One thing’s for sure, Paul Mercer’s 1971 Javelin AMX was the only car at the Cruisin’ on First Auto Show that has a designer label attached. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find any other classic auto that actually hooked up with a famous designer – in this case, Pierre Cardin, who gave the finishing touches to the interior of this car back when it was manufactured.
It may have been a gimmick at the time, but 48 years like the moniker is still attached to the inside of the driver’s door.
The Javelin is named on the generally accepted list of ‘highly collectable’ cars.
Originally painted white, Mercer changed his to the original factory colour purple which really sets this car off as stand-out. Mercer has owned his Javelin since 1995.
“I built it from the ground up. It was an Arizona car so the body was mint. It never had any body issues, but the interior was melted,” Mercer explained. “A guy had it at a show on a trailer and it was for sale. It was still in the original state. I ended up stripping it down to nothing. Every nut and bolt has been off this car.”
Time, however, wasn’t kind to the interior. He spent around three years restoring the car, and putting in a new motor.
The Javelin came from the factory with a T-stripe on the hood
“Originally, it was white with a black T-stripe, and it had a red interior. The interior was shot, I couldn’t use it so I had to use the Pierre Cardin interior from a ’72. This car came across the border from Arizon in 1989.”
Mercer doesn’t just use his Javelin as a show car, he puts it on the track and has raced on the drag strips in St. Thomas and Cayuga, although he now stays clear of the track as roll cages are required for cars in his Javelin’s speed rating.
The original Javelin came with a choice of engines. There was a 232 cu. in. straight six, a 290 cu. in. V8, or an optional 343 cu. in. V8.
The Javelin AMX is one of the iconic muscle cars of the era with a low profile and long front end.
Mercer brought his Javelin to the Cruisin’ on First Auto show and it was display with several other vehicles from the golden age of muscle cars from the late 60’s and early 70’s.
The Cruisin’ on First show continues through the summer every Wednesday night in the parking lot at the Orangeville Canadian Tire.
Written by Brian Lockhart