The AMC Javelin is a pony car that was built by the American Motors Corporation between 1967 and 1974 in two generations, model years 1968-1970 (with a separate design in 1970) and 1971-1974. The sporty Javelins came in only as two-door hardtop (with no "B" pillar) body style, and were available in economical versions or as high-performance muscle cars.
The Javelins competed successfully in Trans-Am racing and won the series with AMC sponsorship in 1971, 1972, and independently in 1975.
The second-generation AMX version was the first pony car to be used as a normal highway patrol police car by any U.S. organization.
In addition to manufacture in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Javelins were also assembled under license in Germany, Mexico, Venezuela, and Australia, as well as sold in other international markets.
The AMC Javelin was restyled for the 1971 model year. The "1980 looking Javelin" design was purposely made to give the sporty car "individuality" and make it look, even at "the risk of scaring some people off." The second generation became longer, lower, wider, and heavier than its predecessor. The engine power changes from 1971 to 1972-74. Actual power output remained the same, but the U.S. automobile industry followed the SAE horsepower rating method that changed from "gross" in 1971 and prior years to "net" in 1972 and later years.
The 1973 Javelin was updated slightly. Most noticeable changes were to the taillights and grille, though the AMX grille remained the same. All other AMC models used "recoverable" bumpers with telescoping shock absorbers; however, the Javelin and AMX came with a non-dynamic design with two rigid rubber guards. A further invisible change came with new standards mandating stronger doors capable of withstanding 2,500 pounds (1,134 kg) of impact for the first 6 inches (152 mm) of crush. A new roof stamping this year gave the Javelin a completely flat roof without "twin-cove" indentations, meaning a full vinyl top was now available. Also, front seat design was changed. Gone were the "Turtle Back" seats of 1970-72 in favor of a more slim design that was not only lighter than the previous seat, but also more comfortable and gave more rear passenger leg room.
Spurred by the success of improving product quality supported by an advertising campaign focusing on "we back them better because we build them better", AMC continued its comprehensive extended warranty on all the 1973 models while achieving record profits.