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Here is possibly the rarest muscle car in the world. Think your '71 Hemicuda convertible is rare? Sure it is, but there are more of them than there are of these. How about a '69 ZL1 Corvette? There are twice as many ZL1 Vettes as these. 427 Shelby Cobra? This is more rare. 1963 Z11 Chevy? Rarer. How about Shelby GT350 R's? Rarer. The '48 Tucker? Easy to find compared to these.
So, just how rare is this... whatever?
Firstly, this car is the 1971 AMC Matador Machine. How many were made? About 50.
They came with either 360 or 401 cube engines, and a choice of either a three speed automatic or a four speed manual. This particular car has the 401 with the four speed.
It is also the only Matador Machine left in existance.
It is rumored that one with the 360 and an automatic still exists, but I have never seen a picture of it, and I've only ever heard one reference to it, and that was from a guy who said he'd heard another guy mention it. No AMC sites mention it, so as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't exist.
This particular Matador was in bad shape for a long time, having been so rusted out as to be near unsalvageable. But, Brad Denning restored it immaculate condition, and is now red with black stripes running from hood to trunk.
Now, there is a bit of debate over this car, as it seems some contend that there was no such thing as a Machine package for the Matador, but that people just call any of the hot manual transmission equipped 360 or 401 Matadors "Machines." The automatics could be had without the go package. They assert that the only true Machines are the Rebel series with 390 v-8's that appeared in 1970. There were about 1200 of those made, and were advertised as Machines. When the Rebel series became the Matador series in 1971, the muscle car era was winding down. Any muscle packages were really downplayed, if they were advertised at all, for the 1971 model year. It's true that AMC didn't really play up the Machine package for the Matador, but as far as I've seen, it was possible to "build" a Machine from the parts ordering list and that would be considered a Machine. The Go Package, a package available to many of the more performance oriented cars in AMC's lineup, would get you a Machine. It consisted of the high performance, 4 barrel carb topped 285 horsepower 360, or the 330 horse 401, fifteen inch by seven inch steel "Machine" wheels with Polyglas radials, space saver spare, Power Disc brakes, and the Handling Package, which included a sway bar and heavy duty shocks and springs. So, while your Matador with the 401 and four speed might not have said "Machine" on the body, it certainly was one. And it certainly performed like one.
I personally would love to buy a good condition Matador that came with a lesser engine and tranny combo, such as a 304 with a 3 speed, and then convert it into a Machine. Body and interior parts for AMC's are hard to come by, but there are plenty of speed parts still in existance for the transmissions and engines. In fact,