AMBULANCES part I international and special about Dutch Ambulances

 Star of life 2

Ambulance

VW Crafter Strobel ZZS JCKA modern van-based Volkswagen Crafterambulance in the Czech Republic

An ambulance is a vehicle for transportation, from or between places of treatment, and in some instances will also provide out of hospital medical care to the patient. The word is often associated with road going emergency ambulances which form part of an emergency medical service, administering emergency care to those with acute medical problems.

The term ambulance does, however, extend to a wider range of vehicles other than those with flashing warning lights and sirens. The term also includes a large number of non-urgent ambulances which are for transport of patients without an urgent acute condition (see below: Functional types) and a wide range of urgent and non-urgent vehicles including trucks, vans, bicycles, motorbikes, station wagons, buses, helicoptersfixed-wing aircraft, boats, and even hospital ships (see below: Vehicle types).

The term ambulance comes from the Latin word “ambulare” as meaning “to walk or move about” which is a reference to early medical care where patients were moved by lifting or wheeling. The word originally meant a moving hospital, which follows an army in its movements. Ambulances (Ambulancias in Spanish) were first used for emergency transport in 1487 by the Spanish forces during the siege of Málaga by the Catholic Monarchs against the Emirate of Granada. During the American Civil War vehicles for conveying the wounded off the field of battle were called ambulance wagons. Field hospitals were still called ambulances during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and in the Serbo-Turkish war of 1876 even though the wagons were first referred to as ambulances about 1854 during the Crimean War.

There are other types of ambulance, with the most common being the patient transport ambulance (sometimes called an ambulette). These vehicles are not usually (although there are exceptions) equipped with life-support equipment, and are usually crewed by staff with fewer qualifications than the crew of emergency ambulances. Their purpose is simply to transport patients to, from or between places of treatment. In most countries, these are not equipped with flashing lights or sirens. In some jurisdictions there is a modified form of the ambulance used, that only carries one member of ambulance crew to the scene to provide care, but is not used to transport the patient. Such vehicles are called fly-cars. In these cases a patient who requires transportation to hospital will require a patient-carrying ambulance to attend in addition to the first responder.

History

1948 Cadillac Miller Meteor front passenger quarter DFVAC

Early car-based ambulances, like this 1948 Cadillac Meteor, were sometimes also used as hearses.

1949 FDNY ambulanceU.S. ambulance in 1949

The history of the ambulance begins in ancient times, with the use of carts to transport incurable patients by force. Ambulances were first used for emergency transport in 1487 by the Spanish, and civilian variants were put into operation during the 1830s. Advances in technology throughout the 19th and 20th centuries led to the modern self-powered ambulances.

Functional types

Ambulances can be grouped into types depending on whether or not they transport patients, and under what conditions. In some cases, ambulances may fulfil more than one function (such as combining emergency ambulance care with patient transport

Emergency ambulance – The most common type of ambulance, which provide care to patients with an acute illness or injury. These can be road-going vans, boats, helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft (known as air ambulances) or even converted vehicles such as golf carts.

Patient transport ambulance – A vehicle, which has the job of transporting patients to, from or between places of medical treatment, such as hospital or dialysiscenter, for non-urgent care. These can be vans, buses or other vehicles.

Response unit – Also known as a fly-car or a [Quick Response Vehicle], which is a vehicle which is used to reach an acutely ill patient quickly, and provide on scene care, but lacks the capacity to transport the patient from the scene. Response units may be backed up by an emergency ambulance which can transport the patient, or may deal with the problem on scene, with no requirement for a transport ambulance. These can be a wide variety of vehicles, from standard cars, to modified vans, motorcycles, pedal cyclesquad bikes or horses. These units can function as a vehicle for officers or supervisors (similar to a fire chief’s vehicle, but for ambulance services). Fire & Rescue services in North America often staff EMTs or Paramedics to their apparatuses to provide medical care without the need to wait for an ambulance.

Charity ambulance – A special type of patient transport ambulance is provided by a charity for the purpose of taking sick children or adults on trips or vacations away from hospitals, hospices or care homes where they are in long term care. Examples include the United Kingdom’s ‘Jumbulance’ project. These are usually based on a bus.

Bariatric ambulance – A special type of patient transport ambulance designed for extremely obese patients equipped with the appropriate tools to move and manage these patients.

Vehicle types

In the US, there are four types of ambulances. There are Type I, Type II, Type III and Type IV. Type I is based upon a heavy truck chassis and is used primarily for Advanced Life Support and rescue work. Type II is a van based ambulance with little modifications except for a raised roof. Its use is for basic life support and transfer of patients. The Type III is a van chassis but with a custom made rear compartment and has the same use as Type I ambulances. Type IV’s are nomenclature for smaller ad hoc patient transfer using smaller utility vehicles where passenger vehicles and trucks would have difficulty in traversing, such as large industrial complexes, commercial venues, and special events with large crowds. These do not, generally, fall under Federal Regulations.

Ambulances can be based on many types of vehicle, although emergency and disaster conditions may lead to other vehicles serving as makeshift ambulances:

Medic 291A Modern American Ambulance built on the Chassis of a Ford F-450 truck

Van or pickup truck – A typical ambulance is based on either the chassis of a van (vanbulance) or pickup truck. This chassis is then modified to the designs and specifications of the purchaser.

Car/SUV – Used either as a fly-car for rapid response or for patients who can sit, these are standard car models adapted to the requirements of the service using them. Some cars are capable of taking a stretcher with a recumbent patient, but this often requires the removal of the front passenger seat, or the use of a particularly long car. This was often the case with early ambulances, which were converted (or even serving) hearses, as these were some of the few vehicles able to accept a human body in a supine position.

Motorcycle – In developed areas, these are used for rapid response in an emergency as they can travel through heavy traffic much faster than a car or van. Trailers or sidecars can make these patient transporting units. See also motorcycle ambulance.

HSE NAS Emergency Ambulance at a scene in DublinMercedes-Benz Sprinter ambulance of the HSE National ambulance service in Ireland. This type of ambulance is typically used in England, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Bicycle – Used for response, but usually in pedestrian-only areas where large vehicles find access difficult. Like the motorcycle ambulance, a bicycle may be connected to a trailer for patient transport, most often in the developing world. See also cycle responder.

All-terrain vehicle (ATV) – for example quad bikes; these are used for response off-road, especially at events. ATVs can be modified to carry a stretcher, and are used for tasks such as mountain rescue in inaccessible areas.

Golf cart or Neighborhood Electric Vehicle – Used for rapid response at events or on campuses. These function similarly to ATVs, with less rough terrain capability, but with less noise.

Helicopter – Usually used for emergency care, either in places inaccessible by road, or in areas where speed is of the essence, as they are able to travel significantly faster than a road ambulance. Helicopter and fixed-wing ambulances are discussed in greater detail at air ambulance.

Fixed-wing aircraft – These can be used for either acute emergency care in remote areas (such as in Australia, with the ‘Flying Doctors‘), for patient transport over long distances (e.g. a re-patriation following an illness or injury in a foreign country), or transportation between distant hospitals. Helicopter and fixed-wing ambulances are discussed in greater detail at air ambulance.

Boat – Boats can be used to serve as ambulances, especially in island areas or in areas with a large number of canals, such as the Venetianwater ambulances. Some lifeboats or lifeguard vessels may fit the description of an ambulance as they are used to transport a casualty.

Ship – Ships can be used as hospital ships, mostly operated by national military services, although some ships are operated by charities. They can meet the definition of ambulances as they provide transport to the sick and wounded (along with treatment). They are often sent to disaster or war zones to provide care for the casualties of these events.

Bus – In some cases, buses can be used for multiple casualty transport, either for the purposes of taking patients on journeys, in the context of major incidents, or to deal with specific problems such as drunken patients in town centres.Ambulance busses are discussed at greater length in their own article.

Trailer – In some instances a trailer, which can be towed behind a self-propelled vehicle can be used. This permits flexibility in areas with minimal access to vehicles, such as on small islands.

Horse and cart – Especially in developing world areas, more traditional methods of transport include transport such as horse and cart, used in much the same way as motorcycle or bicycle stretcher units to transport to a local clinic.

Hospital train – Early hospital trains functioned to carry large numbers of wounded soldiers. Similar to other ambulance types, as Western medicine developed, hospital trains gained the ability to provide treatment. In some rural locations, hospital trains now function as mobile hospitals, traveling by rail from one location to the next, then parking on a siding to provide hospital services to the local population. Hospital trains also find use in disaster response

Fire Engine – Fire services (especially in North America) often train Firefighters in emergency medicine and most apparatuses carry at least basic medical supplies. By design, apparatuses cannot transport patients.

Vehicle type gallery

Design and construction

Ambulance design must take into account local conditions and infrastructure. Maintained roads are necessary for road going ambulances to arrive on scene and then transport the patient to a hospital, though in rugged areas four-wheel drive or all-terrain vehicles can be used. Fuel must be available and service facilities are necessary to maintain the vehicle.

Car-based ambulance in Sweden

Truck-based ambulance in Columbus, Ohio using a pre-built box system

Methods of summoning (e.g. telephone) and dispatching ambulances usually rely on electronic equipment, which itself often relies on an intact power grid. Similarly, modern ambulances are equipped with two-way radios or cellular telephones to enable them to contact hospitals, either to notify the appropriate hospital of the ambulance’s pending arrival, or, in cases where physicians do not form part of the ambulance’s crew, to confer with a physician for medical oversight.

Ambulances often have two manufacturers. The first is frequently a manufacturer of light trucks or full-size vans (or previously, cars) such as Mercedes-BenzNissanToyota, or Ford. The second manufacturer (known as second stage manufacturer) purchases the vehicle (which is sometimes purchased incomplete, having no body or interior behind the driver’s seat) and turns it into an ambulance by adding bodywork, emergency vehicle equipment, and interior fittings. This is done by one of two methods – either coachbuilding, where the modifications are started from scratch and built on to the vehicle, or using a modular system, where a pre-built ‘box’ is put on to the empty chassis of the ambulance, and then finished off.

Modern ambulances are typically powered by internal combustion engines, which can be powered by any conventional fuel, including diesel, gasoline or liquefied petroleum gas, depending on the preference of the operator and the availability of different options. Colder regions often use gasoline-powered engines, as diesels can be difficult to start when they are cold. Warmer regions may favor diesel engines, as they are thought to be more efficient and more durable. Diesel power is sometimes chosen due to safety concerns, after a series of fires involving gasoline-powered ambulances during the 1980s. These fires were ultimately attributed in part to gasoline’s higher volatility in comparison to diesel fuel. The type of engine may be determined by the manufacturer: in the past two decades, Ford would only sell vehicles for ambulance conversion if they are diesel-powered. Beginning in 2010, Ford will sell its ambulance chassis with a gasoline engine in order to meet emissions requirements.

Standards

Many regions have prescribed standards which ambulances should, or must, meet in order to be used for their role. These standards may have different levels which reflect the type of patient which the ambulance is expected to transport (for instance specifying a different standard for routine patient transport than high dependency), or may base standards on the size of vehicle.

For instance, in Europe, the European Committee for Standardization publishes the standard CEN 1789, which specifies minimum compliance levels across the build of ambulance, including crash resistance, equipment levels, and exterior marking. In the United States, standards for ambulance design have existed since 1976, where the standard is published by the General Services Administration and known as KKK-1822-A. This standard has been revised several times, and is currently in version ‘F’ change #10, known as KKK-A-1822F, although not all states have adopted this version. The National Fire Protection Association has also published a design standard, NFPA 1917, which some administrations are considering switching to if KKK-A-1822F is withdrawn. The Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) has published its Ground Vehicle Standard for Ambulances effective July 2016. This standard is similar to the KKK-A-1822F and NFPA 1917-2016 specifications.

The move towards standardisation is now reaching countries without a history of prescriptive codes, such as India, which approved its first national standard for ambulance construction in 2013.

Safety

File:Crash Testing an Ambulance.webm
 A video on ambulance crash testing

Ambulances, like other emergency vehicles, are required to operate in all weather conditions, including those during which civilian drivers often elect to stay off the road. Also, the ambulance crew’s responsibilities to their patient often preclude their use of safety devices such as seat belts. Research has shown that ambulances are more likely to be involved in motor vehicle collisions resulting in injury or death than either fire trucks or police cars. Unrestrained occupants, particularly those riding in the patient-care compartment, are particularly vulnerable. When compared to civilian vehicles of similar size, one study found that on a per-accident basis, ambulance collisions tend to involve more people, and result in more injuries. An 11-year retrospective study concluded in 2001 found that although most fatal ambulance crashes occurred during emergency runs, they typically occurred on improved, straight, dry roads, during clear weather. Furthermore, paramedics are also at risk in ambulances while helping patients, as 27 paramedics died during ambulance trips in the US between 1991 and 2006.

Equipment

Interior of a mobile intensive care unit (MICU) ambulance from Graz, Austria

Four stages of deployment on an inboard ambulance tail lift

In addition to the equipment directly used for the treatment of patients, ambulances may be fitted with a range of additional equipment which is used in order to facilitate patient care. This could include:

Two-way radio – One of the most important pieces of equipment in modern emergency medical services as it allows for the issuing of jobs to the ambulance, and can allow the crew to pass information back to control or to the hospital (for example a priority ASHICE message to alert the hospital of the impending arrival of a critical patient.) More recently many services worldwide have moved from traditional analog UHF/VHF sets, which can be monitored externally, to more secure digital systems, such as those working on a GSM system, such as TETRA.

Mobile data terminal – Some ambulances are fitted with Mobile data terminals (or MDTs), which are connected wirelessly to a central computer, usually at the control center. These terminals can function instead of or alongside the two-way radio and can be used to pass details of jobs to the crew, and can log the time the crew was mobile to a patient, arrived, and left scene, or fulfill any other computer based function.

Evidence gathering CCTV – Some ambulances are now being fitted with video cameras used to record activity either inside or outside the vehicle. They may also be fitted with sound recording facilities. This can be used as a form of protection from violence against ambulance crews, or in some cases (dependent on local laws) to prove or disprove cases where a member of crew stands accused of malpractice.

Tail lift or ramp – Ambulances can be fitted with a tail lift or ramp in order to facilitate loading a patient without having to undertake any lifting. This is especially important where the patient is obese or specialty care transports that require large, bulky equipment such as a neonatal incubator or hospital beds. There may also be equipment linked to this such as winches which are designed to pull heavy patients into the vehicle.

Trauma lighting – In addition to normal working lighting, ambulances can be fitted with special lighting (often blue or red) which is used when the patient becomes photosensitive.

Air conditioning – Ambulances are often fitted with a separate air conditioning system to serve the working area from that which serves the cab. This helps to maintain an appropriate temperature for any patients being treated, but may also feature additional features such as filtering against airborne pathogens.

Data Recorders – These are often placed in ambulances to record such information as speed, braking power and time, activation of active emergency warnings such as lights and sirens, as well as seat belt usage. These are often used in coordination with GPS units.

Intermediate technology

In parts of the world which lack a high level of infrastructure, ambulances are designed to meet local conditions, being built using intermediate technology. Ambulances can also be trailers, which are pulled by bicycles, motorcycles, tractors, or animals. Animal-powered ambulances can be particularly useful in regions that are subject to flooding. Motorcycles fitted with sidecars (or motorcycle ambulances) are also used, though they are subject to some of the same limitations as more traditional over-the-road ambulances. The level of care provided by these ambulances varies between merely providing transport to a medical clinic to providing on-scene and continuing care during transport.

The design of intermediate technology ambulances must take into account not only the operation and maintenance of the ambulance, but its construction as well. The robustness of the design becomes more important, as does the nature of the skills required to properly operate the vehicle. Cost-effectiveness can be a high priority.

Appearance and markings

An ambulance on an oncoming lane in Moscow

Emergency ambulances are highly likely to be involved in hazardous situations, including incidents such as a road traffic collision, as these emergencies create people who are likely to be in need of treatment. They are required to gain access to patients as quickly as possible, and in many countries, are given dispensation from obeying certain traffic laws. For instance, they may be able to treat a red traffic light or stop sign as a yield sign (‘give way’), or be permitted to break the speed limit. Generally, the priority of the response to the call will be assigned by the dispatcher, but the priority of the return will be decided by the ambulance crew based on the severity of the patient’s illness or injury. Patients in significant danger to life and limb (as determined by triage) require urgent treatment by advanced medical personnel, and because of this need, emergency ambulances are often fitted with passive and active visual and/or audible warnings to alert road users.

Passive visual warnings

North West Ambulance Serviceambulance displays reversed wording and the Star of Life, with flashing blue grille lights and wig-waggingheadlamps

The passive visual warnings are usually part of the design of the vehicle, and involve the use of high contrast patterns. Older ambulances (and those in developing countries) are more likely to have their pattern painted on, whereas modern ambulances generally carry retro-reflective designs, which reflects light from car headlights or torches. Popular patterns include ‘checker board’ (alternate coloured squares, sometimes called ‘Battenburg‘, named after a type of cake), chevrons (arrowheads – often pointed towards the front of the vehicle if on the side, or pointing vertically upwards on the rear) or stripes along the side (these were the first type of retro-reflective device introduced, as the original reflective material, invented by 3M, only came in tape form). In addition to retro-reflective markings, some services now have the vehicles painted in a bright (sometimes fluorescent) yellow or orange for maximum visual impact, though classic white or red are also common. Fire Department-operated Ambulances are often painted similarly to their apparatuses for ease of identification and the fact that bright red is a very striking color appropriate for this type of vehicle.

Another passive marking form is the word ambulance (or local language variant) spelled out in reverse on the front of the vehicle. This enables drivers of other vehicles to more easily identify an approaching ambulance in their rear view mirrors. Ambulances may display the name of their owner or operator, and an emergency telephone number for the ambulance service.

Ambulances may also carry an emblem (either as part of the passive warning markings or not), such as a Red Cross, Red Crescent or Red Crystal (collective known as the Protective Symbols). These are symbols laid down by the Geneva Convention, and all countries signatory to it agree to restrict their use to either (1) Military Ambulances or (2) the national Red Cross or Red Crescent society. Use by any other person, organization or agency is in breach of international law. The protective symbols are designed to indicate to all people (especially combatants in the case of war) that the vehicle is neutral and is not to be fired upon, hence giving protection to the medics and their casualties, although this has not always been adhered to. In Israel, Magen David Adom, the Red Cross member organization use a red Star of David, but this does not have recognition beyond Israeli borders, where they must use the Red Crystal.

The Star of Life represents emergency medical services.

The Star of Life is widely used, and was originally designed and governed by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, because the Red Cross symbol is legally protected by both National and international law. It indicates that the vehicle’s operators can render their given level of care represented on the six pointed star.

Ambulance services that have historical origins such as the Order of St John, the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps and Malteser International often use the Maltese cross to identify their ambulances. This is especially important in countries such as Australia, where St. John Ambulance operate one state and one territory ambulance service, and all of Australia’s other ambulance services use variations on a red Maltese cross.

Fire service operated ambulances may display the Cross of St. Florian (often incorrectly called a Maltese cross) as this cross is frequently used as a fire department logo (St. Florian being the patron saint of firefighters).

Active visual warnings

An ambulance in Denmark with roof-integrated LED lights, plus side-view mirror, grill and front fend-off lights, and fog lamps wig-wags

The active visual warnings are usually in the form of flashing lights. These flash in order to attract the attention of other road users as the ambulance approaches, or to provide warning to motorists approaching a stopped ambulance in a dangerous position on the road. Common colours for ambulance warning beacons are blue, red, amber, and white (clear). However the colours may vary by country and sometimes by operator.

There are several technologies in use to achieve the flashing effect. These include flashing a light bulb or LED, flashing or rotating halogen, and strobe lights, which are usually brighter than incandescent lights. Each of these can be programmed to flash singly or in groups, and can be programmed to flash in patterns (such as a left -> right pattern for use when the ambulance is parked on the left hand side of the road, indicating to other road users that they should move to the right (away from the ambulance)). Incandescent and LED lights may also be programmed to burn steadily, without flashing, which is required in some provinces.

Emergency lights may simply be mounted directly on the body, or may be housed in special fittings, such as in a lightbar or in special flush-mount designs (as seen on the Danish ambulance to the right), or may be hidden in a host light (such as a headlamp) by drilling a hole in the host light’s reflector and inserting the emergency light. These hidden lights may not be apparent until they are activated. Additionally, some of the standard lights fitted to an ambulance (e.g. headlamps, tail lamps) may be programmed to flash. Flashing headlights (typically the high beams, flashed alternately) are known as a wig-wag.

In order to increase safety, it is best practice to have 360° coverage with the active warnings, improving the chance of the vehicle being seen from all sides. In some countries, such as the United States, this may be mandatory. The roof, front grille, sides of the body, and front fenders are common places to mount emergency lights. A certain balance must be made when deciding on the number and location of lights: too few and the ambulance may not be noticed easily, too many and it becomes a massive distraction for other road users more than it is already, increasing the risk of local accidents.

See also Emergency vehicle equipment.

Audible warnings

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A Whelen(R) siren with wailyelpand phaser tones is a common sound in many cities

In addition to visual warnings, ambulances can be fitted with audible warnings, sometimes known as sirens, which can alert people and vehicles to the presence of an ambulance before they can be seen. The first audible warnings were mechanical bells, mounted to either the front or roof of the ambulance. Most modern ambulances are now fitted with electronic sirens, producing a range of different noises which ambulance operators can use to attract more attention to themselves, particularly when proceeding through an intersection or in heavy traffic.

The speakers for modern sirens can be integral to the lightbar, or they may be hidden in or flush to the grill to reduce noise inside the ambulance that may interfere with patient care and radio communications. Ambulances can additionally be fitted with airhorn audible warnings to augment the effectiveness of the siren system, or may be fitted with extremely loud two-tone airhorns as their primary siren.

A recent development is the use of the RDS system of car radios. The ambulance is fitted with a short range FM transmitter, set to RDS code 31, which interrupts the radio of all cars within range, in the manner of a traffic broadcast, but in such a way that the user of the receiving radio is unable to opt out of the message (as with traffic broadcasts). This feature is built into every RDS radio for use in national emergency broadcast systems, but short range units on emergency vehicles can prove an effective means of alerting traffic to their presence. It is, however, unlikely that this system could replace audible warnings, as it is unable to alert pedestrians, those not using a compatible radio or even have it turned off.

Service providers

An ambulance from St John Ambulance WA in Perth

A volunteer ambulance crew in Modena, Italy

A city fire service ambulance from the Tokyo Fire Department.

Non-acute patient transport ambulance from New Zealand.

Some countries closely regulate the industry (and may require anyone working on an ambulance to be qualified to a set level), whereas others allow quite wide differences between types of operator.

Government Ambulance Service – Operating separately from (although alongside) the fire and police service of the area, these ambulances are funded by local or national government. In some countries, these only tend to be found in big cities, whereas in countries such as the United Kingdom almost all emergency ambulances are part of a nationwide system under the National Health Service. In Canada ambulance services are normally operated by local municipalities or provincial health agencies as a separate entity from fire or police services.

Fire or Police Linked Service – In countries such as the United States, Japan, Hong Kong and France ambulances can be operated by the local fire or police service, more commonly the fire service due to overlapping calls. This is particularly common in rural areas, where maintaining a separate service is not necessarily cost effective, or by service preference such as in Los Angeles where the Los Angeles Fire Department prefers to handle all parts of emergency medicine in-house. In some cases this can lead to an illness or injury being attended by a vehicle other than an ambulance, such as a fire truck, and firefighters must maintain higher standards of medical capability.

Volunteer Ambulance Service – Charities or non-profit companies operate ambulances, both in an emergency and patient transport function. This may be along similar lines to volunteer fire companies, providing the main service for an area, and either community or privately owned. They may be linked to a voluntary fire department, with volunteers providing both services. There are charities who focus on providing ambulances for the community, or for cover at private events (sports etc.). The Red Cross provides this service across the world on a volunteer basis. (and in others as a Private Ambulance Service), as do other organisations such as St John Ambulance and the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps. These volunteer ambulances may be seen providing support to the full-time ambulance crews during times of emergency. In some cases the volunteer charity may employ paid members of staff alongside volunteers to operate a full-time ambulance service, such in some parts of Australia and in Ireland and New Zealand.

Private Ambulance Service – Normal commercial companies with paid employees, but often on contract to the local or national government. Private companies may provide only the patient transport elements of ambulance care (i.e. nonurgent or ambulatory transport), but in some places, they are contracted to provide emergency care, or to form a ‘second tier’ response. In many areas private services cover all emergency transport functions and government agencies do not provide this service. Companies such as FalckAcadian Ambulance, and American Medical Response are some of the larger companies that provide such services. These organisations may also provide services known as ‘Stand-by’ cover at industrial sites or at special events. From April 2011 all private ambulance services in the UK must be Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered. Private services in Canada operate non-emergency patient transfers or for private functions only.

Combined Emergency Service – these are full service emergency service agencies, which may be found in places such as airports or large colleges and universities. Their key feature is that all personnel are trained not only in ambulance (EMT) care, but as a firefighter and a peace officer (police function). They may be found in smaller towns and cities, where size or budget does not warrant separate services. This multi-functionality allows to make the most of limited resource or budget, but having a single team respond to any emergency.

Hospital Based Service – Hospitals may provide their own ambulance service as a service to the community, or where ambulance care is unreliable or chargeable. Their use would be dependent on using the services of the providing hospital.

Charity Ambulance – This special type of ambulance is provided by a charity for the purpose of taking sick children or adults on trips or vacations away from hospitals, hospices or care homes where they are in long term care. Examples include the UK’s ‘Jumbulance’ project.

Company Ambulance – Many large factories and other industrial centres, such as chemical plantsoil refineriesbreweries and distilleries, have ambulance services provided by employers as a means of protecting their interests and the welfare of their staff. These are often used as first response vehicles in the event of a fire or explosion.

Costs

The cost of an ambulance ride may be paid for from several sources, and this will depend on the type of service being provided, by whom, and possibly who to.

Government funded service – The full or the majority of the cost of transport by ambulance is borne by the local, regional, or national government (through their normal taxation).

Privately funded service – Transport by ambulance is paid for by the patient themselves, or through their insurance company. This may be at the point of care (i.e. payment or guarantee must be made before treatment or transport), although this may be an issue with critically injured patients, unable to provide such details, or via a system of billing later on.

Charity funded service – Transport by ambulance may be provided free of charge to patients by a charity, although donations may be sought for services received.

Hospital funded service – Hospitals may provide the ambulance transport free of charge, on the condition that patients use the hospital’s services (which they may have to pay for).

Crewing

Various ambulance crews help to load a patient into an air ambulance in Pretoria

There are differing levels of qualification that the ambulance crew may hold, from holding no formal qualification to having a fully qualified doctor on board. Most ambulance services require at least two crew members to be on every ambulance (one to drive, and one to attend the patient), although response cars may have a sole crew member, possibly backed up by another double-crewed ambulance. It may be the case that only the attendant need be qualified, and the driver might have no medical training. In some locations, an advanced life support ambulance may be crewed by one paramedic and one EMT-Basic.

Common ambulance crew qualifications are:

  1. First responder – A person who arrives first at the scene of an incident, and whose job is to provide early critical care such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation(CPR) or using an automated external defibrillator (AED). First responders may be dispatched by the ambulance service, may be passers-by, or may be dispatched to the scene from other agencies, such as the police or fire departments.
  2. Ambulance Driver – Some services employ staff with no medical qualification (or just a first aid certificate) whose job is to simply drive the patients from place to place. In some emergency ambulance contexts this term is a pejorative toward qualified providers implying that they perform no function but driving, although it may be acceptable for patient transport or community operations. In some areas, these drivers would survey and study the local network of routes for better performance of service, as some road routes may be blocked, and the driver must know another route to the patient or to the hospital. The driver would gather the local weather and traffic status reports before and in-between emergencies. They may also have training in using the radio and knowing where medical supplies are stored in the ambulance.
  3. Ambulance Care Assistant – Have varying levels of training across the world, but these staff are usually only required to perform patient transport duties (which can include stretcher or wheelchaircases), rather than acute care. Dependent on provider, they may be trained in first aid or extended skills such as use of an AED, oxygen therapy and other lifesaving or palliative skills. They may provide emergency cover when other units are not available, or when accompanied by a fully qualified technician or paramedic.
  4. Emergency Care Assistant/Emergency Care Support Workers – Also known as ECA/ECSW are members of a frontline ambulance that drive the vehicles under both emergency and non-emergency conditions to incidents. Their role is to assist the clinician that they are working with, either a Technician or Paramedic, in their duties, whether that be drawing up drugs, setting up fluids (but not attaching), doing basic observations or performing 12 lead ECG assessments.
  5. Emergency medical technician – Also known as Ambulance Technician. Technicians are usually able to perform a wide range of emergency care skills, such as defibrillation, spinal immobilization, bleeding control, splinting of suspected fractures, assisting the patient with certain medications, and oxygen therapy. Some countries split this term into levels (such as in the US, where there is EMT-Basic and EMT-Intermediate).
  6. Registered nurse (RN) – Nurses can be involved in ambulance work dependent on the jurisdiction, and as with doctors, this is mostly as air-medical rescuers often in conjunction with a technician or paramedic. They may bring different skills to the care of the patient, especially those who may be critically ill or injured in locations that do not enjoy close proximity to a high level of definitive care such as trauma, cardiac, or stroke centers.
  7. Paramedic – This is a high level of medical training and usually involves key skills not permissible for technicians, such as cannulation (and with it the ability to administer a range of drugs such as morphine), tracheal intubation and other skills such as performing a cricothyrotomy. Dependent on jurisdiction, the title “paramedic” can be a protected title, and use of it without the relevant qualification may result in criminal prosecution.
  8. Emergency Care Practitioner – This position, sometimes called ‘Super Paramedic’ in the media, is designed to bridge the link between ambulance care and the care of a general practitioner. ECPs are already qualified paramedics who have undergone further training, and are trained to prescribe medicines for longer term care, such as antibiotics, as well as being trained in a range of additional diagnostic techniques.
  9. Doctor – Doctors are present on some ambulances – most notably air ambulances – will employ physicians to attend on the ambulances, bringing a full range of additional skills such as use of prescription medicines.

Military use

An URO VAMTAC ambulance of the Spanish Army emblazoned with the Red Cross

1917 Red Cross ambulance

Military ambulances have historically included vehicles based on civilian designs and at times also included armored, but unarmed, vehicles ambulances based upon armoured personnel carriers (APCs). In the Second World War vehicles such as the Hanomag Sd Kfz 251 halftrack were pressed into service as ad hoc ambulances, and in more recent times purpose built AFVs such as the U.S. M1133 Medical Evacuation Vehicle serve the exclusive purpose of armored medical vehicles. Civilian based designs may be painted in appropriate colours, depending on the operational requirements (i.e. camouflage for field use, white for United Nations peacekeeping, etc.). For example, the British Royal Army Medical Corps has a fleet of white ambulances, based on production trucks. Military helicopters have also served both as ad hoc and purpose-built air ambulances, since they are extremely useful for MEDEVAC. In terms of equipment, military ambulances are barebones, often being nothing more than a box on wheels with racks to place manual stretchers, though for the operational conditions and level of care involved this is usually sufficient.

Since laws of war demand ambulances be marked with one of the Emblems of the Red Cross not to mount offensive weapons, military ambulances are often unarmed. It is a generally accepted practice in most countries to classify the personnel attached to military vehicles marked as ambulances as non-combatants; however, this application does not always exempt medical personnel from catching enemy fire—accidental or deliberate. As a result, medics and other medical personnel attached to military ambulances are usually put through basic military training, on the assumption that they may have to use a weapon. The laws of war do allow non-combatant military personnel to carry individual weapons for protecting themselves and casualties. However, not all militaries exercise this right to their personnel.

USNS Mercy, a U.S. Navy hospital ship

Recently, the Israeli Defense Forces has modified a number of its Merkava main battle tanks with ambulance features in order to allow rescue operations to take place under heavy fire in urban warfare. The modifications were made following a failed rescue attempt in which Palestinian gunmen killed two soldiers who were providing aid for a Palestinian woman in Rafah. Since M-113 armored personnel carriers and regular up-armored ambulances are not sufficiently protected against anti-tankweapons and improvised explosive devices, it was decided to use the heavily armored Merkava tank. Its rear door enables the evacuation of critically wounded soldiers. Israel did not remove the Merkava’s weaponry, claiming that weapons were more effective protection than emblems since Palestinian militants would disregard any symbols of protection and fire at ambulances anyway. For use as ground ambulances and treatment & evacuation vehicles, the United States military currently employs the M113, the M577, the M1133Stryker Medical Evacuation Vehicle (MEV), and the RG-33 Heavily Armored Ground Ambulance (HAGA) as treatment and evacuation vehicles, with contracts to incorporate the newly designed M2A0 Armored Medical Evacuation Vehicle (AMEV), a variant of the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle (formerly known as the ATTV).

Some navies operate ocean-going hospital ships to lend medical assistance in high casualty situations like wars or natural disasters. These hospital ships fulfill the criteria of an ambulance (transporting the sick or injured), although the capabilities of a hospital ship are more on par with a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. In line with the laws of war, these ships can display a prominent Red Cross or Red Crescent to confer protection under the appropriate Geneva convention. However, this designation has not always protected hospital ships from enemy fire.

Reuse of retired ambulances

Retired ambulances may find reuse in less-demanding emergency services, such as this logistics unit, such as this Ford E-Series ambulance.

When an ambulance is retired, it may be donated or sold to another EMS provider. Alternately, it may be adapted into a storage and transport vehicle for crime scene identification equipment, a command post at community events, or support vehicle, such as a logistics unit. Others are refurbished and resold, or may just have their emergency equipment removed to be sold to private businesses or individuals, who then can use them as small recreational vehicles.

Toronto‘s City Council has begun a “Caravan of Hope” project to provide retired Toronto ambulances a second life by donating them to the people of El Salvador. Since the Province of Ontario requires that ambulances be retired after just four and a half years in service in Ontario, the City of Toronto decommissions and auctions 28 ambulances each year.

Ambulances in the Netherlands:

1905 Belgische Germain 24 H.P

1905-30 Mobil Ambulance Dinas Kesehatan Gemeente Batavia

1909 De Spyker ambulances voor het Roode Kruis

1909 SPIJKER Ambulance amsterdam redcross lehmann trompenburg

1909 spyker ambulance van het rode kruis rode kruisziekenhuis den haag

1909 spyker rodekruis

1909 ziekenauto is een Fiat

1909 ziekenauto red cross

1909 fiat kroeskop meppel

1912 Spijker 16pk, de ziekenauto in die tijd in Rheden

1912-14 Adler betreft met zeer waarschijnlijk een carroserie v d N.V. Fabriek voor luxe rijtuigen en automobielen vh gebroeders H & F Kimman De nieuwe Haarlemsche ziekenauto zijingang

1912-14 Adler betreft met zeer waarschijnlijk een carroserie v d N.V. Fabriek voor luxe rijtuigen en automobielen vh gebroeders H & F Kimman De nieuwe Haarlemsche ziekenauto zijingang

1912-1913 Fiat of Opel Ambulance Groningen-bakker-emmamij-1913-2

1914 Spyker

1915 Leeuwarder ziekenauto (spyker)

1916 ford-t-ambulances-st-vincents-web

1917 Ford Model T Army ambulance

1918 FIAT de eerste ziekenauto van Kroeskop in Meppel

1918 Ford T Ambulance

1920 Dodge Brothers model 30 Ambulance Zuid Holland Wateringen H-31364

1920 Dodge Brothers model 30 Ambulance Zuid Holland Wateringen H-31364

1920 Dodge Brothers model 30 Ambulance Zuid Holland Wateringen H-31364

1920 Dodge Brothers Ziekenauto

1920 Oudkerkhof Utrecht. De ziekenauto van de GGD rukt uit (HUA)

1920 Spyker and Maybach

1920-25 Gemeentelijke Geneeskundige Dienst bij een drenkeling langs het Merwedekanaal te Utrecht

1926 Ziekenauto Vlaardingen

1927 Gemeentelijke Gezonheidsdienst Ziekenauto te Batavia

1927 ziekenauto gebaseerd op een T Ford vracht auto chassis

1928 chevrolet-ambulance-700

1928 Dodge brothers ziekenauto NL

1928 Morris Commercial T Type Tonner

1928 Studebaker type D5521 carr Jan Karsijns NL

1929 Cadillac serie 353 Kijlstra Drachten NL

1929 Eerste ziekenauto Hilversum 3 nov 1929

1930 Burgemeester Troost Waddinxveen met ziekenauto in 1930 met chauffeur v.Gelder NL

1930 Cadillac Ambulance v Leersum NL

1931 Cadillac B21473 de Vrij Leeuwarden Serie 341B NL

1934 Ambulance Adler Standard 8 B-20341 NL

1934 Lincoln type KB B-21473 W de Vrij Leeuwarden NL

1936 Cadillac series Rust Groningen de Vrij Leeuwarden NL

1936 Chevrolet Matane 1940, première ambulance Leon Sihors NL

1937 Hudson ambulance NL

1938 Het Sint Jozefziekenhuis beschikt over een Vauxhall ambulance NL

1938 Mercedes-Benz L1500E NL ?

1939 Packard Ziekenauto op Storkterrein Hengelo NL

 

 

NIOD01_AE0218, 13-03-2002, 15:52, 8C, 4799×3362 (1508+3887), 100%, niod poster fo, 1/60 s, R57.0, G17.4, B17.9

1940 Ziekenauto Bedrijfsongeval Demka fabrieken te Zuilen NL

1941 1e-ambulance-peugeot-d4b-carr-visser NL

1942 Austin K2HZ77982 Visser de Vries Assen NL

1942 chevrolet-ambulance de Vries Assen NL

1943 Amerikaanse Dodge WC54 Ambulance 2nd WW NL

1944 Cadillac multifunctionele zieken, doden, brandweer en taxiauto Ommen NL

1945 Austin K2 NL

1945 Chevrolet ziekenauto GG&GD Amsterdam NL collectie Jan Korte

1947 Cadillac Fleetwood kent Compaan Poepe Assen Holten Reinders Roden NL

1947 Ziekenauto uit Sneek Chauffeur was T.J Vallinga. met Packard uit 1947

1948 Ford ambulance-ziekenauto, die bemand werd door de verpleger-chauffeur Bolks NL

1948 Ford ? Ziekenauto Drachten NL

1949 Chevrolet GK2100 TG3225 De Boer Co Assen De Vries Assen NL

1949 gezondheidsdienst. G.G.D. boot in het water en de ziekenauto op de kant. Het was een repetitie in 1949

1950 Packard 1950 Buick en Buick De Vrij Zuiderplein Lw NL

1950 Packard de luxe supereight ambulance NL

1950 Packard de luxe supereight ambulance carr. de Vrij Leeuwarden NL

1950 van links naar rechts de Packard DeLuxe Super Eight uit 1950, de Buick Roadmaster uit 1955 en de Buick Super Series 50-70

1953 Mercedes-Benz ambulance NT-72-51 NL

1955 Buick Ambulance by de Vrij Leeuwarden SG-08-01  NL

1955 Ford Type 79B Country Sedan SP8342 Compaan Poepe Assen De Vries Assen NL

1956 Buick Roadmaster de Vrij Leeuwarden NL

1958 Buick Limited Series 700 met kenteken ZD-57-31 NL

1958 Cadillac Ambulance de Vrij Leeuwarden NL

1959 Verschillende Ambulances NL

Cadillac Ambulance

1960 Cadillac type BT6246 DT2956 Smit Joure de Vrij Leeuwarden NL

1964 Chevrolet Ziekenauto van de GG en GD Voorburg

1964 Ford Transit FK1000 UN5697 carr St Pancras KW1

1965 Mercedes-Benz 190 Ambulance NL

1965 Mercedes Benz LP 1213 truck from the steered front axle series, medium-duty class1965 Peugeot 403 Pickup D4B Bus Ambulance Brochure

1965 Peugeot D4B Ambulance gemeente Texel

1966 Ford Transit 8999 BV Ambulance carrosserie de Vries Assen NL

1966 Mercedes Benz Ambulance NL

1967 Citroën ID 19 Ambulance NL

1967 Mercedes 230 Ambulance

1967 Opel Admiraal ziekenauto Geleen opel kapitein NL

1967-68 Mercedes Benz 230 amb 84-91-FM

Miesen, 1968

1968-mercedes-benz-limousine ambulance-114-115 car. Miesen NL

1967 peugeot-j7-ambulance-verkoop-brochure

1967-76 Mercedes-Benz W114-115 84-83-UL Visser Leeuwarden NL

1969 Citroën hy-ambulance NL

1968 Mercedes-Benz ambulance Visser, Leeuwarden ZS-97-16

1969 20-93-JM MERCEDES-BENZ W114 230 BINZ Ambulance NL

1969 Peugeot-J7-Ambulance NL

1971 Merc Benz 220

1970 Bedford Ambulance HY-91-JT NL

1971 Mercedes W114 Ambulance NL

1971 Mercedes-Benz W122 5735RR Visser de Vries Assen NL

1971 peugeot-j7-ambulance-carrosserie-visser-standplaats-schiphol NL 1972 Mercedes W114 230 Visser Ambulance NL

1974 M38A1-NEKAF-Nederlandse-Kaiser-Frazer-Fabrieken-Rotterdam-Ambulance-Royal-Dutch-Army-1974-Jan-W.-Michielsenweb

1975 Dodge B200 56GF46 Visser de Vries Assen NL

1975 Dodge van 08GK53 Akkermans de Vries Assen TT NL.

 1975 Mercedes-Benz W122 8970HJ Binz De Vries Assen NL

1975 Mercedes-Benz Ambulance Wagenpark Eindhovense GG

1977 Dodge B200 64RE70 Wayne De Vries Assen

1977 Volvo 245 53RT52 De Vries Assen TT Assen NL

1978 Chevrolet Chevy Van 27UP55 WHC De Vries Assen

1978 Peugeot 504 Ambulance NL

1979 GMC Van FF71RZ WHC De Vries Assen NL

1979 Mercedes Benz W123 250 automatic Binz Ambulance NL

1979 Peugeot 504 Ambulance NL

1980 Mercedes-Benz 240D NL

1981 Volvo 245 HD18GP De Vries Assen ANWB Alarmcentrale NL

1984 Mercedes-Benz Bremer LK93FP WHC De Vries Assen NL

1985 PEUGEOT 505 GR Ambulance NL

1986 Opel Senator Miesen Ambulance D

1987 Peugeot J9 ambulance Leiden en omstreken RP-44-XJ NL

1988 Chevrolet Vanguard met zwaailichten aan NL

1989 Mercedes-Benz W124 XY-96-JS Binz carr NL

1994 German Army ambulance version of Mercedes Benz G250 ook gebruikt in Nederlands leger.

1996 Volvo 960 NVJH33 RAV Drenthe.941.co NL

2001 Nederlandse Volvo S80 ambulance met Nilson carrosserie NL 2013 Mercedes-Benz Ambulance 08116 uit veiligheidsregio Gelderland Zuid NL

See also

Air ambulance

Ambulance bus

Ambulance station

Bariatric ambulance

CEN 1789

Combination car

Cutaway van chassis

Emergency Medical Dispatcher

Emergency medical services

Fly-car

Motorcycle ambulance

Rail ambulance

What-is-a-private-ambulance

References and notes

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  4. Jump up^ Civil War Ambulance Wagons
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RAMBLER automobile Kenosha Wisconsin USA Part IV

1971_AMC_Javelin_SST_red_Kenosha_street

RAMBLER automobile Kenosha Wisconsin USA Part IV

1900 Emblem Rambler

RAMBLER automobile

1960 Rambler R

Kenosha Wisconsin USA Part II

for part one: 

https://myntransportblog.com/2015/03/20/rambler-automobile-kenosha-wisconsin-usa-part-i/

https://myntransportblog.com/2015/03/21/rambler-automobile-kenosha-wisconsin-usa-part-ii/

https://myntransportblog.com/2015/03/23/rambler-automobile-kenosha-wisconsin-usa-part-iii/

for nash:

https://myntransportblog.com/2015/03/19/nash-automobile-manufacturer-kenosha-wisconsin-united-states-1916-1954/

for hudson:

https://myntransportblog.com/2015/03/12/hudson-motor-car-company-detroit-michigan-united-states-1901-1957/

for amc:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Motors

AMC Javelin

AMC Javelin
1971_AMC_Javelin_SST_red_Kenosha_street

1971 AMC Javelin SST
Overview
Manufacturer American Motors Corporation(AMC)
Also called Rambler Javelin (Australia)
Javelin 79-K (Europe)
VAM Javelin (Mexico)
Production 1967 – 1974
Assembly Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States
Port Melbourne, Australia
Osnabrück, Germany (Karmann)
Mexico City, Mexico
Caracas, Venezuela
Designer Richard A. Teague
Body and chassis
Class Pony car
Muscle car
Body style 2-door hardtop
Layout FR layout
Platform AMC’s “junior” cars

The AMC Javelin is a front-engine, rear wheel drive, two-door hardtop manufactured and marketed by AMC in two generations, 1968-1970 and 1971-1974. Styled by Dick Teague, the Javelin was available in a range of trim and engine levels, from economical pony car to muscle car variants. In addition manufacture in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Javelins were assembled under license in Germany, Mexico, Venezuela, as well as Australia —and were marketed globally.

As the winner of Trans-Am race series in 1971, 1972, and 1976, the second-generation AMX variant was the first pony car to be used as a normal highway patrol police car by a U.S. organization.

Development

1971_Javelin_SST_silver_umB

 AMC Javelin badge

American Motors’ Javelin served as the company’s entrant into the “pony car” market created by the Ford Mustang. The design evolved from two AMX prototypes shown in AMC’s “Project IV” concept cars during 1966. One was a fiberglass two-seat “AMX”, and the other was a four-seat “AMX II”. Both of these offerings reflected the company’s strategy to shed its “economy car” image and appeal to a more youthful, performance-oriented market.

Sales of convertibles were dropping and AMC did not have the resources to design separate fastback and notchback hardtops that were available on the Mustang and on the second-generation Plymouth Barracuda, so the AMC designer team under Richard A. Teague penned only one body style, “a smooth semi-fastback roofline that helped set Javelin apart from other pony cars.”

The Javelin was built on AMC’s “junior” (compact) Rambler American platform only as a two-door hardtop model to be a “hip”, dashing, affordable pony car, as well as available in muscle car performance versions. “Despite management’s insistence on things like good trunk space and rear- seat room, Teague managed to endow the Javelin with what he termed the wet T-shirt look: voluptuous curves with nary a hint of fat.”

First generation

1968 and 1969
1968_AMC_Javelin_base_model_red-NJ

1968 AMC Javelin base model
Overview
Also called IKA Mica (Argentina)
Rambler Javelin (Australia)
VAM Javelin (Mexico)
Production August 1967 – July 1969
Designer Richard A. Teague
Body and chassis
Related AMC AMX
Powertrain
Engine
  • 232 cu in (3.8 L) I6 145 hp (108 kW; 147 PS) 1-bbl or 155 hp (116 kW; 157 PS) 2-bbl
  • 252 cu in (4.1 L) I6 170 hp (127 kW; 172 PS) 2-bbl (1969, Mexico only)
  • 290 cu in (4.8 L) V8 2-bbl 225 hp (168 kW; 228 PS)
  • 343 cu in (5.6 L) V8 235 hp (175 kW; 238 PS) 2-bbl or 280 hp (209 kW; 284 PS) 4-bbl
  • 390 cu in (6.4 L) V8 315 hp (235 kW; 319 PS)
Transmission 3-speed manual
4-speed manual
3-speed automatic
3-speed “Shift-Command” on console
Dimensions
Wheelbase 109 in (2,769 mm)
Length 189.2 in (4,806 mm)
Width 71.9 in (1,826 mm)
Height 51.8 in (1,315.7 mm)
Curb weight 2,836 lb (1,286.4 kg)
1968_AMC_Javelin

 1968 AMC Javelin

The Javelin debuted on August 22, 1967 for the 1968 model year, and the new models were offered for sale from September 26, 1967 with prices starting at $2,743.

The car incorporated several safety innovations including interior windshield posts that were “the first industry use of fiberglass safety padding”, and the flush-mounted paddle-style door handles that later became an enduring AMC safety and styling signature. To comply with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety standards there were exterior side marker lights, and three-point seat belts and headrests for the front seats, while the interior was devoid of bright trim to help reduce glare.

1969_Javelin_SST_red_w_white_C-stripe_in

 SST interior

The new Javelin “offered comfortable packaging with more interior and luggage space than most of its rivals” with adequate leg- and headroom in the back and a trunk capacity of 10.2 cubic feet (288.83 l). There were no side vent windows. Flow-through ventilation extracted interior air through apertures in the doors controlled by adjustable flap valves in the bottom of the door armrests. All Javelins came with thin-shell bucket seats and a fully carpeted interior, while the SST model had additional appearance and comfort items that included reclining front seat backs, simulated wood grained door panel trim, and a sports-style steering wheel. The Javelin’s instruments and controls were set deep in a padded panel, with the rest of the dashboard was set well forward, away from the passenger.

The car’s front end had what AMC called a “twin-venturi” look with recessed honeycomb grille and outboard-mounted headlamps, and matching turn signals were set into the bumper. There was a pair of simulated air scoops on the hood and the windshield was raked at 59 degrees for a “sporty overall appearance.”

Road & Track magazine compared a Javelin favorably to its competitors on its introduction in 1968, describing its “big, heavy, super-powerful engine” as “an asset in such a small vehicle”, and the styling as “pleasant”. Motor Trend, putting the Javelin at the top of the “sports-personal” category in its annual “Car of the Year” issue, said it was “the most significant achievement for an all-new car” and “the most notable new entry in [its] class.”

Available only in a two-door hardtop, body style, the Javelin came in base and more premium SST models. Standard engines were a 232 cu in (3.8 L) straight-6 or a 290 cu in (4.8 L) two-barrel carburetor V8. Optional was a 343 cu in (5.6 L) V8 in regular gasoline two-barrel, or high-compression, premium-fuel four-barrel versions. Racing driver Gordon Johncock said the Javelin had “a nice, all-round blend of features”, that it “stacks up as a roomy, comfortable, peppy and handsome example of a so-called “pony car” and that after his road test he “wanted to take it home.”

With the standard straight-six engine, the Javelin cruised at 80 miles per hour (129 km/h) when equipped with an automatic transmission, while those with the small 290 cu in (4.8 L) V8 had a top speed of 100 miles per hour (161 km/h). A three-speed “Shift-Command” automatic transmission was optional with a center console-mounted gear selector. Forward settings included “1”, “2”, and a “D” mode that was fully automatic, and the driver could choose to shift manually through all three gears.

The optional “Go Package” included a four-barrel carbureted 343 cu in (5.6 L) AMC V8, power front disc brakes, heavy-duty suspension, dual exhausts with chromed outlets, wide body-side stripes, and E70x14 red-line tires mounted on chrome-plated “Magnum 500” styled road wheels. A 343 Go Pac Javelin could accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) in 8 seconds, had a top speed approaching 120 miles per hour (193 km/h),[17] and could run a quarter-mile in 15.4 seconds. The largest engine in the first few months of 1968 production was “a 5.6 litre V-8 that delivered 284 SAE bhp, which made the car dangerously fast.”

In mid-1968, the new AMX 390 cu in (6.4 L) engine was offered as a “Go-package” option with a floor-mounted automatic or manual four-speed transmission. “Its impressive 315 hp (235 kW; 319 PS) and 425 pound force-feet (576 N·m) of torque could send the Javelin from zero to 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) in the seven-second range.”

American Motors supported the AMX and Javelin muscle-models with a range of factory-approved “Group 19” dealer-installed performance accessories. These included among others, dual four-barrel cross-ram intake manifolds, high-performance camshaft kits, needle-bearing roller rocker arms, and dual-point ignition.

The average age of the “first 1,000 Javelin buyers was 29 — a full ten years under the median for all AMC customers.” The Javelin’s marketing campaign, created by Mary Wells Lawrence of Wells, Rich, and Greene Inc, was innovative and daring in its approach. Print and TV advertisements broke with the traditional convention of not attacking the competition, and some compared the AMC Javelin to the Ford Mustang side by side, as well as showing the Mustang being beaten to pieces with sledgehammers.

The car was longer and roomier than the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Plymouth Barracuda, and its shape was described as “exciting and beautiful”. Total production for the 1968 model year was 55,125.

1969

1969 AMC_Javelin_1969_Craig_Breedlove_roof_spoiler

 Breedlove roof spoiler

Minor changes for the second model year included revised side striping, an altered grille with a bull’s eye emblem, and trim upgrades. An optional side-stripe package consisted of a C-shaped graphic that started behind the front wheel openings. The optional (standard with the “Go-Package”) five-spoke Magnum 500 steel road wheels now came with a stainless steel trim ring. The interior received new door panels and upgraded carpeting. Instrumentation featured a 0–8,000 rpm tachometer that now matched the speedometer in style. Late model-year production received a cowl over the instrument panel directly in front of the driver.

The “Mod Javelin” Package was introduced mid-year in 1969 and included a “Craig Breedlove” roof-mounted spoiler, simulated “exhaust” rocker trim, and twin blacked-out simulated air scoops on the hood. Optional “Big Bad” paint (neon brilliant blue, orange, or green) also became available from mid-1969 and came with matching front and rear painted bumpers, as well as two vertical rubber-faced painted bumper guards for the rear and a special bright lower grille molding for the front bumper. These optional colors were available on all Javelins through 1970.

The Go-Package option was available with the four-barrel 343 or 390 engines, and continued to include disc brakes, “Twin-Grip” (limited slip) differential, red-line performance E70x14 tires on “Magnum 500” styled wheels, heavy-duty suspension with thicker sway-bars, and other enhancements. Starting in January 1969, four-speed manual transmissions came with a Hurst floor shifter.

Production total for the 1969 model year was 40,675.

1969 AMC Javelin
1969_AMC_Javelin_SST_blue_white-NJ
SST with vinyl-covered roof and “Magnum 500” wheels
1969_AMC_Javelin_BBO_Big_Bad_Orange-NJ
“Big Bad Orange” with full-length body side stripes
1969_AMC_Javelin_SST_pony_car_red99
SST with “C” stripe

Racing

American Motors entered the Javelin in dragstrip and Trans-Am Series racing.

In 1968 Kaplan Engineering (Ron Kaplan and Jim Jeffords) had been contracted by AMC to run two AMC Javelins in the SCCA’s Trans-Am series. For 1968, three cars were actually constructed: two for racing and one for shows and demonstrations. In 1969, Jeffords left the team and Kaplan was contracted to run the program. Using his developmental work from the prior year, Kaplan built three more cars, two for AMC and one for himself using his own finances.

For 1968, the initial drivers had been George Follmer (#1) and Peter Revson (#2). Revson was let go part way through the year after a disagreement with management. The team picked up Lothar Motschenbach for the next two races in Canada.

The first year of the AMC program was a success; the team was written up as a “Cinderella” team. American Motors placed third in the over-2-liter class of the 1968 series, and established a record as the only factory entry to finish every Trans-Am race entered.

The overall performance of the team in 1968 can be attributed to the heroic efforts of Kaplan, his professional staff, and some very significant help from other west coast manufacturers. Kaplan had set out to resolve handling problems and fix the engine oiling problems. Mid-season he also started the development of a dual-carburetor cross-ram manifold and (looking ahead) a new engine casting.For 1968, the team had consistently improved and suffered only one DNF from an engine problem. Any stories concerning difficulties invariably focused on the inadequacies of the original AMC engines. This was largely true but obscured a number of other important issues. For example, the race program idea was floated from inside a company that had absolutely no performance parts, no test facility, and no technical support for the program. As for the production cars, they had no anti-dive potential built into the uni-body; they had only single-barrel carburetor manifolds; and even when running properly, they didn’t make as much horsepower as the competitors. The only good thing about the 1968 deal was the support that Jeffords and Kaplan received from Carl Chakmakian, who was the primary contact on the AMC program. Carl was a “fixer” and knew how to get things done.

The development of the Watt’s linkage rear suspension came first. This was followed by the front anti-dive modifications. The development of the anti-dive geometry was actually done quite quickly. To meet AMC’s timing schedule, Kaplan copied the basic design of the inner fender components from a Mustang. He added two more degrees of anti-dive to the Mustang’s 4 degrees, made the drawings, and sent them to the factory. The manufacture of the parts was then contracted to Central Stamping. Despite succeeding in developing the parts as a rush job, however, there was no capacity to fit the components to the unibody on the 1969 assembly line, so it fell to Kaplan to incorporate them into the cars when they arrived in his shop as bodies in white. Other related suspension pieces were also acquired through specialty manufacturers who were also building performance parts for Ford.

The whole question of reliable and powerful engines took a bit more time. The team had started the 1968 season with two engines from TRACO. But although TRACO had worked hard to resolve oiling issues and to generate as much power as they could, single-carb layout and the basic two-bolt-main block were serious limitations.

To develop a cross-ram manifold, Kaplan went to Vic Edlebrock, who not only loaned him a pattern maker but also gave him a lot of personal help. Kaplan also got some help from Champion Sparkplugs who let him use their dyno room to fine-tune and correct any design problems.

Then, towards the end of the 1968 year, Kaplan enlisted some help from Dan Byer, a retired engineer from AMC, for the development of a new block casting. Using the basic AMC 390 drawings, they added more mass for four-bolt mains and improved the oiling system. A run of 50 blocks was contracted to Central Foundries in Windsor, Ontario. Because this was a small run, and there was little factory support, it fell to Kaplan and his staff to clean up the blocks from the sand casting, hone the various passages and, finally, send them to AMC’s “Parts Central” in Kenosha. From there, they could draw on the inventory, as required.

If one were to put a small number of specially cast blocks into the general inventory, chances are pretty good that you’d never find them again, so Kaplan painted all the blocks in a bright orange so they could identify them on the transfer line. Kaplan drew on about 12 of these special castings during his development program and two were eventually (much later) sold to customers.

Kaplan’s specific preparations included shaving the deck on the new block by about 5/8 inch and heavily modifying the ports. The new cross-ram manifold was installed and Kaplan would add his own specifically designed pistons, a shorter throw crankshaft and new camshaft. While a few engines were lost during testing, the whole design proved quite reliable.

In the intervening period, AMC replaced Kaplan’s race program contact with two new men (Chris Schoenlip and John Voelbel from Leaver Brothers (soap marketing people)), who had no experience in the automotive field and they were absolutely ignorant of anything to do with racing. They would ultimately prove to be more trouble than they were worth. In fact, it was these two new boys who failed to enter the parts to the official AMC parts system and to submit homologation papers. The importance of this mistake became clear when Kaplan sent the first car to run at the first race of the 1969 season at Jackson, Michigan. Kaplan sent one of the older 1968 cars with a new engine but, because they were late and had not qualified, the team had to do some consensus building amongst the other racers to permit them to enter at all. When the SCCA agreed to let them run, they started last but, within 10 laps, they were chasing Donohue down and the time differential was narrowing rapidly. After the race, the SCCA asked to see the engine but he had sent the cars home already. At Lime Rock, the SCCA wanted to tear down the engines before they could start the race. Kaplan bought some time by countering with the challenge that they would have to tear down the Camaros and Mustangs too. That wasn’t going to happen so they were allowed to run. It was clear, however, that the problems with the SCCA weren’t going away, at least until the parts could be homologated.

AMC did eventually assign a part number (after the SCCA program) and two blocks were later sold to customers.

For 1969, the season started with Ron Grable (#4) and John Martin (#3). But this time it was Martin who was released mid-season. Jerry Grant replaced him in the #3 car.

It was at this point that Kaplan approached AMC management and proposed that the whole concept behind the 1969 contract be modified. He suggested that AMC should not compete in the actual races, since the new engines weren’t recognized and the old engines weren’t competitive. Instead, Kaplan suggested that they go to the tracks on the subsequent Mondays and run a developmental program using Sunday’s winning times as the benchmark. AMC didn’t agree and Kaplan ran the year with the engines on hand. Because the older style engines weren’t competitive, results were poor and, to add insult to injury, there were a series of budget cuts. It was a downward spiral.

Kaplan was having trouble remaining calm about the situation and, after the final race at Riverside, he decided he would drop all of AMC’s material at their zone office in El Segundo, California, and take a month to think about the next year. When he came back, he found that a deal had already been cut with Roger Penske and he was out.

Penske picked up all the team cars and equipment from the El Segundo offices and shipped everything back to his shop in Pennsylvania. Through the fall of 1969 and into the winter, Penske used the no. 3 Jerry Grant car for developmental purposes. When he acquired the 1969 cars, Penske found that Ron Kaplan had already done considerable work with suspension but he felt that the front suspension could still be further developed. With Mark Donohue doing the testing, Penske’s team lowered the front of the car and replaced the rubber bushings in the radius rods with heim joints. New roll bars were also developed. After several months of development, Donohue felt that the team now had car that drove like it was on rails.

At this point, Penske built all new cars for his own team and sold-off all the earlier Kaplan cars and equipment. Mark Donohue was in charge of selling-off the inventory.

See more on the 1970-71 seasons further below, under “Penske”.

Redesign

1970
1970_AMC_Javelin_SST_in_bitter_sweet_orange

1970 AMC Javelin SST with “Go Package”
Overview
Also called Rambler Javelin (Australia)
VAM Javelin (Mexico)
Production August 1969 – July 1970
Powertrain
Engine
  • 232 cu in (3.8 L) I6 145 hp (108 kW; 147 PS) 1-bbl or 155 hp (116 kW; 157 PS) 2-bbl
  • 252 cu in (4.1 L) I6 170 hp (127 kW; 172 PS) 2-bbl (Mexico only)
  • 304 cu in (5.0 L) V8 2-bbl 225 hp (168 kW; 228 PS)
  • 360 cu in (5.9 L) V8 245 hp (183 kW; 248 PS) 2-bbl or 285 hp (213 kW; 289 PS) 4-bbl
  • 390 cu in (6.4 L) V8 325 hp (242 kW; 330 PS)
Transmission 3-speed manual
4-speed manual
3-speed automatic
3-speed “Shift-Command” on console
Dimensions
Wheelbase 110 in (2,794 mm)
Length 191.04 in (4,852 mm)

1970

The 1970 Javelins featured a new front end design with a wide “twin-venturi” front grille incorporating the headlamps and a longer hood. It also had a new rear end with full-width taillamps and a single center mounted backup light. This was a one-year only design. Side marker lights were now shared with several other AMC models. The exterior rear view mirror featured a new “aero” design and in some cases matched the car’s body color. The three “Big Bad” exterior paints continued to be optional on the 1970 Javelins, but they now came with regular chrome bumpers. Underneath the restyle was a new front suspension featuring ball joints, upper and lower control arms, coil springs, and shock absorbers above the upper control arms, as well as trailing struts on the lower control arms.

The 1970 AMC Javelins also introduced Corning‘s new safety glass, which was thinner and lighter than standard laminated windshields. This special glass featured a chemically hardened outer layer. It was produced in Blacksburg, Virginia in a refitted plant that included tempering, ion exchange, and “fusion process” in new furnaces that Corning had developed in order to be able to supply to the big automakers.

The engine lineup for 1970 was changed with the introduction of two new V8 engines: a base 304 cu in (5.0 L) and an optional 360 cu in (5.9 L) to replace the 290 and the 343 versions. The top optional 390 cu in (6.4 L) continued, but it was upgraded with new cylinder heads featuring 51 cc combustion chambers, increasing power to 325 hp (242 kW). The code remained “X” for the engine on the vehicle identification number(VIN). Also new was the “power blister” hood, featuring two large openings as part of a functional cold ram-air induction system; this was included with the “Go Package” option.

Many buyers selected the “Go Package”, available with the 360 and 390 four-barrel V8 engines. This package as in prior years included front disc brakes, a dual exhaust system, heavy-duty suspension with anti-sway bar, improved cooling, 3.54 rear axle ratio, and wide Goodyear white-lettered performance tires on styled road wheels.

The interior for 1970 was also a one-year design featuring a broad dashboard (wood grained on SST models), new center console, revised interior door panel trim, and tall “clamshell” bucket seats with integral headrests available in vinyl, corduroy, or optional leather upholstery. A new two-spoke steering wheel was available with a “Rim Blow” horn.

A comparison road test of four 1970 pony cars by Popular Science described the Javelin’s interior as the roomiest with good visibility except for a small blind spot in the right rear quarter and the hood scoop, while also offering the biggest trunk with 10.2 cubic feet (289 l) of room. It was a close second to the Camaro in terms of ride comfort, while the 360 cu in (5.9 L) engine offered “terrific torque.” The 4-speed manual Javelin was the quickest of the cars tested, reaching 0 to 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) in 6.8 seconds.

1970 AMC Javelin
1970_AMC_Javelin_SST_Go-Package_white-NJ
SST with “halo” vinyl-covered roof
1970_AMC_Javelin_SST_white_full_black_top_Kenosha_rr
SST with full vinyl-covered roof
1970_AMC_Javelin_390_CID_Go_Package_engine
“Go Package” 390 engine

Racing

One of the biggest surprises of the 1970 motorsports season was the announcement that Penske Racing had taken over the AMC Javelin program, thus leaving the Camaro Trans-Am program to Jim Hall. American Motors hired Roger Penske and driver Mark Donohue to seriously campaign Javelins in SCCA Trans-Am Series. This coincided with the change in the Trans-Am rulebook allowing manufacturers to de-stroke preexisting corporate engines, so AMC’s 390 cu in (6.4 L) was used as the starting point to meet the 5 L (305 cu in) displacement rule that was still in place. The team included former Shelby chassis engineer Chuck Cantwell and a clockwork pit crew. The two-car Javelin effort provided the Bud Moore Ford Boss 302 Mustangs their “closest competition.”AMC finished in second place in the Over 2-liter class of the 1970 series.

Capitalizing on the Javelin’s successes on the race track, AMC began advertising and promoting special models.

Among these was the “Mark Donohue Javelin SST”. A total of 2,501 were built to homologate the Donohue-designed rear ducktail spoiler and were emblazoned with his signature on the right hand side. Designed for Trans Am racing, the rules required factory production of 2,500 spoiler equipped cars. The original plan was to have all Donohue Javelins built in SST trim with the special spoiler, as well as the “Go Package” with Ram Air hood, a choice of a four-speed or automatic transmission on the floor, and a 360 cu in (5.9 L) engine with thicker webbing that allowed it to have four bolt mains. The cars could be ordered in any color (including “Big Bad” exteriors) and upholstery, as well as with any combination of extra cost options.

American Motors did not include any specific identification (VIN code, door tag, etc.) and some “Mark Donohue Signature Edition” cars came through with significant differences in equipment from the factory. This makes it easy to replicate, yet difficult to authenticate a “real” Mark Donohue Javelin.

An estimated 100 “Trans-Am” Javelins replicating Ronnie Kaplan’s race cars were also produced. All cars included the 390 cu in (6.4 L) V8 engine with heavy-duty and performance features along with the front and rear spoilers, and were also painted in AMC racing team’s distinctive Matador Red, Frost White, and Commodore Blue “hash” paint scheme. Designed to commemorate AMC’s entry into SCCA racing, the Trans-Am Javelin’s retail price was $3,995.

The strong participation by AMC in Trans-Am and drag racing served to enhance its image, and notable was that its motorsports efforts were achieved on a shoestring budget with the automaker racking up a respectable number of points against its giant competitors. For example, with an estimated 4.5 million participants and 6 million spectators, drag racing was the fastest growing segment of motorsport in the U.S. The marketing strategy was to appeal to buyers who otherwise would not give AMC a second glance.

Motorsports
1970 AMC Javelin dragstrip car
1970_AMC_Javelin_TransAm_rwb_KAfl
1970 Javelin Trans-Am

Second generation

1971 – 1974
1974_AMC_Javelin_AMX_black_front

1974 AMC Javelin AMX with “Go Package”
Overview
Also called IKA Mica (Argentina)
Rambler Javelin (Venezuela & Australia)
VAM Javelin (Mexico)
Production August 1970 – 1974
Powertrain
Engine
  • 232 cu in (3.8 L) I6 135 hp (101 kW) (1971), 100 hp (75 kW) (1972-74)
  • 258 cu in (4.2 L) I6 150 hp (112 kW) (1971), 110 hp (82 kW) (1972-74)
  • 282 cu in (4.6 L) I6 200 hp (149 kW; 203 PS) (Mexico only)
  • 304 cu in (5.0 L) V8 2-bbl 210 hp (157 kW) (1971), 150 hp (112 kW) (1972-74)
  • 360 cu in (5.9 L) V8 245 hp (183 kW) 2-bbl, 285 hp (213 kW; 289 PS) 4-bbl (1971), 175 hp (130 kW) 2-bbl (1972-74), 195 hp (145 kW; 198 PS) 4-bbl (1972-73), 220 hp (164 kW; 223 PS) 4-bbl (1974)
  • 401 cu in (6.6 L) V8 335 hp (250 kW) (1971), 255 hp (190 kW) (1972-74)
Transmission 3-speed manual
4-speed manual
3-speed automatic
3-speed “Torque-Command” on console
Dimensions
Wheelbase 109 in (2,769 mm)
Length 191.8 in (4,872 mm)
Curb weight 2,875 lb (1,304.1 kg) – 3,184 lb (1,444.2 kg)

The AMC Javelin was restyled for the 1971 model year. The “1980-looking Javelin” design was purposely made to give the sporty car “individuality,” even at “the risk of scaring some people off.”

The second generation became longer, lower, wider, and heavier than its predecessor. Wheelbase was increased by 1-inch (25 mm) to 110 in (2,794 mm). The indicated engine power outputs also changed from 1971 to 1972-74. Actual power output remained the same, but the U.S. automobile industry followed the SAE horsepower rating method that changed from “gross” in 1971 and prior years to “net” in 1972 and later years.

1971

The new design incorporated an integral roof spoiler and sculpted fender bulges. The new body departed from the gentle, tucked-in look of the original.

The media noted the revised front fenders (originally designed to accommodate oversized racing tires) that “bulge up as well as out on this personal sporty car, borrowing lines from the much more expensive Corvette.” The new design also featured an “intricate injection moulded grille.”

The car’s dashboard was asymmetrical, with “functional instrument gauges that wrap around you with cockpit efficiency”. This driver-oriented design contrasted with the symmetrical interior of the economy-focused 1966 Hornet (Cavalier) prototype.

AMC offered a choice of engines and transmissions. Engines included a 232 cu in (3.8 L) I6 and a four-barrel 401 cu in (6.6 L) AMC V8 with high compression ratio, forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods engineered to withstand 8000 rpm. The BorgWarner T-10 four-speed manual transmission came with a Hurst floor shifter.

From 1971, the AMX was no longer available as a two-seater. It evolved into a premium high-performance edition of the Javelin.

The new Javelin-AMX incorporated several racing modifications and AMC advertised it as “the closest thing you can buy to a Trans-Am champion.” The car had a fiberglass full-width cowl induction hood, as well as spoilers front and rear for high-speed traction. Testing at the Ontario Motor Speedway by Penske Racing Team recorded that the 1971 Javelin AMX’s rear spoiler added 100 lb (45.4 kg) of downforce. Mark Donohue also advised AMC to make the AMX’s grille flush for improved airflow, thus the performance model received a stainless steel mesh screen over the standard Javelin’s deep openings.

The performance-upgrade “Go Package” provided the choice of a 360 or 401 4-barrel engine, and included “Rally-Pac” instruments, a handling package for the suspension, “Twin-Grip” limited-slip differential, heavy-duty cooling, power-assisted disc brakes, white-letter E60x15 Goodyear Polyglas tires on 15×7-inch styled slotted steel wheels) used on the Rebel Machine, a T-stripe hood decal, and a blacked-out rear taillight panel.

The 3,244-pound (1,471 kg) 1971 Javelin AMX with a 401 cu in (6.6 L) V8 ran the quarter-mile in the mid-14 second range at 93 miles per hour (150 km/h) on low-lead, low-octane gas.

1971 AMC Javelin
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SST with “canopy” vinyl-covered roof
1971_AMC_AMX_silver_f
AMX performance model
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Duck-tail AMX spoiler

1972

The 1972 model year Javelins featured a new “egg crate” front grille design with a similar pattern repeated on the chrome overlay over the full-width taillights. The AMX version continued with the flush grille. A total of 15 exterior colors were offered with optional side stripes.

To consolidate the product offering, reduce production costs, and offer more value to consumers, the 1972 AMC Javelins were equipped with more standard comfort and convenience items. Engine power ratings were downgraded to the more accurate Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) net hp figures. Automatic transmissions were now the TorqueFlite units sourced from Chrysler, called “Torque-Command” by AMC.

American Motors achieved record sales in 1972 by focusing on quality and including an innovative “Buyer Protection Plan” to back its products. This was the first time an automaker promised to repair anything wrong with the car (except for tires) for one year or 12,000 miles (19,000 km). Owners were provided with a toll-free telephone number to AMC, as well as a free loaner car if a repair to their car took more than a day.

By this time, the pony car market segment was declining in popularity. One commentator has said that “[d]espite the Javelin’s “great lines and commendable road performance, it never quite matched the competition in the sales arena … primarily because the small independent auto maker did not have the reputation and/or clout to compete with GM, Ford, and Chrysler.”

1972 AMC Javelin
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“Egg crate” grille on Javelin SST
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Driver-centered interior
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Tail lamp design followed the grille

Pierre Cardin

During the 1972 and 1973 model years 4,152 Javelins were produced with optional interior design by fashion designer Pierre Cardin. Official on-sale date was March 1, 1972. The design had multi-colored pleated stripes in red, plum, white, and silver on a black background. Six multi-colored stripes, in a nylon fabric with a stain-resistant silicone finish, ran from the front seats, up the doors, onto the headliner, and down to the rear seats. Chatham Mills produced the fabric for the seat faces. Cardin’s crest appeared on the front fenders. MSRP of the option was $84.95 ($451 in 2015 dollars). A 2007 magazine article described the design as the “most daring and outlandish” of its kind.

Pierre Cardin Javelin
1972 Cardin interior
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Headliner with Cardin stripes
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1973 Cardin version

1973

The 1973 Javelin had several updates, most noticeably in the design of the taillights and grille, although the AMX grille remained the same. While all other AMC models had bumpers with telescopic shock absorbers, the Javelin and AMX were fitted with a non-telescopic design that had two rigid rubber guards. These allowed the cars to withstand a 5-mile-per-hour (8 km/h) front and 2.5-mile-per-hour (4 km/h) rear impacts without damage to the engine, lights, and safety equipment. The doors were also made stronger to comply with new U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety standards that they withstand 2,500 pounds (1,134 kg) of impact for the first 6 inches (152 mm) of crush. The “twin-cove” indentations were eliminated from the Javelin’s roof and a full vinyl top was made available. The 1970-72 “Turtle Back” front seats were replaced by a slimmer, lighter, and more comfortable design that provided more leg room for rear seat passengers.

All engines incorporated new emissions controls. The 1973 401 cu in (6.6 L) V8 was rated at net 255 hp (190 kW; 259 PS) and achieved 0 to 60 mph acceleration in 7.7 seconds with a top speed of 115.53 mph (185.93 km/h), despite the Javelin’s four-place size and weight. Performance figures conducted by Road Test magazine of a 1973 Javelin SST with the 401 cu in (6.6 L) 4-barrel V8 engine and 4-speed manual transmission resulted in “respectable” quarter-mile (402 m) dragstrip runs of 15.5 seconds at 91 mph (146 km/h).

American Motors continued its comprehensive “Buyer Protection” extended warranty on all 1973 models that now covered food and lodging expenses of up to $150 should a car require overnight repairs when the owner is more than 100 miles (161 km) away from home. The automaker promoted improved product quality with an advertising campaign that said “we back them better because we build them better”. Profits for the year achieved a record high.

Javelin production for the 1973 model year totaled 30,902 units, including 5,707 AMX units.

Trans Am Victory edition

Javelins driven in the Trans-Am captured the racing title for American Motors in both the 1971 and 1972 seasons. The back-to-back SCCA championships with specially prepared race cars was celebrated by AMC by offering a limited run of “Trans Am Victory” edition 1973 Javelins. The package was available on cars built from October to December 15, 1972, on any Javelin SST, except with the Cardin interior. A single magazine advertisement, featuring the winning race drivers George Follmer and Roy Woods, promoted the special package.

Cars that were ordered with the optional visibility group, light group, insulation group, protection group, and sports-style steering wheel, received at no additional cost (but valued at $167.45) a large “Javelin Winner Trans Am Championship 1971-1972 SCCA” fender decals on the lower portion behind the front wheel openings, as well as 8-slot rally styled steel wheels with E70X14 Polyglass raised while letter tires and a “Space-Saver” spare tire. The Trans Am Victory cars were also typically more “heavily optioned than regular production Javelins.” American Motors designed a quick identification system of its models by an information-rich Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) system. However, because this was only a limited promotional “value added” marketing campaign, except as noted on the original window sticker, there is no VIN or door tag code to distinguish an authentic Trans Am-Victory edition car.

1973 AMC Javelin
1973 AMC_Javelin_(Auto_classique_Combos_Express_'12)
Redesigned grille of the Javelin SST
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401 CID V8 with ram air
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Javelin AMX rear end

1974

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1974 AMC Javelin AMX

By 1974, the automobile marketplace had changed. Mid-year, Chrysler abandoned the pony car market. Whereas Ford replaced its original Mustang with a smaller four-cylinder version, and other pony car manufacturers also downsized engines, the Javelin’s big engine option continued until the production of the model ended in October/November 1974 amidst the Arab oil embargo and overall declining interest in high-performance vehicles.

The 1974 AMX did not do as well in the marketplace when compared to the new Camaro, Firebird, and the downsized Mustang II – all of which saw increased sales. Javelin production meanwhile reached a second-generation high of 27,696 units. Out of that total number, a total of 4,980 Javelin-AMX models were produced for the final model year.

A new seatbelt interlock system prevented the car from being started if the driver and a front passenger were unbuckled. The functional cowl-induction fiberglass hood was no longer available for 1974, and the output of the 401 cu in (6.6 L) V8 dropped by 20 hp (15 kW; 20 PS). Some late-production cars came with hoods made from steel.

Several factors led to the demise of the Javelin model, not least of which was the economic climate of the time. Unlike General Motors’ Camaro and Firebird, the 1974 Javelin models were not exempt from new stricter front and rear bumper standards. AMC estimated that approximately $12 million ($63,751,124 in 2015 dollars) would need to be spent in engineering and design work to revise the bumpers to meet the new standards for 1975.

American Motors also introduced the all-new 1974 Matador coupe that was described by Popular Mechanics automotive editor as “smooth and slippery and actually competes with the Javelin for “boss” muscle-car styling”. The automaker also needed a manufacturing line to build its all-new AMC Pacer. Nevertheless, more cars were built during the final year of Javelin production than the prior second-generation years, with 27,696 units built, of which 4,980 (about 15 percent) were Javelin AMX models.

Racing

Racing AMC Javelin versions competed successfully in the Trans-Am Series with the Penske Racing/Mark Donohue team, as well as with the Roy Woods ARA team sponsored by American Motors Dealers. The Javelin won the Trans-Am title in 1971, 1972, and 1976. Drivers included George Follmer and Mark Donohue.

One Javelin race car had the distinction of having different sponsors and being piloted by Mark Donohue, Vic Elford, George Follmer, Peter Revson, and Roy Woods. This Javelin actually began life as a 1970 model, but was updated to 1971 sheetmetal. The race car is now restored to its 1972 livery and is driven at Vintage Trans-Am events.

Jim Richards raced a Javelin AMX in the Touring Car Masters in Australia, coming second in the overall 2012 series.

Motorsports
1970 AMC_Javelins_(1970_SST_and_Sunoco)_at_car_show
Trans-Am Sunoco AMX and 1970 Javelin
AMC_Javelin_AMX_of_Jim_Richards
Jim Richards AMX at the Adelaide Parklands Circuit.
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 James Landis 72 Javelin Dirt track race car

Police

In an effort to find a more suitable and lower priced alternative to the traditional large-sized police cruisers, the Alabama Department of Public Safety (ADPS) first took a basic 304 cu in (5.0 L) V8 as a test vehicle, found its power lacking, then sampled a vinyl roofed AMX with a 401 cu in (6.6 L) engine from the local dealer, Reinhart AMC in Montgomery.

Javelins equipped with the 401 cu in (6.6 L) engine proved their performance and beginning in 1971, the Alabama Highway Patrol used them for pursuit and high-speed response calls. The bid price was $3,047 for the 1971 police cruisers, and $3,242 for the 1972 model year versions.

The 132 Javelins purchased during 1971 and 1972 were the first pony cars to be used as a normal highway patrol police car by any U.S. police organization.

The last of ADPS Javelins was retired in 1979. One of the original cars is now part of the Museum at ADPS Headquarters.

International markets

Australia

1968_AMC_Javelin_Hardtop

 Right hand drive 1968 Javelin made in Australia

Australian Motor Industries (AMI) assembled right hand drive versions of both the first- and second-generation Javelin models were in Victoria, Australia from CKD kits. The right hand drive dash, interior and soft trim, as well as other components were locally manufactured. The cars were marketed under the historic Rambler name. The AMI Rambler Javelins were the only American “muscle cars” of that era to be sold new in Australia. The Australian Javelins came with top trim and features that included the 343 cu in (5.6 L) 280 bhp (210 kW) V8 engine, three-speed “Shift Command” automatic transmission, and “Twin Grip” limited-slip rear differential. They were more expensive, had more power, and provided more luxury than the contemporary Holden Monaro.

Germany

1968-AMC-Javelin-by-Karmann

 AMC Javelin by Karmann 1968 brochure cover

Javelins were built in Europe, primarily because they had the largest and most usable rear seat of the American pony cars. The German coach builder, Wilhelm Karmann GmbH assembled 280 complete knock down (CKD) Javelins between 1968 and 1970 that were marketed in Europe. This was a significant business relationship because the Javelin was a completely American-designed car that was made in Germany. Karmann’s “Javelin 79-K” could be ordered with the 232 cu in (3.8 L) six, the 290 cu in (4.8 L) 2-barrel or 343 cu in (5.6 L) 4-barrel V8 engines. About 90% of the parts and components came in crates from the United States. At Karmann’s facility in Rheine the cars were assembled, painted, and test-driven prior to shipment to customers.

Mexico

Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos (VAM) assembled Javelins in Mexico under license and partial ownership (40% equity share) by AMC from 1968 through 1973. The VAM versions were equipped with different, locally made components, trim and interiors than the equivalent AMC-made models. The Mexican built Javelins came in only one version and had more standard equipment compared to U.S. and Canadian models.

1968

The Javelin was introduced in Mexico by VAM until April 1, 1968, making the model a “1968 and half” similar to the February 1968 debut of the two-seat AMX. The Javelin represented a third line within VAM’s product mix for the first time and the first regular production sports-oriented model. It would eventually become the only AMC muscle car to be available in Mexico. Other AMC muscle cars were equivalents built by VAM or as special editions. The Javelin introduced many firsts for VAM, such as a standard four-speed manual transmission and the option of a three-speed automatic transmission. These were the only transmissions available on the Javelin and only with floor-mounted shifters, just as on the two-seater AMX. Cars with the automatic included a center console with locking compartment, as well as power drum brakes.

The 1968 VAM Javelin featured the 155 hp (116 kW; 157 PS), 8.5:1 compression ratio 232 cu in (3.8 L) six-cylinder engine with two-barrel Carter WCD carburetor, a 3.54:1 rear differential gear ratio, 12-inch heavy duty clutch, manual four-wheel drum brakes, quick-ratio manual steering, electric wipers, electric washers, 8,000 RPM tachometer, 200 km/h speedometer, AM monaural radio, cigarette lighter, front ashtray, locking glove box, courtesy lights, day-night rearview mirror, padded sun visors, two-point front seatbelts, low-back reclining bucket seats, rear ashtray, dual C-pillar-mounted dome lights, dual coat hooks, sports steering wheel, driver’s side remote mirror, side armrests, vinyl door panels with woodgrain accents, bright moldings on top of the doors and rocker panels plus hood and fender extension edges, wheel covers, 7.35×14 tires, protective side moldings, and front fender-mounted Javelin emblems.

The standard trim and features make the VAM Javelin equivalent to the U.S. and Canadian AMC Javelin SST. Factory options included power drum brakes with manual transmission, power steering, heater, center console for the manual transmission, passenger’s side remote mirror, remote controlled driver’s side mirror, custom sport wheels and rear bumper guards. Dealer installed options included side decals, light group, map pouches, vinyl roof, locking gas cap, license plate frames, mud flaps, AM/FM radio, front disk brakes, heavy duty adjustable shocks, and many others.

A unique dealer-installed option also VAM’s own “Go Pack”. This consisted of manual front disk brakes, heavy duty suspension with front sway bar plus rear torsion and traction bars, aluminum four-barrel intake manifold with four-barrel Carter carburetor, headers with equal-length tubes and dual final outlets, dual exhausts, ported head with larger valves and heavy duty springs, 302 degree camshaft, Hurst linkage for the manual transmission, “Rallye Pak” auxiliary gauges on dashboard (different from AMC’s original units), exclusive steering wheel, exclusive dual remote mirrors, and exclusive turbine wheels. The performance upgrades of the Go Pack represented a 40% increase of engine output making the VAM Javelin far more competitive against its V8 rivals from Ford de México,General Motors de México, and Automex (Chrysler de México).

Despite the lack of a V8 engine, the VAM Javelin was a success in both sales and among public opinion.

1969

The 1969 VAM Javelin obtained the previously optional heater as standard equipment, the foot pedals received bright trim and the accelerator was changed into a firewall-mounted unit, a support pull strap was applied on the passenger’s side dashboard above the glove box, the center cover with the radio speaker grid changed into a woodgrain unit. A unique aspect of the 1969 Javelin is that it kept the same gauge configuration as the 1968 models in contrast to AMC’s modifications to the Javelin (and AMX) instrument panel for 1969 with a larger 8,000 RPM tach on the right pod, leaving the smaller left pod exclusive for the clock. The VAM Javelins exterior now had bright trim package with new moldings starting at the corners of the tail lights running on the sides all the way to lower rear corner of the side glass and drip rails plus all around the rear glass and top edge of the C-pillars. The new Javelins looked more luxurious, even though a factory vinyl roof was not available. The front fender emblems were relocated to the base of each C-pillar and were accompanied by red-white-blue bulls eye emblems. A third Javelin emblem was applied near the lower right corner of the grille. The 1969 model year was also VAM’s first self-engineered engine, the 170 hp (127 kW; 172 PS), 9.5:1 compression ratio 252 cu in (4.1 L) six-cylinder engine with a two-barrel Carter WCD carburetor and a new VAM-engineered 266 degree camshaft. In both standard and Go Pack versions.

1970

The VAM Javelin saw considerable aesthetic changes with only minor technical ones. The VAM models included the same novelties as its AMC counterpart, such as new headlight bezels and grille, smooth front fender extensions and bumpers without divisions, larger tail lights without wraparound portions and a single central back-up light, larger side marker lights with both light and reflector sections in both amber and red, and new wheel cover designs resembling Magnum 500 wheels. The discontinuation of the central rear reflector in favor of the back-up light resulted in the addition of a fourth Javelin emblem placed on the right corner of the trunk lid. Two hood designs were available, the one with the Ram Air-type scoops at the front center, and a smoother one with the two rectangular stripped bulges. Despite this, no Ram Air system was ever offered for the car, at least at a factory level. In the interior, a new collapsible steering column with built-in ignition switch and anti-theft lock plus a new simulated two-arm three-spoke sports steering wheel with a central bulls eye emblem were present. A secondary anti-theft mechanism was present in the form of the floor-mounted shifters being linked to the ignition switch regardless of the transmission type. AMC’s new dashboard design included full woodgrain surfaces, complete with a new center console and shifter design for the automatic transmission. However, all three gauges were still the same as in the previous two years. New door panels were also included.

The 1970 VAM Javelins received a new front suspension design with dual control arms and ball joints. Units with four-speed manual transmissions incorporated a Hurst linkage as factory-installed equipment, which was previously available only with the optional Go Pack package and separately in certain dealerships. A mid-year change replaced the imported Borg-Warner T10 manual transmission in favor of the Querétaro-produced TREMEC 170-F four-speed model to comply with the percentages of both local and imported equipment mandated by law.

1971

The year of 1971 was vital to VAM as it represented a complete turn around for the company. The new Camioneta Rambler American based on the Hornet Sportabout was introduced, the Rambler Classic obtained all characteristics of AMC’s new Matador, and the Javelin was restyled as a new generation. On the outside, the car was exactly the same as its AMC counterpart with the only exception of the wheels and the lack of factory stripes and decals. A unique characteristic of the second generation VAM Javelin was round porthole opera windows mounted on the C-pillars that made by some VAM dealerships either with or without vinyl roofs.

The standard engine was the new 200 hp (149 kW; 203 PS), 9.5:1 compression ratio 282 cu in (4.6 L) six-cylinder engine with Carter ABD two-barrel carburetor. It was VAM’s second self-engineered engine, and taking the Javelin up to performance levels against its V8 competition. The Go Pack version of this engine took the car to its maximum height in terms of performance. The new engine was announced by two “4.6” emblems on the side of both front fenders. The only other technical difference of the new version was a 3.07:1 rear differential gear ratio for units equipped with automatic transmission. The interior saw more changes starting with all-new non-reclining high-back bucket seats with built-in “J” emblems on their seat backs which also appeared at the center of the back of the rear seat. The dashboard was restricted to the unit with woodgrain overlays only; the instrument cluster was once again completely different from everything seen on the AMC Javelins. The right pod housed a clock and tachometer hybrid with exactly the same design and appearance as the US Rallye Pak units, except that it was tuned for six cylinder engines. The center pod had a 240 km/h speedometer, a range that puts it on par as an equivalent to AMC’s 140 MHP unit of the Rallye Pak; but the colors, graphics, and typography of the dial were the same as the standard gauges. This created a high contrast on plain sight between the speedometer and the clock/tack hybrid. On the left pod were the fuel and water temperature gauges with no oil pressure and ammeter gauges to be present. Like the AMC Javelins, the car now held a single dome light at the center of the headliner and a new brake pedal design for units with automatic transmission.

1972

All the quality and engineering upgrades and revisions seen on AMC cars for 1972 were also present in Mexico. The 1972 VAM Javelin saw considerable improvements in terms of both performance and sportiness. Heavy duty springs and shocks along with front sway bar were passed on to the standard equipment list, as also were power front disk brakes and power steering, all regardless of transmission. Units equipped with the four-speed manual transmission changed to a rear differential gear ratio of 3.31:1 and included a center console with locking compartment as standard equipment. The “Shift-Command” Borg-Warner automatic transmissions were replaced by the new “Torque Command” Chrysler-built A998 TorqueFlite. The chromed grille applied on the tail light lenses and the new rectangular grid front grille of the AMC Javelins arrived for the VAM ones. The exterior included for the first time factory stripe in-house designs. The interior saw new seat pattern designs and a new three-spoke sports steering wheel with an “American Motors” legend on the transparent plastic cap of the horn button. A new steering column design with a built-in safety lever to engage the steering lock came and the mechanism blocking the shifters to ignition switch departed.

1973

For the 1973 model year, the VAM Javelin received cosmetic changes. The car incorporated the new smaller rectangular grille design with integrated rectangular parking lights and mesh grille, open air vents under the front of the fenders for cooling the brakes, the “TV screen” tail light design with a larger central bulls eye emblem between them and new original seat patterns. Mechanically, the car was the same as in the year before with the only exception of a new engine head design with larger valves and independent rockers without flute-type shaft. Except for the lack of intake porting, these heads were same units used in the Go Pack engines. These were the most powerful VAM Javelins ever made in stock condition. Similarly to the Mexican originals, the second-generation Javelins were not available with cowl induction hoods as the AMC Javelins in any form. Sales of this year went down from the previous seasons and the beginning of engine emission certification scheduled by the Mexican government the following year would take toll on all high-compression gasoline engines produced in the country. This started to threaten not just the Javelin, but all performance cars produced in Mexico. All this plus the need to open a space to introduce the Gremlin line and the company’s perception that new Matador coupe model could take the position as the image builder and enthusiast generator of the marque prompted VAM to discontinue the Javelin at the end of the 1973 model year production, one year before AMC’s production of the Javelin ended in the U.S.

Venezuela

Constructora Venezolana de Vehículos C.A. was a subsidiary of AMC. The firm assembled AMC Javelins from 1968 to 1974 in its Caracas, Venezuela facility.

The Venezuelan 1968 Javelin was equipped with the 290 cu in (4.8 L) V8 engine. In 1969, it came with the 343 cu in (5.6 L) with automatic or four-speed manual transmission. 1970 saw the Javelin with 360 cu in (5.9 L) automatic or four-speed manual, while the optional 390 cu in (6.4 L) was only available with the four-speed transmission.

For the 1972-1974 (second-generation) Javelins, the only powertrain available for the Venezuelan market was AMC’s 360 cu in (5.9 L) with 4-barrel carburetor coupled to the Chrysler automatic transmission.

These were the fastest production cars in Venezuela, and were also used for drag racing and road racing in local racetracks.

Collectibility

The Javelin is among the “highly prized” models among AMC fans.

The Chicago Sun-Times auto editor Dan Jedlicka wrote that the Javelin, which he describes as “beautifully sculpted” and “one of the best-looking cars of the 1960s”, is “finally gaining the respect of collectors, along with higher prices.” The first generation Javelin has also been described as a “fun and affordable American classic with a rich racing pedigree and style that will always stand out from the omnipresent packs of Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler pony cars.”

The AMC Javelin does not command the high prices of some other muscle cars and pony cars, but offers the same kind of style and spirit for collectors. However, in its day the car sold in respectable numbers, regularly outselling both the Plymouth Barracudaand Dodge Challenger that are popular with collectors today.

The Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) divides the “muscle” AMC Javelins into two categories: Class 36-e for 1968-69 Javelin base and SST models equipped from the factory with 343 cu in (5.6 L) 4-barrel or larger V8 engines; and Class 36-j for 1970-74 Javelin, SST, and AMX models equipped from the factory with 360 cu in (5.9 L) four-barrel or larger V8 engines. Javelins built with smaller engines compete in the regular AMC classes according to their respective decade of production.

According to estimates from the 2006 Collector Car Price Guide some of the desirable extras include the V8 engines, particularly the 390 and 401 versions, as well as the “Go” package, and special models including the “Big Bad” color versions. The 1971 through 1974 AMX versions also command higher prices, according to several collector price guides. The 1973 Trans Am Victory edition also adds a premium in several classic car appraisal listings, but the distinguishing decal was readily available and it has been added to many Javelins over the years.

The book Keith Martin’s Guide to Car Collecting describes the cars as providing “style, power, nostalgia, and fun by venturing off the beaten path … these overlooked cars offer great value” and includes the 1971-1974 Javelins as one of “nine muscle car sleepers.”

Some owners use the second-generation Javelins to build custom cars.

There are many active AMC automobile clubs, including for owners interested in racing in vintage events. The Javelin shared numerous mechanical, body, and trim parts with other AMC models, and there are vendors specializing in new old stock (NOS) as well as reproduction components.

Collector and custom Javelins
Samsung
1969 “Mod” Javelin with AMX grille
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1970 Javelin in England
1973_AMC_Javelin_AMX_black_401_um-side
1973 Javelin AMX with 401 V8
1971-74_purple_blown_custom AMC_Javelin_
Custom supercharged AMC V8

AMC Matador

AMC Matador
Samsung

1976 AMC Matador coupe
Overview
Manufacturer American Motors Corporation
Also called American Motors Matador
Rambler Matador (export markets)
VAM Classic (Mexico)
Production 1971–1978
Assembly Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA
Port Melbourne, Australia (AMI)
Mexico City, Mexico (VAM)
Thames, New Zealand (CMI)
Designer Richard A. Teague
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size (1971–1973 and Coupes)
Full-size (1974–1978 sedans and wagons)
Personal luxury (Oleg Cassini and Barcelona)
Body style 2-door hardtop (1971–1973)
2-door coupe (1974–1978)
4-door sedan
4-door station wagon
Layout FR layout
Related AMC Ambassador
Powertrain
Engine 232 cu in (3.8 L) I6
258 cu in (4.2 L) I6
252 cu in (4.1 L) I6 (Mexico only)
282 cu in (4.6 L) I6 (Mexico only)
304 cu in (5.0 L) V8
360 cu in (5.9 L) V8
401 cu in (6.6 L) V8
Transmission 3-speed manual (1971–1976)
4-speed manual (1971 only)
3-speed Shift-Command auto (1971 only)
3-speed Torque-Command automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 114 in (2,896 mm) coupe
118 in (2,997 mm) sedan and wagon
Length 209.3 in (5,316 mm) coupe
206.1 in (5,235 mm) sedan
205 in (5,207 mm) wagon
Height 51.8 in (1,316 mm) coupe
53.8 in (1,367 mm) sedan
56.4 in (1,433 mm) wagon
Chronology
Predecessor AMC Rebel

The AMC Matador is a mid-size car that was built and sold by American Motors Corporation (AMC) from 1971 to 1978. The Matador came in two generations: 1971 to 1973 and a major redesign from 1974 to 1978. The second-generation four-door and station wagon models were classified as full-size cars and did not share the distinctive styling featured by the Matador Coupe that was introduced in 1974.

Factory-backed AMC Matador hardtops and coupes competed in NASCAR stock car racing with drivers that included Mark Donohue and Bobby Allison winning a number of the races. The new Matador Coupe was featured in The Man with the Golden Gun, a James Bond film released in 1974. AMC Matadors were a popular vehicle in the police market as it outperformed most other police cars. It was also featured in many television shows and movies during the 1970s.

The Matador became AMC’s largest automobile following the discontinuation of the flagship AMC Ambassador that was built on the same platform. Premium trim level Oleg Cassini and Barcelona versions of the Matador coupe were positioned in the “personal luxury car” market segment. Matadors were also marketed under the Rambler marque in foreign markets, as well as assembled under license agreements with AMC that included Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos (VAM), as well as built in right-hand-drive versions by Australian Motor Industries (AMI) and by Campbell Motor Industries (CMI) in New Zealand.

Background

The Matador replaced the AMC Rebel, which had been marketed since 1967. With a facelift and a new name, the AMC Matadors were available as a two-door hardtop as well as a four-door sedan and station wagon. The Matador was based on AMC’s “senior” automobile platform shared with the full-size Ambassador line.

The sedan and wagon models “offered excellent value and were fairly popular”, including as a prowl car. Matadors were offered to fleet buyers with various police, taxicab, and other heavy-duty packages. Government agencies, military units, and police departments in the U.S. equipped Matador sedans or wagons with 360 cu in (5.9 L) or 401 cu in (6.6 L) V8 engines.

The Matador received a redesign in 1974, in part to meet new safety and crash requirements, as well as a completely different model “to contend with the bull market for plush mid-size coupes that sprang up after the end of the muscle car era.”

First generation

1972_AMC_Matador

 1972 AMC Matador station wagon

1971

American Motors advertising assured that the new Matador was not just a name change and facelift, but in reality, it was the 1970 Rebel restyled with a longer front clip and a new interior. The 1971 model year Matadors acquired a “beefier” front end look for all three body designs: 2-door hardtop, 4-door sedan, and station wagon. The AMC Matador shared its basic body design from the firewall back with the Ambassador, which was built on the same platform, but had a longer wheelbase and front end sheetmetal, a formal grille and luxurious trim, as well as more standard equipment that included air conditioning.

While “Matador” may have been a move away from connotations of the Confederacy inspired by the rise of the Civil Rights Movement, it did not help solve the obscurity problem, as AMC adopted a “What’s a Matador” advertising campaign. This self-disparaging marketing campaign “turned the styling of anonymity into an asset.” Consumer-research polls conducted by AMC found it meant virility and excitement to consumers. However, American Motors ran into problems in Puerto Rico. Matador turns out to have connotations for “killer” on the island where bull-fighting was abolished when the U.S. took control of Puerto Rico.

The Matador station wagons had an available rear-facing third row bench seat increasing total seating from six to eight passengers. In addition, all wagons included a roof rack and a two-way tailgate that opened when the rear window was down either from the top to serve as an extended flat surface that was even with the load floor, or to swing open like a regular door hinged on the left side.

The Matador came with straight-6 or a number of V8 engines. Transmissions for the Matador included the Borg-Warner sourced “Shift-Command” 3-speed automatic, and a column shifted 3-speed manual or a floor shifted 4-speed manual.

Matador Machine

Continuing the muscle car trend, The Machine was moved from being a distinct AMC Rebel model to the new Matador only as a performance package option on two-door hardtops. The performance options could also be ordered individually making it possible to “Go Package” equip a four-door Matador sedan or station wagon. The 1971 “Go package” Matador coupe version lacked the optional bold red-white-blue striping of its AMC Rebel-based predecessor, and also had no special identification or badging. Less known than the 1970 original, around 50 Matador Machines were produced for 1971. The package featured 15 x 7 inch slot-styled steel wheels with white-lettered “polyglass” belted tires, dual exhaust system, a heavy-duty handling package, power disk brakes, and a choice of either a 360 cu in (5.9 L) ($373 option) or the 401 cu in (6.6 L) V8 engine (for $461) with either a four-speed manual or a three-speed automatic transmission.

1972

1972 AMC Matador

 1972 AMC Matador two-door hardtop

Changes to Matadors were minor until the 1972 model year when the innovative AMC Buyer Protection Plan was introduced. This was the automobile industry’s first 12 month or 12,000 miles (19,312 km) bumper-to-bumperwarranty. American Motors started with an emphasis on quality and durability by focusing on its component sourcing, improving production that included reducing the number of models, as well mechanical upgrades and increasing the level of standard equipment. This was followed by an innovative promise to its customers to repair anything wrong with the car (except for tires). Owners were provided with a toll-free number to the company, as well as a free loaner car if a warranty repair took overnight. The objective was to reduce warranty claims, as well as achieve better public relations along with greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The previous Borg-Warner sourced “Shift-Command” 3-speed automatic transmission was replaced by the Chrysler Corporation-built TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic that AMC marketed as “Torque-Command.” The column-shift 3-speed manual continued as the standard transmission, but the optional 4-speed manual was discontinued.

1973

1973_AMC_Matador_wagon_rr-Cecil'10

 1973 Matador wagon with tailgate down

The 1973 model year brought new U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulations that required all passenger cars to withstand a 5-mile-per-hour (8 km/h) front and a 2.5-mile-per-hour (4 km/h) rear impacts without damage to the engine, lights, and safety equipment. Matadors gained stronger front and rear bumpers. The front bumper included self-restoring telescoping shock-absorbers and more prominent vertical rubber guards, while the rear bumper gained vertical black rubber bumper guards that replaced a pair of similar and previously optional chrome bumper guards.

A comparison of 1973 Matador owners conducted by Popular Mechanics indicated increased satisfaction and fewer problems than was the case with the owners of the essentially similar 1970 AMC Rebel three years earlier.

Automobile Quarterly reviewed the 1973 cars and summarized that “AMC actually has a very strong product line, but public awareness of it seems so feeble as to be negligible. … The Matador became a typical intermediate, an exact counterpart of the Satellite/Coronet or Torino/Montego“, and ranked AMC’s car as a “good buy.”

Second generation (1974–1978)

Samsung

 1975 Matador base model sedan
1978_AMC_Matador_leftside

 1978 AMC Matador sedan

A major design change was introduced with the 1974 models for both the sedan and wagon, while the two-door became a separate and radically styled coupe. These could be considered the “second generation” Matadors. New passenger car requirements set by NHTSA called for the front and rear passenger car bumpers to have uniform heights, take angle impacts, and sustain 5-mile-per-hour (8 km/h) impacts with no damage. The 1974 AMC Matadors accomplished this with massive bumpers. The four-door sedans and wagons received a new front fascia with a hood and grille featuring a prominent central protrusion that followed the front bumper shape. Matadors with this front fascia are sometimes nicknamed “coffin noses”.

Second generation sedans and station wagons continued over all the model years with only minor trim and equipment changes. Powertrains were basically unchanged for all the 1974 to 1978 Matadors. Either an inline six orV8 engines were available with a three-speed automatic transmission. A three-speed manual column-shift transmission was also available with the six-cylinder engine from 1974 to 1976. For 1977 and 1978, all Matadors came standard with the automatic transmission.

A road test by automobile journalist Vincent Courtenay of the 1974 Matador station wagon “praised its performance, handling, and fuel economy considering its size and 360 CID engine.” He described it as “a real sleeper on the market. Its performance ranks it in the first line of cars, yet it’s reasonably priced.”

Changes for the 1975 model year were minor as AMC focused on the development and introduction of its innovative Pacer, but Matadors now included a standard “no maintenance” electronic ignition developed by Prestolite. All U.S. market Matadors featured catalytic converters that required the use of unleaded regular-grade fuel. New “Unleaded Fuel Only” decals were placed by the fuel filler door and on the fuel gauge. Steel-belted radial tires were now made standard equipment on all Matadors.

Matador Coupe

1974 AMC Matador X Coupé 1

 1974 AMC Matador X Coupe
1976_AMC_Matador_coupe_cocoa_fl-fl

 1976 AMC Matador Brougham Coupe

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 a market segment that was outpacing the rest of the automobile market; and were looking to answer the demand for plush mid-size coupes after the end of the muscle car era.

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. The coupe was designed under the direction of AMC’s Vice President of Styling, Richard A. Teague, with input from Mark Donohue, the famous race car driver. 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. Reportedly Teague designed the coupe’s front as an homage to one of the first AMCs he designed, the 1964 Rambler American. Many were amazed that AMC came up with the fast, stylish Matador, considering the automaker’s size and limited resources.

The coupe’s wind-shaped look was enhanced by a very long hood and a short rear deck. The Matador coupe stands out as one of the more distinctive and controversial designs of the 1970s after the AMC Pacer and was named “Best Styled Car of 1974” by the editors of Car and Driver magazine. In contrast to all the other mid-sized and personal luxury two-door competition during the mid- to late-1970s, the Matador coupe did not share the requisite styling hallmarks of the era that included an upright grille, a notchback roof, and imitation “landau bars” or opera lights. A Popular Mechanics survey indicated “luscious looks of Matador coupe swept most owners off their feet” with a “specific like” listed by 63.7% of them for “styling”.

Sales of the coupe were brisk with 62,629 Matador Coupes delivered for its introductory year, up sharply from the 7,067 Matador hardtops sold in 1973. This is a respectable record that went against the drop in the overall market during 1974 and the decline in popularity of intermediate-sized coupes after the 1973 oil crisis. After it outsold the four-door Matadors by nearly 25,000 units in 1974, sales dropped to less than 10,000 in 1977, and then down to just 2,006 in the coupe’s final year. Nearly 100,000 Matador Coupes in total were produced from 1974 through 1978.

American Motors executives, including Vice President of Design Richard A. Teague, described design plans for a four-door sedan and station wagon based on the coupe’s styling themes that did not reach production.

James Bond movie

As part of a significant product placement strategy, an AMC Matador coupe played a starring role in a James Bond film that was released in 1974.

The Man with the Golden Gun features the newly introduced coupe – along with Matador 4-door police cars (painted in the black and white livery used by the Los Angeles Police Department) and a Hornet X hatchback. This was Roger Moore‘s second appearance as the British secret agent. The Matador is the car of Francisco Scaramanga, and along with Nick Nack, they use the “flying” AMC Matador to kidnap Mary Goodnight and make their escape. “Bond is foiled by perhaps the best trick a getaway car has ever performed” as the Matador transforms into a plane to fly from Bangkok to an island in the China Sea. The whole automobile is turned into a light airplane when wings and a flight tail unit are attached to the actual Matador coupe (that served as the fuselage and landing gear). The idea was based on the Taylor Aerocar design of a roadable aircraft. The machine for this Bond movie was 9.15 metres (30 ft) long, 12.80 metres (42 ft) wide, and 3.08 metres (10 ft) high. A stuntman drove the “car plane” to a runway. The machine was not airworthy and could only make a 500-metre (1,640 ft) flight, so a meter-long (39-inch) model was used for the film’s aerial sequences. The scenes show the remote controlled scale model built by John Stears.

According to some critics, the movie “didn’t offer much to recommend it other than the clever use of cars” such as the conversion of car into an airplane. The “flying AMC Matador” machine was exhibited at auto shows. It was part of AMC’s marketing efforts for the aerodynamically designed coupe, as well as publicity exposure for the concept of unique flying machines.

Oleg Cassini

1974_AMC_Matador_with_Oleg_Cassini_PRfoto

 Cassini showing off the interior trim he designed

A special Oleg Cassini edition of the Matador coupe was available for the 1974 and 1975 model years. American Motors had the famous American fashion designer develop a more elegant luxury oriented model for the new coupe. Cassini was renowned in Hollywood and high-society for making elegant ready-to-wear dresses, including those worn by Jacqueline Kennedy. Cassini himself helped promote the car in AMC’s advertising.

The special Oleg Cassini Matador was positioned in the popular and highly competitive “personal luxury car” market segment at that time. The Cassini Coupe was unlike all the other personal luxury competitors. The new Matador did not have the typical vintage styling cues of formal upright grille and squared-off roof, though the rear quarter windows were restyled to resemble small opera window openings. The new “smooth and slippery” two-door featured “marks of haute couture” with the “upholstery, panels and headliner done in jet black, with carpets and vinyl roof in a copper accent color. Outside, striping, rub rails, wheel covers and a crest mark the Matador as Cassini’s.” The Cassini Coupes were limited to black, white, or copper metallic exterior paints, and all came with the vinyl-covered roof. They also featured copper-colored trim in the grille, headlamp bezels, in turbine-type full wheel covers, and within the rear license plate recess.

The interior was a Cassini hallmark featuring a special black fabric with copper metal buttons on the individual adjustable and reclining front seats and on the padded door panels, that was set off by extra thick copper carpeting. Additional copper accents were on the steering wheel, door pulls, and on the instrument panel. Embroidered Cassini medallions were featured on the headrests. The glove compartment door, trunk lid, front fender, and hood featured Cassini’s signature.

Barcelona

Samsung

 1977 Barcelona Coupe
1978 AMC_Matador_Barcelona_4-door_side VAM Classic, based on the AMC Rambler

 1978 Barcelona sedan

In 1976, a “Barcelona” option offered an alternative to the personal luxury cars offered by other automakers such as the Chrysler Cordoba and Chevrolet Monte Carlo. For 1977 and 1978, the “Barcelona II” coupe featured a padded Landau roof and opera windows, styling cues that were required at that time by buyers in the highly popular two-door “personal luxury” market segment. At first it was available in only one distinctive two-tone paint pattern consisting of Golden Ginger Metallic with Sand Tan. For the 1978 model year, the Barcelona came in a second color scheme: an Autumn Red Metallic on Claret Metallic combination. For its final production in 1978, the Barcelona model was also available on the four-door sedan body style.

The Barcelona included numerous comfort and appearance upgrades in addition to the extensive standard equipment that came on all Matadors. The special items were: individual reclining seats in velveteen crush fabric with woven accent stripes, custom door trim panels, unique headliner, headlight bezels painted accent color, black trunk carpet, rear sway bar, GR78x15 radial whitewall tires, color-keyed slot styled wheels, body color front and rear bumpers, two-tone paint, landau padded vinyl roof, opera quarter windows with accents, dual remote control mirrors painted body color, Barcelona medallion on glove box door and fenders, 24 oz (680 g) carpeting and bumper nerfing strips. The standard roll-down rear quarter windows were converted into fixed “opera windows” with fiberglass covers over the stock openings that were finished with padded vinyl inside and out.

Motor Trend magazine road tested a 1977 Barcelona II coupe and found it to be equal to all in the objective areas, as well as one of the most distinctive vehicles on the road that “makes a good deal of sense… if you’re not put off by the Matador’s unique lines.”

NASCAR racing

AMC Matador Coca Cola PitStop

 #12 NASCAR Matador during a pit stop
MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

 #16 NASCAR Matador tribute car inSweden

Penske Racing prepared factory-backed Matador hardtops and coupes were used in NASCAR stock car tracks. Drivers included Indy winner Mark Donohue and Bobby Allison, and they won a number of races. The company’s effort “raised eyebrows” for many NASCAR veterans because AMC was not known for cultivating a racing image. Racing pundits “initially scoffed at the notion of an AMC entry” on the circuit, but “the Matador acquired a fan following of its own.”

Holman-Moody built a pair of 1972 2-door hardtop “Bull Fighters” for Penske as the marque’s first attempt at NASCAR in 1972. The Matador was one of the first oval stock car to use disc brakes. After Donohue won theWestern 500 with the first generation Matador hardtop with four wheel discs, other teams soon followed with the upgrade.

The new 1974 coupe replaced the previous “flying brick” two-door hardtop design. Penske was quoted as saying that they did what they could with the old hardtop, and it did better on tracks with more curves and fewer straightaways. Donohue did not survive to drive the new aerodynamically designed fastback coupe, that many believe was aimed at NASCAR racing. The five wins for the AMC Matador are:

Bobby Allison also won the non-points Daytona 125 qualifying race on 13 February 1975, and finished second in the Daytona 500 three days later.

Police

Though the full-sized AMC Ambassador was also offered as a police car, the Matador would prove to be very popular. The largest user of Matador patrol cars was the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), primarily from 1972 to 1974, with some staying in service until the mid-1980s. After extensive testing of the special police models offered by Chevy, Ford, and Chrysler, the LAPD chose the AMC Matador because they “out handled and out performed all the other cars.” The LAPD police Matadors included among other special equipment: T-2 can lights, a five-channel Motorola Motrac 70 radio, a Federal siren, and a “Hot Sheet Desk” with a Roster gooseneck lamp.

Matador sedans and station wagons was also used by other agencies, including the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department and many other law enforcement agencies across the U.S. and Canada, as well as by military police units.

While V8 power was down for many domestic sedans, AMC used a 401 cu in (6.6 L) V8 engine that outpowered most other police vehicles. Tests of the 1972 AMC Javelin pony car and Matador sedan equipped with the 401 V8s resulted both running the quarter-mile dragstrip in the 14.7-second range. Zero to 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) times were within 7 seconds, comparable to a 2006 Hemi Charger police car. Top speed was about 125 miles per hour (201 km/h), which took 43 seconds, much faster than the previously used Plymouth Satellites.

The high-performance 401 V8 was last available in 1975 only for fleet and police ordered sedans.

The 1974 models would be the last year for the LAPD’s purchase of the Matador. The second-generation longer-nosed restyle and the 5-mile bumpers added weight that affected handling and performance. Moreover, after 1976, AMC “let the police car business go as it causes too many problems.”

Matador police cars would appear in many television shows and movies during the 1970s, most famously, Adam-12 from 1972 until the show’s end in 1975, Police Academy, and in The Rockford Files beginning in 1974.

International markets

Australia

Rambler Matador Sedan(15896910935)first generation AMI

 First generation Rambler Matador sedan in New South Wales assembled by AMI
Rambler Matador_X_Coupe_AMI sec gen

 Second generation Rambler Matador X Coupe assembled by AMI

Australian assembly of the Matador by Australian Motor Industries (AMI) started in 1971, and the model was discontinued in 1978. The AMI cars were marketed as the Rambler Matador.

Knock-down kits were shipped from AMC’s Kenosha, Wisconsin factory for assembly in AMI’s facilities in Port Melbourne, Victoria. In addition to the modifications needed for Australian standards and market requirements, changes included the use of “local content” sourced parts and components (such as seats, carpeting, lights, heaters, and even unique “R”-logo wheel covers) that reduced the tariff added to each car. All AMI Matadors had right-hand drive that necessitated a unique dashboard and instrument panel. Although most of the exterior model year changes corresponded to those of U.S. production, the right-hand-drive Ramblers did not receive updated interiors as frequently.

Starting in 1971, the AMI-built Matador was available in sedan and wagon body styles. Standard equipment included automatic transmission, power steering, power windows, air conditioning, and an AM radio. The engine in the later years was AMC’s 360 cu in (5.9 L) V8. Among the options were an exterior mounted sun visor, vinyl roof cover, tow hitch, and mud flaps. The cars were targeted at the top market segment and advertised as “the American luxury limousine made for Australians” and built for Australian conditions.

Sales of the large-sized Matadors dropped after 1974. The second generation Coupe version was assembled by AMI in limited quantity in only its 1974 model year version. AMI stopped assembling Matadors in 1976. The Matador sedans and station wagons were marketed through 1977.

The AMI-built Matador may be the last to carry the “Rambler” automobile name.

Europe

U.S.-built left hand drive Matadors were exported to several European countries.

Mexico

The AMC Matador models were built by Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos (VAM) in Mexico.

First Generation

Continuing the concept of VAM’s version of the AMC Rebel, the Mexican Matador models were only available as a single trim level and in four-door sedan and two-door hardtop forms in their initial year. The hardtop retained the Rambler Classic SST name while the four-door sedan changed from Rambler Classic 770 to Rambler Classic DPL. Both body styles saw the same features as the 1971 AMC Matadors and were almost equal with only few exclusive characteristics for each. Standard equipment consisted of four-wheel manual drum bakes, manual steering, 170 bhp (127 kW; 172 PS) gross at 4600 RPM 252 cu in (4.1 L) I6 engine with Carter WCD two-barrel carburetor and 9.5:1 compression ratio, fully synchronized three-speed manual transmission with column shift, 10-inch heavy duty clutch, 3.54:1 rear differential gear ratio with manual transmission, 3.07:1 rear differential gear ratio with automatic transmission, electric two-speed wipers, electric washers, rectangular full-length 200 km/h speedometer, electric analog clock, collapsible steering column with built-in ignition switch, luxury custom steering wheel, courtesy lights, cigarette lighter, dashboard ashtray, locking glove box, wide individual front seats (hardtop), front bench seat (sedan), two-point front seatbelts, front and rear side armrests, dual rear ashtrays, single round dome light (sedan), dual C-pillar dome lights (hardtop), dual coat hooks, bright molding package, luxury wheel covers, and driver’s side remote mirror. Optional equipment included power drum brakes (standard with automatic transmission), power steering, heavy duty suspension, automatic transmission, heater with front defroster, vinyl roof, remote-controlled driver’s side mirror, passenger’s side remote mirror, bumper guards, bumper tubes, and locking gas cap.

For 1972, all VAM cars received the same revisions and improvements of the AMC models. The Classic line saw upgrades in the replacement of the 252 cu in (4.1 L) six in favor of the 282 cu in (4.6 L) with gross 200 bhp (149 kW; 203 PS) at 4,400 RPM with Carter ABD two-barrel carburetor, 9.5 compression ratio, and 266 degree camshaft. Power brakes with front disks became standard equipment regardless of transmission, a Chrysler A998 three-speed automatic transmission in place of the older Borg-Warner automatics, heavy duty suspension with front sway bar, improved heater with revised controls placed to the right of the steering column, and new two-round-pod instrument cluster. New wheel cover and grille designs were noticeable on the exterior, while seat patterns and side panels were also updated.

Since its redesign in 1970, the hardtop body style started to drop in sales and the front end facelift of 1971 did not help to reverse the trend. VAM did not want to drop it leaving it without a mid-sized two-door. The model was reworked into an all-new limited edition with a sportier focus, as well as featuring more appointments similar to a personal luxury car. This became the VAM Classic Brougham, with the name “Rambler” removed to rejuvenate the line, while the four-door sedan became the VAM Classic DPL. The Brougham included as standard equipment power steering, three-speed automatic transmission with floor-mounted shifter (the same unit as the U.S. Rebel Machine models), center console with locking compartment, individual high-back bucket seats (shared with the VAM Javelin), bright trim for pedals, heater, AM/FM stereo radio with four speakers, tinted windshield, and a remote controlled driver’s side remote mirror. Despite the marketing and high level of equipment, the public saw it as the previous model. The only external differences with the previous model were limited to the colors, the grille, the standard vinyl roof and the wheel covers. The price was higher than that of the Rambler Classic SST and it did not increase sales for the year, ending below VAM’s expectations.

Because of the low sales of the Classic Brougham hardtop, the Classic DPL four door sedan became the only Matador version produced by VAM for 1973, with Javelin being the largest two-door model offered by the company. The 1973 Classic DPLs were virtually the same to their previous year’s counterparts with differences only in seat and side panel designs as well as the grille design and a new engine head with larger valves and independent rockers.

Second Generation

The generational change that AMC Matadors received for 1974 in the United States was also introduced in Mexico. The Classic DPL obtained the longer “coffin nose” front clip design complete with the change from dual headlights to single units, grille-mounted parking lights as well as five-mile-per-hour bumpers with standard bumper guards. The rear licence plate was relocated to the center of the rear panel and obtained new longer rectangular taillights. The interior saw the all-new padded dashboard with three squared pods for instruments (emergency lights, gasoline level and water temperature to the left, 200 km/h speedometer at the center and the electric clock on the right) and a horizontal radio design. Seats and interior door panels were once again redesigned. Units ordered with the automatic transmission also included power steering and a heater. The beginning of automotive engine emission certification in Mexico affected the 282 cu in (4.6 L) six, which changed to a lower 8.5:1 compression ratio. The rear differential gear ratio was changed to 3.31:1 for both transmissions.

The biggest news of the year was the arrival or a new two-door model, AMC’s Matador coupe. Unlike all previous (Matador and Rebel) models, it was available in two different trim levels; the sporty Classic AMX equivalent to the AMC Matador X model and the luxury Classic Brougham equivalent to the AMC Matador Brougham coupe model. Both versions were mechanically the same, carrying the same technical specifications as the Classic DPL models. Their main differences relied in appearance and accessories. The Classic AMX sported VAM’s inhouse five-spoke wheels with volcano centercaps and trim rings, a blackedout grille and a rally stripe surrounding the full length of the car with an integrated AMX emblem on the right corner of the trunk lid; the Classic Brougham had a standard vinil roof cover with its respective moldings, wheelcovers (new design for the year), standard grille and “Brougham” emblems over the C-pillar bases. The Classic AMX showcased a three-arm spoked sports steering wheel, high-back fold-down individual bucket seats, center console with locking compartment, floor-mounted gearshift, and AM/FM radio. Despite the sportiness of the model, intended to take the place of the Javelin as VAM’s top-of-the-line performance model as well as the image and enthusiast builder, the side armrests were the standard designs used in the Matador base models of the U.S. On the other hand, the Classic Brougham sported a custom sports steering wheel and column-mounted shifter with a fold-down split-back bench seat and AM radio. Unlike the Classic DPL, both the Classic AMX and the Classic Brougham included the automatic transmission, power steering and heater as standard equipment. A unique characteristic of the 1974 VAM Classic AMX was the shifter because it was the Javelin’s “aircraft” U-shaped design.

For 1975, changes on all three versions were few. The Classic DPL obtained a new grille design with rectangular parking lights alongside new seats and door panels. The luxury steering wheel obtained a new design for the both Classic DPL and the Classic Brougham. Both coupe models obtained new interior door panels with AMC’s full length X-model side armrests; the panels of the sports version also carried an etched “AMX” emblem over the vinyl near the top front corner of the door. The Classic AMX also featured AMC’s X-model floor-mounted shifter design. All three versions shared the upgrades of electronic ignition, a vacuum gauge in place of the electric clock, a 282 cu in (4.6 L) I6 with a lower 7.7:1 compression ratio, and Holley 2300 two-barrel carburetor. There were more changes for the 1976 model year. The Classic DPL and Brougham featured a new design for wheel covers. Both coupe models obtained a new grille design divided in two portions with squared parking lights. The Classic AMX had a new and more discreet side decal covering only the front fenders and a new metal “AMX” emblem on the trunk lid corner. All three versions shared a new 160 km/h speedometer, tinted windshield, and seat designs that were based in AMC’s Oleg Cassini units for the Matador coupes. These were color-keyed with the rest of the interior, the most unique ones were those of the AMX as they were individual and included adjustable headrests with integrated Cassini crests and reclining mechanism. This is the only case of a VAM car close to the various U.S. AMC designer cars.

The Classic line was discontinued in the middle of the 1976 model year. VAM was looking forward to introducing the Pacer model to Mexican market, which would represent its fourth product line, while Mexican legislation at the time allowed only three per marque. Having both the Classic and the Pacer in the luxury market segment would have also caused internal competition. VAM favored the new Pacer over what until that time had been its flagship model. Starting in 1977, VAM’s most luxurious model was the Pacer, and its largest sized models were the Americans (AMC Hornets).

New Zealand

New Zealand had right hand drive Rambler Matadors assembled under license from AMC by Campbell Motor Industries (CMI) in Thames. The CMI Ramblers used Canadian-sourced complete knock down (CKD) kits. They featured modifications for the New Zealand market including the continued use of the Rambler marque. Matadors were assembled by CMI until 1975, along with other brands. CMI later became part of Toyota New Zealand.

United Kingdom

The Rambler name was used on right hand drive Matador models sold in the UK. The cars were supplied by AMI in Australia up to 1976, but the final 1977 models in the UK were regular LHD versions imported from the U.S.

End of the line

During the late 1970s, the domestic automobile market was moving to smaller cars. The large-sized Matador was no longer attractive to customers demanding more economical cars as fuel and money became increasingly worrisome problems after the 1973 oil crisis and the continuing double digit domestic inflation.

Lacking the financial resources for a full redesign (partly because of the expensive tooling costs of the coupe), AMC dropped the large Ambassador after 1974, while the Matador was discontinued after 1978, around the same time as Ford moved their full-size nameplates to a smaller platform. The downsized 1977 Chevrolet Impala also spelled doom for large intermediates from AMC and Chrysler. American Motors responded to the declining demand for large cars by introducing a new nameplate in 1978, the AMC Concord. The Concord was an upmarket restyling and positioning of the compact AMC Hornet which had the same 108-inch (2,743 mm) wheelbase as the redesigned intermediate 1978 Chevrolet Malibu. It was presented as combing an “easy-to-handle size with a roomy sumptuous interior” and in contrast to the Matador coupe, the “overall styling was pleasant … would not offend anyone” This was the first full-line of economical, compact-sized cars with luxurious trim, features, and comfort levels previously available only in larger automobiles.

American Motors did not have another large car until the Eagle Premier that was developed with Renault‘s partnership and introduced to the marketplace following the purchase of AMC by Chrysler in 1987.

Collectability

1974 AMC Matador X Coupe

 1974 AMC Matador X Coupe at a classic car show in Daytona Beach, Florida

While well-restored examples of Matador sedans can still be purchased for under $3,000, ads have been published asking over $10,000 for restored coupes.

Hemmings Classic Car magazine listed the 1974–78 Matador Coupe as one of their 19 pieces of rolling proof that the old-car hobby need not be expensive and described the Coupe as “possibly one of the most distinctive shapes to come out of the 1970s, and arguably a style pinnacle for the personal luxury movement”, the James Bond movie role, as well as its NASCAR history.

An article in 1991 entitled “Cool Cars Nobody Wants” describes the 1974–75 AMC Matadors as a collectable, stating: “long considered the automaker to geeks, American Motors began its slow decline, we believe, when the liberal do-gooders who made up its core market began earning enough money to buy Scandinavian cars.”

In 2014, Hagerty collector insurance listed the Adam 12 AMC Matador as their number one “favorite full-size, rear-wheel-drive American cop cars from 60 years of the best cop shows.”

Australian Motor Industries

Australian Motor Industries
Industry Automotive
Fate Bought out by Toyota
Successor Toyota Motor Corporation (Australia)
Founded 1926
Defunct 1987
Headquarters Port Melbourne, Australia

Australian Motor Industries (AMI) was an automobile assembly firm that was significant in the early history of the automotive industry in Australia.

Start of production

1958-1964 Standard_Vanguard_Vignale_Six

 The Standard Vanguard was produced by AMI from 1958 to 1964

The origins of Australian Motor Industries can be traced back to 1926 when J.F. Crosby decided to invest in Eclipse Motors Pty Ltd of Melbourne. In 1929 the company secured the Victorian agency for Standard Motor Company‘s cars, then changed the company name to Talbot and Standard Motors, and began a steady period of expansion with the Standard marque through the 1930s. In 1952 the Crosby family formed a holding company, Standard Motor Products Ltd, in co-operation with the Standard Motor Company of England to assemble cars at their new assembly plant in Port Melbourne. The subsidiary company responsible for vehicle assembly was the Standard Motor Company (Australia) Limited.

Import tariffs on vehicles encouraged the growth of the Australian vehicle body building industry from the early 1920s. The tax concessions varied with the degree of local content.

Changes within the industry saw the consolidation of the principal manufacturers and the demise of the smaller body builders. The Port Melbourne assembly plant was one of many new facilities which were set up to meet the post war demand for new vehicles. By 1955 the assembly complex had expanded to 33 acres (0.13 km2; 0.052 sq mi) of land and the new engine assembly plant had a capacity of 100 engines per eight-hour shift.

Standard Motor Products Ltd was unusual in the Australian motor industry because of the high Australian shareholding of the company; 88% in 1952 when the Australian company bought out its English partner. The remaining shares were held by the Standard Motor Company UK. As a sign of the close co-operation between the two companies, Sir John Black was made president of SMP and Arthur F. Crosby remained as chairman. His brother, Clive C. Crosby, became the managing director.

In 1958 the company negotiated an agreement with Daimler-Benz to assemble and distribute Mercedes Benz vehicles in Australia. In recognition of this new agreement the company was renamed Australian Motor Industries and a new subsidiary company was formed to handle the Mercedes Benz franchise.

Through its long association with the Standard Motor Company, AMI also held the franchise for Triumph cars and assembled Ferguson tractors through another subsidiary company of the group, British Farm Equipment. An extensive dealer network throughout NSW and Victoria saw Standard cars and Ferguson tractors sold side by side in country areas. The most popular car sold was the Vanguard model.

Reorganization

1961 Mercedes-Benz 220SEb assembled by AMI

 1961 Mercedes-Benz 220SEb assembled by AMI

In October 1960, AMI signed an agreement with American Motors Corporation (AMC) to assemble the Rambler range of cars from complete knock down (CKD) kits. Another deal with Fiat was planned to replace the Ferguson tractors distributed by BFE. The Standard Motor Company had sold their tractor facility in Coventry to Massey Ferguson and focused on automobile production.

AMI ran into financial trouble during the Australian credit squeeze of 1961 and the company was forced to sell off many assets and vehicle stock to remain solvent. Part of the restructure resulted in the sale of their share in the Mercedes Benz franchise to the German parent company.

In 1963 the company secured the Australian franchise for Toyota cars and began assembly of the Tiara range. From this point the financial position of the company steadily improved and by 1967 AMI was assembling 32 different models for the Australian market, as well as importing fully assembled Toyota Corollas for their dealer network.

Other cars assembled by AMI included the Rambler range from American Motors and Triumph cars from Leyland Motors. Leyland had inherited shares in AMI when it had merged with Standard-Triumph International in 1961. During the early 1960s the foreign share of the automobile motor vehicle market was estimated to be 95%, and as the only sizeable producer with a local equity, AMI continued to manufacture overseas designs.

AMI assembled the Triumph Herald from 1959 to 1966 and produced some unique Australian models. The Triumph 2000/2500 range was assembled in Port Melbourne from 1964 to the mid-1970s.

By 1965, the demise of the Standard Vanguard and the loss of assembly rights for Mercedes-Benz vehicles left AMI with additional capacity to assemble Rambler, Triumph, and Toyota models.

Operations with AMC

Starting in 1960, AMI assembled a broad range of AMC cars, all with right-hand drive and carried the Rambler brand name. This meant that Australians could purchase a Rambler Javelin, AMXHornet, or Matador long after the Rambler marque was dropped from use on the equivalent U.S.-market models.

Complete knock down kits were shipped from AMC’s Kenosha, Wisconsin facility (all knock-down kits to all assembly operations were from Kenosha), but the Australian cars were assembled with a percentage of “local content” to gain tariff concessions. This was done using parts and components (such as seats, carpet, lights, and heaters) from local Australian suppliers. AMI specified what parts were not to be included in the unassembled kits sent by AMC. Other necessary parts specified by the assembler were boxed and shipped for assembly at the final destination in Australia. It is unknown exactly how many parts were included to be installed by the assembly operation, that varied with each operation. Outside colors were chosen by AMI and were the same as used on AMI assembled Triumph and Toyota cars of that period. The distinctive AMI exterior emblems were used on Ramblers, as well as Triumph and Toyota cars assembled by AMI from 1968 onward.

1969 Rambler AMX assembled by AMI

 1969 Rambler AMX assembled by AMI

A total of 24 AMC AMXs, all 1969 models were made by AMI between August, 1969 and July, 1970. All featured the 343 cu in (5.6 L) V8s. Differences to the RHD two-seater AMXs compared to the U.S. models included swapping the power brake booster and heater motor on the firewall, the power steering pump remained in its usual left location, although the rest of the steering components had to be on the right side of the cars. All of the Australian AMX interiors were finished in black featuring a unique RHD dashboard with a wood-grained instrument cluster in front of the driver. While the AMX was marketed as a performance muscle car in the U.S. marketplace, the Australian AMXs came with a large high level of equipment that was optional in the U.S., and these AMXs were advertised as personal luxury cars.

1971_AMI_Rambler_Gremlin_AnnMD_driver

 Interior of the only 1970 Rambler Gremlin assembled by AMI

One AMC Gremlin was also assembled AMI in Port Melbourne for evaluation purposes and branded as a “Rambler Gremlin”. The car features the standard 232 cu in (3.8 L) I6 engine with three-speed manual transmission, as well as right-hand drive and the mandated percentage of locally produced content.

From 1971, Australian assembled AMC Matadors were equipped with standard column shift automatic transmissions, power steering, power windows, air conditioning, and an AM radio. The engine in the later years was AMC’s 360 cu in (5.9 L) V8. Options included exterior sunvisor, vinyl roof cover, tow hitch, and mud flaps. Registrations for AMC vehicles dropped after 1974. A total of 118 Hornets and 145 Matadors (118 sedans, 27 wagons) were sold during 1974. Registrations for 1975 were 136 Hornets and 118 Matadors (85 sedans 33 wagons). In 1976 there were 88 Matadors (78 sedans, 10 wagons), while 1977 saw just 24 Matador sedans and 3 wagons. Additionally, Matador coupe CKD kits arrived in late-1974, and the assembly of 80 cars began in 1976. One fully assembled AMC Pacer was imported for evaluation purposes.

American Motors cars were assembled in Port Melbourne by AMI up to 1978. The company retained a niche market as the sole U.S. sourced cars available in the Australian marketplace. For example, the Government of New South Wales selected the Rambler Rebel and the Matador as official vehicles in the 1970s.

Toyota and buyout

1960-64 MHV Toyota Tiara T20 01

 The Toyota Tiara was the first Toyota model assembled by AMI

The first Toyota car ever built outside Japan was assembled by AMI in April 1963, the Toyota Tiara. The AMI production of Toyotas expanded in the 1960s to also include the Crown, Corona, and Corolla assembled at AMI’s Port Melbourne factory. Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan purchased 10% of outstanding AMI shares. As a fast-growing company, took a controlling interest in AMI in 1968 as a contract with the British Leyland ended. Toyota also purchased a 40% share in Thiess Holdings, an importer of light commercial vehicles, which it renamed Thiess Toyota.

Recognizing the majority owner of the company and the products that it manufactured and marketed, AMI renamed itself as AMI Toyota Ltd in 1985. The company continued to be listed on the Australian Stock Exchange with a minority Australian shareholding until 1987, when Toyota moved to acquire the shares held by the remaining shareholders.

The Japanese company then amalgamated the company with its other Australian operations in 1989 to form two arms. Toyota Motor Corporation Australia which was responsible for passenger vehicles and Toyota Motor Sales Australia which was responsible for both Toyota commercial vehicles and Hino trucks.

Toyota vehicle production was transferred from the historic Port Melbourne factory to the company’s new $420 million facility at Altona, Victoria in 1994. The Australian facility now exports CKD kits to assembly plants in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

Industrias Kaiser Argentina

Industrias Kaiser Argentina
Industry Automobile
Fate Bought out by Renault
Founded 1956
Defunct 1970
Headquarters Córdoba Province,Argentina
Products Vehicles
Number of employees
8,500 (1965)
Parent Kaiser Motors

Industrias Kaiser Argentina S.A. or IKA was an Argentine motor car company established in 1956 in Córdoba Province as a joint venture with Kaiser Motors of the United States.

The automaker produced a variety of Kaiser Jeep vehicles and American Motors (AMC) models, including Argentina’s most iconic car, the Torino, before partnering with France’s Renault, which bought it out in 1970.

History

1950s

IKA_Estanciera Willys Jeep Wagon

 IKA Estanciera (Willys Jeep wagon)

The government of Argentina sent a delegation to the United States in 1951 to meet with auto manufacturers interested in building cars in Argentina. Unfortunately the market was seen as too small to justify the investment, and no one but Kaiser was interested. On 19 January 1955, the government signed an agreement to permit Kaiser to manufacture automobiles and trucks in Argentina. The U.S. automaker was facing problems in its domestic market. It took the Willys Aero out of production in 1955 leaving two redundant sets of vehicle production lines. The Kaiser auto manufacturing equipment was shipped to Argentina while the Willys equipment formed the automaker’s capital contribution to establish a new company in Brazil.

Kaiser created Kaiser Automotores, a wholly owned subsidiary as holding company that owned part of the newly created Industrias Kaiser Argentina, the manufacturing and marketing arm. Other partners in IKA included Industrias Aeronáuticas y Mecánicas del Estado (IAME), the government-owned airplane and vehicle manufacturer, as well as private investors. The public offering of shares of stock was oversubscribed.

The first imports from the U.S. consisted of 1,021 complete cars, manufacturing equipment, and spare parts. Groundbreaking for the new factory in the city of Santa Isabel in Córdoba Province was held in March 1955 with the first Jeep vehicle driven out on 27 April 1956.

IKA Carabela (Kaiser Manhattan)

 IKA Carabela (Kaiser Manhattan)

The initial production was of various Jeeps. Models included the CJ versions, as well as the Willys Jeep Truck or IKA Baqueano Pick-up, and the Willys Jeep Wagon or IKA Estanciera as well as a panel delivery version known as the IKA Utilitario. These utility vehicles were shortly followed by a local version of the Kaiser Manhattan 4-door sedan, called the Carabela, using the U.S. production equipment which had been transferred to IKA. The combined Carabela-Jeep production of 22,612 units was 81% of all vehicles manufactured in Argentina in 1958 with the only competition being a state-run utility vehicle manufacturer.

To expand the marketing of its vehicles in 1958, IKA sponsored a musical variety show El Show de IKA that highlighted an American vocalist, Andy Russell. It was the most expensive TV program produced in Argentina, a Jeep was driven on the stage during every show, and the first to use cameras mounted high above the stage.

In 1959, the American-Argentine company become IKA Renault as a result of an agreement to produce the French firm’s Renault cars. The small Renault Dauphine was produced and badged IKA Dauphine.

1960s

IF

 1961 IKA Classic de Luxe (Rambler Classic)
IKA Torino (Rambler American)

 IKA Torino (Rambler American)

The Carabela model was discontinued in 1962, and by that time IKA also assembled other automobiles. Alfa Romeo sold IKA the body molds for its discontinued Alfa Romeo 1900 sedan to become the IKA Bergantin.

Production started on 10 March 1960. The Bergantin was described as the first locally conceived, designed, and engineered car. Local content made in Córdoba included a Willys 2480 cc four-cylinder engine and the Jeep rear suspension and drum brakes that were also used in the Estanciera. The car rode on a 103.3 in (2,624 mm) wheelbase with an overall length of 173 in (4,394 mm). Starting on 31 May 1961, the IKA Bergantin received the 115 hp (86 kW) Continental six-cylinder that was already used for the Estanciera and Carabela models, but only 353 units were made with this engine. Production of the IKA Bergantin ended on 21 February 1962, with nearly 5,000 units sold in three versions: Standard, Deluxe, and Taxi cab. At the time, IKA’s Cordoba plant produced about 40,000 vehicles annually, including Renaults and Jeeps as well as Kaisers and Ramblers.

In 1962, another joint model venture agreement took place between IKA and American Motors Corporation (AMC). Various Rambler models licensed from American Motors Corporation (AMC) replaced all of the old Kaiser and Alfa Romeo based cars. In order to meet local content regulations, however, the Ramblers were adapted to use an Argentine-built Kaiser engine – which luckily was an easy fit, perhaps since the same engineer (Ralph H. Isebrandt) had designed both drivetrains. The final form of the AMC variants was the potent Rambler American/Classic-based Torino that saw a success on international racing circuits. Production peaked in 1965, with a total of 55,269 vehicles were assembled by IKA of which about one-third were Kaiser-Frazer based cars and Jeeps, while other two-thirds were Nash Ramblers and (from 1960) Renaults produced under license. Representing about 28% of Argentina’s total production, IKA was the nation’s largest independent automobile manufacturer with 8,500 employees.

By 1966 the Santa Isabel plant was producing a broad line of models that included the following:

  • Four Renaults: Dauphine, Gordini, R4L, and R4F
  • Six utility models: Jeep, Pick-up, Jeep Estanciera (also taxi version), Jeep truck, Jeep Gladiator (500, 1000 kilos) – in two and four wheel drive – and Charge
  • Four AMC Rambler models: Classic Custom, Classic de Luxe, Classic Cross-Country (station wagon), and Ambassador 990
  • The IKA Torino model (coupe and sedan)

In 1967, Régie Nationale des Usines Renault of France assumed control of the company by purchasing a large percentage of the shares of stock and changed its name to IKA Renault S.A.

1970s

In 1970 Kaiser Industries decided to exit the auto business and it sold the rest of its IKA holdings to its partner, Renault of France, thus ending the history of Argentina’s indigenous automaker. The new enterprise focused on mass consumption models such as the Renault 12.

In 1975, the original factory in Santa Isabel changed from IKA to Renault Argentina S.A.

Cars built in the Santa Isabel factory

Cipolla_IKA_la_aventura_ISBN-9875560065Cipolla_La_Epopeya_ISBN-9875560405
Books by Franco Cipolla describing the tumultious history of IKA

Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos

Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos
Semi-state controlled
Industry Automotive
Fate Defunct
Predecessor Willys Mexicana
Successor Renault de México
Founded 1946
Defunct 1989
Headquarters Mexico City,, Mexico
Area served
Mexico
Key people
Raúl Netzahualcóyotl Valdez
Products passenger cars, luxury sedans, performance cars, SUVs
Parent Sociedad Mexicana de Crédito Industrial

Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos S.A. (VAM) was a Mexican automaker from 1946 to 1989.

The original organization, a distributor and license manufacturer for Willys-Overland and AMC vehicles, became government controlled in 1963 with American Motors Corporation (AMC) holding a minority interest. The company imported and produced automobiles and light trucks under license from Willys, AMC, Eagle, Jeep, Chrysler, Renault and designed their own vehicles based on AMC platforms. The early-1980s collapse of the Mexican economy forced a sale of the Mexican government’s interest in VAM to Renault, which shut down the firm in the late 1980s. The Mexican government maintains the rights to the VAM name and brand to this day.

History

1946 Willys Jeep CJ-2A, the first vehicle produced by the company in 1946, when it was known as Willys Mexicana

The Willys Jeep CJ-2A, the first vehicle produced by the company in 1946, when it was known as Willys Mexicana.

Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos was established as its own company 1963 after the Mexican Government passed a law to control the privately owned Sociedad Mexicana de Credito Industrial (SOMEX), the parent company of Willys Mexicana S.A. (established since 1946 as a local manufacturer and distributor for Willys-Overland Jeeps and used both the names VAM and Willys Mexicana on its products) that held the license to produce and import AMC Ramblers. Willys Mexicana was transformed into VAM in 1963 after an agreement between American Motors Corporation (AMC) and the Mexican Government. After the restructuring of the original company, VAM proceeded to the construction of its own engine plant located in the municipality of Lerma, Estado de México. At the same time, AMC took a 40% equity interest in VAM, but did not actively participate in the company’s management. Government content regulations required VAM vehicles had to have at least 60% locally sourced parts.

AMC’s stake in VAM passed into the hands of Renault in late 1980 when Renault assumed the majority (controlling) ownership of AMC. The last AMC based cars were produced in 1983, the same year the last two wheel drive cars were produced by AMC in the US. Beginning in 1984 the company produced several Renault models as VAM vehicles.

Financial problems during a collapse of the Mexican economy (recession and devaluation of the Mexican peso, beginning in 1982) forced the eventual sale of the Mexican government’s interest in the company to Renault. The Mexican government actually paid Renault some US$ 200 million to take over VAM and assume its debts in 1987. Renault then closed VAM down.

Products

1978 AMC_Matador_Barcelona_4-door_side VAM Classic, based on the AMC Rambler

 The VAM Classic, based on the AMC Rambler
Samsung

 1976 The AMC Matador Coupe was manufactured as a VAM vehicle.
VAM Gremlin was based on the AMC Gremlin but featured more conservative styling

 The VAM Gremlin was based on the AMC Gremlin but featured more conservative styling.
1987 Eagle Premier was the last vehicle produced by VAM for a few months in 1987.

 A modified version of the Eagle Premier was the last vehicle produced by VAM for a few months in 1987.

From its initial inception as Willys Mexicana in the late 1940s the company manufactured Jeeps under license and AMC vehicles after 1954. Most VAM cars mimicked domestic (U.S.) models but had significant differences in aesthetic design. In the sixties, VAM produced the Rambler American (in 2- and 4-door and wagon versions plus a limited single-year hardtop imodel in two generations), a version of the AMC Rebel called the “Rambler Classic” (in 2-door hardtop and 4-door sedan versions) and the AMC Javelin. In the seventies VAM produced a full line of AMC Hornets, called first “Rambler American” and since 1975 just “American,” plus a sport version called “Rambler American Rally” (subsequently “American Rally”). The Concord hatchback was badged a “American Rally AMX.” Rambler Classics, AMC Gremlins, Javelins, and Pacers were sold under their original U.S. names. The AMC Matador sedan models were badged as the “Classic DPL” since 1972 and the Matador Coupe was produced in a sport version called “Classic AMX” and a luxury “Classic Brougham”.

In later years, VAM badged variants of the AMC Spirit as the sporty “Rally AMX”, luxury “Rally SST” and high performance “Rally GT”. The Mexican version of the AMC Concord kept the “American” name, in base and GFS, ECD and DL models. Some VAM models mixed and matched body components from U.S. cars. Examples of Mexican-only cars include a 1977 two-door “Hornet” with a 1977-1978 Gremlin front clip. Many of these carried slightly different engines, all-original interiors, and different model and designation names than their counterparts in the United States and Canada, but were all based on U.S. bodies and used the same parts. Most bodies used the same year parts as U.S. production cars, but sometimes years and models were mixed. VAM built 1974-1976 Gremlins, for example, used the AMC Hornet grille and front fenders, and the 1977 Hornet mentioned above.

VAM produced one original body not available in the U.S. or other markets, the VAM Lerma (named after the town the engine factory was in). The Lerma was a “cut and weld” built body. The rear hatchback portion of an AMC Spirit (or rather VAM Rally) was cut from the Spirit body grafted onto the longer wheelbase AMC Concord (VAM American) in two and four door versions. This idea was presented to AMC, but the labor cost to produce the car using the “cut and weld” method would have been cost prohibitive in the U.S., and sales of the aging Concord/Spirit (in production since 1970) were not up to adding a new body that would require unique panels to be pressed.

All VAM engines were of AMC design, but built in Mexico. Moreover, VAM added unique engineering features to deal with low octane fuel and high altitudes. This included a 282 cu in (4.6 L) I6 engine (essentially a 258 block cast with a 0.16″ larger bore) not available from AMC. The larger six helped counter high altitude/low octane fuel power loss and with the lack of a V8 engine option in VAM produced vehicles.

In 1982, VAM’s engineering department worked on a prototype Jeep Cherokee (XJ) and fitted VAM’s straight six into it (in place of AMC’s four-cylinder or optional V6 from General Motors). AMC was impressed by the project, which eventually developed into the 4.0-liter engine version introduced in the 1987 Jeep Cherokee (XJ).

That was all about Rambler and it’s followers.

What follows now are only pictures:

 1897 Thomas B. Jeffery and his 1897 Rambler prototype 1898 Thomas B. Jeffery 1900 Emblem Rambler 1901 Rambler A -CT Jeffery 1903 Rambler 6.5 HP Runabout 1903 Rambler 6HP Runabout 1904 Rambler 7HP Rear-entrance tonneau 1904 Rambler 1905 Rambler 1908 Rambler advertisement 1913 Rambler Touring 1915 Jeffery company employees 1915 Jeffery factory 1915 Jeffery works circa 1915 1916 Charles T. Jeffery (left) Charles W. Nash (right) 1916 Thomas B. Jeffery Company logo in a 1916 brochure for their automobile 1946 Willys Jeep CJ-2A, the first vehicle produced by the company in 1946, when it was known as Willys Mexicana 1951 Nash Rambler WagWeb-Large 1953 Ambulance on 1953 Nash Rambler Super Station Wagon model 5 1953 Ambulance on 1953 Nash Rambler Super Station Wagon 1956 AMC cavalier 1956 Hudson Rambler Custom sedan, with dealer accessory window insect screens 1956 Industrias Kaiser Argentina (IKA) Jeep M 1956 Rambler Cross Country Wagon 1956 Rambler 1957 Industrias Kaiser Argentina (IKA)Estanciera 1957 Rambler Cross-Country Custom 1957 Rambler Custom Cross County 1957 Rambler Rebel 1957 Rambler 1957 Willys pickup (four-wheel drive) 1957_Rambler_Rebel_hardtop_rfd-Cecil'10 1957_Rambler_Rebel_interior 1957_Rambler_Rebel_rear Muscle car Pillarless AMC 1958 ika carabela 1958 Industrias Kaiser Argentina (IKA) Carabela 1958 Rambler Ambassador Custom 1958 Rambler Cross Country 1958 Rambler sedan 1958 Rambler Six's tailfinned rear 1958 Rambler_Ambassador_(3893707660) 1958 Ramblers58Web-Large 1958 Train unloading 1958 Ramblers for a car rental company in Florida. Samsung 1958_Ambassador_4-d_hardtop_wagon_1 1958_Ambassador_4-d_hardtop_wagon_2 1958-1964 Standard_Vanguard_Vignale_Six 1959 AMC Rambler Station Wagon 1959 ika de gaulle 1959 ika torino cupe 380W 1959 JOHAN RAMBLER AMBULANCE 1959 kaiser carabela limusina 1959 Kaiser-carabela Arg 1959 Rambler American 2-door compact sedan by American Motors Corporation (AMC) -- the first generation design. Painted in optional factory two-tone blue. 1959 Rambler American 2dr-sedan Blue-NJ first generation 1959 Rambler American Super Club Sedan 1959 Rambler Country Club hardtop with optional continental tire 1959 Rambler Custom Cross Country Station Wagon 1959 Rambler Six sedan 1959 Rambler Station 1959 Rambler_American_1st-generation_black_sedan 1959_Rambler_Country_Club_4-door_hartop_red_Nashville 1960 AMC Rambler American Super 4-Door Sedan 1960 AMC Rambler American Wagon CA Rio de Janeiro (RJ) 15/06/2011 Aero-Willys 1960 - Foto Jason Vogel 1960 ika carabela rear 1960 ika carabela 1960 IKA estanciera 1960 Industrias Kaiser Argentina (IKA)Begantin 1960 Kaiser carabela Argentina 1960 Kaiser Carabela 1960 Rambler American Custom wagon 1960 Rambler Arg 1960 Rambler R 1960 Rambler Six 6015-2 photographed in Centreville, Virginia, USA. 1960 Rambler Six Deluxe sedan, the lowest-priced equipment level 1960 Rambler Super Cross Country, rear view 1960 Rambler Super police car 1960 Rambler Taxicab Ad 1960 Rambler wagon 1960_AMC_Rambler_Ambassador_sedan_green_NJ