Never Seen Snow: 1977 AMC Gremlin X

The owner of this 1977 AMC Gremlin X claims that this car was used in a photo shoot by one of the engineers who designed the car. Whether this is true or not is unclear, as a long search of the internet has failed to locate anything to verify this. Maybe that is something that our readers might be able to confirm. Speaking of readers, Barn Finder Rocco B referred this Gremlin to us, so thank you for that Rocco. It is located in Sparta, Wisconsin, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist. The sale price for the Gremlin has been set at $8,000.

Finished in Sunshine Yellow, the Gremlin seems to have encouraged something of a “Tweety” fixation in the owner. The cute little Warner Bros bird features on the floor mats, and there is even a large soft Tweety in the back of the vehicle. The body itself looks quite good, although there may be a small ding in the driver’s side quarter panel. The rest of it looks good, and the striping has survived really well. The owner says that the car never sees the light of day during Winter and that it has never seen snow. All of this is quite conducive to keeping a car free of rust issues.

The interior of the Gremlin looks really good, and it does make it hard to believe that this is a 42-year-old car. All of the upholstered surfaces look first-rate, and the only deviations from standard are the radio/cassette player, and the Tweety floor mats. When you look at the condition of the interior, it is pretty easy to understand why the Gremlin has won a number of “most original” awards at car shows.

Under the hood of the Gremlin is a 258ci 6-cylinder engine. This is backed by an automatic transmission, while the car also features power steering. The owner does claim that the car has only covered 75,000 genuine miles, but doesn’t indicate whether he holds any evidence to verify this. What he does says is that the car does start and run well, even after it has been sitting in storage for an entire Winter. He also says that the car has always been properly serviced in the 15-years that he has owned it.

The Gremlin is another example of AMC being willing to push the boundaries when it came to styling. Some of their attempts were successful, and some were less so. The Gremlin is one of those cars that simply doesn’t walk a middle ground. People either love them, or they don’t. Those that love them are willing to pay well for a good one. While there will be people who will think that $8,000 sounds like a lot of money for a Gremlin, the simple fact is that it actually represents pretty decent buying for a good ’77 Gremlin X. I have seen them sell for more than $10,000, which would seem to make this one a fairly good buy.

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Comments

  1. AMCFAN

    Tweety Oh I get it……Yellow car…..Yellow cartoon bird……stuffed animal collection. Never got it why some “collector car” owners fill their cars with toy cars and plush animals at car shows. Seems like an old guy thing. If I were to buy would have to stop at a second hand store to clean it out before leaving as I would want to distance the image of a little slow bird with my 258 powered Gremlin which is no slouch. The 77’s came with a smaller six a 232 and a 4 cylinder sourced from VW.

    Actually a nice appearing car however as badly as these rusted out after a few years I would not take the sellers word I would have to put my own hands and eyes on it. I have had many. Due to the location being WI They have very harsh winters and even driven sparingly several months a year 75,000 is a lot of miles in my opinion and still being advertised as rust free. Even driven once in the salt and put up is all it takes.

    It’s interesting. Gremlin was on the down swing in 77. People caught on that the cars were not fuel efficient. They just had a huge fuel tank. The sheet metal was changed but the dash is the same as the 70-76 Hornet and Gremlins. In 78 It was updated as used in the Concord and later Spirit. 78 would be my choice. It is a one year only. A Gremlin GT would be the grail.

    Like 6
    • That AMC guy

      Gas mileage was reported to be quite good on the 4-cylinder models (Audi 2.0 liter engine) that were offered towards the end.

      I have a copy of the February 1977 issue of Popular Mechanics containing a very favorable review of the 4-cylinder Gremlin. Even with automatic transmission the author reported over 28 mpg in normal driving (half in town, half freeway). Zero to sixty times were reported to be slower by only one second versus the six-cylinder lump. Handling was also reported to be improved with the lighter engine (200 pounds less than the six), and manual steering was quicker. As part of the agreement AMC was not to disclose where the engine came from!

      It’s really the kind of engine the Gremlin should have been offered with all along, but it was too little too late and very few 4-cylinder Gremlins were sold.

      Like 2
      • AMCFAN

        That is all true but what you are saying is when the car was new. The 4 cylinder was sourced from VW. That should spell it out. Complexity and problems haven’t changed from then till now. It wasn’t that too few were sold. It was they didn’t hold up. Parts are scarce today. The kind of engine the Gremlin needed was it’s own designed engine by removing two cylinders from their own six.

        If I were in the market today for a late Gremlin like this and it had the VW engine forget it. Give me the “lump” as you say. One thing for sure is with minimal if any care it will always start and run with the 258! It’t isn’t about fuel economy in a collector car (although AMC was the king at economy) it has to be reliable and get out of it’s own way and I have to be able to get service parts (and not have them ship from Germany)

        Like 1
      • That AMC guy

        True enough, AMCFAN, but really they did not sell well and that was before the engine’s reliability and parts availablity limitations became evident.

        AMC unfortunately squandered $60 million obtaining the rights to and setting up a factory for the VW/Audi/Porsche engine and they never put it into full production. (I’ve actually seen a Concord with automatic and A/C with the 2.0 – can’t imagine how slow that must have been!)

        As we all know AMC did finally produce their own 4-cylinder engine but it came too late to be of much benefit for their passenger car line. (A stint with the GM “Iron Duke” would precede the release of the AMC 2.5.)

        Certainly for a collector vehicle a Gremlin with the inline six or V8 would be the best bet for reliability and easy access to parts.

        Like 1
  2. Will Fox

    The seller’s attempt at justifying his asking price was a weak one. Saying it was used in a photo shoot doesn’t mean a thing; “IF” AMC did, it could have used ANY yellow `77 Gremlin; not necessarily this one. I wish him luck selling it. It’s about $4500. too high.

    Like 4
    • Andrew

      The prices of low or no rust Gremlins are going crazy high. I just sold mine on EBay. 100% original, 23,000 miles and like new. There was a bidding war for it and I sold it for $22,385.
      The guy drove it home. I’m wanting another one but people want high money for them .

      Like 5
      • Steve R

        When was that?

        Completed listings on eBay seems to indicate there isn’t a strong market. Granted, the numbers aren’t substantial, but a couple of nice looking Gremlins were only bid to $6,500.

        Steve R

        Like 1
      • AMCFAN

        Andrew, You should take your winnings and put a portion in a Roth and your IRA then buy lottery tickets. You seem to be very lucky. The people who as you say “want high money” your sale is most likely the reason.

        Like 1
  3. George mattar

    I have a 72 Gremlin with 3,000 miles.

    Like 5
  4. Dennis Marth

    Excuse me if I missed something here, but didn’t the “X” come with a V8, not the trusty 258 six?

    Like 3
    • Timothy Larson

      No.

      Like 2
    • AMCFAN

      1975 was the last year for a V8 in a Gremlin. The X is only an interior and exterior trim option. In 72-75 you could have had a 304 V8 in the base or non X package.

      Like 5
  5. Mitch Ross Member

    $8000 is cheap if the car is as described. Many Gremlins not nearly this nice sell for $4000-$5000. My car , also a yellow ’77 when done will look like this one, but will be restored, not original and I’m pretty sure I will have that much into it.

    Like 2
  6. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    I once owned a 74 Gremlin X, with 258 engine and 3 speed manual on the floor. The car was surprisingly quick. Door hinges and pegs were weak and had to be welded to keep the doors shut, basically that’s the only problem I ever had with that little car. I put thousands of miles on it driving through many states: Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Utah before trading it in on a 77 Hornet wagon.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  7. Hotroddaddy

    Love the Gremlin, just wish it was an earlier model with the 304 V8 and closer to Arizona.

    Like 1
  8. Little_Cars

    Maybe the “photo shoot” claim was not concurrent to the car build year but something that took place years later, maybe this year, at a car show or for a magazine feature? It truly holds no weight or added value if we’re not talking about this being THE CAR used for factory-endorsed photos. Even then, it shouldn’t add thousands of dollars to the sale price. I agree about stuffed animals and bling being added to vintage cars when shown. What about those stupid dolls that look like kids bent over the bumpers and hoods of old cars? Even fuzzy dice have gotten boring on 1950s cars. I like blue dot lenses, and maybe a cool shift knob and suicide knob on the steering wheel. That’s about it.

    Like 1
  9. Del

    Pretty nice and rare. Great shape.

    But wait for a V8 Levi one

    Like 1
  10. John Nydam

    I bought one in 1978 a brand new 1977 Ruby red with the Levi interior 4cyl auto all the bells and whistles my first new car. The credit union where I worked had a deal 5 Grand nothing down paid 4,400. Out the door for it boy those were the days and not long ago!!! Now 12 Grand gets you a new piece!!! Oh well.

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