Today is Memorial Day here in the U.S., so naturally our Nice Price or Crack Pipe candidate is both a representative of a long gone brand and a car that once served its country. We’ll see if that’s enough to make its price something memorable.
Before we get to that, let’s look back on Friday’s action. You know that the VW’s current Passat TDI is being advertised right now as having an up to 814-mile range? That’s pretty impressive until it’s compared to the 1,000-plus miles Friday’s ’96 ‘Satt was claimed to wring out of a single tank.
Speaking of tanks, not even that high MPG and a mama bear-sized wagon form-factor could keep that car’s price from weighing it down, and it ended up tanking to the tune of a 67% Crack Pipe vote.
Fuel of almost any kind is freakin’ expensive these days. If only you could hoard it when it was reasonably cheap, in some sort of... oh I don’t know, strategic reserve, and then meter it out as needed to keep your critical machinery operating no matter what happens in the volatile oil markets or places where they pump the stuff.
That’s been a strategy of the U.S. Gubmint for decades, and right now the Feds have a total capacity of 727 million barrels, making our Strategic Petroleum Reserve the largest government-owned stockpile in the world. The Feds occasionally taps the stockpile to quash event-driven spikes in supplies like hurricanes, and refinery shutdowns in the attempt to keep the market stable.
You know something else the government sells? Damn-near everything it can once it’s done with it, or no longer sees a need or it. This 1973 AMC Matador sedan is claimed to have once been a Government ride - used by both the Military Police and F.B.I. in Nebraska - according to the ad.
You might peg this as a Government car by its plain jane black steelies topped with nondescript dog dishes, and its overall Dragnetiness. The Matador replaced the Rebel, a nameplate that the Feds probably balked at buying. AMC made the change in ’71 and continued to market the Matador through the ’78 model year.
This one sports a mid-range 304-cid V8 which in this year was government spec’d at a modest 150-bhp. Behind that is a Torque Command three-speed automatic which is basically a Chrysler box so parts shouldn’t be a problem. The ad claims the odo reading to be 71,110, which could be the total or perhaps it has gone around the horn at least one time.
Regardless of how many miles the car has, the paint has fewer as the ad claims it to be new. Along with that are fresh brakes, shocks, front-end bushings, battery and tires. The exterior looks to be in excellent shape, and the window felts and windscreen have all been renewed.
On to the inside. The car apparently came with a radio delete option, but there’s a Motorola under the dash so you can pretend to give base your twenty, or call in some suspicious activity by your ex.
If you liked your sedentary days in Little League then you’ll love the seats here as both front and rear are benches. The back looks like the kind of place Mulder and Scully would blow off some steam, and of course the whole thing is as brown as a butt hole, the Seventies’ favorite color.
I can’t think of the last time I saw a Matador - even in a junk yard - and so seeing one that’s not only in such good shape, but also that’s a cheap-suit Government edition is pretty awesome. Let’s see if you think its price is equally so.
The asking here is $12,500, which is four-times what the car went for new, but as you probably know, they aren’t making any new ones any more. In fact, AMC is no more. For this Memorial Day you’ll need to decide if the price for this Matador is a fitting tribute to the brand. What do you think, is this former Government car worth that kind of scratch? Or, is this a Matador whose price doesn’t have you saying olé?
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