1970 AMC javelin

Muscle Car Throwdown: 1970 AMC Javelin VS Ford Mustang

Published December 6, 2015

Muscle cars were really getting powerful for the 1970 model year. It seemed as if there was an ever present struggle to be the top car at the drag strip or on the street. This fueled the manufacturers to put increasingly larger engines into their cars, ever upping the horsepower and torque battle. The AMC Javelin and Ford Mustang were no different. But, which is the better car? Read on…

Power numbers:

The amount of power an engine makes is directly related to how fast a muscle car can actually get down the track. Of course, this isn’t the only factor as the entire car works together as a whole. 

AMC stuck a big 390 engine between the front fenders that was capable of producing 325 horsepower and a respectable 425 lb-ft of torque. There were also lesser engines available in this car with a 6 cylinder, a 5-liter V8 and a 360 cubic inch small block V8.

1970 AMC 390

Ford had similar engine options, but with a pair of better qualified big-cubed engines. The 428 Cobra jet was only slightly better at 335 horsepower. However, the real monster was the Boss 429 that was rated at 375 ponies.

boss 429 mustang


Both big block powered mustangs were champs at the track, but the Boss 429 could power the pony car from 0-60 in about 5.5 seconds, and make it to 100 mph in only 12.8 seconds. The 428 Cobra Jet makes it from 0-60 in 6.4 seconds.

boss 429 mustang

390 cubic inches, overall lightweight and a 4-speed equates to a 0-60 time of 5.9 seconds. It can make the mad dash down the ¼ mile strip at 14.5 seconds, not too bad for an under dog.


The Mustang was a bit heavier than the Javelin, tipping the scale at over 3,500 lbs while the Javelin weighs about 200 lbs less.

1970 AMC javelin

Current Value:

Putting a valuation on a vehicle that is so old can be hard to do. There are a lot of factors that come into play–like the condition of the car and its originality. Unfortunately, most of the AMC Javelins out there don’t hold any value because a majority of them were turds and are undesirable except as parts cars.

The value of a Javelin in “good” condition is right around $22,000. Of course, this is for cars equipped with the 390. Special cars cars, like the Big Bad, can add about 25% more. Sadly, it is on a steady decline in value from recent 5-year highs of $26,000.

1970 AMC javelin

The Mustang, on the other hand, holds value very well. The average muscle car enthusiast won’t be able to afford a Boss 429 or 428 Cobra Jet. A Boss 429 will cost about $200,000 in good condition which is a dramatic increase in value from their 5-year lows of $130,000. Remember there were very few of them built, and will never be worthless, except after the zombie apocalypse.

If you’ve had your eyes on a regular, plain Jane Mustang coupe with a run-of-the-mill 302, you’d be looking at about $14,000, which is up from recent lows of about $9,000.

Availability of parts:

This is important because if there aren’t any parts available, you’ll give yourself a heart attack just trying to source what you need. The Mustang production numbers for 1970 were just over 190,000, so you won’t have many issues trying to find parts for it. In case you were wondering, there were only 499 Boss 429s built that year, so they are sparse and cost a fortune to buy.

The Javelin on the other hand, wasn’t as popular of a ride. Fewer than 35,000 were built for model year 1970 (including the shorter AMX), so you’d have a harder time finding parts.

The winner:

The clear winner is the Mustang. Even when not comparing the Boss cars to the Javelin, the Mustang still wins based on similar performance and increasing value. Plus, the ability to have options when choosing a car is a big deal. If you’ve got the money and want a car that costs 100K, you’ve got that option. However, if your funds are tight and can only afford $15,000, you can a find decent car. And because it’s a Mustang, there will always be a market for them.

1970 boss 429 mustang

Unfortunately the AMC is just an under-rated car that should be worth more based on the rarity alone. Plus, it was a solid performer at the track. It just doesn’t get the respect it deserves



Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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