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Classic Used Oil Generators: 1968 AMC Javelin



1968 AMC Javelin
By Vern Parker

Second hand Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Camaros and Plymouth Barracudas were much in demand with the high school crowd in the mid-1970s.

A teenager at the time, Bill Spencer, however, found that he could get more car for his money by buying an AMC Javelin.

Until he graduated from high school a Javelin was his daily driver.

Years later other cars and a motorcycle had replaced the old Javelin until Spencer's safety conscious wife witnessed a traffic accident involving a motorcycle much like the Harley-Davidson that Spencer had in his garage.

The motorcyclist didn't fare well in that accident and harmony was maintained in the household by selling the motorcycle.

Not long afterward Spencer happened across an antique car advertised for sale that was very similar to the car from his high school days – only better.

“It's amazing,” was his first reaction when he first saw the car.

He purchased the Javelin in July 2014 and took the already restored Javelin to his Stafford, Virginia home.

Spencer says a 360-cubic-inch V-8 now occupies the engine bay where a 390-cubic-inch V-8 should reside.

Plans are already underway to correct that alteration made by a previous owner.

The surprisingly spacious two-door hardtop Javelin is upholstered in well preserved tan vinyl and carpeting.

The windows are operated with hand cranks while the brakes and steering are power assisted.

“It has the original front disc brakes,” Spencer says.

Driving the sleek vermillion red car (actually a 2012 Ford color) is comfortable complements of the tilt adjustable three spoke steering wheel.

Each spoke has its own horn button.

In addition to having an AM and FM radio the driver has the option of selecting music on a compact disc player.

Beneath the long engine hood the valve covers and air cleaner atop the V-8 shine like new.

“It's flawless,” Spencer says proudly.

During the 1968 model year AMC built a total of 56,462 Javelins. The 2,826-pound cars were supported by 14-inch tires on a 109-inch wheelbase.

The entire package, when new, carried a base price of $2,462 which was quite a bargain when compared with the competition.

A three-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear drive wheels. The speedometer tops out at 120 miles per hour.

Spencer reports that his car performs perfectly on regular grade gasoline.

As with any car that has undergone a serious restoration there are minor nit-picking details that require attention.“I had some stuff done,” the owner says. Things such as gaskets and seals need attention on new cars as well.

A lot of the chrome trim has been replaced or replated. Spencer has replaced the original wheels with what he describes as “old school Cragars.”


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