When you own an AMC project, you are bound to be a scrapyard junkie. Because of a lack of repop and replacement parts, your free time will probably be spent walking the rows of countless salvage yards looking for those few Javelins, Rebels, and AMXs that managed to keep some of their vital parts. Ray Tietz is one of those guys. He has spent plenty of his spare time traversing the junkyards of the Northeast searching for pertinent pieces to complete his 1969 Javelin SST.
Luckily, New York State had a couple of good yards that contained some of Kenosha’s best products, and some were even close to where Ray lived. Scott Turney worked at one of those scrappers, and fortunately for Ray, he was also an AMC junkie. The two met several times over the years during Ray’s junkyard jaunts and bonded over their love of AMC products.By Scotty Lachenauer
But the two muscle car lovers had another commonality between them. You see, Ray’s project SST Javelin, a car outfitted with a 390/four-speed drivetrain and touting the rare Mod Pac option package, was actually discovered years earlier by Scott and his good friend Brian Murphy. Brian is also a proud, flag-toting lover of all things AMC, having been a mechanic for the company up until its demise.The car in question was found sitting in a wooded area behind a repair shop outside Oswego, New York.
It was in reasonably good shape and intact when they found it. It was definitely a car worth saving, even back in 1990. Over the years the car exchanged hands and then, by luck, ended up in Ray’s lap. He was drawn to the styling of the Jav’s fastback roofline, the performance-oriented drivetrain, and the muscular good looks.Though Ray was a true muscle car guy, he needed help sourcing hard-to-find parts as well as doing the restoration on his needy Javelin. Scott and Brian jumped in and offered their expertise.
Scott’s AMC parts stash and Scott’s and Brian’s knowledge of this particular muscle car was the one-two punch Ray needed to get his rare Javelin back on the streets A Shocker Scott and Brian jumped into the project head first. They started by stripping the Javelin down to its shell. It had been painted several times over the years and was nearly rust free, a shocker for sure up in New York State, where acid rain, road salts, and bad weather usually take a car down to bare bones rather quickly.
Once the pertinent parts were removed, the body was sent to Gary’s Body Shop in Moravia, New York. Parts were media blasted, bodywork was completed, and the car was covered in a layer of epoxy primer. After block sanding, the car’s original Big Bad Orange was applied using a modern waterborne paint system. Wet sanding down to 3,000-grit sandpaper followed, and the paint was buffed to a show car luster. Most of the original parts were restored, as there are few aftermarket pieces made for these AMCs.
The grille was restored, along with the Magnum 500 wheels, which sport a metallic sparkle finish on the spokes. The anodized rocker trim was straightened and polished back to original condition, and fresh tinted glass was fitted to the car. Inside, the 140-mph speedo/tach cluster was restored to factory specifications and new skins were installed on the bucket seats. Some of the hardest pieces to find were the dash pad and the woodgrain speaker cover, both of which were, as is typical, cracked due to sun exposure and age.
Brake and fuel lines were all replaced with new stainless steel pieces, and the brakes were rebuilt to stock specs. The hard-to-find trim was also straightened, freed of dents, and polished to a high luster. Repop radial redline tires were fitted to the Magnums for that correct 1969 look. The original 390ci engine was torn down and rebuilt, with some liberties taken along the way. It is now topped with later dog-leg cylinder heads and free-flow exhaust manifolds, which first made their appearance in 1970. A factory Group 19 R4B aluminum intake manifold adds to the build.
This powerplant is backed by a fully rebuilt T10 four-speed tranny, which feeds the fresh AMC Model 20 Twin Grip rear stuffed with 3.54 gears. It is the Mod Pac that offered this car’s signature add-on, that crazy Craig Breedlove–inspired rooftop spoiler. It is a slick touch to an already inspired design. With the package you also received the two blacked-out hoodscoops and the exhaust rocker trim. Add in this car’s Go Package and the Big Bad color paint scheme and you have a true top-of-the-line offering from the people at AMC.
Modern TimesToday Ray sits happily in the driver seat of this rare ride. With the help of a pair of good friends and true professionals, his Javelin SST once again runs the streets of upstate New York showing off its rad color, crazy options, and potent powerplant. One can only hope this car will continue to blaze a trail on the curvy roads of its new home with Ray behind the wheel. Ray would like to thank Scott and Brian for taking the time to make a dream come true. It was nearly 50 years in the making and a dream he has had since his soldier days. Ray would also like to thank his wife, Betty, and his family for their support during the rebuild.