The letter X used to connote many things — a hillbilly's signature, movies with full-frontal nudity, or the location of pirate booty. Today, Nice Price or Crack Pipe has an AMC X that also was best known for its booty.
Yesterday's mid-engined S10 wedged a 60% Nice Price vote next to the Caddy mill in its bed, and wheelied out of town. Another short-wheelbase car that needed a a set of skateboard trucks outrigged behind it when at the drag strip was the AMC Gremlin.
As Bugs Bunny can attest, Gremlins can be trouble. Trouble that is for anybody disparaging the little coupe within ear-shot of its owner. AMC's little economy car shared its front clip with the mid-size Hornet, facilitating an under-hood option list that over the years included everything from a VAG 2.0-litre 4 cylinder to the 258-cid six - which must have arrived on the Mayflower- to the 304-cid V8 which powers today's Gremlin X candidate. This flexibility, and the car's enduring quirkiness have emboldened hundreds of like-minded Gremlin owners to band together and form a club.
The Gremlin, as noted, shared much with its big-brother the Hornet, but it was in the back, where a truncated hatchback and swoop-up window line gave the car an iconic style. That back end, with its original step ladder-requiring liftover, defined the physicality of the Gremlin, and made the car almost as popular an object of derision as its Pacer stablemate.
But we've not come here to dun the Gremlin, we're here to see if $4,600 is a decent price for this '74 edition with the desirable X package and a 150-bhp, 245 lb-ft of torque V8. The fact that that small block is backed up by a three-speed stick works in its favor, as do the Cragar mags. In 1974, that X package consisted of the noted hockey-stick side stripe, rallye wheels (missing here), body-color grill surround (painted black here, uh-oh) and an engine-turned dash appliqué (phew, its still got that!) as well as high-back bucket seats and a space-saver spare.
On the downside here are the missing original wheels, that fiberglass hood with "working" scoop, and the claim of a Gremlin having appeared in a swiffer ad. There was a Pontiac Astre in a Tampax ad once, and when was the last time you gave a damn about one of those?
So what's your take on this AMC X with the big booty? Does $4,600 make you want to cross out any competitors for your ardor? Or, does that make you want to draw Xs on your eyelids and feign death until it's gone?
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