Friday, December 10, 2010

"The New American Car," 1970

Cover and back cover of the introductory brochure for AMC's new-for-1970 subcompact offering, the Gremlin. The booklet is 7 3/4 x 11 inches with a total of 8 pages (I didn't scan the last spread). The entire brochure is cleverly art directed in red, white and blue, emphasizing the American-ness of this newest, and most radical-looking domestic subcompact, basically a cut-down Hornet, also new for 1970.

Spunky and fresh, with a profile unlike any domestic car produced at the time. Gremlin's ads often compared the car with VW's Beetle. The Gremlin eventually morphed into the AMC Spirit and lasted in facelifted form right through 1983. With a second bodystyle added, a really good looking fastback, the Spirit was even marketed as an AMX. As an Eagle Kammback and SX/4, it was available with All-Wheel Drive.

Available in both 4-seat and 2-seat versions, the 4-seater came with a lift-up rear glass hatch, while the basic 2-seater came with a fixed rear glass, meaning luggage had to be loaded through the side doors. Originally available only with 6-cylinder engines, 199 cubic inch standard with a 232 optional, the little car eventually offered a V8 in subsequent years, as well as sportier looking "X" packages. 

15 comments:

  1. I always thought that these were cute little cars. Chopped Hornet or not, the Gremlin held up well against it's contemporaries, the Pinto and Vega, especially when you consider AMC's limited resources. I vividly remember a purple one cruising around in my neighborhood - I never determined who the owner was, but I saw it frequently.

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  2. I agree with phantomX. These cars are a testimony of Dick Teague's (and company's) genius and his uncanny ability to do a lot with a little.

    AP
    Malibu.

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  3. Hi guys and gals - well today I joined the $1.19 club, sort of. My grandson mentioned to me at Thanksgiving that he really liked those little model cars, but he only had two.

    Today while I was at the market (and I think I am safe saying this here, I don't he reads Casey's blog) I bought: '07 Ford Shelby GT500, '69 Ford Torino Talladega and my personal favorite, Pass 'N Gasser (no, X that is not my nickname)It's really cute, can I say that about a car?, yellow hot rod. I may end up keeping it for myself.

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  4. Annie, it's hard, but I'm biting my tongue. Speaking of biting.....

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  5. Oh this is soooooooo cool if you haven't seen it already: Laser Murals from greentomatoecars

    http://vimeo.com/17554319

    Enjoy....

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  6. LIttle boys and little cars go together like tomato and basil! this really put a smile on my face! playing with Matchbox cars is a great way to build your imagination, and thought processes. They're not just about the cars!

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  7. OK, going to turn off the computer. Goldfinger arrived from Netflix today so I am going to watch it tonight, I'll keep my eye peeled for the cars but don't test me tomorrow please.

    Sweet dreams all.........until later.

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  8. I haven't even thought of the Gremlin in 30 years or so! Now I'll be waiting for that fat, squat, aquarium-on-wheels of a car - the AMC Pacer!

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  9. oh, and Annie, I hope you enjoyed Goldfinger! I've seen it at least 20 times, no joke, and I hope to see it another 20!

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  10. I love the Gremlin -- I know I have that brochure in storage. There were so many interesting variations of the Gremlin, as Casey mentions. I think one version later on used a VW/Audi four cylinder engine. And for a short while you could get a fabric sunroof -- I think only through 73 -- and I never have been able to determine if you could get the fabric sunroof with the luggage rack! This car is the sort of thing that made AMC stand out from the crowd -- working miracles with no budget. There were Mexican versions of the Gremlin -- a Hemmings Classic had pictures of them sometime in the last year. And there have been published pictures of possible future versions of the Gremlin, some of which were pretty hot!

    Paul, NYC

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  11. Ahh yes! I loved the Gremlin and most everything from AMC because of the fact they made unique cars that shared many parts without looking the same.

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  12. Hey C&T! Long time no speak! thanks for stopping by.

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  13. Ponder this:
    (1) The first-generation AMX is a Javelin with the back end chopped.
    (2) The Gremlin is a Hornet with the back end chopped.
    So why the (car critics’) love for the AMX and not the Gremlin? (Hint: Look under the hood. Well, and the Gremlin’s name was, well, poorly thought out.)

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  14. I have an October 1970 Popular Mechanics in which, in addition to the Gremlin and Hornet, it announces that AMC will sell the AMX/3 in 1971 (http://www.supercars.net/cars/2982.html for those of you who don't know about the AMX/3). Ponder what would have happened to AMC had they been able to build a few hundred of those.

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