15 Years In A Barn: Dad’s 1978 Gremlin GT

g1

As we have discussed before, Gremlins are one of the more polarizing cars we cover here on Barn Finds. Come to think of it, Pintos and Vegas, especially Cosworths, are the same way. One could make a case for the Gremlin GT being the best of the Gremlins, with only the V8 “X” series as a rival. The fender flares, spoilers, body-colored bumpers and stripes certainly gave this car a very purposeful look. This particular survivor has just emerged after an estate sale after being stored for 15 years. It’s up for auction here on eBay where it hasn’t yet met reserve as I write and is located in Owensboro, Kentucky.

g2

I find the car and graphics attractive, but I’m a child of this period anyway. Big fender flares and bold striping is right up my alley. I even remember these when they were new and trying to persuade my Dad to go look at them (he bought a Mustang II instead). Plus I have a weak spot for AMC’s anyway. In short, I like this little orange car!

g3

Yes, those are the vintage looking AMC rally wheels, too, and they are original for this GT. This car’s story is interesting as well. The original owner purchased three Gremlins in the same day, giving one each to his two children and keeping this one for himself. It’s actually showing 18,746 miles and looking at the car I can believe it.

g4

This is as ritzy as a Gremlin ever got, with air conditioning, a sport steering wheel, and unfortunately an automatic transmission. The upholstery and the dash look great, and I think a little bit of spray dye would have the slightly faded carpet looking tip top as well. The seller even notes that the original AM radio works!

g5

After purchasing the car from the estate auction, the seller removed the fuel tank and had it cleaned out, installed a new fuel pump, changed all the fluids, flushed the transmission, rebuilt the carburetor, installed new shocks, replaced the brakes, and has added a new set of tires. In other words, the car is ready to go. The venerable AMC inline six in 258 cubic inch form is plenty of power for this car, and in its day gave it a sporty edge over most other cars of it’s size. Ultimately, it will take a special Gremlin fan to be the next owner of this little survivor–is that you?

WANT ADS

WANTED 1979 Subaru DL Looking for a 1979 Subaru 4 door DL, blue with blue interior, automatic. Good/excellent condition. Contact

WANTED 1970 Dodge Super Bee 4 speed, coupe preferred but nego., 383 or 440. Willing to pick up in lower 48. Contact

WANTED 1970 or 1071 Ford Torino squire wagon Looking for nice car ready to drive. Might consider rust free car to build. Contact

WANTED 1959 Edsel any I am looking for a 1959 edsel to trade for my 87 Harley 883 sportster please contact with pictures Contact

WANTED 1958,1959,1960 Chevrolet Corvette Looking for body and interior for a resto mod project 1958-1960 corvette Contact

Submit Your Want Ad

Comments

  1. Trent Poole

    This little one just SCREAMS 1978 at the top of it’s lungs ! I kinda’ like it.

  2. Mike Astringer

    I was 8 years old when this car was new. I can’t relate!! LOL!

  3. JW

    This Gremlin has DISCO written all over it. I could live with the automatic but it needs a V8.

    Like 2
    • Terry

      They quit putting V8 in them in 1976, In 1977 they put 4 bangers in them,

      • duster dave

        nope V8s were there till 1979 I had a 79 amx 304 4 speed w a/c..

    • Dennis M

      The V8s were a little nose heavy, the six’s handled better and the 258 has plenty of power and is virtually indestructible. Other than the color, this is a great find!

    • Randy

      Did you know that the 258 ci could produce over 400 hp without boost? In fact that power plant in a gremlin was an IMSA endurance champion for like 5 years in a row.

      Like 2
  4. jim s

    i could live with the 6cyl but it needs a manual. then i would make it a daily driver but it is already at $9449 with more then 4 days to go. great find.

  5. AMC STEVE

    This is possibly the nicest Gremmie in existence. It is a very rare car withe the flairs AC and sport buckets with gauges. I’ve never seen another in this good condition.

    It’s worth at least 10-15 grand or more with that low mileage. I’d hate to ruin it but it’s gotta have a 5 spd.

    Like 1
  6. Blindmarc

    Where were those pics posted? The 5 on eBay show only the body.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Take a look lower in the auction listing, they are at the bottom. Or at least they were when I wrote it up :-)

  7. Blindmarc

    Thank you Jamie. I’ll look😊

  8. Fred

    Can’t believe it’s in Owensboro KY…I was there a couple of hours ago passing through. Nearby in Evansville IN I went to a FREE car museum and shot this photo of an “Ultimate Barn Find” Corvette. Maybe barn finds (with grime intact) in museums is the coming trend.

  9. Howard A Member

    This is an incredible find. I figured AMC Steve would approve. :) This is the last gasp for Gremlin. Apparently, AMC pulled out all the stops mid-year ’78 with the “GT”. The handwriting was on the wall for the poor Gremlin, as the fad had passed, and some say, less than 3,000 GT’s were made. It truly was the best Gremlin yet, and just like that, it was gone. Great find, and will turn heads for years to come.

    Like 1
  10. craZee

    The AC compressor pulley is the same diameter as the tires on the car! What’s up with that?

  11. Jubjub

    It is a great appearance package and I love a Magnum 500, but I’d like to see it on a set of ’78-80 AMX cast aluminum turbines. Would fill out the arches perfectly and be more era specific.

    The city of Louisville replaced the meter maids’ Cushmans with this year of Gremlin. Not GTs, of course.

    • Terry

      Yes but the rums that are on it are the rims that came on the GT. Your right I have a 78 not a GT and I remember the Gremlin’s, I think they were actually traffic control cars. They were decked out the same as police cars and had two blue lights on top. I had tried to get a picture of them but can;t find one.

  12. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Here’s an original ad I found for the GT; thought some of you might like this.

    Like 3
  13. AMCFAN

    Lots of bidding activity. Not sure why all the hype. Best Gremlin in existence? NO WAY That would have to go to the BF Goodrich Radial Challenge Pace car that if I am not mistaken was featured here several years ago. It is a 1974 Gremlin X Levis interior and 304 V8 with custom body work, Originally done buy the same guy who painted the 1969 Greenwood Corvette race car and others after it. Had 6800 original miles.That car being 1 of 1 with unique history sold for under $12K I believe. Wasn’t much.

    This 78 GT was a very low advertised low budget car AMC did trying to raise interest in the dying Gremlin. Not sure why because the decision to kill the Gremlin after 1978 was already made. AMC didn’t spend anything on the effort. They started by using the flares off the 78 Concord AMX and silver dash overlay. Maybe to use up parts piling up in the parts bin. The Concord AMX was not as popular as the Hornet AMX the year before. The Magnum wheels were available across the board not rare. The tape stripe looks handmade and reminds me of a company in the 1970’s who would do “custom” tape stripes called Trim Line. That is it. Without the mentioned parts above no different then a base package. Certainly nothing Grand Touring about it.

    My concerns about the car is that I doubt very serious that the miles are original. Many cars today with 100K miles look like new. No different then. The valve cover looks re painted in fact a lot of touch up under the hood too. What caught my eye first was the air pump bracket bolts should have NO paint. Hard to see in a pic but sure there is more. The If it had been in a barn for years the rear must have been sticking out in the open. The rear panel is badly faded. The carpet on the tunnel looks brown, supposed to be black. A sign that it has spent a lot of time out of a barn….in the sun. With 18K original miles I would hope to see a lot more docs. The tires look like the seller (flipper) installed used 14″ tires. (too small and very thin tread are pretty good indicators I am on the money here (minus the tire shine) Spend a little more on the right tires. Please!

    Is it nice? Yes. For the money the seller is hoping for? Not nice. Lots of earlier first Gen Grems many with V8 power for a lot less. The buyer coughing up the needed funds for it will be very bored with it quickly. For instance a 73 with a 258 will smoke the tires with minimal effort if you are still into that. By 78 the only way to spin the wheel would be while driving in the rain. Like many vintage cars looks cool until you drive them.
    Think I would take $5K and buy an ’04 or ’05 SRT4 Neon and put the other $5K in the bank or keep the SRT4 buy another original Gremlin and have $2K left over.

    Like 1
  14. Charles

    That’s a cool looking little ride!

  15. American_Badaz

    For sure a very clean ride, but as said before it needs a couple more cylinders. I would have to drop a 401 in it. Otherwise leave it looking stock and original.

  16. AMCFAN

    One other minor thing that is not consistent is that it has a luggage rack. No big deal until you look at the factory painted black mono black windshield trim, painted door trim and the trim around the rear flip up hatch glass. The bright chrome luggage rack sticks out. It was added after the fact either by the dealer or previous owner. For that monstrous reserve I would surely expect and want to see more than the few pics in the ad. Be advised. Before handing over any form of payment I would have to lay my eyes and hands on it first. If the buyer doesn’t know AMC’s better take someone who does.

    • Brian

      funny you say that but I never even noticed the luggage rack till I read your post and now that I see the flyer without it I like the car better with it. As for reserve I don’t know what it was but the bids are now at $9649.00 and there is no reserve now. There are about 60+ pics in the auction so I think the seller has covered the car pretty good.

  17. AMCFAN

    Regardless of 60 pics there is no underbody shots. Plus due to being on both sides in the sun it is still very hard to see everything. Many shots are far away . For instance. I just caught the front spoiler is missing. It is two piece and is unobtainum in NOS. Very subtle but someone has trimmed the front fender flares at the bottom so you won’t notice. You can look at the brochure pic and see what it is supposed to look like. For the large coin hopefully the buyer is an AMC person and is comfortable and knows what he is buying. If not buyer beware especially if he is paying a premium for an 18,000 mile original. Which if you zoom in on the speedo shows the real story.

  18. Gremlin Rick

    The front spoiler is available from Kennedy Amercian, a great AMC parts supplier. Everything about the GT is the same as the following 2 years of the Spirit AMX. So someone posted that AMC wasted money making the Gremlin GT they used all the same parts for the nest 2 years. I have a blue GT with a Levis interior , 232 And auto. Not in very good shape but gets lots of attention.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.