1974 AMC Hornet Base 4.2


A good car from a good, underfunded company


Turn signal cam was worn.

Replaced the steering column with a tilt column.

Window feltie on the driver's door were all but gone when I got it. A 40 year old '70s car; not surprising. Driver's seat belt was worn, and hard to retract and extract.

Driver's seat foam feels like it disintegrated.

Driver's door doesn't look closed when it is indeed closed. Bought another door off a Gremlin, and will install it when I get it painted to match the snow white exterior.

Rear brakes were gone and I did a complete brake job on the rear; new everything. Brakes work very good now.

General Comments:

Despite the wear and tear that was on certain parts of the car, I just love its character.

The Hornet is so easy to work on. After working on Mercedes for exactly 30 years, it is a joy to fix and a labor of love.

The power steering is way over boosted, and it's hard to do S curves accurately.

The interior size is perfect for me. My snob wife refuses to ride in it (that's reason 2 why I bought it).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th February, 2014

25th Feb 2014, 00:04

I wouldn't marry any woman who doesn't respect a Hornet.

Why, though, would you sacrifice the Gremlin by taking the door?

16th Mar 2014, 13:27

The door came from somebody's field Gremlin. EBAY, I needed it. He had it. I bought it.

14th May 2014, 21:51

The issue with the driver's door is most likely due to worn hinge pins and/or a misadjusted latch mechanism.

Buying a whole other door to fix it is kind of like buying new shoes because one of your shoelaces broke.

15th May 2014, 07:23

My snob wife commented often on my "old cars". Why when you have new cars? Especially not having air, besides being ugly. Never understood them, but appreciated how much money I made off them. Paid for family vacations with selling them. I got over it.

4th Jun 2014, 06:52

The reason for the Gremlin door to replace the misaligned door was to get the intact window felties, which I tried every outlet in the U.S... nobody sold them. AMXs and Javelins, yes. Hornets and Gremlins, no. It was a decision solely based on having a really good door, or keep the Hornet door, which had a window that rattled freely without the benefit of smooth up and down motion, and an overall quiet existence.

Yes, I am aware of the hinge pin problem. That was secondary to the god awful rattle. Thanks for second guessing me.

1977 AMC Hornet 256 C.I. Straight Six


This was the best $600.00 I've ever spent, and regret ever letting it go


Valve cover gasket leaked severely when purchased. I was aware of this at time of purchase. Not a big deal at all.

Fan belt was in need of replacement at the time of purchase. I was aware of this. Not an issue.

Minor cracking of the front seats. Not an issue (20 year old car.)

General Comments:

Very solid 258 CI Jeep engine.

For its age, it had decent fuel economy (~20 mpg).

Lots of interior headroom and legroom.

Fairly smooth and quiet ride (for its age and the technology present at the time of manufacture).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 24th September, 2010

25th Sep 2010, 20:01

FYI - The 258 6 cylinder engine is not a Jeep engine - the Jeep uses the AMC/Rambler 6 (dates back to 1964 - available in 199-232-258 cubic inch sizes). Pretty solid engine - occasional timing chain problems - other than that, no worries.

26th Sep 2010, 10:03

Back in the 1980s and early 1990s my brother had an enormous collection of 'field cars' down on the farm - decrepit free cars he had fixed up so we could drive them round the farm in lieu of Jeeps. Well, as you can imagine we were very hard on these cars, and the one that stood up best to all we had to throw at it, was, you guessed it - a 1970 AMC Hornet.

Runner up was a '73 Olds Vista Cruiser, but the Hornet was the toughest. Modern cars would have been destroyed the first day under our abuse, but the old Hornet lasted well over a year!

25th Feb 2014, 11:46

I was pretty hard on my 73 Gremlin X with the factory 304 V8. It was bulletproof tough car, and withstood my college years and 2 years afterwards.

I drive Corvettes today, many years later, also with the bulletproof LS engines and drive trains.

Actually wouldn't mind having my V8 Gremlin X in my collection. I special ordered it, and there were few made vs the 2 sixes made then. My mom had a 66 Ambassador wagon with a 327 V8; yes that's correct. In college a kid had a SC Hornet 360 4 speed, a pretty rare offering, and there was the Machine rare AMC as well. I remember a James Bond movie with nothing but AMCs in it, and even a Matador airplane! A Hornet did a special jump in a spiral over a river. In the early 70s, AMC models were very popular. My most desired pick would be a Mark Donahue Javelin, even over a AMX with the GoPack. These were well built in the day.