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  • The other Hornets

    Not wanting to step on Monk's great USS Hornet Found thread . . . It reminded me that a lot of the great performance car names have come from WWII military inspiration. Corvette, Mustang, Hellcat . . . .

    And there was the Hudson Hornet . . . an early NASCAR star, as even youngsters who watched the Disney "Cars" film series knows.



    Yet when AMC Boss George Mason suddenly dropped dead in October 1954 . . . . as the Hornets were becoming "Hashes," a clueless, performance-hating George Romney (yep daddy of ol' Willard Mitt hisself) took over.

    The whole Hornet namplate is canned. Daddy Romney goes ape over the subsequent AMA racing ban and sluggish compact cars (which he'd apparently been an advocate of from his earliest days as a trainee at Nash-Kelvinator).

    The Hornet nameplate briefly came back almost 15 years later. But other than an often forgotten SC/360




    and a Jim Wangers/Motortown tape-stripe "AMX" (https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/mu...X/3701061.html) the Hornet revival never amounted to squat.

    How is it that a nameplate can be so thoroughly steeped in both military and racing glory, yet be cavalierly cast aside?
    Monk likes this.

  • #2

    Re: The other Hornets

    Perfect HAMB post...

    Didn't Pixar cover this well enough in CARS?
    Last edited by RockJustRock; February 13th, 2019, 02:05 PM.
    My hobby is needing a hobby.

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    • #3

      Re: The other Hornets

      I don't really remember them covering any of it in the "Cars" films. Spoiler alert: Doc Hudson had a career altering crash and the racing series forgot about him before he could come back. That doesn't really seem to explain why AMC torpedoed the nameplate in real life and did such a pitiful job in its revival.

      Although the current owners of the Hornet mark, FCA, and its recent Mopar predecessors have slapped it on a couple of concept vehicles, have they even done much good with it?

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      • #4

        Re: The other Hornets

        GawdÖ. I'm becoming a troll! The Hornet was the first AMC (Non Rambler). It preceded the Javelin, AMX and the Gremlin. It ran seven years before spawning the Concord and Eagle. How is THAT not amounting to squat? Squat, torpedoed, pitiful, sounds like some other hot rodding and racing career I've heard about. A post goes up about the warship Hornet and you go "The Hornet was also a car and I know everything about it and have a lot of opinions EVERYONE should find highly enlightening and agree with whole heartedly". Is this some mutant kind of sharing? How was it entertaining in the least to anyone except the person who wrote it?
        My hobby is needing a hobby.

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        • #5

          Re: The other Hornets

          There was never a Rambler AMX or a Rambler Javelin. Both the AMX and the Javelin came out in 1968. The AMC Hornet didn't debut until 1970.

          This is not just Wikipedia "knowledge." My late second cousin and I heatedly debated whether or not the AMX was a "Rambler" over a MPC-brand 1/20 scale.plastic model kit of the new AMX back in 1968. It was molded in red polystyrene, and had redline Goodyear tires..

          My next door neighbor bought a four-door, six cylinder 1970 Hornet and bragged about how it was "all new" It wasn't . .. . the gubbins under the skin were standard AMC stuff, but my appliance motorist seminary student neighbor (who used to take us for rides on his Honda CT90 (and later a CB125 . . . and let us shoot his pellet guns when Mom wasn't looking) bought the ad and sales hype. The Hornet replaced the Rambler American, upon which the Hurst SC/Rambler model was constructed.

          My neighbor's 1970 Hornet replaced a black VW Type 1 that threw a rod on a road trip.

          Perhaps I should clarify that the Hornet revival didn't much amount to squat as a performance/race car . . . Sort of like Iacocca's mid-80s FWD "Chargers" . . . a wasted racing image, IMHO.
          Last edited by Gateclyve Photographic; February 13th, 2019, 04:05 PM.

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          • #6

            Re: The other Hornets

            Okay, before the drag racing purists get all torn up at a perceived slight, Wally Booth did make a little noise in PS with an AMC Hornet . . . . https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/mu...g/3689851.html

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            • #7

              Re: The other Hornets

              Perhaps you should clarify that personally you feel AMC Hornets suck. Stop trying to prove to the world that they do. I try not to over hype any model of car as the do all and end all or total garbage. Either way they are all interesting. All are compromises.
              My hobby is needing a hobby.

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              • #8

                Re: The other Hornets

                RJR, I don't know why my point isn't getting across.

                Just as a savvy marketer wouldn't put a G.T.O. badge on a T1000, just walking away from a nameplate that won over 100 races in less than five years is beyond dumb. It ROMBOT-DUMB!. And then resurrecting it without a strong motorsports call-back, a long-term commitment to a street/strip high-performance model, and factory racing program is equally as myopic.

                As for thinking AMC Hornets "suck" . . . they don't "suck" any worse than most 1970s cars. I'd love to build one someday as a mashup between the totally bitchin SC/360 and Wanger's later "AMX" . . . with a side of Amos Johnson's IMSA Team Highball thrown in . . . .

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                • #9

                  Re: The other Hornets

                  As far as nameplate desecration, at least AMC was TRYING to do something. Look up a few others like Grand Am or LeMans. Pontiac nee GM seems to be the biggest offender. Again the Holden GTO at least was an attempt at something good. Checking my Wikipedia it seems the desecration happened with the Nash Hornet and the AMC was a bit of a comeback. Sure the sedan was dorky, but the wagon was not totally ugly and the hatchback almost handsome. Time heals some wounds, opens others. I don't remember nearly as much todo over the Charger 2.2 back then as there has been recently.

                  Hell, Chevy put the Cosworth and indirectly the Lotus name on a Vega. If it hadn't taken them so long to get them to the street they might have been an embarrassing success. And Corvair fans still resent what happened to Monza.
                  Last edited by RockJustRock; February 13th, 2019, 05:10 PM.
                  My hobby is needing a hobby.

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                  • #10

                    Re: The other Hornets

                    I always wanted a Hudson since thatís my last name. Iím building a Hudson dealership right now for our annual model show we have in town. Iíve built 4 hornets so far, one was a model of the fabulous Hudson Hornet. I wish I could find a Hudson truck to build for it..

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                    • #11

                      Re: The other Hornets

                      I'm still digesting this. So you think AMC should have put all the effort they put into the SC/Rambler, Rebel Machine, NASCAR Matadors and Super Stock AMXs into the Hornet in honor of "Nameplate Heritage"? All their racing and performance in one basket?
                      My hobby is needing a hobby.

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                      • #12

                        Re: The other Hornets

                        I always am drawn to the Hornets at car shows.... Smokey could make em sing!
                        Patrick & Tammy
                        - Long Haulin' 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014...Addicting isn't it...??

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                        • #13

                          Re: The other Hornets

                          I always wanted a Hudson since thatís my last name. Iím building a Hudson dealership right now for our annual model show we have in town. Iíve built 4 hornets so far, one was a model of the fabulous Hudson Hornet. I wish I could find a Hudson truck to build for it..
                          Check out this group on Facebook - 3D Model Specialties. Ron Olson is the guy that runs it and designs all kinds of custom model pieces in all kinds of sizes. His stuff is really good and I have yet to hear anyone complain of the quality.

                          3D Model Specialties has 2,611 members. This group is designated to the products and files printed and created for 3D Model Specialties folks. We...
                          I'm probably wrong

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                          • #14

                            Re: The other Hornets

                            Iíve seen his stuff before and he is beyond my capabilities. His are amazing. I might start a thread later on models here and see if you guys like it

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                            • #15

                              Re: The other Hornets

                              speaking of hornet and ww2...
                              I assume the hudson was named for this one
                              https://www.cbsnews.com/news/uss-hor...ip-discovered/


                              EDIT: a bit behind... just found the other thread..
                              Last edited by Barry Donovan; February 13th, 2019, 08:00 PM.
                              Previously boxer3main
                              the death rate and fairy tales cannot kill the nature left behind.

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