I know, I know. What the heck is Colin doing with a Gremlin? Well, it is simple- I’m a good Wisconsin boy and I’ve always cheered for our home team: AMC. Beyond the jokes, and the sometimes crappy quality, AMC did make some pretty damn good, and damn tough, cars. Think about it- as a small manufacturer AMC didn’t (and couldn’t) make most of their hard parts like GM or Ford did. So what AMC did was identify the best parts made by outside manufacturers and source them for their own cars. Chrylser Torqueflight automatics, Dana rear ends, Motorcraft carburetors, and Motorola electronics are just a few examples.
AMC also had some of the most hip cars, colors, and advertising of the day. They knew they were the hands-down underdog and they played that up as best they could. Take the Gremlin, AMC’s compact “economy” car that was the result of chopping the trunk off of the Hornet. In doing so they made little car with a lot of personality. Sure, we used to laugh at them but looking back the Gremlin was actually so dorky it was cool. The problem is as a cheap car, and one that rusted as fast as any other car built in the 1970’s, there just aren’t many left. And of those that are very few are worth even talking about.
The Gremlin on offer here is one of those exceptions. A desirable 1972 model with the small bumpers it is also a 20,000 original mile, original paint, original interior time-capsule. It also has the optional “Big” 258 CID six-cylinder which is arguably AMC’s best engine ever- and certainly the same basic engine that was in production for decades in various forms. Behind the 258 is the optional Torque-Command automatic trans. Finished in yellow with black stripes, a two-tone interior, and Rally wheels the whole package is just slick. It also has the optional power steering, bucket seats and factory A/C which blows cold. As an example of its originality note the clear vinyl floor mats. They are original to the car and noted on the original purchase order!
With paperwork documenting it from its original purchase in 1972 through today you won’t find a better original Gremlin. The original paint is near flawless, as is the interior and even the chassis- still in factory yellow paint with no rust and no added undercoating or other silliness trying to hide anything. The car runs and drives absolutely as-new on brand new Radial T/A tires. The correct set of Ployglas RWL tires (pictured) are available at your choice should you prefer a more vintage (but less enjoyable to drive) look.
So, chuckle a little bit and then take a good look because that is exactly what I did. I think once you do you’ll agree that bang-for-the-buck there isn’t a better car out there. People go crazy for this thing, it is just a blast to drive, it is in virtually as-new original, unrestored condition. For the same amount of money as some of us pay for a handful of NOS parts while restoring big money cars this Gremlin sure seems like a no-brainer to me. Yes, it is an expensive Gremlin but it is one that needs to be experienced to understand the difference. You’ll never see another one like it!
- Price: $ 16500
- Year: 1972
- Mileage: 20,025 mi
- Condition: Flawless Unrestored Original
- Exterior Color: Yellow
- Interior Color: Brown and Tan
- Transmission: 3 speed Torque-Command automatic
- Final Drive: 3.08
- Engine: 258 CID "Big" Six
- Drivetrain: RWD