Is the ’68 Javelin More Valuable Than the ’68 Mustang?
The AMC Javelin is a unique, yet somehow, under-rated sports car developed to compete with other pony cars of its time. There’s so much more to the AMC brand and muscle cars like the Javelin than people realize. AMC is a car company that dared to be different, and they’ve left a lasting mark on the muscle car industry.
Even with modern cars saturating the market today, AMC is a company that still maintains great influence in the automotive market. When you talk with a gearhead and bring up AMC or the Javelin, you’ll see their eyes light up and will instantly understand how this car impacted a generation.
The Javelin is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, two-door hardtop, all-American beauty that was produced by the American Motors Corporation. It came to existence due to the merger of Hudson Motor Car Company and Nash-Kelvinator Corporation back in 1954.
This particular model was produced in not one, but two generations, and spanned from 1968-1970 and 1971-1974. It was initially styled by Dick Teague, who was an American industrial designer that held positions at Packard, Chrysler, General Motors, and it was available in several engine and trim levels.
Today, the AMC Javelin values remain steady as a rock, leading us to wonder what makes this brand so awesome? Is it worth buying a Javelin today? Let’s dig a little deeper to understand why the hype behind the Javelin is real.
The Real Javelin Story
Although the Javelin didn’t initially have the same effects as other pony cars and muscle cars from this time, we’ve slowly witnessed its rise in popularity over time. We’ve watched the price points skyrocket, translating to a bump in demand and respect from car collectors globally.
Despite the rise in popularity after its demise, AMC initially had some problems in the form of a terrible image born by its line of economical cars. AMC was not a sexy or cool company, and it lost the battle to win over younger American car buyers. AMC sought to appeal to this generation of baby boomers, and it all started with an investor by the name of Robert Beverly Evans.
Mr. Evans was the son of a wealthy businessman. Although everyone else balked at the notion of AMC having potential, Evans saw an opportunity. He felt that AMC was undervalued, needed new energy, and a fresh direction. Once he took a seat on the board, everything changed. Their image transformed into one that was cool enough to compete with the infamous Mustang.
Unlike other pony cars, the Javelin was marketed as a more spacious and comfortable pony car than its rivals. It also was complete with safety innovations, including three-point seat belts, fiberglass safety padding, a lack of bright trim on the interior to reduce glare, and headrests.
Once the Javelin was solidified in the pony world, it was set to make its introduction in the racing world.
When Was the Javelin Introduced to Racing?
The Trans-American Sedan Championship, which was renamed the Trans-Am Series, started in 1966 as a competitive race between pony cars, most notably V8 coupes. The list of cars and drivers was extensive and included the Chevy Camaro, Plymouth Barracuda, Ford Mustang, and of course, the Javelin.
Although the Javelin didn’t enter the series until 1968, most would argue that was the start of the golden age of trans-am racing, only adding to the prestige of the Javelin. Although those in the industry felt the Javelin wouldn’t make an impact its first year, it finished in third its first season and outperformed most prognosticators.
Their success became an advertising focal point for AMC, and they capitalized on the Javelin’s on-track success and positioned themselves as a primary competitor to the Ford Mustang – this was only the start.
1969 was another closer year for AMC, and they followed it by signing a deal with Penske to its Javelin Trans-Am team. With time, Penske’s impact showed, and the Javelin stole all three Trans-Am series championships, which was once thought of as an improbable run for a company that made a single sports car prior to the Javelin.
AMC’s success solidified its place in the market and continues to have a strong presence globally, but why is it worth buying?
1968 Javelin Vs. 1968 Mustang
If you can even believe it, the Javelin had a starting price of $2,374, which translates to $21,076 in today’s dollars after adjusting for inflation. Can you think of muscle car with the same notoriety today at such a bargain?
With that said, the 1968 Ford Mustang with a base hardtop was offered for $2,602, fastback $2,712, and convertible $2,814. Again, these prices are astonishing when compared to today, but how have the prices stacked up over the years?
The value of each car is similar – while the 1968 Ford Mustang is valued around $17,600, the 1968 Javelin is around $18,000, making the Javelin, technically, more valuable today. However, is it worth buying?
Why Is the Javelin Worth Buying Today?
The AMC Javelin lives up to its name, and it’s absolutely worth buying today. The timeless styling, sleek shape, aesthetics, and pointed shape make it look incredibly fast and desirable as it hauls down the highway at high speeds.
Not only is the exterior unique, but the roomy interior was devised in an attempt to compete with other pony cars. Not only is it spacious, but it still offers the qualities to handle bumpy and treacherous roads.
Lastly, the motor is nothing to scoff at, and it competes with standard engines you’ll find in today’s muscle cars. The V8 that comes in the AMC is considered by many to be the best 390 V8 AMC ever made. It offers 310-horsepower and punchy acceleration that makes it unique.
Buying the AMC Javelin Before You Can’t
It’s no secret that the popularity has soared, making the AMC Javelin a hot commodity on the market. The AMC Javelin is timeless and continues to be valued at a high price on the market. Over the past several years, the figures have remained consistent and not decreasing in value.
As was mentioned above, a 1968 Javelin averages a value of nearly $18,000, while the 1974 Javelin is valued at over $14,000, proving it’s never a bad time to buy an AMC Javelin.
With the classic pony car continuing to gain notoriety and a hot market for classic cars, if you’ve been considering buying one, now might be your best opportunity to do so before the price increases beyond your budget.