Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

Cheap Wheels V8! 1974 AMC Hornet

A hallmark of American Motors from its formation in 1954 to the end of the line in 1988 was building and selling economical automobiles. During the 1960s, the Rambler American was the company’s compact offering, and it was finally retired in 1969. For 1970-77, AMC revived the Hornet nameplate and applied it to its all-new car in that market space. This 1974 edition is said to run well and has had some interior work done, but the paint and vinyl top are past their prime. Located in Treasure Island, California, this cheap wheel’s offering is available here on craigslist for just $2,000. Thanks for the tip, Tony Primo!

As was typical of AMC, the Hornet would provide a launching pad for lots of other products in the 1970s and 1980s — the subcompact Gremlin (and its successor, the Spirit), the upscale compact Concord, and the AWD Eagle. It was the company’s best-selling car during the energy crisis years of 1973-75, with more than 186,000 Hornets delivered in 1974, the year the seller’s car was hatched. The ’74 models were about the same as the ’73s but with stronger, federally mandated bumpers.

The seller’s car has the 304 cubic inch V8 engine that had been in AMC products since the prior decade. Though the engine compartment cries for detailing, we’re told the motor runs well (and we assume the same applies to the automatic transmission). The odometer reading is 90,000 miles and the seller says it’s already turned over, so that’s a lot of traveling.

We’re told the Hornet has been partially restored, but that seems to mainly apply to the upholstery. The carpet looks faded, so that may still need attention. No mention is made of the car having any rust, but the body has its share of dents and dings and not much could be done to improve the black paint. Plus the vinyl top looks like it could be a breeding ground for corrosion. But a running car for just $2,000 is hard to find these days!


  1. Avatar photo Gary

    Damn! Figures it’s on the left coast!

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo Troy

      At that price buy it , fly out there and drive it home.

      Like 5
      • Avatar photo Gary

        I thought about that more than once.

        Like 4
      • Avatar photo Clay

        Heck yeah! Just take a big bag of tools and make sure your AAA is paid up.

        Like 3
  2. Avatar photo Davey Boy

    I had one of these in an AMX form but it only had the 6 cylinder in it. Man why do I have to be poor right now? this would make an amazing AMX clone and being in Salt Lake City Utah it is not far from where I’m at now but by the time I got there it would probably already be gone being only $2,000. That’s a great price for a neat little car that not everybody has. Not like a Camaro or a Mustang or a Dodge Charger of all things. This one could be a great little hot rod and be the only one at the show.

    Like 12
    • Avatar photo Kent

      I like it. Needs a lot of work but at $2,000 USD, the buy-in price isn’t to bad. Too bad that right now I’m not in the position to move on it.

      Another subject, being this is essentially an ad, why am I being subjected to ads that make writing any comments about this car next to impossible. I’m looking at a car, not a trip to the Artic Circle.

      Like 6
      • Avatar photo Neil R Norris

        Would make a gem of a winter beater.

        Like 0
    • Avatar photo chrlsful

      i like any of the dwn szed. Put their big bro’s drive train in, breaks, etc.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo Peter Pasqualini

        Even brakes

        Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Davey Boy

    Sure wish I could get rid of the ad that keeps popping up at the bottom of this on my phone because it makes it so I can’t look at anything because it Scrolls up when I scroll up and it makes it so I have a really hard time commenting. I can’t type anything in because I don’t have enough room to see what I’m typing as well as using my little keyboard. Is there anything I can do with that or do I have to just revert to my desktop and stop looking at barn finds on my phone altogether?

    Like 18
    • Avatar photo Gary

      I prefer desktop myself for that reason.

      Like 9
    • Avatar photo Rank

      Capitalism at its finest. Great when it is in moderation, but too much, and it gets drunk with excessiveness. Love the AMCs of this era. Gotta love an underdog.

      Like 16
    • Avatar photo chrlsful

      ‘s even happening on the DT. Corps & their adverts seem to rule over ppl. I complain to both the ISP, the site AND the “Telicom” § of my fed government. I’m done w/paying a co for a service just to have them interupt that same service w/adds. I refuse “2 party authentication” on these grounds (“give us ur phone #.”) & have hada change e-mail to avoid it. Ck europe’n GB. They revolted and now have it back the way it was in 1990s.

      Like 2
  4. Avatar photo Robt

    Nice AMC. Used to think these were weird, and then they came out with the Matador. Always ugh. This Hornet looks good for the money. And with a v-8 already there.

    Like 9
  5. Avatar photo Stan

    Howard likely been in one of these 🐝 stingers.

    Like 3
  6. Avatar photo Jerry Johnson

    I bought a 74′ Hornet X hatchback new. Blue with white stripes down the sides with a white vinal top and blue interior. 6 cyl, auto trans. Traded it in on a 76′ Trans Am. The Hornet caught fire at the Pontiac dealers in Des Plaines, Ill. When the fire dept. came the owner of the dealership asked who owned the car. When I fessed up I did, He said “You should buy a Pontiac.” I told him I did and this was his trade in, the look on his face was priceless. Everyone watching busted out laughing and he went back into the building. This story keeps on going but thats for another day.

    Like 14
  7. Avatar photo Bick Banter

    I don’t know why, but I would like to electrify this thing. And make it stupid fast. May be a Tesla Plaid powertrain?

    Like 3
  8. Avatar photo Christopher

    That’s a good price. These were economy cars and not worth crazy money but it would be a nice project for a daily driver. The only negative deal breaker for me is it’s not equipped with AC.

    Like 2
  9. Avatar photo OldsMan

    Nice article Russ… I don’t think you can go wrong with this. It won’t last long- reasonable body, good interior, proven powertrain and uniqueness. I wish it wasn’t half a country away from me!

    Like 3
  10. Avatar photo Steve

    I love AMC, but this one not so much.

    Like 1
  11. Avatar photo Greg in Texas

    One of the ugliest cars made in USA. Probably gives it cult status therefore. $4 gallon gas the norm coming, no matter who is POTUS. Remember this fact. $2 gallon gas was the fear during the Oil Embargo of 1970’s. Didn’t matter who was POTUS, we got past $2 a gallon in flying colors. No, $3 won’t be seen much. By 2025, no matter who, $4 per gallon is happening.

    Like 1

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.