2017 car 1974 AMC Javelin
In the spring of 2016 I was given the chance to purchase a 1974 Javelin. This Javelin was purchased by the current owner’s brother, back in 1974.
This was truly a "kids car", as it is a 360, 4-bbl, 4-speed, console delete, manual steering, drum brake car. It has no options that would not make it faster, or look cooler, except for the AM 8-track player
Apparently, the original purchaser was indeed a 19-year-old kid that had a good job and decided he needed a new car. He narrowed his choices down to either the American Motors, Javelin or the Plymouth, Cuda. He eventually decided on the Javelin because "It had more style and he felt it was more car for the money".
He went to Greenburg's AMC, in Anoka, Minnesota, to place an order for the car he wanted. He had made the decision to buy a white one with a gold stripe down the side. This is the same car that was shown in the 1974 AMC brochure. His best friend at the time, convinced him that the red one was much better looking. So he was persuaded, at the last minute, to order the Trans Am Red one.
He drove his new `74 Javelin through the summer and had to buy a Plymouth Valliant as a beater for the winter. This car has never seen a Minnesota winter due to the original owner’s foresight.
I purchased this car from the brother of the original purchaser in May of 2016. He had purchased the car from his brother in 2003. The original owner is 62 at this point.
During the holidays, I was planning on making a Pinewood Derby car of this `74 Javelin. This car would be raced in our car club Pinewood Derby race in February of 2017. At the time, I decided I should make 3 cars, one for each of the owners of this very unique car.
As things normally go in my world, this project kept getting larger. I thought it needed some sort of box to package the car in. I had a Javelin AMX snap together model, a green Johan snap together promo, box with a couple of parts left inside. I thought this would make an interesting box to hold the cars.
Like usual, the car starts with the block preparation. Drilling the holes for the axles and testing on a test board. The only difference between making a standard pinewood car and a full fendered car is you need to start thinking “where can I lose weight”? With this car we lost some wood from the inside and some more weight from the front end. The first picture is before the side blocks were attached to the main block. The weight loss is determined when drawing the plans for the car, you can see the cutout in the dashed line in the second picture below:
The band saw cuts are made to the glued up block:
The layout is drawn on the block to aid in carving:
Then the carving starts:
Then the sanding and priming commences. The last picture shows what it is like to build 3 cars at the same time. You do one thing on one car, then on the next car, so there is always a lot of work going on:
Then it is on to paint. This picture shows two of the cars painted and the third, ready for paint:
Once the car is painted and the decals drawn, printed and sealed, it is time to apply the decals to the cars. The tape shown helps to keep the decal straight down the side:
I ended up using the Maximum Velocity wheels and axles as they more resemble the Magnum 500 wheels on the Javelin, even though they have 6 sections in them. Below is a picture of 2 sets of wheels ready to be installed on the cars:
During the car builds I was working on the boxes for the cars. It looks pretty cool with the Javelin on the front and end caps of the box:
The original plan was to get these model cars to the owners sometime around the holidays, but with these additions the timing seemed impossible. No one knew these were even in production so timing wasn't a huge deal. In early February, these cars were ready to go to the owners of this Javelin. Each of the boxes are numbered.
The past owners love the cars, along with the display box. The top of the box tells the story of the car and ends with "Marty was able to build “his” model of the Javelin".
Below is a picture of all of the cars and boxes, together for the last time: