Among the rarest of the American muscle cars that went racing in the early Seventies — cars including the Camaro Z/28 and the Boss 302 Mustang — the 1970 AMC Trans Am Javelin SST may be the most hard to find, and among the most valuable. Only 100 units of this unique Javelin were produced, and one of them is up for auction at the Mecum event in Dallas on September 20.
The Trans Am Javelin was fashioned in a patriotic livery of tricolor paint — red, white and blue — and arrived after the American Motors Corporation had decided in 1968 to compete in the Trans Am racing series against Ford and General Motors. The company’s chief driver, Mark Donohue, would dominate the 1971 season, taking seven wins in his Javelin AMX and that year’s SCCA Trans-Am Championship. AMC took the trophy with 82 points, well ahead of Ford’s 61, Chevrolet’s 17 and Pontiac’s paltry 7.
The example listed for auction came equipped with a 390-cubic-inch V-8 engine with 325 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 420 pound-feet of torque, power steering and brakes, dual exhaust, BorgWarner four-speed manual transmission and Hurst competition shifter. Its “ram induction system” sealed a chamber around the air filter so that cool air from the functional hood scoop would be funneled into the intake.
This Jav’s factory price was $3,995 — a mere $32,000 or so in today’s money, though it was expensive by the standards of the time. The 100 Trans Ams were among 19,714 Javelin units built in 1970, so they started out rare, and today the surviving examples are highly collectible, if and when they come up for sale. No bid estimate is available yet.