The American Motors Corporation was a company that was around from 1954 through 1988. However, the history of the company dates back further, because it was formed out of a merger between Hudson and Nash.
The Hudson Motor Car Company was originally founded back in 1909, and Nash Motors Company was founded by Charles Nash in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 1916.
A fellow named George Mason was the mastermind behind the merger, which was the largest merger in American history to that point, but the company was guided by George Romney after Mason’s death. Romney ultimately went on to become governor of the state of Michigan.
The American Motors Corporation was built around the Rambler during the early days, and it was the quintessential “sensible” car that was affordable for the working person. When you think about American Motors, you don’t generally think about muscle, but they did in fact produce a muscle/pony car called the Javelin.
During the last half of the 1960s, a Mustang competitor was a must for any serious American automobile manufacturer because the car enjoyed unbelievable popularity. The AMC Javelin entered the fray for the 1967 model year.
Because of budgetary restraints, the company could not match the Mustang with regard to body styles. There was just one offering, a two-door semi-fastback hardtop.
During that initial model year, the standard engines were a 232-cubic inch straight-six or a 290-cubic inch V-8. If you wanted more muscle, you could get the car equipped with a 343-cubic inch V-8 with either a two-barrel or a four-barrel carburetor.
The Javelin got great reviews in the automotive press, with Motor Trend ranking it number one in its class.
For the 1968 model year, the “Go Package” was offered for the the muscle enthusiasts. With this package you got a-390 cubic inch AMX that was rated at 315 horsepower, along with a four-speed tranny that was mounted on the floor. The car could go from 0 to 60 in around seven seconds.
During that second model year, there were just over 55,000 specimens of the Javelin produced by AMC. Production declined during the 1969 model year, and in 1970 the car was reintroduced with a fresh look.
The AMC Javelin remained in production through the 1974 model year, and the car is popular among many collectors of American muscle. The models equipped with the “Go Package” are particularly desirable.
Given the popularity of cars like the Camaro and the Mustang, it’s easy to overlook the Javelin, but the car definitely made a mark during its relatively brief history.