The 1974-1978 AMC Matador coupes were the pillared replacement for the true hardtop coupe in AMC's mid-'70s mid-size line (changed from Rebel to Matador for '71). The Matador was built on the same chassis with a shorter wheelbase. Its hulking semi-fastback styling was not one of Dick Teague's better efforts, but it had some aerodynamic benefit for AMC's short-lived fling with stock-car racing at the time -- which was the main idea.

The 1974-1978 AMC Matador coupes were offered in several trim levels each year. Best for enthusiasts are the sportier "X"-package models with standard body stripes, black grille, styled wheels, etc., plus options like bucket seats and V-8 (small-blocks up to and including AMC's '74-only 401).

Still, no Matador is a "driver's car," so the various "designer editions" merit collector interest, too. These include Oleg Cassini (1974-1975), Barcelona (1976), and Barcelona II (1977-1978), the last with padded vinyl top and (ugh) "opera" windows.

The Matador coupes are more "cheap wheels" than bona fide collectibles now, but they're not being saved, so who knows? At the very least, they're an interesting low-cost oddball.

Pluses of the 1974-1978 AMC Matador Coupes:

  • Dirt cheap
  • Minor NASCAR connection
  • Can't be many 1974 401s left
  • "Distinctive" styling

Minuses of the 1974-1978 AMC Matador Coupes:

  • "Distinctive" styling
  • Tinworm-susceptible
  • Tough to find in good nick
  • Tough to restore
  • No appreciation potential

Production of the 1974-1978 AMC Matador Coupes:
NA, but probably no more than 30 percent of total Matador model-year output. Those figures are:

  • 1974: 99,992; Cassini: 6,165
  • 1975: 59,582; Cassini: 1,817
  • 1976: 41,510
  • 1977: 30,847
  • 1978: 10,576

Specifications of the 1974-1978 AMC Matador Coupes:
Wheelbase, inches: 114.0
Length, inches: 209.3
Weight, pounds: 3,562-3,916
Price, new: $3,096-$4,989

Engines for the 1974-1978 AMC Matador Coupes:

Type Size Horsepower Years
ohv I-6 258 cid 90/98/110 1974-1978
ohv V-8 304 cid 126/150 1974-1978
ohv V-8 360 cid 130-195 1974-1978
ohv V-8 401cid 255 1974

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