1971 Matador

2/8/2019
Tad Burness
American Motors Corporation was known to create, and later drop, it’s various makes of cars as it felt the market dictated.
 
Rambler, Gremlin, American, Javelin, Classic, Ambassador, Marlin, Pacer, Concord, Hornet, AMX - well, you get the idea! The list of AMC brand names is long, and in 1971, AMC switched its Rebel for a new car: the Matador. Available as a six or V8, the Matador was a hefty car, somewhat conservative in style (until a new, streamlined coupe appeared in 1974, but that's another story).
 
AMC's 1971 slogan was: "If you had to compete with GM, Ford, and Chrysler, what would you do?" AMC's answer was to offer a variety of makes and models, just as it’s bigger rivals were doing.
 
AMC advertised that it’s new Matador was roomier than a Ford Torino, Chevrolet Chevelle (Malibu) or a Plymouth Satellite - with a longer wheelbase than all three. AMC cars were rustproofed from floor to roof, and featured see-through batteries so that one could know if the battery needed water without opening the caps. High-intensity headlights would still glow, even if burned out!
 
The 1971 Matador was available as a two-door hardtop (shown here), a four-door sedan, or a four-door wagon. The Matador was advertised as "a family car that can be glamorous," and in many ads was illustrated with children and parents in or around the car.
 
The only problem with the Matador was the name. Would it appeal to Hispanics? "Matador" in Spanish means "bull-killer," "killer" or, as an adjective, "killing." Perhaps this is one of the reasons the Matador was discontinued after 1978. For 1979, AMC concentrated on smaller cars, such as it’s ultra-streamlined Pacer, it’s Concord and the new compact Spirit (which replaced the Gremlin).
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