Most folks that know about the 'Machine' will say that it was a 1970 model of the AMC Rebel...and they'd be correct.
About 1200 1970 'Machines' were built, all with a 340 Gross Horsepower version of the 390cid-V8 with Ram Air
induction thru a hood scoop with a built-in Tachometer. The best known of these were painted white and treated
to reflective stripes in red, white and blue, while others were available in normal solid colors with hood blackout.
For 1971, Rebel was re-designed and re-named 'Matador', and without much fanfare, the 'Machine' option was still available.... but the red/white/blue paintjob was gone as was the Ram Air, hood scoop/tachometer. However, now you had a choice of two engines- a 285HP 360cid-V8 and a 330HP 401cid-V8. All '71 'Machine Go' Matadors came with-
There is no decal, emblem or other obvious external marking on the car to indicate it is a 'Machine', so
spotting one is quite a task if the original wheels and rear-sway bar are missing. Even the VIN doesn't
tell as there were many 360 and 401-powered 2-doors built with an Automatic Transmission that didn't
have the 'Machine Go' option (All four-speed manual transmission cars are 'Machines', as the manual
tranny wasn't available without the Machine option. Only the automatic cars are Machine 'maybes'.
About the only way to be certain is to find the original window sticker, dealer invoice, or build sheet.
It's funny to note that a Twin-Grip rear differential is *NOT* part of the 'Machine Go' package and not required for it! Imagine trying to plant all that power to the pavement with a one-legger!?!
Click HERE for a scan of a portion of the options list for 1971 Matadors, showing the Machine Go package option, it's detailed description, and the Handling Package that is part of the Machine Package.
The car has changed hands several times in the last few years, each owner deciding the rust damage was more than they cared to tackle. Luckily for this car, it is now owned by Brad Denning, of northern New Jersey, who has begun the mammoth task of bringing this car back from the brink of death. Read on for more on this car....and visit his other 401 Matador Coupe at the bottom of this page!
12/22/02: It's been over four years since this car's last update here! Thanks to everyone that has Emailed for updates,
but until now, there wasn't much to report! Brad was pulled away from the project
long enough to lose interest. He even had tried selling the car unassembled, but there were no takers. But this year, he caught
the itch again, and he's at it again. On 11/29, Brad said, "The body shell is complete and will probably be in paint by next week!!
It came out 1st class!!! The rear, trans and engine are going to the machine shop Monday to be rebuilt. The body will be painted
torch red with a black hood center and a rebel scoop and tach, no vinyl top. Somewhat souped-up 401 and 3.54 or 3.73 gears."
On 12/19, Brad reported the paint is done and re-assembly is underway!the car has been painted and the drivetrain is undergoing rebirth as I type this. Purists may want to take a deep breath, but Brad has taken a few liberties with the car, so don't expect a factory-correct resto on the car. But those that would complain that the car isn't being given a 'factory-correct' restoration should note a few facts.
Sermon over...on to the new pics-
Here is the reconstructed passenger-side rocker area. Note the attention to factory details.
The shock towers and surrounding inner fenders were grafted in from a parts-car donor.
The right quarter panel is cut away, preparing for it's NOS replacement.
Note the rot holes all along the rear edge of the trunk floor pan.
Until buying this car, Brad was a Chevy man from childhood. But once he started tearing this car apart, AMC syndrome got under his skin...and other AMC nuts know the syndrome. It's a condition that forces the victim to not only adore their AMC vehicle to the point of annoying all their friends and family....but it quickly spreads, causing the victim to want...no....NEED more AMCs.....two? Three? More!? No problem! Brad is suffering with visions of an entire stable of rare AMCs, and his second purchase has already been made. It's the '74 Matador Coupe 401/4-speed at the bottom of this page! And that twinkling is his eye is the SC/Rambler he's considering buying next. AMC Syndrome...it never fails!
Much more to come....