1972–1973 AMC Javelin Pierre Cardin Edition: A Funky-Cool Trendsetter

Pierre Cardin passed away on December 29, 2020 in Paris. In reminiscence of the visionary clothier and licensee, we’re republishing this drive and profile of the particular Javelin mannequin he co-created with AMC.

Within the early 1970s, American Motors initiated a program to affiliate its merchandise with well-known trend designers and firms. There was the Gucci-edition AMC Hornet and the Oleg Cassini–edition AMC Matador, whereas the wacky AMC Gremlin wore the purple tab of Levi’s denim. Probably the most wanted of those was the Pierre Cardin–version AMC Javelin as a result of Cardin was the style trade’s most transcendent determine and this pony automobile was AMC’s customary bearer of sportiness. Cardin’s designs have been seen not solely in clothes but in addition in private equipment, eating places, furnishings, and even on a report label.

Later, it turned commonplace for carmakers to supply designer editions of assorted fashions, which included the Gucci-edition Cadillac Seville and the Invoice Blass, Cartier, Givenchy, and Pucci Lincoln Continentals. We’ve turn into accustomed to such co-marketing as of late, which incorporates associations with not simply fashion-forward design icons but in addition merchandise akin to bicycles, shotguns, and watches. However again then, Wisconsin-based AMC was within the vanguard of infusing trend into in any other case odd vehicles.

1972 AMC Javelin SST seats
The 1970s are nonetheless alive within the Javelin Pierre Cardin Version’s cabin.

The Cardin Javelin is arguably probably the most absolutely realized of all of the designer-branded vehicles of its early period. The inside is really a spectacle, with pleated upholstery stripes in plum, orange, white, and silver towards a black background. The surroundings is flamboyantly psychedelic, though tailor-made within the method of a clothier. In interval print promoting for the automobile, Monsieur Cardin (AMC included a phonetic spelling of the identify, Kar-dán) commented, “Folks ought to really feel like they’re sitting in a front room as a substitute of sitting in a machine.” That’s, after all, in case your front room is completed up in space-age fashion on par with a discotheque in Saint Tropez or maybe a film set from Barbarella. The décor bundle was non-obligatory for all 1972 and ’73 Javelins for a mere $84.95 and included exterior badging.

1972 AMC Javelin SST side profile in motion1972 AMC Javelin SST side profile in motion

The second-generation Javelin is pretty outlandishly styled on the skin, too. Entrance fenders bulge by way of the hood line, whereas the rears intrude on the C-pillar. There’s a spoileresque bump the place the roof meets the concave rear window, and an enormous rubber ducktail units issues off on the rear. It appears clear that AMC designer Eric Kugler had been impressed to ship slightly racing-bred detailing to accommodate wider tires and create simpler aerodynamics, and all this helped Roger Penske’s racing workforce win the SCCA Trans-Am championship with the Javelin in 1971 and 1972. Beneath the flashy styling may very well be discovered humble {hardware}: the sedan structure of the AMC Hornet/Rambler American.

The Cardin-edition Javelin debuted within the 1972 mannequin 12 months and was supplied in ’73 as properly. Some 2,952 examples hit the road on this time, plus an extra 1,200 Cardin editions of the AMX. This primary-year automobile is owned by filmmakers P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes. After shopping for a home in Palm Springs, California, that had been inbuilt 1969, they got down to furnish it in period-correct fashion. First they occurred on a Cardin-designed espresso desk. Subsequent got here a mirrored Cardin credenza, and so forth. They turned crazed by all issues Cardin, for, as Ebersole notes, “No one earlier than had ever taken a trend identify into all these areas.”

1972 AMC Javelin SST engine 011972 AMC Javelin SST engine 01
The 360-cubic-inch V-Eight is torquey sufficient to make the Javelin really feel fast even immediately.

Ebersole and Hughes had thought of buying a Chevrolet Corvair to swimsuit the mid-century modernism for which the fashion of residential structure in Palm Springs has turn into well-known, however the Cardin connection helped them uncover the Javelin, which higher matches their house’s 1970s vibe. A frenzied search on the web led them to buy a 1972 Javelin SST in faraway Osler, Saskatchewan. Although it had comparatively low mileage, the AMC had been restored lately by its loving proprietor. “We don’t drive all of it that a lot,” Hughes reveals, “however once we do, we now have to go away ourselves an additional 15 minutes.” The cushion is for the inevitable conversations which can be impressed wherever the Cardin-edition Javelin SST goes.

1972 AMC Javelin SST rear three quarter in motion1972 AMC Javelin SST rear three quarter in motion

Our time on the wheel reminded us that the Javelin will not be a sports activities automobile, however it does maintain its personal within the corners. This very torquey 360-cubic-inch V-Eight was rated at notably much less energy in 1972 than the 12 months earlier than, however solely as a result of the DOT-certified ranking system had modified from SAE gross (with out equipment) to SAE web (with equipment). Disc brakes have been accessible as an possibility in 1972, however this SST has the usual drums, so it’s finest to plan forward when slowing down. The black nylon upholstery of the Cardin version incorporates a particular, silicone-based stain-resistant end (one thing new in 1972), and the seats are very slippery because of this. Perhaps it’s factor that the shift lever for the three-speed automated has a seize deal with.

AMC deserves credit score for staying at it so long as it did with singular merchandise such because the Pierre Cardin Javelin. The audacity of this automobile in design in addition to efficiency speaks very properly of AMC’s ingenuity and improvisation because it tried to be aggressive towards monumental odds. What different firm would have give you the thought of becoming a member of forces with a French clothier for a particular version of a macho Mustang-style automobile? The humorous factor is, it type of labored.

1972 AMC Javelin SST front three quarter 021972 AMC Javelin SST front three quarter 02

AMC Javelin Specs (Gen. 2)

Engine 360-cubic-inch OHV 16-valve V-8/175 hp @ 4,000 rpm, 285 lb-ft @ 2,400 rpm
Transmission 3-speed automated
Drive Rear-wheel
Entrance Suspension Management arms, coil springs
Rear Suspension Dwell axle, leaf springs
Brakes Drums
Weight 3,201 lb

AMC Javelin Data (Gen. 2)

Years Produced 1971–1974
Quantity Offered 111,488
Unique Worth $4,312 (1972)


Why Purchase

Mustang? Camaro? So commonplace. They have been produced in important numbers with scads of survivors. The Javelin, alternatively, by no means generated a lot gross sales quantity, of which the Cardin vehicles have been only a fraction. Amongst collectible makes, AMC is a sleeper at finest, and values have nowhere to go however up. The Javelin is an inexpensive totem of that sybaritic age of the late 1960s and early 1970s, extra a social doc than a mere automobile. The glittery disco period was dawning when the Cardin-edition Javelin rolled down the meeting line in blue-collar Kenosha, Wisconsin. It’s mechanically sound, vaguely fast, and an emblem of decadence from an organization that had beforehand recognized success solely with the dowdy, fuel-sipping Rambler.

This story was originally published by Automobile on April 28, 2016.

The submit 1972–1973 AMC Javelin Pierre Cardin Edition: A Funky-Cool Trendsetter appeared first on MotorTrend.

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