Check out this 1,036bhp carbon-bodied Javelin AMX | Top Gear
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear

Check out this 1,036bhp carbon-bodied Javelin AMX

Does an epic Ringbrothers conversion finally make AMC’s muscle car cool?

Published: 07 Nov 2017

Unlike say, the Dodge Charger, Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro, the AMC Javelin has never been classed as one of the muscle car greats.

With its droopy nose and overly-defined fender lines, it’s not hard to see why it never made it to true pony car poster status. But, nearly half a century later, that hasn’t stopped muscle car builder Ringbrothers from giving it a second shot with this: a 1972 AMC Javelin AMX called “Defiant”.

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Jim and Mike Ring, co-founders of Ringbrothers, head up the Wisconsin-based firm famed for putting silly power and carbon fibre bodies on America’s finest muscle cars of old. And other oddities like 900bhp Winnebagos. When they sourced this Javelin (once a regular at the petrol station their father ran in Plain, Wisconsin, but hadn’t hit the road since 1977) they were greeted with a time capsule of Seventies nostalgia. They could have simply reconditioned it. They didn't.

The Defiant features a custom front-end utilising all new 3D-printed carbon-fibre panels forward of the A-pillar, while the wheelbase has been stretched by moving the front wheels forward six and a half inches. Certainly gives those distinctive front arches a more modern look and set of proportions to please our 21st-century widescreen eyes. In fact, most of the body is made of carbon, there's a custom suspension setup, new 'Cuda inspired gills and bumper, Baer brakes, steel side-exit exhausts and proper wheels and tyres. Then you get to the engine.

Under the carbon fibre bonnet is one of our favourites, the 6.2-litre supercharged Hemi from the Dodge Hellcat. Ordinarily producing a terrifying 707bhp as 'standard', the Mike and Jim swapped out the stock supercharger for a 4.5-litre Whipple unit good enough to juice the Hellcat motor up to four figures. To be more specific, 1,036 horsepower. All fed through a Bowler automatic transmission and carbon fibre driveshaft that feeds the crazy amount of power to the wheels.

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So, does carbon fibre bodywork and a four-digit dyno readout make this pony car more poster worthy? It sure as hell helps...

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