Cheap 4X4: 1974 AMC Gremlin

If you find yourself with a lot of spare time on your hands, you’ll find a surprising number of 1970s AMC Gremlins online that have been converted from 2WD to 4WD. Which was before AMC got together with Jeep and before they had their own 4X4, the Eagle. We’re not sure how this conversion was pulled off, but the seller provides us several examples of the little mountain climber in action, so it looks like it could be a lot of fun. Located in Fairview, Oklahoma, this modified Gremlin is available here on Facebook Marketplace for $4,000. Thanks, Channing, for the tip on this one.

The Gremlin was AMC’s answer to the Japanese subcompact invasion of the 1960s/1970s, although it would be hard to really classify this car as a subcompact. It was a shortened Hornet, just as AMC had done a couple of years earlier with the Javelin/AMX. True, it was smaller, and didn’t offer 30 mpg economy, but it did provide six-cylinder power compared to inline-4’s which would make the car more powerful on the road. The Gremlin was built between 1970-78 before it morphed into the Spirt (as had the Hornet become the Concord). AMC would build more than 670,000 of the oddly named cars during this time.

We don’t know the history behind the seller’s ’74 Gremlin other than it was treated to a 4X4 conversion at some point. The seller says it was modified to “dominate any terrain” and the photos supplied tend to support that. We’re told it was lifted, locked and injected with quite a few custom modifications along the way. What we don’t know is about the 4X4 hardware under the unibody. Was it from a Jeep, a later Eagle or SX/4 or some other 4WD vehicle? Or was it homemade at the shop in high school. And can it be changed from full-time to part-time four-wheel-drive?

The seller says the mileage is 101,000, so the vehicle has likely seen a lot of use, before or after the conversion. The body looks solid with no indication of rust although the blue paint is pretty worn and will appeal to the patina lovers in the crowd. It’s said to have an automatic transmission, but is it paired with an AMC inline-6 (232 or 258), 304 V8, or some other powerplant? The seller is moving and won’t have space for the Gremlin going forward but would entertain trading for a motorcycle. Anyone looking for a cheap 4X4?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Well, I was, this would send me screaming into the night. It says a Cherokee guts, IDK, I don’t recognize anything from the great 3 pictures. Same old thing here, constructed on Busch beer, and nothing wrong with that, but maybe not a lot of regard for actual safety, these “creations” should be destroyed when the builder moves on. Not sure what kind of motorcycle someone would actually trade for this, moped maybe?

    Like 11
  2. Mikefromthehammer

    Russ said: “The body looks solid with no indication of rust, although the blue paint is pretty worn and will appeal to the patina lovers in the crowd.”

    ???

    It looks like surface rust on the roof and the leading edge of the hood. There are also mighty holes in the driver side rocker panel.

    No way would I ever buy a Frankenstein car like this one. It would not end well.

    Like 7
    • Douglas Hunt

      Not to mention the door misalignment on that drivers side ……

      Like 1
      • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

        My 73 Gremlin’s driver’s side door was already misaligned in less than 5 years. Passenger side shut great…even after the whole door skin was banged in.

        Like 3
  3. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    No words

    Like 8
  4. Arby

    “Seller is moving”

    Where?

    Is it voluntary or required by government agency?

    Like 13
  5. Blyndgesser

    I would buy this just to piss off the neighbors.

    Like 11
    • oilngas

      HOA couldn’t say crap as long as it’s parked in the garage at night. Watch out dog walkers that don’t pick up after their mutt. That ain’t mud them tires are slinging.

      Like 2
    • Fitz

      If you were my neighbor, I’d be asking to drive it…

      Like 5
  6. Steve Clinton

    The impression I got from the first photo was the car got stuck in a ditch and the owner said ‘The Hell with it. I’m taking a pic and selling the damn thing!’

    Like 1
  7. AMCFAN

    The rust free Gremlin X body is worth at least $2500 alone by itself. I would want more details on the build and to see it in person. The wheels look Cherokee to me. Makes sense the build was based on one.

    I knew of one of these creations back in the 1980’s. It was mounted on a CJ5. The original CJ rusted into nothing as they do. The guy liked it so well and went to the junkyard and picked up a 71 Gremlin. The placement of the wheels under the fenders were just where they needed to be. It was lifted and had the white wagon wheels. It was more popular than it ever was a CJ. At that time Gremlins were a common sight. Seeing one tower over everything else was very cool.

    $4K? Cheap buy in and would be a hit at any off road event.

    Like 9
  8. Jim

    The result of rednecks with way too much time on their hands. Guess they ran out of Budweiser and ammo and needed to find something to do.

    Like 6
  9. Jost

    frightening…
    Good ol boys had a lot of fun with this.

    Like 2
  10. gaspumpchas

    Just when you think a Gremlin couldnt get any uglier. Diva is correct, no words to describe.
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 1
  11. Chris Londish Member

    The door is bound to be out of alignment Gremlins weren’t meant to be treated this way and this definitely would not be engineered for any form of road worthiness but you’ve got to give them credit for the ingenuity

  12. Bunky

    Gremlin 4 “X” 4 (😉) is awesome! Nice action shots! If you’re concerned about the panel gaps and shininess of the paint just tap out.
    FYI: Gremmys were available the last couple years with a 4 cylinder. An Auto Union 2 liter. Not my first choice, but a choice.

    Like 4
    • Kevin

      It’s a toy and if it runs..$4000 hell yes ! It looks like it’s be a blast …. definitely unique !

      Like 2
  13. stu

    mint!

    Like 1
    • eurovin Member

      Finally! A reason to buy a Gremlin!

      Like 2
  14. steve diacik

    illtake it for 3k delivered to Az.

  15. chrlsful

    yeah – doors’n rust? That’s not the point. When living near or @ a place to wheel, it will B done.
    A quick cobble w/available prts? we call it fun. Some times the sillier the more fun (buddie’s jaw drop or assistance in the cobble). Plenty of space, tools, skill/knowledge, ‘left overs’, but may B not time or money….
    3 cheers from my house, too busy over here to indulge tho

    Like 2
  16. Robt

    I want it.

  17. Brian Janiuk

    I read (a very long time ago, before the internet), that the early bronco 2 would more or less bolt up underneath the gremlin. I flared and tubed mine. I was going to do a roof chop but the garage I was using, got sold.

  18. Ridge

    I would take it, but my wife says, “no more cars.” A great rig to run through the woods and not care about scratching the paint or snapping a u-joint. And a good conversation piece. But not for grocery-getting or highway cruises.

    That’s not rust, that’s “character.” Women love a guy with character.

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