While X may mark the spot, for AMC fans AMX marks the hot. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Hornet may not be the ape-X of that hallowed marque, but will its price at least get you X-cited?
If you happen to be a fan of AMC — the long dead auto maker, not the Walking Dead TV channel - then you know the rich history and significance of that maker's ‘70s mid-sizer, the Hornet. Taking its name from grandaddy brand Hudson, and itself spawning a jaw-dropping number of offspring, the Hornet is possibly American Motors' most significant model.
Potentially less significant, and yet more intriguing to the enthusiast, was another of AMC's notables — the AMX. Preceding the Hornet to market by a year, the original AMX was a short-wheelbase, two-seat, V8-only edition of the pony-esque Javelin, and was touted by many as a competitor to the Chevy Corvette.
That distinct AMX lasted but three years, although its name went on to live on the Javelin, Hornet, Concord and Spirit lines for more than a decade thereafter. And while the Corvette of the late ‘70s failed to live up to the standards of its performance past, so too was the resurrected AMX a mere shadowy hole of its former glories.
But still, louvers!
This 1977 Hornet AMX features that iconic ‘70s window feature on its fastback rear glass, as well as spats on all four wheel arches, providing at least the impression of a wide track and big meats. Missing here is the brushed silver targa bar, and while the ad claims this car to be one of only 13 sprayed the noxious ‘70s lime green, it also notes that a previous owner nullified touting that rarest of the rare colors as a sales feature by painting the car silver.
Other things in the ad to point out for our purposes today are the descriptions of modified suspension — jacked in back — and the reworked body which includes bumpers painted black and tucked in, and probably the removal of the targa bar. Sadly, there's no sign of the in-motion AMX nor the optional flaming bee decals, and hood badge. The factory wheels are said to come with the car, as well as the set of alloys shown in the pictures, resplendent in their abject red-neckery.
Mechanically, the Hornet AMX differs strikingly from its predecessor by offering a six cylinder in addition to V8s. The 2BBL 258-CID war horse pumped out a meager 98-bhp in '77, but at least here that's optimized by the mating of a four-speed manual box. The remaining kibbles and bits are all Hornet and nothing much to get your panties in a bunch over. Some of all that on this one seems to be in need of attention because while not offering up specifics, the seller notes that a tow would be the safest option for AMX-ticating the car from his possession.
The Hornet AMX was single year model and the rumor is that fewer than 350 were built before the Concord usurped the Hornet's place in AMC's lineup. As a performance car the Hornet AMX had everything but performance, and this one seems to be missing some key elements of its AMXiness making one wonder if it has been marginalized through past modifications to now nullify its uniqueness and value.
If that's the case, then it's an open question as to the car's $3,200 price tag. Is that a great price for a slice of the AMC history pie? Or, is that $3,200 too high to feel this Hornet's sting?
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