This is the 3rd Javelin I ever bought and is one of 4 I’ve owned and 2 I still own. In my late teens I started getting interested in cars and specifically muscle cars. I was a Dukes of Hazzard fan and knew the car was a ’69 Charger. I had next door neighbors who built themselves a pretty mean ’67 Camaro street machine. I was into Mustangs, Camaros, Chargers, Challengers, Cudas… all the usual suspects. My first car was a ’74 Charger with a 318 and column shifted auto.
I had no idea what a Javelin was and then one night, I was 19, I saw one in a parking lot on Long Island. It was a ’73, it was orange, it had side pipes, it had louvers, it had a black vinyl top, it had five slot mags on the rear… and it had a FOR SALE sign on the dash. I was blown away. I wrote down the number and ended up buying the car for $1400. It was a disaster and I had a lot of mis-adventures in it, mostly involving a friend and myself pushing it from one location to another. Anyway, despite all the problems I had with the car I was 100% obsessed with “humpster” Javelins and learned everything I could about them. I could write a lot about that 1st Javelin and the 2nd one I bought on Staten Island for $200; but this is supposed to be about the yellow Javelin, my 3rd.
1992 – Early in the year I decide I want a Javelin again and start looking. At this time I didn’t really know a lot about cars from a performance or mechanical standpoint. I just knew the Javelin was the coolest looking car ever created. Javelin’s were rare in the New York area and when you did find them they usually had a ton of rust. I finally found a seller with a ’73 Jav/AMX in Danville, Virginia. The car was $1800 and was pretty rust free, although the drivers front fender was banged up and the cowl hood was smashed up at the leading edge. Getting the car back to Brooklyn, NY was an adventure as I basically had to stay up until 3am helping the seller finish building the car before I could drive it home.
1993 – After driving the car around Brooklyn for 6 months I found a guy in upstate NY to restore it. At the time I lived in Brooklyn, didn’t have a garage and didn’t have any mechanical skills or tools. So this guy, who was president of an AMC club I joined, restored the car for me. It was primarily a cosmetic restoration. He took it apart, painted everything and then put it back together. It took a little over a year to complete the restoration.
1994 to October 1997 – I drove the car occasionally during this time. Took it to an all AMC day at Cecil County dragway (in Maryland). The car did a 15 flat. Mostly the car sat in various places I found to store it while I continued to live in Brooklyn and drive an ’86 Mustang GT 5spd to a job on Long Island.
1997 (Nov) – I move to Novato, CA for a job and rent a house with a TWO CAR GARAGE. This was a major turning point for me as I had been a “car guy” for 10yrs in New York and a garage was something I had desperately wanted for years. I had learned to work on cars by doing a ton of mods to my ’86 Mustang and had also bought and raced a Formula Ford race car. I moved from Brooklyn, NY and brought 3 vehicles with me: my ’73 Javelin, an ’82 Royale Formula Ford race car and a ’93 Ford Ranger (which was my tow vehicle for the race car).
1998 – When I moved out to California my girlfriend at the time came with me. My Ranger was a 5 spd and she didn’t drive stick… So, the Javelin was her daily driver for most of the year.
1999 – I eventually taught her to drive a stick and then the truck became her daily driver and I drove the Javelin daily. In late 1999 I take the car off the road and pull the engine to get it rebuilt and convert the car from automatic to manual.
2000 – I get the car running and drive it briefly before I move back to NYC in Dec. of 2000. The car sits again (outside in New Jersey) for the next 15 months.
2002 – In March I move back to California and have a garage again. I use the car occassionaly.
2003 – I’m saving up to buy a house so I don’t have a lot of cash to spend on the Javelin. But I do complete a few low dollar projects. I install power remote door locks and a power remote trunk relase and I get all new lock cylinders (including ignition) re-keyed to a single key. I also put a Corbeau A4 seat in the car (which, btw, is too narrow even for my skinny ass…).
2004 – I buy a house in Terra Linda and in the summer of 2004 start a number of projects. I rebuild the front suspension, add a WSC coil over kit, add the Wilwood brake kit, the AGR steering box, the power brake booster, new wheels and more.
2005 – That brings us up to date. I’m still working out all the kinks from last years work. The AGR box turned out to have a leak so I’ve pulled it and returned it for a rebuild. I also just placed an order for all the parts needed to swap the tranny to a Tremec TKO 500 5-speed. I got everything from Forte’s Parts.
2005 (march update) – I got the rebuilt AGR steering box back and it’s back in the car. I’ve started the Tremec TKO 500 install. The old T10, clutch, bellhousing and all the zbar linkage is out of the car. I’ve removed the flywheel and had it resurfaced. I have the new dust shield and bellhousing bolted on for mockup and am about to plug in the tranny for mockup (so I can see how I have to cut/modify the trans tunnel. Stay tuned.