I owned a 71 Dodge Colt loaded model and no it was not anywhere near as nice as my new Gremlin X V8 that replaced it in 1973. The Colt was well maintained yet it was always breaking down and it was a happy moment the day it was sold. I cannot say enough how much I regretted buying that car perhaps I should have bought a slant six Dart, Demon, Swinger whatever, but the little Colt was a very poor decision. As a college student I wasn't rich, but here was a new 1973 Gremlin X V8 car within my reach. The Gremlin was always great and never broke down. They were very popular many were at my campus at the time mostly the large six version. Everyone I talked to before I bought mine said it was a very solid car and actually performed and handled pretty well. We also had quite a few AMXS, but I could not afford one of those. My Gremlin X also had far superior sheet metal, mechanicals and outstanding paint that still looked great 10 years later! It was the only car I have ever kept that long and I still see it once in a while. Other than brakes, a water pump and putting dual exhaust and 60 series tires on the stock rims I had no major repairs of any kind. I had some mods done resulting in going through a few sets of tires at a few red lights and got a horrible ticket once being juvenile. It would smoke the tires off with the posi rear it had in it. It still never broke down AMC built them well.
I can attest to the rugged build quality of the AMC Gremlin. My best friend and next-door neighbor inherited the family Gremlin (a '71) that was passed to each of the kids as they reached driving age. It was the trainer car for a large family, and it took THAT kind of abuse. My friend had it from around 1976 through 1978. We went everywhere in that car until he could buy a car of his own and pass it on down to the next kid. It was a standard with a straight-six and three-on-the-tree. It was built like a little truck. Unsophisticated, but bulletproof. It sounded like a school bus with straight-cut gears, and that big, solid six. Nothing took it out of commission except 5 kids and about 300,000 miles.
I had a Jolly Green 1972 Gremlin X with the 258 Six and a custom paisley interior. A real eye catching car and a great runner. I truly wish I still had the car. It was a 3 speed and my wife at the time needed an automatic. Problems with the car were none.
I owned a poppy red '72 Gremlin in college. I bought it used from the original owner. I loved it, and everything about the car, except that it had an automatic transmission and an open differential in the rear.
My Gremlin was base model with tan vinyl seats and black rubber floor covering. I had the smaller 232 straight six in my Gremlin; the only option it had, other than the automatic transmission, was power steering.
The car had had factory undercoating, so the body and paint were in near-flawless condition.
The early Gremlins ('70 - '73) simple cars to maintain and own. They were built very well and were very reliable.
I think AMC sold a lot of them based on these well-known facts. Unfortunately quality control went out the window after '73, and returned far too late into the marque's run to matter.
Like every former owner of a "classic" car, I was sorry to sell it then, and wished I owned it now.
Maybe again someday...
The car was what it was, It was inexpensive and somewhat economical and had superior hp and torque compared to its competitors. My Aunt drove the wheels off her gremlin and it tore her up when my Uncle decided a escort would be a better car. What a huge mistake.
The car has become a 70's icon and a lot of people that see them today realize what a neat little car it was.
I had a 1973 Gremlin X with the 304 V8 that I bought new. The body especially the metal and the paint was excellent... far superior to newer cars. The decals faded over time, but it remained rust free. I ran it pretty hard and never had any engine or trans problems. Does anyone know how many V8's were made in those years?
How did you get a 4 speed? The 304 V8 I bought brand new was available as automatic or 3 speed only... although you could get a 3.91 posi. My friends SC Hornet had a 4 speed... sure it was a Gremlin X?
I just bought a '72 Gremlin my sophmore year and I LOVE it! It's basically the base model and the only option it has on it is air conditioning. It has a 258 I6 and it's the stock skyline blue color. I'm getting a 304 soon though :) Awesome car a lot of people make fun of it, but they admit that they wish they had one too!
...though they all made fun of my little triangle.
Did you ever consider wearing a merkin?
AMC did not make a factory 4 speed for the Gremlin X 304 V8 it was offered only in a 3 spd or an automatic. I had a 304 5 Litre myself. Mine cost $2900... tan with gold stripes special ordered from the factory.
I used to own a 1972, bright red, Gremlin X with a 304 and automatic transmission. It was a fun car to drive. I raced a hotshot in a Javelin and beat it. Wow scary fast car.
They were great cars. We had a '73 dark blue with Levi's interior. 258, auto, A/C, power steering and disk brakes. AM/8track! I was only 8 at the time but I remember my mom loved the car. It was never in the shop. I'm pretty sure the reason it was traded in was by the time my brother and myself were 13 we could no longer sit in the rear seat with out whining.
I love these stories!
My mom had a purple '71 before I was born. The few times I would see pictures of one I always associated it with the car my mom talked about. I grew fascinated by them over time until it turned into an obsession. I HAD to get one.
I finally bought a solid example just before Christmas 2004. It has been one of my most rewarding investments. So many people share their experiences with me about them. Others want to buy mine to drop in a v8. I politely inform them I will not sell it to anyone who will alter it. I consider my 258 to be a historic engine. It was used for many years throughout the whole AMC lineup. That car brings people to a common ground. Past owners and current owners can find something to discuss together in fondness. money can't buy that.
My dad actually had a Cricket around that same time. I've never seen one in person and likely never will. However, I really wish he'd saved that Duster he had. I would have loved to have been given that when I got my license.
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