AMC Matador

AMC Matador Station Wagon (1972 )

The AMC Matador was a midsize car, the American Motors Corporation ( AMC) offered from early 1971 to early 1978.


The Matador replaced the AMC Rebel offered since 1967. As the Rebel based the matador on the big AMC Ambassador.

Although the AMC advertising promised that the hero is not just a facelift with the name change, but actually it was recognized in the new vehicle the Rebel of the vintage 1970 long engine compartment and new interiors. From the A- pillar towards the rear corresponded to the Matador body of the AMC Ambassador, of a longer wheelbase and a longer engine compartment, a more representative grille and a more luxurious amenities, such as air conditioning, had. Although " Matador" was a step away from the terminology of the Southern States, which was inspired by the advent of the civil rights movement, but not change the fact that the name had no great reputation, so AMC was forced a " What's a Matador" advertising campaign perform.

The Matador was there with 6-cylinder in-line engine and a few V8 engines as a two-door hardtop coupe, four-door sedan and five-door estate. The estate version was exactly the predecessor Rebel. For the combination, there was also a third seat on which the passengers could take place with a view to the rear. All station wagons were equipped with roof rails and double -hinged tailgate, which was to open with open rear window down or to the side.

A more comprehensive facelift was performed in 1974 in sedan and station wagon version, while replacing the previous two-door with a formally completely independent, radically styled coupe. These models can be described as the second generation of the Matador.

The automotive market but turned to smaller cars. Since AMC had no funds for a complete remake ( also because of the high tooling costs for the coupe ) presented to the great Ambassador in late 1974, while the matador was still produced until 1978, around the same time as Ford shrank his great models.

The reduced Chevrolet Impala of the vintage 1977 certainly sealed the fate of the great mid-sized car by AMC and Chrysler. AMC had later only the Jeep, derived from the Hornet models and the U.S. market adjusted Renault vehicles in the program. The American Motors Corporation offered no other large vehicle more until the developed jointly with Renault, Eagle Premier was introduced shortly after the sale of the company to Chrysler.

Police car

Although the Ambassador was offered in special police version, also the hero was very much taken. Best customer was in the period 1972 to 1974, the city Los Angeles police. However, other departments such as the Sheriff 's Department of Los Angeles and units of the Military Police seized the vehicle.

While the V8 engines of that time always offered lower benefits, sat AMC for their police car a 6.6 liter - V8 one who was stronger than most other police cars. The acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h, they mastered in 7 seconds, comparable to the Dodge Hemi Charger by 2006. Maximum speed was 200 km / h was achieved in only 43 seconds, much faster than the previous Plymouth Satellite. 1974 used the LAPD Matador last. The long-nosed second series was heavier, bulkier, less powerful and unreliable. The model quickly disappeared from the police fleets and has been in the late 1970s, replaced by the reduced major Chevrolet Impala and the Dodge Diplomat. Matador police cars appear in many TV series and movies of the 1970s.

Matador Machine

The Matador took another on muscle car trend part. The " The Machine" equipment that had already existed as an option package for the Rebel, was adopted for the 1971 hardtop coupe. However, the Matador Machine was in contrast to its predecessor largely unknown; only 50 pieces were made. The package consisted of a dual exhaust, sport suspension, and optionally a 5.9 liter or 6.6 liter - V8 engine. The red-white- blue stripe design of the Rebel " The Machine" there was no longer mind you.

Matador Coupe

In model year 1974, a hatchback coupe aerodynamically styled was released with strongly retracted into the body headlights. The Matador coupe was in that year the only completely new model in the popular mid-range segment. It was designed by AMC's vice president and head of the styling department, Richard A. Teague, according to proposals of the famous racing driver Mark Donohue. The rear design, in particular the remarkable hip movement, was influenced by a show car by Vignale, which was in turn due to the Coupe GT Studio Due Litri of Italian bodywork manufacturer Neri e Bonacini.

The windschlüpfige appearance of the coupe was achieved through a very long hood and a short rear end. The 4-door sedan and 5 - door wagon remained in its basic form unchanged. The new requirement that collisions up to 8 km / h must not cause any damage to the vehicle, resulting in huge bumpers ( this Matador wore the nickname coffin nose - " coffin nose "). The coupe stood out as one of the more prominent and controversial designs of the 1970s, after the AMC Pacer. The Matador coupe won the award for Best Styled Car of 1974, the editors of the magazine Car and Driver.

Sales of the coupe were initially high but fell as middle-class coupe by the oil crisis in 1973 were less popular. Plans to bring out the sedan and the station wagon in the style of the coupe, was dropped again.

Oleg Cassini

A special Oleg Cassini edition of the Matador coupe existed in the model years 1974 and 1975. The American Motors Corporation commissioned the famous American fashion designer, an elegant, luxurious version of the new coupe shape. Cassini was known in Hollywood and high society for its elegant pret -a -porter dresses that even Jacqueline Kennedy had worn.

The Cassini Coupe was of a different style than the other personal luxury cars. The new Matador did not klassentpyischen classical design reminiscences as upright grille or angular roof retracted, framed vinyl roof rear side windows. The Cassini package it was only for 2-door Brougham models with sophisticated equipment, such as standard reclining seats. Cassini Coupe was only available in the colors black lacquer, copper, or white, each with a vinyl roof and copper ornaments held in grille, headlight fairings, the turbine shaped wheel covers and the rear license plate.

The interior was - typical Cassini - comfortable and luxurious. A special black fabric with copper-colored buttons on the seats and door panels was supplemented by thick, copper-colored carpets. Copper-colored accents also happened at the steering wheel, the door armrests and the dashboard. Cassini is embossed medallions found on the headrests. The glove compartment door, trunk lid, front fenders and the hood wore Cassini's facsimile signature.


1976 there was an alternative to Chrysler Cordoba and Chevrolet Monte Carlo AMC Matador Barcelona. The 1977 and 1978 model years available in Barcelona coupe had as features a padded Landau roof with opera windows, styling components in the then very popular desired "personal luxury car" segment buyers.

NASCAR racing

Penske Racing prepared from using the work Matador hardtop coupes and coupe for NASCAR races that were used by the Indianapolis - winners Mark Donohue and Bobby Allison successful there. The new coupe replaced the previous flying brick - hardtop coupe; Penske is supposed to have said that you have everything taken out of the old hardtop coupe; It was certainly better for tracks with many curves and a few lines suitable. Donohue did not live long enough to drive the new aerodynamic fastback coupe, from the much believed that it was built specifically with regard to the NASCAR race. The Matador coupe was able to win five victories:

  • Winston Western 500 - Riverside - Mark Donohue - January 21, 1973
  • Los Angeles Times 500 - Ontario - Bobby Allison - November 24, 1974
  • Winston Western 500 - Riverside - Bobby Allison - 19 January 1975
  • Rebel 500 - Darlington - Bobby Allison - April 13, 1975
  • Southern 500 - Darlington - Bobby Allison - September 1, 1975

Bobby Allison won the championship not counting Daytona 125 - the race on February 13, 1975, ended the Daytona 500 - the race three days later in second.


  • In the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun drives the villain Francisco Scaramanga a Matador coupe, which could change into a plane. He was pursued by police in Matador sedans (2nd generation). In this film a number of AMC vehicles were used, although it was shot in Thailand, where no AMC vehicles were offered. This was one of the first examples of product placement.
  • Matador police cars of the California Highway Patrol appear in Pink Floyd's film The Wall.
  • Several Matador police cars came in the first Police Academy movie before.
  • In Michael Jackson's music video Black and White ( 11 minutes - version ) is a Matador sedan from the construction period 1971 - 1973 to see. In that music video Jackson destroys the windshield and a side window. The matador was also used in some Michael Jackson concerts as a stage decoration.