Rough Start: 1972 AMC Javelin Dirt-Tracker With Endless Possibilities

Rough Start: 1972 AMC Javelin Dirt-Tracker With Endless Possibilities

If you’ve been around BangShift for quite some time, then a wave of nostalgia is about to hit you. Right about the time CarJunkieTV went below the waves around late 2008, there was a fire sale of the projects that were still on the repurposed building that had hosted the venture. Among the rolling stock on the property was a 1969 AMC dirt-track car that needed to be re-homed. Brian Lohnes decided that he wanted the shell of a Javelin and with the help of Freiburger and six willing participants, the infamous Red Ball Express venture moved that car coast-to-coast in early February, 2009. In fairness, that car was ROUGH. Lohnes has told me how brutally bad it was over the years, yet I still wanted that car badly when it went up for sale. Got that history?

Now, look to the present, and in particular to two cars I suspect you know well: the “General Mayhem” Dodge Charger that Freiburger owns now, and the “Death Metal” Charger that Mike Finnegan owns. Other than being 1968 Dodge Chargers, those two Mopars have one other thing in common: they started out as clapped-out shells and were built into greatness. When you have nothing to worry about, you can only build upwards. Or, in Mike’s case, you take the wrong turn at Alburquerque and wind up with a chimera that looks Dukes-ready but sounds like it belongs in the psych ward section of the NOPI Nats. Whatever. The point is, you have an open canvas.

So, to the topic I bring up: this 1972 AMC Javelin. Yeah, it’s the bigger brother to that ideal 1969 car that Lohnes sent off to pasture many years ago. But it’s rocking a damn-near-identical paint job and looks ready to battle it out on a track somewhere. And that might be for the best, but there is a huge part of me that would love to see it converted into a street-going monster. There’s no engine. There’s just a basic race car interior. There’s a fuel cell, and there’s enough suspension to get the project started. Pick an engine, any engine, and stuff it in. AMC 304? Cheapest small-block Chevy you can find? Hellcat crate engine? You can’t go wrong. Just fill the wheelwells with enough rubber to look right, be prepared for dirt and asphalt racing, and remember the famous words of Mark Donohue: “If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower.”

Facebook Marketplace link: 1972 American Motors Javelin

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