Junkyard Find: 1974 Oleg Cassini Edition AMC Matador

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

I never thought I’d ever find an Oleg Cassini Edition AMC Matador in the junkyard. Oh, sure, I’ve seen Givenchy Continentals, Mark Cross New Yorkers, a couple of Etienne Aigner VW Golfs, even a Levis Gremlin… but even with all I’ve written about the Oleg Cassini Matador I’d given up hope of actually seeing one on its way to The Crusher. That changed yesterday.

I wondered what emblem might have lived on the fender. Could it be…?

Yes! The Cassini crest is still visible on the seat backs. Such luxury!

Nice factory AM radio still in the dash. Probably totally worthless, but still a cool find.

I’m tempted to pull the clock, for my collection of 50+ car clocks, but there’s no way a 37-year-old American car clock will still work.

I think the mid-70s Matador coupes are pretty good-looking cars, and I’ll probably own one someday. Not this one, of course, but I might need to stash a few hard-to-find bits from it.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Aug 27, 2011

    One of the more hideous versions of a really hideous car. Those giant wheelwells half filled with skinny tires looked ridiculous. When this style came out, someone who lived down the street had a red one, a base car with hubcaps and tiny tires on it. It was a dog from day one, and in 3 years, it was replaced with a Pontiac J2000. Well, at least it looked better...

  • And003 And003 on Apr 06, 2012

    With Chrysler having bought AMC in 1987, this could be an engine swap project involving the 3G Hemi currently being produced. Oleg Cassini SRT-8 anyone?

  • Wjtinfwb Funny. When EV's were bursting onto the scene; Tesla's, Volt's, Leaf's pure EV was all the rage and Hybrids were derided because they still used a gas engine to make them, ahem; usable. Even Volt's were later derided when it was revealed that the Volt's gas engine was actually connected to the wheels, not just a generator. Now, Hybrids are warmly welcomed into the Electric fraternity by virtue of being "electrified". If a change in definition is what it takes, I'm all for it. Hybrid's make so much sense in most American's usage patterns and if needed you can drive one cross-country essentially non-stop. Glad to see Hybrid's getting the love.
  • 3-On-The-Tree We also had a 1973 IH Scout that we rebuilt the engine in and it had dual glass packs, real loud. I miss those days.
  • 3-On-The-Tree Jeff thanks. Back in 1990 we had a 1964 Dodge D100 with a slant six with a 3 on the tree. I taught myself how to drive a standard in that truck. It was my one of many journeys into Mopar land. Had a 1973 Plymouth duster with a slant six and a 1974 Dodge Dart Custom with 318 V8. Great cars and easy to work on.
  • Akear What is GM good at?You led Mary............................................What a disgrace!
  • Randy in rocklin I have a 87 bot new with 200k miles and 3 head gasket jobs and bot another 87 turbo 5 speed with 70k miles and new head gaskets. They cost around 4k to do these days.