saw an opportunity to replace the uninspired Matador two-door hardtop with a new design to capture people looking for exciting, sporty styling in the fast-growing mid-size personal luxury coupe market segment.

The 1974 model year introduced an aerodynamically styled fastback coupe with pronounced “tunneled” headlight surrounds. The Matador coupe was the only all-new model in the popular mid-size car segment, specifically targeting the Chevrolet Chevelle, Ford Torino, and Plymouth Satellite Sebring. Dick Teague, AMC’s vice president of styling at the time, provided styling direction using feedback from race car driver Mark Donohue.  AMC’s styling department had greater freedom because of a decision to design the new Matador strictly as a coupe, without the constraints of attempting to have the sedan and station wagon versions fit the same body lines.

The front end of the 1974 Matador drew inspiration from the ’64 Rambler American.  This was one of several distinctive elements as the long sloping hood was set off by deeply tunneled headlamps between a broad grille with turn signal lamps resembling driving lamps.  The forward edge of the hood was part of a character crease line that went completely around the middle of the car and continued across the rear end. The coupe’s doors were extra long and featured frameless glass. The B-pillar was also distinctive and the quarter side windows sloped with the roofline. The combination of a very long low hood and a tall short rear deck enhanced the coupe’s wind-shaped look. The new coupe featured a totally unique design to avoid the massive, blockish look.  The bodywork flowed underneath the coupe’s broad grille with tunneled headlamps in the rear with an uninterrupted design with the four round taillamps and an indented license plate area, while the bumpers were free-standing with rubber gaiters concealing the retractable shock absorbers.

Matadors came standard with AMC’s venerable 232 cubic inch inline-six, while optional power included three V8s in either 304-, 360-, or 403 cubic inch displacement.  Automotive writers praised AMC’s innovative design at the time, especially considering the design time developed the car on a limited budget.

Sales for the long 1974 model year totaled a respectable 62,629 Matador coupes. Unfortunately, in typical AMC fashion, sales quickly tapered off in subsequent model years.  A new grille for the coupe was introduced for the 1976 model year. Two rectangular panels with horizontal grille bars met in the center and rectangular park and turn signal lamps replaced the previous round ones.

The Osborne Tramaine YouTube Channel features this 1976 AMC dealer film strip:

It’s hard enough to find a 1976 AMC Matador Coupe in running condition, let alone in low-mileage survivor condition such as this example.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Super nice 32,000 original Mile 1976 AMC Matador. Dead original except new tires and hose.
No rust 2 owner car all its life. Bought it from the second owner’s son last summer and I am selling it to finance other projects.
The photos don’t lie. Ready to go anywhere. Big 360 motor, extra cost wheels, steering wheel. otherwise pretty standard equipped which is nice. not many things to go wrong. No rust anywhere. new tires.
15,000 or best offer.”

Do you have an AMC Matador story to share?  If so, comment below and let us know!


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