Q. Do I have to own a T/A Javelin to register it?
No. Prior T/A owners or individuals with knowledge of a cars location or history are welcome to submit based on VIN numbers. Partial information is also welcome so that an effort can be made to reach out to any owners that are not currently in the registry.
Q. Why should I register my Trans-Am Javelin?
This registry offers the most concrete way to document authentic Trans-Am Javelins. This documentation will help further organize owners, keep T/A specific OEM parts available to owners of "real" cars and add legitimacy to known cars. Your Trans-Am Javelin will outlive you, so It's important that your car has recorded documentation that reinforces the history of these limited production cars.
Q. How many cars are currently in the Trans-Am Javelin Registry?
A. The registry has documented 30 unique cars. We are at 30% of production.
Q. How will my information be used?
All personal information is kept private. If an enquiry is made by the "new" owner of a car, THE REGISTRY will forward the enquiry to you without divulging your info to the new owner. VIN numbers are also kept confidential and a registry number is assigned to help mask specific VIN numbers. The only information made public is the state the car is located in. Your personal info will never be published or given to anyone other than the Registry owner.
Q. How many of the 100 T/A Javelins are left?
Based on assumptions (which is what we have to work with), between 40-60 units should still survive. Similar Trans-Am PonyCar registries have shown that these numbers are realistic. Like many muscle and ponycars, these AMCs were seen as just "old cars" and crushed in droves during the 1970's-1980's. It would seem that this would hit AMC cars especially hard. Adding to the rarity of the T/A cars, some cars had been repainted solid colors which made them harder for AMC collectors to identify before their final owners had them destroyed.
Q. Why did American Motors make the Trans-Am Javelin?
Starting with the earliest Z28 Camaros, each automaker released a limited edition street replica of their new SCCA racers. Some manufacturers motivations were to homologate their cars, parts and drivetrains. Other reasons included creating buzz around a manufacture's image or to drive additional traffic to dealerships. AMC jumped on the bandwagon, offering the same type of package for 1970 with these ultra-rare 100 limited edition units. While irrelevant in production totals, this high-performance AMC was mostly a marketing tool used to get dealers and customers excited and to create buzz about AMC's SCCA Trans-Am program. Homologated parts were strapped on, a custom paint setup was chosen, upgraded wider Goodyear PolyGlass tires were added and AMCs high-performance Ram-Air 390 with Hurst shifted 4-speed was designated mandatory equipment. Just like the limited edition SS/AMX, AMC gambled on a financial loss up-front on a small limited production run in order to create a stir in their dealer showrooms. While not as extreme as the 50 unit SS/AMX run, the 100 unit Trans-Am Javelin program had enjoyed a much more professional execution which meant higher quality standards, full in-house factory involvement and a more involved corporate marketing launch. While the SS/AMX was a larger gamble and had a bigger payoff, the Trans-Am Javelins were a much more conservative bet that paid off by offering the same type of prestige car that the competition offered. The Trans-Am Javelin was created to send a message and it ended up doing just that. Little known at the time, AMC had already begun the efforts to sign Roger Penske and the SCCA Trans-Am efforts would get even hotter.
Q. Why did AMC insist on only 100 Trans-Am Javelins?
Unlike the S/C Ramblers and Machines which were regular-production image cars, the Trans-Am Javelins were strictly image cars meant for branding and bragging and had been capped at just 100 units from the get go. Both Machines and S/C Ramblers had production numbers limited by customer demand. AMC had initially set projections on those cars but ended up increasing numbers because of unforeseen demand. With just 100 cars and over 2000 dealers, the T/A Javelin totals were enough to only satisfy a few key dealerships and to justify all the hoopla around their release and marketing. AMC knew it would lose money on each unit so it was easier to cap production up front. It has been a repeated for nearly 30 years that AMC initially built 100 cars for homologation reasons, But what can be confirmed is that AMC made only the bare minimum of these costly cars in an effort to present an AMC equivalent to the Ford Mustang Boss 302, Chevy Camaro Z28, T/A Challengers and AAR Cuda. 100 units seems to be a very specific number. For anyone to say with certainty one way or another that the FIA story is totally wrong or totally right would be foolish. Certain minor assumptions have to be made, but I would question the motives of anyone with a definite position. It is probably true that Richard Teague and his designers came up with the idea of this car. It is possible the design guys just didnt know the FIA rules and jumped into the project thinking they would use the car for the homologation. I seriously would doubt this, but again we don't have the answer yet. I have asked Bill Chapin and McNealy this question and they both thought the final lot size was dictated by available factory room in the aging Kenosha factory. I am sure that expecting to lose money on each unit sold had an effect as well, to why AMC set a cap of 100 cars even before production started.
Q. What is a Trans-Am Javelin worth?
Historically, T/A Javelins had been solidly in the 30k-60K range. As this is being written the market is softer so that number should be revised a bit. Because of the rarity of the car, each one has to be looked at on its own merits. These cars do not come up for sale often enough to reliably gauge. If a buyer wants one and finds a car for sale, they should act on it. Expect a premium since these cars are so rare.
Q. Have any Trans-Am Javelin build sheets been found?
Yes. Several original build sheets survive. If your car has its original interior you may find one under a seat within the springs.
Q. Where were the Trans-Am Javelins built?
All 100 units were manufactured at AMC's Kenosha, Wisconsin plant.
Q. What was the initial base color of the T/A Javelin?
The initial base color was Frost White followed by the application of Matador Red and Commodore Blue.
Q. How can I verify my T/A Javelin?
Send an email with your car's information!
Q. Does Chrysler Heritage offer any AMC Trans-Am Javelin documentation?
Very little. After taking over AMC in the 1980's, Chrysler destroyed some of AMC's historical archive. While bits and pieces had been rescued from dumpsters or released to employees prior to the takeover, the majority ended-up in landfills. This means most information is in private hands. A flood took place at the Kenosha building, damaging some of these archives "beyond saving" according to Chrysler. The standard AMC "Trans-Am" Javelin announcement and the standard production catalog featuring the T/A Javelin are available. Build sheet microfiche files are MIA.
Q. How does the American Motors Trans-Am Javelin compare to other factory street racers?
The Trans-Am Javelin holds its own really well when parked across from a comparable Big-3 car. Most SCCA replica Ponycars feature some sort of loud eye-grabbing color or paint scheme, just as the Javelin does. Additional graphics are typically splashed across the sides to announce what they are. While AMC's red, white and blue may shock at first, the car is visually less busy otherwise. The Javelin took a more European approach in sheet metal design so while all Ponycars rely on muscular shapes, the Javelin is a bit more flowing. Hurst shifters are pretty much standard all the way down the industry line, although Ford, Chevy and Chrysler did offer their factory street racers with an automatic by 1970. AMC didn't want to risk the ridicule of the car magazines and stuck to the high-performance manual. Of course hood scoops and spoilers helped aerodynamics and free breathing so all feature some sort of each. Dimensionally Javelin is the longest at 191.8" vs. the Camaro Z28's 188" then the AAR Cuda at 186.7" followed by the Boss Mustang at 187.4". Weight is roughly the same on the Javelin, the Boss 302 & the Z28 at around 3300. The AAR Cuda is the heaviest, tipping the scales at over 3500 lbs. Factory horsepower is listed in order from most to least: Chevy Z28's 360hp/380 torque, AMC's 325hp / 420 torque, AAR Cuda's 290hp/345 torque, Boss 302's 290hp/290 torque. Keep in mind HP numbers are manufacturers listed, so take them with a grain of salt. Cost wise, the Javelin was the most expensive.
Q. Which wheels and tires are correct for my restoration?
A. All 100 Trans-Am Javelins came from the factory with a wider than standard 14"x6" set of rims (AMC-style Magnum 500s) wrapped in a special-order set of GoodYear Polyglass F70-14 tires. This size tire had very limited availability and was not featured on the standard Javelin.
Q. How do I know if a motor is numbers matching?
A. As with all AMCs, the motor's displacement is marked in the VIN number. All Trans-AM Javelins feature a high-performance ram-air 390 cubic inch motor. These are designated the letter "X" in the VIN number. While motors are marked with a build date from the factory, they do not have corresponding serial numbers that tell which engine goes with which car. The up side to this is that if a motor is blown, a replacement can be used without harming the value of the car. All but a few blocks have displacement numbers cast into the side of the block near the motor mount. Crawling under a car will tell you what size motor you have.
Q. Did any T/A Javelins come from the factory with additional options?
A. All units came from the factory in an identical configuration. Some cars did have options added by a dealer in order to make the car more desirable for their area, however there is no proof that the factory ever shipped any cars plus or minus any "options".