Monday, March 9, 2015

AMC Matador Coupe: Unexpectedly Stylish

For the 1974-1978 model years the perpetually struggling American Motors Corporation produced a sporty car with a unique (and therefore expensive) body.  It was called the Matador Coupe, unrelated to AMC's existing Matador line.  All Matadors are dealt with here.

The Matador Coupe probably would have looked at bit better if it were a little smaller.  Nevertheless, I think its design is pleasing.  No doubt some people would object to what some call the "tunnel" headlamp treatment.  But I'm something of a pushover for sheet metal that is styled to flow over "hard points" such as those headlights.

Sales were fairly good -- about 100,000 Coupes were built -- but I suspect that AMC lost money on them.


1974 Matador Coupe
The 1970s were a time when fashion called for graphic add-ons such as those stripes along the side character line shown above.

1975 Matador Coupe
Then there was the contemporaneous vinyl top fad.  This tacked-on feature added nothing to the Coupe's otherwise nice styling.

1976 Matador Coupe
This advertising image shows a Coupe thankfully void of those add-ons.  Note how the character line flows over the rear wheel opening and continues across the rear, closely aligned with the trunk lid cut line.

1974 Matador Coupe grille ensemble
At the front, the character line aligns with the top of the grille, another nice subtle touch.

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