$9,900 Or Offer: 1973 AMC Hornet Sportabout

Pat L. comes through again with this jewel box of a 1973 AMC Hornet Sportabout. Thanks, Pat! This is the nicest one that I’ve seen in a while. It’s located in Orlando, Florida and it’s on Craigslist, or find it here on the CL archive. The seller is asking “$9,900.00 OBO possible trades of equal value.”

This Sportabout has some wide white walls! Somehow they seem to work, at least for me. For such a jewel box of a car I’m somewhat surprised to not see it being 100% original-spec and this car would have had a narrower white wall, but I like it. Those are “4 brand new Radial tires very expensive ($1,200) “Diamondback” wide white walls with chrome factory hub caps giving this car a one of a kind look.”

The condition of this car appears to be incredible. The seller says that it has always been a Florida car and they just “just drove her over 300 miles on a trip from Orlando to St Augustine FL without any problems she runs and drives like a Swiss clock !!” They say that this “Hornet gets more attention than my 1971 Corvette Stingray ! It draws crowds where ever you go and people takes pictures of it non stop. The beautiful shiny Savannah Beige paint has no dents or scratches and no major Rust the frame looks great and the car has never been up north always a Florida car since new a true all original “SURVIVOR”!”

The interior looks fantastic, I can’t believe the condition for a car this old. This car has 70,350 miles on it and I would think that with the age, miles, and hot Florida sun things would be not quite as nice inside. The “original 2 tone interior is like new seats are not cracked or ripped dash has NO cracks carpet is clean . All gauges work as intended including the speedo tach temp and gas gauge . All inside and outside lights work along with blinkers and hazards even the Horn works ! The AMC factory Radio still works.”

I was worried that with all of the good photos there wouldn’t be an engine photo. The very last one, #24, is this photo which shows the 258 cubic-inch inline-six that would have had 110 hp. Supposedly everything works from the power steering to the power brakes and even the AC is ice-cold. This car is priced well above what I would have ever guessed, but they always say to buy the best example that a person can find.


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  1. RoKo

    Narrow white walls would look better on this car, seeing as it’s far newer than 1961.

    Like 1
    • Nrg8

      Looks like the delorean in back to the future 2

  2. SunbeamerStu

    I’ve never driven a Swiss clock. I suspect ride would be about the same.

    All yuks aside, this looks pretty neat. Nice, uncommon grocery hauler sure to attract attention. Tho I don’t remember anyone who had wide whitewalls in the 70s.

  3. Henry Drake

    For once, the author is right. Those wide whites are spot on.
    Nice, but not 10k.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Ha! Thanks, Henry.. I think?..

      • glen

        It doesn’t really sound very complimentary, does it? I think it’s a comment on wide white walls, not you, …I hope!

    • Brian Cody

      Yes, I’d go 3500.00 and that’s a stretch

  4. jw454

    I don’t know why this low horse power 6 cylinder automatic needs a Sun Super Tach. Keeping an eye on the revs. doesn’t seem to be necessary. The wide whites would have to go too.

  5. Beatnik Bedouin

    There was a company that made wide whites with a diamond pattern and a gold pinstripe right through to the late ’70s, but unfortunately, the manufacturer’s name escapes me (it’s an age thing).

    They were an option usually targeted towards the luxury car end of the market, e.g. Cadillac. I don’t recall them being all that popular in SoCal, back then, although I did consider buying a set for my ’64 Wildcat when it ran factory wire wheel covers.

    • Beatnik Bedouin

      I just remembered – it was Vogue Tyres (yup, spelled with a ‘y’), and they’re still in business, it seems.

  6. JazzGuitarist54

    Agree, nice but not 10K nice
    (Hey, if WWW work, who am I to say anything about it? At least you are getting the car with decent rubber on it.)

  7. Curt k

    Gotta love that ac knob it looks like it reads (off colder desert only) i love it .would love to have a wagon like this perfect size and would run forever.the wide whites would HAVE to go.sorry

  8. JimmyJ

    If u put your foot to the floor and hit a mildly sharp corner you’d probably regret spending 10k
    Neat car but someone’s watching too much Barrett Jackson!

  9. Jack M.

    Seeing that the seller spent $1,200.00 on the tires, why would anyone replace them? Just turn them black side out. That is what I would do as I don’t think that I could afford to buy soap pads to keep them clean!

  10. Craig MacDonald

    Is it me or is the gap at the right side bottom of the rear hatch way off? Looks like the hatch has been tweaked somehow.
    Assuming that’s OK I’m still left thinking that’s way too much money for the car.

    • DRV

      The only things that explain that are a punched in rear end, but that would leave a wave somewhere in the roof or pillar, and a poorly fit hatch from the factory. The hatch is down enough, maybe too far , and the gap around the top matches the others.

    • dweezilaz

      Craig, it’s the way many cars, not just AMC, came straight from the factory during the 70s.

      My folk’s 71 Gremlin and 72 Ambassador Brougham were riddled with janky assembly, especially the interiors. But door and hood fit were questionable as well.

      The Gremlin filled the floor with water during a rainstorm on a trip to PA. Misaligned plastic on the dash, paint runs, seat hardware popping through the vinyl on the sides of the seats. Folding seat always squeaked.

      Loved them both and would be happy to have either today, but they were not built with any quality.

      And could be just time on the road and mileage, tho it’s low.

      There was a reason AMC implemented the “Buyer Protection Plan” in 1972.

    • That AMC Guy

      I had this car’s twin some years ago and the hatch alignment was the same. This was not an era known for great panel alignment or quality control in general. The hatch no doubt came that way from the factory. Likewise the dash is an assemblage of ill-fitting pieces that don’t really line up. It’s just the way these were made.

      This car looks great but the price is eye-watering. I think I paid $150 for mine but that was quite some time ago and it was not anywhere near as nice. About the only thing I see amiss (aside from the grotesque wide whitewalls) is that it looks like the heater valve vacuum line is disconnected.

      The “Desert Only” position on the AC is a holdover from Rambler days. It keeps the compressor continuously engaged but that setting can only be used in a dry climate or the system will ice up. (The Hornet may be the last car that used the old Nash “Weather Eye” name for the HVAC system.)

  11. Rube Goldberg Member

    The wide whites clearly date the owner, I can’t imagine anyone under 65 equipping the car with those. Very nice car, for half that, maybe. I guess I’m just going to have to accept, $10g’s is the new $5g’s and prices me out of the hobby, and that’s a shame. Compared to what $10g’s could buy, I wouldn’t spend it on this. I love AMC’s, but this is still a ten thousand dollar Rambler.

    • Superdessucke

      If you really grew up during this car’s era, you’d know the only vehicles equipped with the wide-whites back then were luxury land yachts like Olds 98s and Buick Electra 225s registered in the inner-city, driven with a gangsta’ lean, usually sporting curb feelers on the side and a TV antenna on the back.

      This wagon would have been driven through those cars’ native turf, if at all, with the doors locked and windows up, hastily rolling through on skinny whitewall tires and piloted by a bolt upright suburban driver on her way to visit a parent who refused to succumb to white flight. The wide-whites just don’t work on this car, on so many levels.

      Anyway, this one would look far better with blackwalls and poverty caps on body colour steel rims. Installing those would be my first order of business, before I even picked it up!

  12. Classic Steel

    It’s good to see these cars still on the road.
    I don’t think it’s a ten k car but if you can get it then go for it!

  13. chad

    agree w/Curt – right sized…but where’s the awd they innovated with? is that a decade later? @ that price it should B there.

    • That AMC Guy

      The all-wheel-drive version was the Eagle which debuted for the 1980 model year. It was based on the Concord, which of course was a better-trimmed Hornet.

  14. KSwheatfarmer

    Just yesterday helped a friend pull his dads 55 Fairlane out of the rapidly collapsing barn. It still sports a set of Port-a-walls? I think thats the name,not very appealing as they flapped and flopped during the loading. Did get the Y-block to run on a squirt bottle.

    • Fred W.

      KSwheatfarmer, did you take any photos?Would love to see some!

  15. Fred W.

    Only one kind of 70’s car ran wide whites….

    • glen

      This has Huggy Bear, written all over it!

    • Superdessucke

      Yup, and frequently imitated in the City on the luxo barge and, on occasion, the personal luxury coupe. But on a Hornet Sportabout? LOL!!!

      For you young ‘uns who don’t quite get this, picture a slammed 2018 Toyota RAV-4 equipped with massive negative camber and a trash can size exhaust for sale on here 45 years from now. That’s roughly what this Hornet looks like to my eyes.

    • PatrickM

      Yuch! How to demoralize a classic car…the Caddy, I mean. I agree that $10k is too much for the wagon. I’d like to have it, but about $5500.00 is my top dollar.

    • W9BAG

      OMG ! I can feel a really bad dream coming on. I wouldn’t drive this car if you PAID me.

  16. Gay Car Nut

    Given its rarity and condition, I’d say that $9,900 sounds like a good price.

    • Miguel


      • Gay Seattle Car Nut

        Yeah, rarity. As in not many are known to be on the road today, let alone in this nice a condition.

  17. Dave fishel

    If I wasn’t in MX and had the time I’d seriously consider the 9,900 price. Probably is too high but I’d rather carry stuff home from Lowe’s in this AMC than my current new Hyundai, which I always seem to lose in parking lots because it looks like every other Hon, Toya, Nisan, Frd, etc out there. Figure I’d get 5 years of reliable errands before it would succumb to Indiana winters.

  18. Comet

    What’s up with the hatch alignment? I know the 70’s weren’t a high point for domestic automotive quality control….but come on.

  19. Wayne

    I have a friend that had a 1972 Sportabout with the 6 cylinder and factory 4 speed. What a nice car! (It got rear ended). I would buy a 1972 with a stick if I could find one in reasonable condition and price.

  20. KSwheatfarmer

    Fred W Fairlane is still in my shop,will take a pic of the wild and wacky white walls. Getting it posted is akin to an act of congress. Wife has to do it, me no way.

  21. Rob Pasquinucci

    My dad bought a 1974 “DL” version of this. I always thought the “Desert Only” was interesting. It’s like “turning it up to 11.” We never needed that level of cooling in Northeastern Ohio. Totally have a soft spot for these, even though I know I probably had to wear hand-me-downs to cover the frequent repair bills. And, yes, the wide whites look totally out of place. Narrow whites, even on the snow tires we used in the winter. I remember a spray bottle of Wesley’s and lots of elbow grease to get them clean.

  22. Chebby Staff

    The overall effect reminds me of those awful caramels with the cream centers.

  23. Michael

    The rear hatch on my 1985 Eagle wagon appeared much the same way when the right side hinge, a weak point on these cars, developed a severe crack and finally broke in two.

  24. moparman Member

    Ditch the wide whites, replace w/ a set of “normal” whitewalls and the Magnum wheels…would really add some “Sport” appearance to this nice Sportabout wagon!:-)

  25. Creamy

    Just a note, this car was bought to be flipped. As someone in central florida who occasionally checks for eagle wagons i have seen this car with lower quality pictures with an asking price of 6500

  26. W9BAG

    If this has a factory tach, I’ll eat my hat. Nice car, love to add it to my collection, but, man, those fat white walls have just got to go. Double red walls would really add some class.

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