1973 AMC Gremlin 304 from North America
A great piece of American automotive history. An iconic 70s vehicle!
Only regular things that were needed are standard to all cars.
Doors sag, but the car is 40 years old.
A factory V8 304 car that I put a 4V intake and carb on. Also put a dual exhaust on it. I would say that it is now up to close speed with my 74 454 Laguna that weighs 4000lbs. The Gremlin is around 3100lbs. It feels light and nimble, but choppy due to the short wheel base and short rear springs, but it is what it is. FUN!!! It also turns more heads than the Laguna. Of course the Laguna feels stable at higher speeds and will float down the road at 80 all day long or until its 14 MPG eats up all the fuel. The Gremlin is also a gas hog!!
The Gremlin is just fun and silly. If you have the 6 cylinder, just put a 4V on it and see what a difference it makes. The AMC motors are stout and strong. Contrary to the what non AMC owners write about problems with AMCs, I can say I have owned Chevys, Fords, Mopars, Pontiacs, Buicks etc, and AMCs do not require any extra maintenance than the others. Their doors sag, but so do ALL GM cars of the 60s and 70s.
The cheaper AMCs of the 60s did not use a trans cooler at all on their 6 cylinder cars and hence they burnt up transmissions. If you happen to have an AMC with a 6 cylinder and automatic from the 60s without a trans cooler, you should install one.
Gremlins are cool and their flaws can be fixed. For example, if your 6 cylinder Gremlin handles poorly, put a nice set of shocks on it, it will greatly help. If it feels weak with the one barrel 6 cylinder, change the one barrel set up!!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 6th November, 2017
12th Nov 2017, 04:05
AMCs are an acquired taste ;)
I grew up working on cars beginning in the late-70s.
AMCs could be had for cheap back then. Build quality was way variable. Some of them were nicely-built "Wednesday Cars". Some, were Monday/Friday nightmares.
The engineering was surprisingly good when you consider their staff was spread very thin. The not so good was taking shortcuts like using flex fans instead of ones with thermostatic clutches. Then again, they would ambitiously use a four-link, coil sprung rear axle on a unit body, and figure out a way to make it work (for the most part). The only one of the Big Three to do that was Ford, 10+ years later, with mixed results.
Encountering these cars today, they are very much worth saving.
Quirky-but-charming goes far :)
A early-seventies AMC is AMC at the top of their game.
The Gremlin - AKA Hornet missing its tail - is a solid car. You want to improve the handling of this nose-heavy, rear-wheel-drive beast, go with a large front anti-roll bar. It transfers more if the weight transfer back up front - where the driving wheels aren't.
Enjoy - and keep us posted :)