Hi there! My name is Craig Bond, webmaster for this site. I'm one of those odd people who take pleasure in identifying with unique cars, and the object of my affection is the AMC Matador Coupe, produced from 1974-1978. OK, if you think it's ugly, fine, but I love 'em.
Working on my 3 season commuter vehicle and fun machine, a 1978 Honda XL175.
update Nov. 2003 - my XL175 was stolen from my house!
My new fair weather machine, a 1994 Honda Magna 750, purchased in Nov. 2003.
A bit about myself - my Dad was an AMC Parts and Service Manager for the Olathe, KS AMC dealership for many years, so our family always had at least one AMC in the driveway including a Rambler wagon, several Gremlins, a Hornet, and whatever demo my Dad happened to be driving.
I learned to drive in a 3 speed manual Gremlin, and drove a bronze 76 Gremlin during high school. I bought a nice blue 73 3 speed manual Gremlin while in college, and stupidly sold it. I got an ugly 304 Gremlin a little later, which would really haul, and beat lots of Big 3 products on the street. The engine later went into a 79 AMX, and that served as daily transportation for several years. I eventually sold it as rust and front end problems took their toll, and was without an AMC for several years until my Dad gave me his 76 401 powered Matador Coupe, affectionately known as "Dolly". It served as daily transportation for several years, but a poor repaint job led to some rust problems, which grew worse. It was parked in the back, awaiting restoration, for over a year, before turning into Project Dolly, a drag race machine.
In late August, 1999, I bought a rust-free 76 360-powered Matador Coupe in McAllen, Texas and drove it home, towing a 1985 Eagle I bought in Houston. The hitch was custom installed by the seller for me. I drive the Matador until the snow falls, since it is a "fair weather only" car. I don't want any salt getting on it. It will be my show car, with "Dolly" becoming a drag race machine. I really love driving the Matador, and I love the low, mean, hunkering look it has. It drives great, is very spacious inside, and is just plain cool! Getting the new Matador inspired me to start this site, since I could find relatively little information about the Matador Coupes anywhere else on the web.
Project Dolly - follow along as I prep my white '76 Matador Coupe for drag racing.
The Matador Coupe was introduced in 1974, a radical, all-new departure for AMC, which had relied for years on the same basic line-up of cars. Designed by Dick Teague, with the idea of being more competitive in the stock car racing scene, it has striking lines, and a commanding presence. Unfortunately, the high cost of development of the Matador Coupe was never recovered because sales were poor. By the end of the 1978 model year, it was clear that the model was doomed, and production ceased. The car drew high marks for it's styling and performance with either the 360 or 401 V8, but unfortunately the 304 V8 and 232 or 258 inline 6 cylinder were underpowered for such a large car, victims of emissions controls.
The styling of the Coupe is similar to the early 70s Camaros and Firebirds, but since it is an AMC, people regard it as a failure. The owners I talk to are all enthusiastic about the Coupe (with the possible exception of fuel economy for the 360 or 401), and hopefully more people will open their mind to this car and to the other possibilities out there, instead of automatically rejecting it or following the same mind-numbing mainstream auto fashion trend. I own two of these big beauties, and they sure attract attention whenever I take one of them out!
I am currently working on parts sources for the Matador Coupe, especially the roof rail weatherstrip, which seals the window glass against the door frame. I think every Coupe needs one of these on at least one side as 20+ years of use and weather take their toll. Look for parts sources on the Coupe Classifieds page.