1974 AMC Gremlin Reviews

1974 AMC Gremlin Base 258 6 cylinder from North America

Model year1974
Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 258 6 cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.0 / 10
Distance when acquired74000 miles
Most recent distance77300 miles

Summary:

An icon-part of american automotive folklore

Faults:

Transmission leaked fluid due to previous owner improperly reattaching components underneath the car.

Car frequently will not start in park due to faulty switch.. need to shift to "neutral" and then it starts right up.

Brakes leaked, lost almost full power-repaired at local store.

Fuel filler neck leaked due to dry rot.

General Comments:

This car sat awhile when I got it, and I only drive it a few days during the summer as that's all my collector car insurance coverage allows. So, not being used much, things are likely to start going bad after so many years.

You really get to appreciate modern technology when driving this car. On freeways, you can really feel the wind pushing it around. It's also loud and acceleration/shifting is a bit crude. Once you get to about 2nd or 3rd gear, though, there's ample power. Probably more than one would expect from a car this size.

The 258 is a low-tech, basic engine. It is easy to work on. It doesn't require trained professionals who charge an arm and a leg. Even though it's a bit archaic, the simplicity gives me a little more peace of mind. It's also a good engine to learn basic mechanics on.

Mine has bare metal underneath. No paint, undercoating, etc. That is one reason why most have rusted out long ago.

Many parts are getting to be very hard to find, but because of lower demand, they're also MUCH cheaper than those for other antique cars.

This car is a real eye-catcher. It gets A LOT of attention. I like that it is much rarer and so much more distinctive than other old cars.

This was the first American-made subcompact, and from a now-defunct company. It has significant historical value. While the big 3 were building conservative sedans and woody wagons, this odd company was making an all-American car that looked like a European car from the early-60s. Once you own one, you love 'em. There's nothing else quite like it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th September, 2005

1974 AMC Gremlin X 258 from North America

Model year1974
Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership1974
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 258 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired4 miles
Most recent distance100000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Malibu

Summary:

Could only be bettered by an Ambassador or an AMX

Faults:

Nothing outside of normal wear for a one-owner 31 years old.

Lent her to a 'friend' and being drunk he missed a shift and blew the engine, so it was rebuilt with my own $$.

General Comments:

Toughest vehicle I think ever made on this continent.

Even with a in-line six, she is hard to beat in the eighth mile.

Well she does have a cam, and headers, and a 4bbl.

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

Review Date: 7th August, 2005

1974 AMC Gremlin X 5.0 304 / 4 Barrel from North America

Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 5.0 304 / 4 Barrel Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired73000 miles
Most recent distance73000 miles

Summary:

Sleeper Mustang Killer

Faults:

Gas line was plugged and froze when I bought it and I had to fix that. Float in the Carburetor is not working properly, runs to rich at the moment. Rusted rocker panels.

General Comments:

Love this car, positrack, 304 4 barrel with a standard 3 on the floor, she GOES!!!.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th October, 2003

3rd Dec 2003, 17:42

"Mustang killer" haha... maybe a '76 Mustang II with a four cylinder. And two flat tires.

26th Feb 2004, 20:38

There is no mustang alive that could catch a 2500 lb 200 HP V8 car! Maybe he should give it the 401 treatment :) Definitely a vette killer then!

I've owned 5 Gremmies and not one of them was a dud. Even the 6 Cyl 232 got 25 mpg with a youthful (21 yr old) person driving it.

Butt ugly, but they were the KIA of the day.

1974 AMC Gremlin haha nope 4 cylinder from North America

Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership1974
Most recent year of ownership1975
Engine and transmission 4 cylinder Manual
Performance marks 1 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 2 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
1.2 / 10
Distance when acquired200 miles
Most recent distance280 miles
Previous carCadillac Fleetwood

Summary:

A seriously fun car, not great, but fun

Faults:

Well the actual car was pretty terrible. It was entirely possible to read a Russian novel between stepping on the accelerator and feeling and resemblance of forward motion. The fit and finish was terrible.

General Comments:

Well I had the car for such a short time because while driving, I was smoking, and when I put the lighter back in, something fried, and set fire to the dash. I stopped and watched my beloved car burn. This was before cell phones so I was hopeless. I did salvage the fuzzy dice though. I'd buy one again, even though they aren't great.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th June, 2003

27th Nov 2003, 11:31

It must have been bad because you only did 80 miles in the year your owned it.

29th Mar 2004, 12:14

I think that the Gremlin you described must have been a lemon. I've had a few plus other AMC's and always found that their fit and finish was on par with other car manufactures of the same period. But I will say one thing, those little audi fours had no business sitting underneath the hood of the gremlin or the spirit. The 151 Chevy four was used after 1980 and it is much better. I got over 30+ mpg out of my Eagle Kammback with this motor. It ain't too fast but the low end tourque is a lot better than the audi.

1974 AMC Gremlin X 232 from North America

Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership1974
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 232 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired1 miles
Most recent distance161000 miles
Previous carAMC none

Summary:

Great. I've bought several more since and still have them as well

Faults:

Actually, aside from the normal wear and tear items, I've not had anything go wrong with it. Believe it or don't.

General Comments:

This car is the only one I've ever bought new and it was my first car. Best $3200 I've ever spent. She's having problems with rust now, but then I drove her through 19 salty Alberta winters so I'm not surprised. If I knew then what I know now about rust I'd have taken better measures to stop it. But even after 161,000 miles I still get 30 miles per gallon (imperial) and over 1,000 miles per litre of oil.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th December, 2002

Average review marks: 6.4 / 10, based on 5 reviews