This Pristine 1976 AMC Gremlin X Is Making Me Question The Majority Of My Life Choices

I was putzing around on Facebook Marketplace this morning when I saw this gorgeous, clean copper and black ‘76 AMC Gremlin X on sale through Classics Beyond in Wayne, MI. Since then, I’ve been in a tizzy trying to restructure my whole life into one that centers around ownership of this car.

I am considering all of the variables: Do I sell an organ? Maybe get a higher paying, yet soulless job at a private equity firm? It seems I might have to totally throw my 33 years in the garbage and start over.


And who could blame me? This is a Gremlin in perfectly restored condition, and it’s the one with a V8. While the not-so-little compact was originally briefly offered by AMC with its own 5.0-liter, someone at some point dropped a larger General Motors engine into this particular Gremlin. That is, it’s sporting a 5.7-liter now instead. That is some serious muscle car bona fides in a tiny package for a very reasonable $14,725. This is a bit of inflation, as back in the day a new standard Gremlin would only cost $1,879, with the V8 option setting you back $2,200.

Only 826 customers were able to score a Gremlin X before the option was suspended mid-model year, according to Classics Beyond. The likelihood of finding one of those with only a little more than 63,000 miles on it and in perfectly restored condition in Michigan is absurdly small. How much do I love the turn signals set in the front grill? I’ll tell you: very much. I must have this hot American hatch. It is me. But a few things tiny things are going to have to change first.

First up, I’d need a new house, since I only have a two-car garage and would want to keep it close to me, always, so I need to keep it as well as my husband’s Ford Escape and my SportWagen TDI. If I’m going that far, I’d probably just leave Michigan so I could drive it most of the year and not have to save it from snow or salt. OK, I can handle that. I’ve needed a reason to get out of the freezing north for a while.


Next, it’s not exactly a vehicle that can handle my two giant pit bulls. But that’s fine. We can work with this. Maybe they don’t need to ride in my pristine ‘76 Gremlin? Does Uber do pick-ups and drop-offs of 80-pound monsters at dog parks? Maybe I should get a couple of Pomeranians instead.


Finally, cash. I have debt I should pay and savings to reload before buying a sweet classic vehicle. Stupid wedding! If I hadn’t gotten married I could have this sweet Gremlin in my clutches as we speak. I can’t go back in time and stop myself from spending Gremlin money on a pretty party, but financial insecurity hasn’t stopped enthusiasts before.

So all I need to do is I hang up my blogging hat and leave the city I love and the dogs I adore to get a well-paying job somewhere warm. I will probably experience no joy at all except for the moment when I walk out of the building and see my AMC Gremlin X glinting in the southwest sunset. At that moment, I will be satisfied. Then I would drive home to my tiny apartment to feed my yipping little dogs.


This could definitely work.


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About the author

Erin Marquis

Managing Editor of Jalopnik.