1977 AMC Hornet


This car was basic, hardworking, reliable, and I wish I had another


Brake work done several times.

The universal joint was replaced.

The alternator was replaced.

The transmission was rebuilt.

It developed a cold start problem. It would only start on cold days if the engine was cold.

It had lots of carburetor work.

The manifold cracked.

The suspension went bad after about 12 years.

General Comments:

This car had a 258cid and it would climb Everest.

It had no pick-up, but at speed it could cruise for hours at 75.

It was very, very good in the snow.

The front seats were very comfortable. The back seats, not so much so.

It was a good car for trips - the trunk held a lot.

I regret ever selling it. It was a workhorse, inexpensive parts, relatively easy labor.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th February, 2009

14th Feb 2009, 16:01

"I regret ever selling it."

Don't! Today it would be an old crate made totally obsolete by 21st century car standards.

30th May 2009, 08:32

On the other hand if it were in good shape, it would be worth a few thousand dollars. Eventually anything rare becomes worth something.

It's also worth noting that the 'twenty-first century' cars of which you speak cost many, many times what this Hornet cost new or used.

1977 AMC Hornet SST 258 ci. 2 barrel


This car looks like a grocery getter, but will surprise you.


Rebuilt motor at 100,000 miles. Replaced carburetor once.

Seats are starting to flatten. All upholstry is still good.

General Comments:

Engine was bored.060 over. Hi performace cam installed. Head was rebuilt with a three angle valve job. This car now runs a 14.2 sec. 1/4 mile at 97 mph. What a ride.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th February, 2008

1974 AMC Hornet Sportabout V8 360 V8


An unbelievable fast and comfortable little wagon


Low fuel economy, small passenger area.

General Comments:

This low mileage (less than 35,000 original miles at this writing), factory V8 (304)car was purchased by an acquaintance to be parted out for its engine cross-member and associated parts. It needed an engine rebuild, as there was no compression at No. 5 cylinder. The body is clean with some of the usual rust in the quarter panels, and rockers. The front brake shoes were cracked, probably from overheating.

This diamond-in-the rough needed only some TLC to be a runner again. We replaced the blown 304 with a freshened-up American Motors 360 V8. The engine swap took a week of late nights. An Edelbrock Performer intake manifold and Performer 4-barrel Carburetor tops it off. The 360 was also treated to an Edelbrock timing-gear and chain set, a new fuel pump, a Melling oil pump kit, rebuilt points distributor, and full tune-up, hoses and belts.

The interior is mint. No rips or tears in the seats.

We also added a Hornet AMX gauge console and sport wheel from a Jeep Cherokee Chief, and a reproduction SC/360 dash applique.

The factory body-side woodgrain remains, as does the chrome roof rack with air deflector.

At this writing, we are just a couple of weeks away from completion, and perhaps a stab at a 1/4 mile run. It will burn up the rear tires all day long, and is fast as all heck.

Lots of people will come up to me and say, "I used to have one", or "We had one in the family".

This is my third Sportabout, and I just love it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd August, 2004

20th Mar 2008, 23:37

Just wanted to say that it is good to hear positive comments about the Sportabout wagons.. I also have a sportabout!! My wagon is a " 1976" with a 258 Cubic inch engine with a 1 barrel Carter carb... Who ever had the car before me put roughly an '74" model engine in it and I love the car...

1976 AMC Hornet 4 door 258 six cylinder


A Hornet is a great, reliable car that can be either a hot rod or grocery getter


The valve cover gasket leaked oil. Very easy to replace.

The oil pan gasket also leaked. A pain to replace requiring an engine lift.

Normal wear and tear for an older car.

General Comments:

This car is very reliable. Parts are easy to replace and everything is very simple to understand.

Sometimes parts are hard to find, but with a little effort they can be found.

The 258 motor needs a few performance upgrades, but after installation it has a lot of pickup.

AMC interiors are known to be unusual, and sometimes the seats become uncomfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th July, 2004