Hooniverse Weekend Edition: 1971 AMC Matador Machine?

This was the little-known follow-up to the 1970 AMC Rebel Machine. This article was posted in Automotive Traveler in March of this year, but it is still timely, and a great read. Editor-in-chief Rich Truesdell is an absolute AMC fanatic, and only he could have found this intriguing piece of history. The following is in Rich’s own words:

The 1970 Rebel Machine was a one-year-only model, with only 1,936 or 2,326 (depending upon who you quote) units rolling down the Kenosha assembly line. While most were painted a distinctive red-white-and-blue scheme, it certainly stood out in a crowd. Equipped with a 401-cubic inch V8, it was competitive with other intermediate-sized muscle cars in 1970, but it was not the sales success AMC had hoped. For 1971, the Rebel Machine was discontinued, replaced in a way by the $373 Go-Machine option package for the renamed Matador intermediate.

By offering the Go-Machine option, AMC was able to offer more choices in options and colors than the 1970 Machine, thereby making it more successful, or so AMC thought. Ahhhh, not so fast, as Rich explains:

Despite this flexibility, the 1971 “Go Machine” package sold even more poorly. Bill Deringer, who worked in AMC’s Kenosha facility and built the motor for the Breedlove AMX restoration (and still works at Jeep in AMC’s old Plymouth Road facility), remembers seeing the cars come down the line. He recalls that a very small number were built: 55 or 57 are the numbers that stick in his mind all these years.

If you want to know more about the car pictured, and some of the fascinating history of both the Rebel Machine, and this follow-up, you will just have to head on over to Automotive Traveler. Image Credit: Richard Truesdell via Automotive Traveler

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