Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Gremlin is set up for a previous owner who required a hand throttle and brake. That’d be way interesting to drive, even if you don’t actually need it, but does this American Motors’ price make it a bird in the hand?
Yesterday’s 1965 4x4 Chevy Van may have given you tetanus from scratching yourself on one of its many rough, gingery surfaces, but at least your jaw would have been locked in the full open position as it no doubt hit the floor in amazement over that unique - and some might say dangerous - old school off-roader.
Unfortunately for the seller that jaw-dropping didn’t extend to its price, and the van fell in a narrow but decisive 55% Crack Pipe loss. That of course means that should you see this Van on the street, you should probably head the other way. I get the impression it never forgets and likely holds a grudge.
There’s no begrudging the fact that today’s 1977 AMC Gremlin represents what is perhaps the most eclectically styled of all the ‘70s American small cars. Arriving around the same time as the Pinto and Vega, AMC’s Gremlin came in only a single body style, which meant that the kamm-backed three-door needed to make a visual statement.
The Gremlin was in fact a shorter version of AMC’s Hornet, sharing that car’s kibbles and bits from the doors forward, much in the same way that Tyrion is a shorter version of a Lannister sharing much of his siblings’ bits, only not quite like the way his bother does.
This ’77 edition is a top of the line X and is features that year’s updated styling. That involved a more laid-back nose while the back got a larger hatch and tail lights. This one, in metallic blue with silver X stripes also gets snazzed up with a chrome juggage rack and air deflector on the roof’s trailing edge.
Below that five-slot alloys bring the sport and distract your attention from the massive sail panels in back which cause the Gremlin to have horrific sight-lines. Perhaps that was the cause of a previous owner having scraped the passenger side exiting the garage. The war wound is pretty significant, wrinkling the side panel and having put a frustrating dent in the end cap.
That seems to be the car’s only major flaw however, and the ad says that it is otherwise solid and great too drive. Doing that driving is AMC’s tried and true OHV straight six. That’s most likely the 258, but it could be the smaller 232. The Gremlin this year was also available with a version of Volkswagen’s 2.0 four, but that wasn’t available in the X. A TorqueFlite 3-speed backs up the six.
On to the interior, the first thing you’ll notice is that this Gremlin apparently swallowed a motorcycle. At least that’s how it seems as there is a hand throttle and brake set up for someone with an inability to work the foot pedals for such actions. You can take that out if you want - you do seem to lose the air vent on that side with it in place - or leave it in and give those legs of yours a rest. There’s also a squished spot on the steering wheel where the necker’s knob once sat, so keep that in mind as a necessity.
Other than those issues it’s in pretty tidy shape. The odo reads 16K but even the seller admit that it has probably rolled over Beethoven. Regardless, it seems to be remarkably tidy aside from the obvious issues that have been accidentally and/or purposefully inflicted upon it.
The price tag for this loaded Gremlin is $4,000 which interestingly is probably right around what it cost when new. Of course, you can’t buy a new one any more so survivors like this one will just have to suffice. Do you think this one’s price will suffice as well? Or, are the dents, dings, and interior mods too much to ask for that kind of cash?
H/T to BenLikesCars for the hookup!
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