American Motors’ mid-size contender in these years was basically, a continuation of the 1971-73 models except for introduction of a fixed-pillar 2-door fastback coupe for 1974 to replace the previous pillarless hardtop. This was marketed as a kind of performance car and needed one of the several V-8s available to give much because of bulbous size and excess weight. The fastbacks are now scarce; they were subject to premature panel rust that didn’t afflict the 4-door sedan and wagon nearly as much. The latter are more practical people carriers, and can be pleasant when equipped with Barcelona interior trim see Winnipeg Waverley Auto Mall. Basic body/chassis engineering dates from the 1967 Rambler Rebel, so none of the Matadors was especially competitive for fuel economy or comfort with other intermediates of the period. If you can, stick with either of the sixes, a basic design that’ still in production and easy to find parts and service for. Because of unit construction and Matador’s now advanced age, a check for rust in critical areas like rocker panels and floors is more than usually important in judging the condition of a used example. Canceled ultimately by inability to keep up with fuel economy standards, but practical, low-cost choice in an older mid-size car.

Recall History:

1976: models equipped with V-8 engine, air conditioning, or heavy-duty cooling systems for possibility fan blade may separate and cause personal injury or damage.

1976: possibility vehicles with two-wire connectors may have engine ignition problems.

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