David Shapiro's 77 Barcelona:

Notice the unique treatment of the rear quarter windows - yes, they are covered up. David says that first, a piece of industrial strength cardboard was painted black, then fitted to the window and glued on to clean up the view from inside the car. Next, fiber fill (commonly used for attic insulation) was compressed against the cardboard and taped down. Finally the vinyl was stretched over the smooth surface.

You can see his Eagle in the background - obvious signs of AMC-itis.

A close up of Dave's AMC graphic on the hood of his Matador.

The blacked-out and covered quarter windows do lend an interesting effect to the interior.

The rebuilt 360

(L) David's mega sound system. (R) Engine and chassis aren't the only things that need lubrication!

David's AMC shrine.

You think he's serious about AMC?

Editor's note: This is Dave's letter that he sent with the pictures. It is only slightly edited for length.


Hey Craig! This is Dave Shapiro, a completely "lost-his-mind" AMC guy. I am sending you this letter to inform you of how awesome the Coupe Coop is, and I check the site every few weeks for any interesting addition.

My story is one that began back in 1994, when I was aimlessly driving around Orlando in my 1979 Datsun 280ZX. I loved my Datsun. I redid the paint and interior, added a $2000 stereo system, and drove it to recycling yards whenever the urge to find parts hit me.

Well, one day I saw a rusting red beast sitting in the back of one particular junk pile. I had no idea what it was. All of the badges were gone from the car, and the interior had no markings, such as the familiar Chevy Bowtie or the Ford oval, to give away the identity of the car. Now, I thought this was the ugliest, most boring looking car I had ever laid eyes on, but for some reason I had to know what this thing was.

The car, the yard man told me, was a "piece of sh!&" AMC Matador, a '75 he thought. The dash had an odometer with no trip meter (I love that), and a big clock with big hands on it. I shook my head and wondered how anyone could like such a car.

After 2 years passed, I saw something else. It was an Eagle. Once again, I had a car to wonder about. When I found out that this was also an AMC, I decided that a little research was in order. I went to the library and found all about Ramblers, Pacers, Gremlins, Eagles, etc., and lo and behold, the story of "The little automaker that could" stole my heart and made me cry. It reminded me so much of how the Big 3 automakers tried and then succeeded in putting the man who brought us the wonderful Tucker out of business. AMC was the story of Americans working hard to survive in a sea of sharks. It impressed me, and I gained a new respect for that "P.O.S" Matador I had seen 2 years earlier, and the search was on!

I looked all over Florida for a decent Matador Coupe, but to no avail. I saw one, but it was falling apart. I saw another that was perfect, but I couldn't afford perfection. Then I got WebTV.

It was 1998 by now, and my affection turned toward a 1978 Pacer with only 21K miles which I found in Miami. I had to have it. The owner kept it for me while I made payments to him for 6 months, but I still wanted a Matador. I loved my Pacer and brought it to many car shows, but I still sought a Matador. Then I discovered that I could find one over the Internet on an AMC website.

The car was in Ringgold, GA, a suburb of Chatanooga, TN. The man who owned it was 77 years old. The car was a 1977 Matador Barcelona. Road Trip!!! I convinced a couple of friends to make the 9 hour drive to see the car. When we got there, the car was a little less glamorous than I was led to believe. It needed work - a lot of work. After haggling, I still got ripped off, but I didn't care. I finally had my Matador. But it didn't make it home yet, as the engine gave out around Tifton, GA, halfway home.

I was distraught. Upset. How could I finally get my car, only to see it blow up? Well, I decided to start from scratch. M&M Auto in Tifton rebuilt my Matador's 360, put in a 4 barrel, new battery, new starter. Then I did the paint, headliner and vinyl roof. The results are in the pictures. By the way, when I took off the original top, I saw that the "opera" window is actually a full size window that AMC partially covered over with plastic, cardboard and vinyl. This must have been an AMC cost-saving procedure. Anyone with an opera-window Coupe can have full size quarter windows if they want by removing the excess exterior and interior trim.

The transmission still slips a little, and will be rebuilt soon. The interior is old and dirty, but for now, I am gonna finally enjoy my car, because it took me almost a year to pay everyone who fixed it up, and I've only driven it around 500 miles. The Matador is ready to roar!