Cool Copper Colored Car: 1974 AMC Gremlin

041116 Barn Finds - 1974 AMC Gremlin - 1

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Is this cool copper colored car original? I think so, other than a few replacement parts to keep it on the road for the last 98,000 miles. This great looking 1974 AMC Gremlin is in Middeltown, Connecticut and the seller says that the body and floors are in great shape with just minor spots as shown in the photos. Anytime I see the word copper I think of the classic copper clapper caper, the Johnny Carson and Jack Webb bit, shown on YouTube, from a few years before this car was made. Maybe I’m the only one old enough here to remember that bit, or to remember when this cool copper colored car would have been new in 1974?

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This car looks like it’s in great shape. Unfortunately, it must have been one of those situations like when you go on vacation and you realize that you forgot to bring a wide angle lens for your camera, so all of the photos are zoomed in too far to see anything but details. But, what you do see here looks great. There have been a few AMC Gremlins featured on Barn Finds over the last few years, and this one really stands out for me in that it’s in great, possibly original shape, and it’s in a classic 1970s color. And, it’s also hard to beat those hub caps and painted rims for me. I think I may have figured out why the seller cut off half of the rear portion of the car here, to cover up the license plate.

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This is the ol’ dreaded draped-glove treatment to hide the plate here. How did we live without a rear window wiper and washer on our vehicles in the “ol’ days”? There would be torches and pitchforks headed for any car company’s headquarters today if they didn’t provide such “necessities” on a new vehicle now. The Gremlin was made from 1970 to 1978 and they made some very cool concept vehicles based on this car during that time. The AMX-GT concept was what would became the Gremlin, more or less.

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Thankfully, this car has a manual transmission! It’s a 3-speed, but hey, a manual is a manual for those of us who prefer to shift for ourselves. A 4-speed would have also been available. AMC sold 171,128 Gremlins in 1974, a 30% increase over the previous year and a 130% increase over the 1971 Gremlin!

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The engine looks original, no question about that. Or, this zoomed-in photo, the only one that they include with the ad, looks like it’s an original engine. The seller says that it has a new carburetor, wires, and distributor, as well as new brakes, brake cables, and new tires. Those are non-original things that I can live with on an “original” car; regular maintenance and wear items being remedied. I’m not sure why the whole carburetor was changed, but one call will answer that question. This car is on eBay with bids at $3,400 and five days left on the auction. I’m a hopeless AMC fan/fanatic. Do you like these funky, unusual AMC products as much as I do?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Bob's your uncle

    People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like. – Abraham Lincoln

    Like 1
  2. blumontag

    Of course! We love just about anything that reminds us of our youth. Speaking as a baby boomer, the cars we saw/ rode in/ drove as kids always make us smile. The Gremlin never pretended to be anything but cheap transportation, with the optional V8 for those that wanted a bit more from it. I dig ’em… so much so that I bought a ’72 three years ago!

    Like 3
    • Scotty GAuthor

      That’s excellent, blumontag; thanks for sharing that great photo!

      Like 0
    • Chebby

      The small bumpers, rally wheels, and color make all the difference!

      Like 0
    • Mike H. Mike H.

      I personally have always liked the addition of the early Hornet grille to the Gremlin; I think it makes for a better looking car.

      Like 0
  3. Nessy

    Oh yuck. The design, the color, the hubcaps, the basic interior…. I like it!

    Like 0
  4. Richard s

    I own a 74 just like this except w an auto trans. Great little car! Like the manual better! I paid $300 for mine in 1982 with 74,000 on it, drive it for 3 years! I wish I had another but I am on the other side of the country!

    Like 0
  5. Woodie Man

    It has the Deluxe Weather Eye! A couple of sliders for the heat and defrost! I hate to sound as old as I have become…..but things are better when they’re simpler! Compare this to the electronic mess needed to just turn on the heat in any modern toaster appliance with wheels today! With the 3 speed and the six, not to mention the awesome copper color, this would be just the machine for a young kid today…quirky, easy to work on and cheaper to run! If only it was on the West Coast!

    Like 4
  6. JW

    I’ve always had a soft spot for Gremlins / Vegas / Pintos. They were cheap and no one cared if you modified them except your neighbors when you did that wicked burnout before blowing the rearend out of it. Cool find and I would not modify this one.

    Like 0
  7. RayT

    The fact that this Gremlin survived even though it’s a frighteningly basic version impresses me almost more than its condition! Could be that the no-frills, three-on-the-floor, no a/c specification contributed strongly to its condition…who would want to drive it if they didn’t have to?

    It almost makes me wish I had budget and space for two Gremlins: one to go full-boat-wacko on, with a properly uprated V8, four-speed and brake/suspension mods (and a/c of course!), and one original-condition bone-stocker.

    Like 0
  8. Paul

    Loved Web and Carson. I can’t believe Johnny kept himself from laughing.

    Like 0
  9. jim

    This car was mine, we sold it to the guy in conn. we bought it from the 2nd owner, who bought it from the original owner. it was well kept, and is a great little car.

    Like 1

    Go good deal on a survivor. Not Much fun in that condition I’d have to hot rod it

    Like 0
    • Mike H. Mike H.

      Agreed. I had a 1975 Gremlin X with the 232 and 3-speed, manual brakes and steering. . . Not the most spirited (no pun intended) driver I’ve ever had but I really liked how it looked and I had aspirations of a 360/401 installation which never materialized. I’ve nearly bought a handful of Gremlins since, all of them “original” 304 equipped models, mostly because I thought there would be a greater fun factor.

      In the end I usually end up with an AMX, which isn’t a bad consolation at all.

      Like 1
  11. John B

    I’m old enough to remember these critters when new, and always chuckled at the dashboard that looked like something from a Fisher-Price toy. Basic in every way. I seem to recall the Gremlin having a huge gas tank…am I right?

    Like 1
    • blumontag

      21 gallons!

      Like 0
  12. JHBell

    I thought so…maybe an X model with Levi’s interior and a 304 would be the best for me!

    Like 0
  13. rmward194

    Looks like it doesn’t have power brakes, may not have power steering either. When I was in high school my girlfriend’s father gave her a basic Pacer like this for her 16th birthday. Stick, no air, no ps and no pb.

    Like 0
  14. Russ

    In 1974 I was working for a small shop detailing used cars. One I recall was a Gremlin ‘X’ with the big six and the stick on the floor. I stopped to pick up a friend of mine to ride in it back to the dealer (to bring back another car after having detailed the Gremlin). I still remember how easily that sawed-off Gremlin smoked the daylights out of at least one of the rear tires.

    Like 0
  15. Vinny Castellano

    I had exactly the same car, same model, same copper color in 1974. With just manual transmission, a hood lock, and an AM radio, it was basic transportation. I drove it to and from college, student teaching, and my first six years teaching. It lasted almost nine years and had 102,000 miles on it. I had alternator problems early on, and by 1977 there was a small hole on the driver’s side floor. The dashboard was so simple that it made today’s cars look like the Saturn V rocket. Yet, it’s still my sentimental favorite.
    Thanks so much for bringing back great memories over 44 years later.

    Like 1

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