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Albert Therault's 74 AMC Javelin

Albert Therault's 74 AMC Javelin

How do you succeed in the dealership? You succeed on the track. At least this was a valid statement in the late 1960s and early 1970s, particularly with American Motors. Virtually an unknown entity on both the street and race course scene that stole the limelight from the big boys. The rubber hit the tarmac in 1967 when American Motors unveiled their prized muscle car, the Javelin and a year later it had earned itself accolades in the SCAA Trans Am series, placing third in the over-2-liter class. The reputation improved when AMC signed with the racing maestro, Roger Penske in 1970, honouring him with a second-overall place behind the Mustang Boss 302. All this translated into sales off the dealership floor. Approximately 100 Trans-Am series Javelins were produced for consumers to purchase, featuring a whopping 6.4-liter V8 thrust. The fact that it looked like the genuine racing car with its red, white and blue livery, didn’t hurt either. Though Javelin production ended in 1974, success on the track continued until 1976.
Equally impressive is how Albert Therault hand-built a top-racing Javelin from skeletal parts of dying Javelins. “When I told my brother and friends that I was going to build a 1/4 mile car out of dilapidated parts, they all said I would never get it done and it was in too rough of shape.” remembers Albert. “It took me two years to complete and all done by myself.” Albert installed the floor panels, made the body panels, installed fibreglass front fenders, a roll bar, racing seats, fuel cell, a battery in the trunk and had enough parts to put the car back together and make it look as it should – lethal. “I purchased the 360 4 bbl and racing transmission out of a dragster in Niagara Falls area and had the motor running on the floor of my garage before I installed it.”
Albert has always been enamoured by Javelins. “My second car was a 1969 Javelin SST with a 290 auto. I have had other Javelins and recently gave my son my 1969 Javelin that I rebuilt and owned since 1979.” There are over half-a-dozen classic and muscle vehicles in various stages of restoration (or simply there for extra parts), scattered around his property. “Cars like the Javelin and others from the ‘60s and ‘70s are the true classic muscle cars and always will be.” Initially the colour of dried soil when owned by the first owner, and blue and purple by the time Albert bought it (or what was left of it), the car seems like some resurrection, the paint job is jaw-dropping, emulating the traditional red/white/blue racing attire with my own design of stripe on the hood. “I made my own vinyl numbers and lettering as well.”
“The first car show that I entered this red/white/blue Javelin in, I won first place. What a great feeling considering I completely rebuilt the whole car myself, including body work and paint.” But Albert’s true ambition is to break a few records.  “The car currently does 13 seconds in the 1/4 mile, but hope to do 12 seconds once I get the bugs out of it. The car sounds awesome with ceramic headers and 2.5” open exhaust.” Albert will confess that there is no better feeling than to hear and drive something that feels like being in another world!