AMC’s Hornet was never supposed to be as important a car as it turned out to be. It wasn’t meant to be American Motors’ junior supercar (SC/360). It wasn’t meant to become the platform that four other models (Gremlin, Concord, Spirit, and Eagle) were to be based off of. It wasn’t supposed to run for eighteen years. Lord knows nobody saw four-wheel-drive coming down the pipeline. And few could’ve seen the success that AMC would have in Pro Stock with the “junior platform” cars. With Wally Booth and Dave Kanners campaigning a pair of Hornets throughout the 1970s, AMC was able to stay in the racing spotlight and after Booth and Dick Arons figured out how to modify AMC cylinder heads to open up another 40-ish horsepower’s worth of potency, seeing a Hornet in the winner’s circle suddenly was a real prospect. It wasn’t everyday that someone sent Warren Johnson to the trailer, but Booth was able to check that box at the 1976 Springnationals in Ohio.
Now, far as we know, this isn’t actually Booth’s car. What is known is that this is a VIN-less car that is sporting a custom fiberglass nose and has a factory clip at the ready, a full cage that is expected to cert to 8.50, AMC 4-to-2-to-1 headers, and most of what you’d expect to find in a car of this vintage plus some electronic goodies for racing. What you won’t get is an engine or trans…the Hornet is a roller, set up for an AMC mill and a 727 automatic, and you will get an engine plate with the car.
You might not have Booth’s Hornet, but you can sure act like you do. Build an AMC mill that can get the holy hell revved out of it, please go with a Liberty or similar manual trans for the proper old-school feel, and turn this sucker loose at every given opportunity. American Motors is long dead, but it doesn’t deserve to be forgotten!