70k Mile Survivor: 1973 AMC Hornet Sportabout

AMC Vehicles have always had a special place in my heart, as the car I learned to drive on was my dad’s 1977 Gremlin. Most AMC cars had a distinctive look, and when I was a kid I remember noticing every one of them I saw on the road, maybe because of their unique door handles. If you like AMC cars too and are in the market for a well-preserved station wagon, this 1973 Hornet Sportabout may be a good choice for you. Located in Jefferson, Virginia, it can be seen here on Hemmings with an asking price of $8,300. Many thanks to Larry D. for the tip on this one.

The car is said to be in good condition, with the odometer showing 70,714 miles, and judging from the photos it’s pretty easy to believe this could be the original mileage. The car was formerly owned by race driver Gene Felton, who purchased it for his wife to drive. We are told that the car is roadworthy and has no known major issues, and it sure looks like a fun car to take out on the weekends. There are a few small rust spots, but they appear to be minor and more of just a cosmetic issue. The seller also included a couple of photos from underneath the car, and there does not appear to be any signs of rust problems hiding under there.

Under the hood is a straight-6 engine, which is a rugged and reliable power plant that’s easy to work on. The motor is connected to a column-shifted automatic transmission, and the car has power steering and power brakes. There’s also factory A/C to keep things cool inside, and the factory AM radio is still in the dash. The rest of the interior looks to be in overall nice condition, although there are a couple of rips and tears in the driver’s seat.

This Sportabout presents well inside and out, and for a car that’s nearly 50 years old, it’s quite a nice survivor. Plus you’ve just got to love those wide whitewalls and hubcaps, a real blast from the past! When I first began looking at it, I thought the price might be a bit too high. But if the car runs and drives well and looks as good in person as it does online, this just might be in the ballpark. What do you think about this Sportabout? Do you believe this is a reasonable price to pay for its condition?

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    What’s going on with the rear hatch fitment? Maybe it was pulled from a Eagle and fitted to the early body. My college roommate had a orange one. We would take turns driving his car one day and mine the next to save money. Still after all these years I like the lines of the wagon. One of AMC’s better looking cars.

    Like 9
  2. Joe

    Wasn’t this same car featured not too long ago?

    Like 2
  3. AMCFAN

    This car is really nice. I can’t help to notice the really bland tan exterior. This had to be ordered by someone who really wanted an appliance type of vehicle. It is very clean and detailed but the color doesn’t do any favors.

    1973 is a very good year for quality as AMC was on top of their game in every sense at this time. These came in the sporty X package with Rally wheels and no body side moldings. Wide whites here would certainly have to go. Maybe with custom wheels and some stance and wood grain wrap down the side would make it pop.

    I would be inclined to just get a later Eagle wagon. Same money. Same body. More car with plush lounge chair interior and that signature AWD system.

    Like 3
    • Dale S

      I agree AMCFAN. They stopped installing wide whites on production cars in 1962.

      Like 6
  4. Uncle Leo

    Nice! I have an ’87 Eagle wagon,Limited,with 65k. It’s amazing how the styling hasn’t changed much in the fourteen years. Including the interior and under the hood.

    Like 3
  5. redwagon

    At $8,300 it is overpriced IMHO. The rear tailgate fitment is not correct and (noticed above) the right rear bumper seems out of alignment – I would check for evidence of a rear end collision. There is so much rust under the paint in all the places these rust that I would pass, and pass hard at this price.

    Like 5
  6. Arby

    So far, I see its attributes are unique door handles and it’s easy to work on…

  7. Miguel - Mexican Spec

    The car looks alright except for the weird wide whites.

    Like 5
  8. That AMC Guy

    Back in the 1990s I had a ’75 Sportabout that looked exactly like this except for the ridiculous wide whitewalls. Same color, same interior (aside from the Sun tach in the dash!), same engine, factory AC. My back aches just looking at those awful seats. (Concord/Eagle seats are much more comfortable.) It seems almost every one of these I see has a misaligned rear hatch but this one looks to be worse than most.

    Seems overpriced considering rust creeping in around the edges. (I paid $150 for mine though admittedly it had more rust than this one.)

  9. Christopher Gentry

    Not going mention the price or rust. But I love it. Got my drivers licence in 79 AMC concord sport wagon. Same car basicly. The concord was really just a face lift of the Hornet

  10. ChrisC

    The white walls are a nice touch.

    Like 1
  11. FordFixer Member

    I had one of these 1974-76 with wood grain sides and 6/ 3 on the tree. Great on gas, went pretty good with weight and studded tires in Gunnison, colo. no wide whites, raised letters. Traded it for a FSJ Cherokee.

  12. Tony Primo

    The wide whitewalls are a bit too gangster for this wagon, unless you added the chrome grill extension and Superfly headlights.

    Like 3
  13. ChrisC

    You made me laugh. I love it.

    Like 2
  14. chrlsful

    nice motor.
    Only thing I never liked abt these were the cut-back lift gait. If it were square cut like a split gait I’d say “o0O nice, more room.” insteada “What, they think that makes ’em sportie.” Were these the 1st of usa 1 piece lift gaits? AMC aheada da curve again!
    If reasonably had (getting beyond that now) I’d daily it. Will drive like a modern. Appreciate the down sized a bit (not too much). “Just right” this goldy locks sez (108 inch WB, lookin for a sim sz ford – 105).

  15. MitchRoss Member

    Gene Felton, the original owner of this car, passed away a few months ago. He was a great driver and put many AMCs on the podium in IMSA races. I think he was the winninggest sedan racer of the 80s in the US

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