While the sport of bullfighting may be falling out of favor globally, one thing's for sure - it's usually better to be the matador than the bull. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe AMC proves this, but is its price a load of bull?
A narrow 55% of you weren't bullish on yesterday's 1976 Mazda Cosmo, no matter how potentially rare it might have been. Its eight grand asking price seemed to you as unfathomable as the actual Cosmos about which Carl Sagan used to enunciate so uniquely. Today's Coupé hails from almost the same era as that Mazda, and features styling that's equally as polarizing.
There used to be a show on the Food Network called Doorknock Dinners where Gordon Elliott would descend on a busy household, endeavoring to prepare a sumptuous supper from only the contents of the pantry and fridge. That kind of make-do, work with whatcha' got attitude was also exhibited by AMC's Head of Design, Dick Teague as his team cranked out model after model that looked consistently fresh, but were in fact all based on the old Hornet.
One that wasn't based on the Hornet, but did demonstrate Teague's flair for flair, was the ‘74-'78 Matador Coupé. Sharing name and underpinnings with the sedan and wagon, the Coupé didn't deem any of their body panels also worth adopting. Up front, in lieu of the family versions' Streisand-esque nose, the Coupé received an aggressive forward-leaning grille that spanned its width, and supported a pair of deeply tunneled round headlamp nacelles. Out back the fast roofline and sporty quad round tail lamps sat upon a pair of hips that in gynecological terms would be considered ‘easy birthers.' Wide doors and an airy greenhouse complete the picture, and yes, those back windows do roll down.
In its first year on the market AMC moved nearly 70,000 of the Matador Coupés. This 1976 Oleg Cassini edition comes in virginal white with orange highlights outside, and a black over orange interior that's so ‘70s, it should come with its own porn-movie soundtrack. On 8-track, of course.
If you were always the last kid picked for the softball team then you're probably used to sitting on the bench, and hence the split front/tufted rear seats in this Cassini Car will make you feel right at home. And if you like to have that special someone sitting close by your side - the third baseman with the dreamy eyes, say - you'll appreciate the fact that the Borg Warner 3-speed automatic is a column shift. In front of that transmission rests a 304-cid V8 - part of the tall-deck family of eights that included the mighty 390 - which puts out a meager 150-bhp, and moved the Matador's 3,800 pounds with the kind of alacrity usually reserved for octogenarians in unfamiliar environs.
Oleg Cassini made his name designing Jacqueline Kennedy's wardrobe, replacing her traditional hooker boots, studded leather dominatrix catsuits and matching whips, with pillbox hats and demure business coat and skirt combos. Jack Kennedy, being an-er-ah Kennedy, reportedly never forgave him. Having gained fame, Cassini cashed in on it, licensing his name to a multitude of products, including the Matador Coupé. The white over orange treatment, and crested seat backs inside, may smack of Jersey Shore now, but back in the ‘70s, it was da shitz. Even without the Cassini connection the Matador vied with the Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, etc for American personal coupe buyers inflation-devalued dollars. Hell, it was even the wheels (and wings) of choice for the coolly murderous Bond villain, Scaramanga, and his Gap Kids-loving henchman, Nick Nack, in The Man With the Golden Gun. It's surprising then that this Matador has but 4,270 miles on its vintage clock. Not only is the mileage lower than Jackie O's hemline, but the whole car has a patina of new that should have been gone a long time ago.
That's a potential reason for the seller asking $16,750 for an AMC that's not an AMX. If you have a hard on for both AMC's voluptuous big Coupé, and dressing like Mrs. Kennedy when the curtains are drawn, then that may be well worth the expense. What's your take, is that a price that would make you say ole? Or, would paying that much make you a matadork?
H/T to both blogenfreude and Mark Bellot for the hook up!
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