If there is one thing that you can never accuse ol’ Bud Lindemann of, it’s mincing his words. In this review of a 1974 AMC Matator the car gets hammered on the track and then lambasted for its performance. The 401 4bbl combo isn’t as slow as we thought it would be, running to 60 in 11 seconds and a quarter mile in 16.5. Those are sad numbers for a combo like this car has but for 1974 that was pretty sporting stuff. It is in the suspension and handling where things go pear shaped for the review.
Oh, the braking as well. A 70mph panic stop with hot brakes is one of the more comical things we have seen in some time. The car just keeps going and going, finally slides sideways and comes to a stop. There is a momentary shot of smoke rolling off of tires that were basically shaved flat on one side from locking up and skidding half a block.
The car’s handling looks atrocious and the test driver probably felt like he was piloting a small vessel though the cones and then around the road course. The thing just plows all over the place and when it does decide to turn the thing wallows really bad. This with the optional “heavy duty” suspension. It must have been really comical to get one with the standard issue suspension system to go around a corner.
Lastly, they croak the car on fuel economy. They got about 11mpg in mixed driving and Lindemann ends the review by talking about how there’s fuel problems in the world and these guys didn’t pay enough attention to that but restyled the car instead. It is kind of funny, actually.
Don’t get us wrong. The 1975 AMC Matador X is cool in its own way but these guys sure gave it a trip through the wringer in more ways than one.