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Aug 31, 1999 (3:31 am)
Hi guys. I was a little kid in the 70's and I remember Gremlins. They had some funky colors, and one of my childhood memories is seeing my neighbor buy her first car....a PURPLE Gremlin. It was wild and the neighbors were mortified by the color, but I thought it was cool. Oh well, something else from our youth has disappeared...lol. Good luck on the Gremlin. Maybe for your next 70's project, you can restore a Vega or Duster...or the sister car to the Duster, the Demon, which also came in purple I believe...lol
#8 of 26 carlady
Sep 01, 1999 (2:48 am)
Alext, please keep us posted on your restoration project. As I wrote above, Gremlins have a special place in my heart.
Sep 14, 1999 (10:49 am)
For those who don't know or remember, and yet may care, the Gremlin was based on the AMC Hornet, a compact car, designed to compete with cars such as the Chevy Nova, Ford Maverick, Plymouth Valiant, and a smattering of imported compacts. The Gremlin was essentially a hatchback version of the Hornet (which was later renamed Concord), and it was introduced to do battle with the sub compact VW Beetle, Toyota Corona, Datsun (Nissan) 510, and the soon to be introduced Chevy Vega, Ford Pinto, and Plymouth Duster.
To clarify a couple of inacuracies from former messages, the Gremlin's 6 cylinder engine was a straight 6, not a V6, and I'm almost certain that it came from the Nash side of the Nash-Hudson merger, not Hudson. That engine was indeed durable, as was pointed out, but the flip side was that it was also rather heavy for a car of the Gremlin's dimensions. The front end weight detracted from the car's handling and traction. The heavier V8 version only exacerbated the weight distribution problems of the 6.
The Gremlin was developed on a very tight budget, and AMC did a very commendable job with the money it had. While it was fairly competitive for its time, the Gremlin had design compromises due to it's being essentially a chopped off compact made to compete with new from the ground up sub compacts. In addition to its heavy engine, which was less fuel efficient than the competing 4 cylinders, the back seat room, especially leg and foot room, was very tight, even by the sub compact standards of the '70s.
Similar comments as were made for the Gremlin could be said of Chrysler with its Plymouth Duster/Dodge Demon, which were coupe variations based on the Valiant 4 door.
Fortunately for AMC, all of its competitors had serious flaws of one type or another. The VW Beetle, for all of its vaunted strong points, was an old design, and among it's numerous weaknesses was the fact that its already underpowered, noisy engine couldn't adapt well to the tightening emission standards; the Vega and the Pinto were plagued by design serious design defects, some (though not all) of which were compounded by abysmal build quality; the Duster and Demon had the some of the same design compromises as the Gremlin; and the Japanese cars, though not too bad for their day, didn't have nearly the quality of later models. For example, I owned a '70 Datsun 510, which developed somewhat of a cult status, and it was the worst car I've ever owned, although it's possible that mine may have been a lemon.
Sep 14, 1999 (10:51 am)
As a P.S. to my previous message, I agree that the Gremlin has a lot of nostalgia value. have fun with your restoration, Alext.
Oct 09, 1999 (4:16 pm)
The '74 Gremlin was my first car. I bought it new for $2903 including sales tax and registration. It was the 232ci straight 6 with a 3 speed on the floor, bench seat, rubber floor, no carpeting. As a previous post noted, the weight distribution was poor, but man I could lay down a smokey burnout with the light rearend and bias-ply tires. The car was generally cheap to run and easy to work on.
The thing that bugged me was how the steering deteriorated on that car. The ball joints (and probably many other parts) wore somewhat quickly. I remember having to do a lot of steering just to go straight. Very sloppy steering. Hopefully you can find a way to address this in your restoration so the car can be a fun drive.
#12 of 26 RE:SLOPPY STEERING
Oct 10, 1999 (8:11 pm)
AMC were known to wear out Ball Joints and Idler Arm Bushing,The latter was inexpensive the Ball Joints no.
Dec 21, 1999 (10:43 pm)
Girl at work has a 1978 with the big egg-crate grill. That poor car has a three-speed stick on the floor, manual steering, manual brakes, no air, a cheap radio, and it is brown of all colors. She says she has spent thousands of dollars on it in the last few years and will never sell it. It still looks hideous, but I guess all the mechanical work is done. She has a bumper sticker says, "Yes, it's fast, No, you can't drive it"
#14 of 26 carlady
Jan 07, 2000 (3:20 am)
I saw a Gremlin the other day and it was sad to see how beat up and old it was. It was a cool car. At the time.
Jan 07, 2000 (7:13 pm)
I was a kid in the late '60s/early '70s and loved purple! I thought the Gremlin was kinda cool too. One day, shopping with my Mom, I found a toy purple Gremlin with the 'pullback' motor in it. I think it may be packed away somewhere still. I'll have to check one of these days.
Later in life, some friends and I rented a Hornet (I think). It was a two door hatchback, 6 cyl, auto. That thing could smoke it's tires and I got it up to about 115mph! That was the fastest I had ever gone up until then.
Jan 20, 2000 (9:51 am)
Had the "Levi" interior. Brings back memories.
Worst car I ever owned!