Re the above comment: "grovel at its tires"?
More likely, "laugh at the buffoon in the old lady car"!
Hornets are cool, but a hot rod Hornet definitely is not. Whitewalls and hubcaps are better.
I disagree with the "nay-sayers" above. I like your ideas about restoring. The AMC Hornets were strong, practical vehicles with strong engines. Have fun with it, Bro. And the unique wheels idea sounds slick. If it came from an old lady, it's probably in great shape. Honor the classics. And AMC is an American Classic.
Look up the AMC Hornet SC360 with the factory Hurst 4 speeds. Fast performer. Another cool Hornet was driven in a James Bond movie doing the spiral jump over the Hong Kong River. That movie sold a lot of AMC cars.
I found one at my college in early 70s with the factory 4 speedHurst and SC360. A hot car also with quite a few other AMC AMX 2 seaters with the 390 Go Pack 4 speeds. The Hornet was extremely fast little muscle car with the 360.
We are trying to establish a value for this car -- mostly likely to be parted out. Can I ask what you paid for yours in 2003? I realize you were going to fix it up, but we need the purchase price if possible.
Look on eBay or Google ones for sale. I bought a recent car guide with ballpark pricing on all older cars at a bookstore. Condition is a very big factor. The motor is also everything as far as value, especially if a V8.
If it is "most likely to be parted out", why do you need to know what it is worth?
Unless it is one of the more-desirable models like an SC360 or AMX, it's probably not that collectible. A sedan with a six cylinder that needs a complete restoration, will cost far more to restore than you will ever get back for it.