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Barn Wasp: 1971 AMC Hornet SC/360

One of the greatest joys of being a barn finder is making new discoveries. You never know what car you might find and it might be something you’ve never even heard of before. Almost every day we find something that we didn’t know about. Today we learned about a variant of AMC’s Hornet that we had never seen before, the 1971 Hornet SC/360. This rare AMC was pulled from a barn about 8 years ago and moved to the current owner’s garage in Strongsville, Ohio. They have decided to sell the car and it can be found here on the Cleveland, Ohio Craigslist.

At the beginning of 1970, muscle cars were at their pinnacle, but that was about to start changing. By the end of the year, government regulation, insurance rate hikes, and a new social climate took its toll on the muscle car market. AMC saw this as an opportunity to introduce a smaller sports car that could avoid some of the penalties, but still be fun to drive. So the SC/360 was born, but only 784 of these Super Coupes were built.

When this car was found in 2004, it had a blown engine. The seller installed a new engine and got the car running. They claim the car had been used for racing, which could explain the stripped down engine bay. The 360 cui V8 came in two versions, the base which had 245 hp and the “Go” package with 285 hp. We aren’t sure which version this car is, but given the Ram Air hood, we would guess it was a “Go” car.

Finding parts for this car can be a challenge, as there were many parts specific to the SC/360. The seller changed some of the original pieces, but has kept the parts they’ve replaced. These parts are included at their asking price, but they will knock $2,000 off if you don’t want them. Given the difficulty of finding correct parts, we would spend the extra to get them.

There are a few SC/360 clones floating around, but it’s easy to determine if the car is the real deal or not by looking at the VIN. The seller’s asking price seems to be on the high side for a car without its original running engine in it. It may be worth holding out for one with its numbers matching engine to come to market. What do you think? Would you wait for another one to surface, grab this one, or go for something a little easier to get parts for?


  1. Gnrdude

    I’d definitely buy this one & drive as is. You’d still have the only one around.

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  2. mikey

    I often wonder what type of person walks into a dealership, sees this and says, “dang, I gotta’ have this”.

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  3. Bill Paulson

    Since this car is not the most desirable as a collector car (A Hornet??), it really doesn’t matter if the engine has been replaced. It wouldn’t matter, either, if a 401 was dropped into it. or even a small block Chevy. No harm, no foul, just a sleeper of a fast car (A Hornet??).

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  4. Richard

    As 1 of 784 built, waiting for an SC/360 with its original engine will take a LONG time. Besides, all later AMC V8s are dimensionally the same on the outside (like a Pontiac V8, there are no small vs big block AMCs), so swapping in a punched out 401 for the 360 is no trouble at all. Swapping in yet another “350 Chevy, Turbo 350 transmission” drivetrain, on the other hand, would ruin this car’s uniqueness forever (or at least until somebody else swapped in the correct drivetrain later). If I had the money I would LOVE to have this car! I’d be guaranteed to be about the only guy in a 50 mile radius that had one!

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    • Glenn Underwood

      I got one sitting in my garage but it is the electric blue and yes it is the go package. Has been restored but has original 360 numbers matching. Yes it probably is one of a kind. Be hard to find one of these especially in the color most desired and original motor.

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  5. Eddie Stakes

    To learn more about American Motors ‘forgotten musclecar’ visit my site’s SC/360 Hornet Registry: http://www.planethoustonamx.com/sc360/sc_registry.htm You would not have much issue finding a AMC 360 block either: http://www.planethoustonamx.com/main/amc_engine_casting_numbers.htm they are rather common and not unique to SC/360 Hornets, were used in many regular production AMC’s including Ambassador, Matador, Javelin, AMX, Rebel. You might have hard time finding the heads, those are 3196291 castings and desirable and command $500/pair used. If this SC/360 for sale has a 390V8 in it, consider it a upgrade. Not big deal. AMC rarity does NOT equate market value. The production of SC/360 Hornets is a 1/3 of 70 Rebel Machine, and 1/2 of 69 SC/Rambler for instance. These cars are rather rare and seldom seen even at AMC National events. Yes, you would have the only one around as I write 117 are documented known to exist in 2012. I don’t know what type of person would walk into a AMC Dealership back then and say ‘dang I gotta have this’ as only 2374 AMC Dealerships existed in 1970 when car released (production began Aug 1st, 1970 for 71 models) http://www.planethoustonamx.com/amc-dealerships/am-dealers.htm so not all AMC Dealerships would have gotten one. Many were push cars, built by AMC, sent to dealers for showroom purpose to create traffic…then sell cars from stock, much like SC/Rambler, Rebel Machine and a few other vehicles were, get them in showroom, then sell them something else like 390 Javelin or 401 Ambassador or 304 Gremlin for instance. Are they fast? Extremely fast, my own 71 SC/360 Hornet is mostly stock 360 4 barrel, Hurst 4 speed, 3:91 rear gears and can consistently turn 13:60s. Light car about 3100 pounds. Here is a test drive on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbgduy8CCoA the one for sale here would probably do better ET’s with a 325hp AMC 390V8 stuffed in it and brand x owners would not know what stung them. There was recently a green SC/360 for sale on ebay, see the registry link above while ebay auction still live. And there is yet another one for sale in New Jersey right now http://southjersey.craigslist.org/cto/3146157126.html odds are rather high of 3 of them appearing for sale almost at same time in 2012. Hope all of them fall into good hands, they are a blast to drive. Eddie Stakes’ planethoustonamx.com

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  6. Emily

    How much is it?

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    • Barn Finds

      This was on craigslist over a month ago Emily, so I am sure it is long gone.

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  7. mark

    Vey NICE!!! You don’t see many of these cars. Would change the steering wheel right away!

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  8. Joe64NYWF

    It has low back 1st gen camaro seats in it!! lol
    I could never figure how such a small company as AMC could offer reclining front seats BACK THEN, but the big 3 didn’t!! Not even on caddy or lincoln!
    Or am i mistaken?

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