No, Really, It’s A Great Idea: Who Wants A 760 Horsepower AMC Gremlin?

No, Really, It’s A Great Idea: Who Wants A 760 Horsepower AMC Gremlin?

It might be one of the most maligned American Motors products ever made, but the AMC Gremlin did fill a role that needed to be filled when it debuted for 1970. Effectively a Hornet that had a small accident that lopped off it’s tail, the Gremlin was a hit with young buyers who made up over sixty percent of the Gremlin’s customer base. In 1972 the 304 V8 was jammed in between the fenders, but by 1976 that option had been canned. A sign of the times, really, because when it first appeared the 304 made the Gremlin an underdog compact that could whip the ass of the unsuspecting who knew nothing about what American Motors’ little economy car could actually be. Think of it as the Gremlin that got wet. But think of this particular 1977 example as the one that would actually kill instead of just making some random mischief. 

From the ad:

“The car is currently set up for “no electronics” or “footbrake” drag racing but easily could be made streetable. It is an all-steel body with factory glass and has been as fast as 9.93 in the ¼ mile and consistently runs low 10’s. It is reliable, hooks hard and runs straight.  

The current motor is a Barry Allen built Indy headed 760HP+ AMC 401 with only a few passes on it. It is a naturally aspirated and fuel-injected 14:1 compression monster. Custom built fuel injection on INDY intake, Holley ECU with data logger. Custom two-inch primary exhaust tube headers. Adjustable front suspension with coilovers and travel limiters. Aerospace front brakes with line lock.”

Get bumpers on the car, get it legal and go shock the living hell out of the first Hellcat, ZL1 or Shelby owner you can find. There will be a very unique satisfaction as you watch them have a war with themselves as they try to cope with the fact that a mid-1970s econobox, no matter how pretty, just spanked them.

eBay Link: 1977 American Motors Gremlin X

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23 thoughts on “No, Really, It’s A Great Idea: Who Wants A 760 Horsepower AMC Gremlin?

  1. jerry z

    How can a short wheelbase, high horsepower car not be fun? More of a fan of the Hornet but 3/4 of a Hornet is just as good!

  2. Davey

    Randall AMC, with the blessing of the factory, dropped 401s into these little monsters back in the 70’s. They were call Gremlin 401-XR. A “tweaked” version in slicks went mid 12’s

    1. Jim Cuthbertson

      Yes! I had one odered back then… i did so through an AMC dealer in Barrington Illinois, which now sells muclecars on consignment. Randall was talking about flying me out there pick it up… That same week I got injured on the job, and they fired me a week after i came back from rehab. Nobody sued back then… i never got that car. It would have been black with gold stripes. Damn.

    2. Jon fyick

      With group 19 parts it would pop 11s slicks o/e.that made it one of the quickest cars built in the dealer Wars.

  3. Danno

    You can never put enough ponies under the hood to make up for the ugly. The only uglier car ever made was the Pacer and both were offered to us by AMC. Any wonder they they didn’t make it?

    1. Jett

      Why do people like you constantly find it necessary to blather your drivel on a car you obviously shouldn’t be interested in checking out? Go drool over a camaro.

    2. Gremlinx

      Didn’t make it? Hmmm. Those AMC engines were made in the kenosha plant thru 2006 for the Wrangler. Because they were so GOOD Chrysler didn’t have anything better.

      Pacer wasn’t a bad car. Ugly? Maybe but all Makes had ugly cars at one time or another. It doesn’t make the company fail. If they had really failed as a company as a whole, why would anyone buy them?

    3. Jim Cuthbertson

      Man, come on. On the street AMX’s kicked the crap out of camaros, roadrunners, chargers… mustangs were dogs. Rebel Machine, rambler scrambler, mark donahue javeln trans am, shirley shahan Super stock AMX… Camaro guys were so intimidated by AMX’s…Dusters, Demons, Cudas, GSX, all nice cars, but WE had a nickname for AMX’s.. the Vette Killer. AMC failed because they started to late. Not because of the Pacer.

  4. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    Er – me!

    I’ll e mail you my address and you can generously send it over to me free of charge. When I read “760 horsepower” I automatically assumed that it had a Shitrolet motor in it and NOT an AMC big block. A well built car that stays true to its heritage and could be made streetable in order to go out scaring slow drivers on British roads….

    1. BeaverMartin

      I understand your hate of Chevy has clouded your brain, but for the love of God, for the last time there is no such a damn thing as an AMC Big Block! Nor Pontiac Big Block. Just take the Ford and Chevy terminology out of your vernacular.

    2. Steve Biegler

      All AMC blocks are the same size. From a 290 to a 401. When you type “big block” behind AMC we know you really are not an AMC guy. You do realize the heritage behind the car and that makes you a good guy!! Take this as a little lesson in AMC history.

      1. Jim Cuthbertson

        Perfect! That’s why a 401 fit inside a Gremmie… because the 304 did! AMC guys were ALWAYS smarter than the others!

  5. ratty

    That is one nice looking Gremlin! There are so many cars that come off of the assembly line that are considered to be ugly, and for some very valid reasons. But even with some of the ugliest cars, all that they need is a fashion and attitude makeover, and they did an awesome job with this beauty. And that engine is freakin’ gorgeous, no stupid ass chromed crap, that is about as serious as you can get (dig the homemade airbox too). And how many cars out there have a built AMC motor? Awesome. Obviously a bracket car, but oh boy I’m sure with a little additions like spray and wheelie bars (cause you know that Gremlin will want to get vertical if pushed a bit too hard), this could be a every-once-in-awhile-heads-up-fun car in the 8’s… Props to the owner for a great build!

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