Hot Deals On Hot Wheels, Episode 6: Matadors And Muscletrucks

It’s that time again! we’re back with another segment where we highlight vehicles found on the internet that are interesting or worth buying. Last time we found a couple couple of gnarly rides from yesteryear for those of you who are into street freaks and surf muscle with a ’75 Corvette Stingray and a ’75 Dodge Dart Hang 10 Sport. This week we’ve found some more great buys for you – an oddball matchup of a 1973 Dodge D100 pickup and 1974 AMC Matador X. So, let’s check out these wheels that go against the grain.

First, we have a paragon of manliness – a 1973 Dodge D100.

WHY ITS COOL:

Farm trucks, muscle trucks, and street trucks are all different breeds of the same animal. They serve different purposes, and are all equally beloved by their followings, although we must admit we find the uses of an old farm truck far exceed those of their muscle and street counterparts. Still, they’re cool across the board – otherwise, why would there be so many country songs that talk about pickup trucks, tailgates, and suspension lifts?

Humor aside, this D100 is cool because of its history and potential for use. Dodge’s D/W line (D denoting 2×4, and W denoting 4×4) served the company well from 1961-1993. The lifespan spawned three generations, and the D100 third-generation which ran from 1972 to 1980.

Aesthetically, the new design displayed a rounder body, hood and fenders with design cues from Plymouth’s Satellite, and some recessed taillights. Where it really started to differ from the previous generation was with its new independent-front-suspension.

Dodge also set itself apart in the pickup truck marketplace with the introduction of their “club cab” option. In 1973, Dodge introduced the first American extended cab pickup. This gave buyers more room behind the front seat, and the appearance of a larger truck without being as long as its four-door counterpart.

Coupling its new body style option with a whole host of engine options led to greater sales and even government contracts. Thousands of D/W-series pickups were contracted for military service under the name M880 CUCV.

So, whether you got a single cab slant-six, the wild “lifestyle” Lil Red Express, or a four-door with 440ci power, these Dodge D100s are still tough as nails.

WHY ITS A SMART BUY:

The link to the Dodge D100 pictured above can be seen, here. Although, we can’t guarantee it will be there when you read this.

Pickup trucks are hot right now! Anyone who follows classic vehicle market trends can tell you Chevy’s C10/K10 and Ford’s F100 are being catered to by the aftermarket like nobody’s business. We are seeing companies reproduce parts for these old workhorses, and the D100 will surely follow in popularity.

Getting in early on the trend would be a good idea, or even if you’re not looking to double your investment monetarily, this baby can more than pay for itself as a daily driver or a work truck. According to the ad, its packing a hopped-up 318ci with 360ci heads and a hotter cam. Having a nice powertrain that’s capable of frying the hides off of tires or pulling some stumps is never a bad thing when laying your money down.

With an asking price of $5,500, this ol’ Dodge has tons going for it. Not only is it pre-smog and had recent maintenance, but we’d say it’s a pretty sharp looking truck as-is. With a little elbow grease this D100 is a truck you could be proud to haul parts in or back in at your local cruise’n’shine.

Photos borrowed from bringatrailer.com.

WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH IT:

Although the ad says the drivetrain is capable of making this truck a daily driver, it’s still advisable to give it the ol’ once over. Once that’s taken care of we’d turn our attention to the exterior. While the gorgeous golden Dodge above is the 4×4 version of Dodge’s pickup, we’d still try to achieve a similar aesthetic. Some taller tires with aggressive tread would make short work of that. The white paint the truck currently wears looks to be in decent shape, and might surprise you with a nice polish.

It would be tempting to go for a muscle-truck look, but with the less-powerful 318ci under the hood, we’d hate to “fake-the-funk.” That might be counter to what we said a moment ago about taller tires, but the white paint and Harley Davidson stickers on the back window make us want to haul things…It is nice to have options, though.

Regardless, no matter how you build one of these D100s, you can’t go wrong.

1974 AMC Matador X: 

Next, we have this odd-ball piece of mid-size muscle – a 1974 AMC Matador X.

WHY ITS COOL:

Most of you know what Chevy’s Chevelle, Ford’s Torino, and Plymouth’s Satellite are, but it’s safe to say many of you don’t know what an AMC Matador X is.

AMC’s Matador was around from 1971 to 1978 for two generations and several body styles. The then-new model was the successor to AMC’s Rebel. The name change was perhaps inspired by the burgeoning civil rights movement at the time. Regardless, the first-generation (1971-1973) was what some would call uninspired – possibly the reason not many know what a Matador is.

Hell, AMC even launched a self-deprecating marketing campaign to advertise the Matador, which asked “What’s a Matador?” In short, it was AMC’s foray into the ever-popular mid-size market. It offered consumers a sedan, a wagon, and a coupe, with several engine options, from the entry level 232ci I6 to the monster 401ci V8. The three-speed column-shifted auto was a popular choice among consumers. AMC also offered a four-speed manual, and a three-speed floor-shifted auto for the coupes equipped with bucket seats.

The Matador X was an entirely new design for 1974. AMC designers sought to depart from the “flying brick” body style and create something more streamlined. What came about was something that looked more like an elongated second-gen Camaro than a boxy Matador. This probably had something to do with famed race car driver Mark Donohue’s input during the redesign.

The new Matador X was so streamlined in fact, that it actually made its way to the racetrack. Mark Donohue and Bobby Allison both raced it with great success. As the saying goes, win on Sunday, sell on Monday – the Matador X coupe definitely sold! AMC moved 62,629 units in 1974, up from only 7,067 the year prior.

The Matador X was so well received, it even won Car and Driver’s “Best Styled Car of 1974.” It’s hard to argue with that when you consider the long nose and sloped back design.

WHY ITS A SMART BUY:

Here is the link to the Matador X pictured above. With the kind of credentials listed above and the seller only wanting $3,800 for this Matador X, it’s plain to see why it’s a smart buy. Matadors will likely never see the popularity of Chevelles, Torinos, or Satellites of the same year, but that’s not why you want it.

You want it because it goes against the grain and does so with style. This Matador would be a smart buy for someone who is in love with the history of American Motor Corporation, and want’s something different than every other classic car on the road.

According to the ad, it houses a 304ci V8, floor-shifted auto, and a surprisingly clean interior. For a running and registered classic of any model or condition, the price is right. It’s especially good here because it seems to be in great shape – save for a few small rust spots. Then again, there’s no telling what’s hiding under that carpet.

Still, we’re sure many of you have risked more than $3,800 at some point or another.

Photos borrowed from mecum.com.

WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH IT:

It’s a driver. We’d aim to keep it that way.

The great thing about a project like this one is that you can drive it while you restore it. We’re guessing there aren’t many parts available for these Matadors, but the car looks to be complete, so if you took your time and restored things slowly, you could potentially have something like the one above.

Checking the boxes like paint and body, wheels and tires, and some small interior parts would take this car from a tired old driver to a clean classic. Then again, you could always build an homage to ’70s-era NASCAR like the Penske-built example below.

Photo borrowed from autopaper.com.

Conclusion:

What do you think of the workhorse D100 and oddball Matador X? Are you ready to haul some car parts and live your vintage NASCAR dreams? Let us know if you’ve found something interesting in your area via our facebook page or comment section below.

Until next time, we’ll keep hunting for rusty gold, and keep you all up to date on the crazy cars the internet has to offer.

About the author

Vinny Costa

Fast cars, motorcycles, and loud music are what get Vinny’s blood pumping. Catch him behind the wheel of his ’68 Firebird. Chances are, Black Sabbath will be playing in the background.
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