AMC’s entry into the personal luxury market.
American Motors almost always had to swing for the fence when it came to introducing new products because they didn’t have the big budgets to work with like GM, Ford, and Chrysler did. The same went for their marketing.
Enter the second generation Matador in 1974 and with the Ambassador being dropped became AMC’s largest car. With its second generation, the Matador became AMC’s largest automobile after the discontinuation of the Ambassador. A lot of effort went into this entry in the personal luxury market, one which AMC was looking to cash into. Premium trim levels of the second generation Matador coupe were marketed as the Barcelona and Oleg Cassini.
The Barcelona edition was loaded with a 360 V8, auto transmission, tilt steering, air conditioning, 8-track player, matching vinyl landau roof, rear opera windows along with unique interior markings and seats your butt could get lost in.
There was a love-it-or-hate-it mentality regarding the Matador coupe even among AMC geeks. I liked it. It beat the coffin-nose front end that the Matador adopted when it replaced the Rebel in 1971. My first car was a 70 Rebel SST with the one year only aluminum side molding.
The coupe, designed by Richard Teague, sold well the first couple of years, outselling the four-door by nearly 25,000 units in 1974 but dropped to less than 10,000 in 1978 just over 2,000 and the company pulled the plug. It had a claim to fame being featured in the James Bond movie Man with the Golden Gun where it flew.
These don’t sell for a lot of money. According to Classic.com an average of just short of $20,000 which makes this one sold on Bring A Trailer for $41,000. An eye-popping price even for me. That’s quite a return on a car that listed for around 7 grand. This is the kind of money that first-gen AMX’s sell for!
What makes this one so special? According to the listing it was built for its designer, Teague, and was the last one off the line. It went up for sale with only 7,000 miles and the original window sticker. Like most of the ones ordered, this one two was well equipped and lived in Minnesota. Check out that interior. Those seats were pure butt vacuums. Love the license plate. Hope it found a good home.