1970 AMC Mark
or is it? Donosizing 70 Javelins
Rosette rivets $100; New Door tag $20, Rear spoiler $300. Ram Air Y duct $50, ram air trim $175, vacuum actuator $150, circle duct $500. Ram Air hood $750. Making a Donohue Javelin for under $1500....priceless!
AMC offered a package called the Mark Donohue Javelin in 1970. Buy a rear spoiler, door tag and there, you have one too. The problem is everyone made them, myself included, well after 1970. Even AMC made more than the 2501 'officially' produced in 1970. You could walk into your friendly AMC dealership and ask for a Ram Air hood, and ducktail spoiler. Big deal. And even AM Dealers thought they were nothing special just a well, Javelin with spoiler.
Here is a well known Dealer Memo by E. B. Brogan, AMC;s Marketing Director authorizing dealerships to MAKE THEIR OWN.....at the DEALERSHIP.
American Motors was in financial trouble (as usual) in 1970 for a variety of reasons, they suffered a 2nd quarter loss of $10 million dollars (in 1970 dollars!!!) or 41 cents per share. A massive labor strike in which production of 36,000 vehicles was lost. No cars being built, see Production Totals. In the First Quarter alone, AMC lost a whopping $15.6 million dollars, resulting in a neat loss in the first 1/2 of the fiscal year of a stunning $25 million dollars. These losses had no benefit of tax credit. The AFL-CIO strike crippled AMC and plants were closed for five weeks in the fall. Besides the 36,000 vehicles lost, AMC also lost $23 million and more importantly, momentum in the market at a really critical time. Imagine that. Let's say each lost car of the 36,000 was a 1970 Javelin for $4000. That is $1.4 million in 1970 dollars. Let's say each lost car was top of the line Ambassador at $5000. That is a staggering $1.8 million dollars. AMC had just paid $40 Mil for Willys for Jeep rights, but the strike is what stands out, along with slow car sales, sans the new Hornet which dealerships were having trouble keeping in stock; and later in the calendar year the Gremlin
This is not urban legends, this is fact to possibly dispel some of the rumors surrounding the Mark Donohue Javelin. From Annual Reports to stockholders showing AMC taking a beating to in house memos directing dealerships to build one if they wanted.
Here is also not one, but two, Mark Donohue Window Stickers. Note Spoiler cost.
No, nothing has changed since I wrote that 'Did They Or Didn't They?" article about 1970 Javelins with Ducktail spoilers. There on occasion is some posturing by some 'gurus' (who have been wrong on many things before, as I have too on occasion, but at least I will admit it) they have this and that. Again, nothing except talk without the walk. No, ASC in the Build Sheet is 'automatic speed control' not sure where that crap came from in 1990s though.
Maybe one day when less than a dozen 1970 Javelins are left in the world someone will come out with authentication, actual AMC memos and directives, not talk on a scab amc forum website, so those who love these cars, regardless of whether they are or are not a authentic Donohue, can move on. Until that happens, and it has never happened in almost 40 years, the Mark Donohue Javelin will be mired in controversy as THE easiest AMC Musclecar to fake, period.
So how did a production vehicle end up wearing a legendary racer's name? AMC had to make 2500 of them, available to customers, if AMC wanted to compete in SCCA racing. You could get them in any production color (here is a 1970 paint chart) and with any regular options, including power steering, power brakes, tinted glass, tilt wheel, Twin Grip, air condition, there was a very large options and accessories list. Not to mention any add ons you could easily get from your friendly AMC dealership added to your Javelin!
And Mark Donohue, "Captain Nice" as he was known/....and this wonderful Javelin, deserve better. To learn more about the legendary Mark Donohue, visit Unfair Advantage Racing.
As for Mark Donohue Javelins, they are one of the most recognizable Javelins ever built and highly collectible if it is the real deal and can be authenticated. This file is not to take away from Mark's glorious legacy he had with American Motors in the time he was there, nor to take away anything from the actual Mark Donohue Javelins that were produced in Kenosha or Bob's Rambler Farm either. Or of those who collect and restore these neat cars. Both (Kenosha built & Dealer built) are collectible and a rare year. But in the land of ebay and craigslist and even AMC meets I have seen more Mark Donohue Javelins out there than the 2501 'actually' made in 1969-70. And not only have Rosette rivets, metal trim door tags, and front spoilers and all ram air components been reproduced, this has made it a hell of a lot easier to manufacture a Donohue in 2011 than it was in say, 1987. And some see the $$$ adding crap like this as opposed to it just being a old 1970 Javelin if they are looking to sell so many times $$$ motivates them to Donosize their Javelin. I accept any 1970 Javelin for what it is...a unique and rare piece of automotive US history.
you would like to buy for your collection some rare photos of Trans Am, Mark
Donohue or Javelins, please see extensive
In late 2011 Diego Rosenberg wrote
a comprehensive article about Mark Donohu eJavelins for
STREET LEGAL TV.