Desert Survivor: 1973 AMC Hornet

As one of a handful of somewhat unusual designs for AMC, this 1973 AMC Hornet is more on the normal side than some of their other offerings. It’s certainly less of an eye-popper than a Pacer or Gremlin, or even a Matador Coupe. This very nice looking example can be found here on craigslist in Irvine, California. The seller is asking $3,000. Thanks to Pat L. for sending in this tip!

One strange thing with this listing is that we don’t see one square inch of the driver’s side of this car. There are basically three photos of the exterior of the car and they only show the passenger side. That’s always a major red flag for me personally, and it doesn’t look like it’s any tighter in that garage on the driver’s side than on the passenger side, so why not show at least one photo of the other side?! Maybe at $3,000 it’s worth a gamble, but I’d sure want to see that other side first. In case the listing goes away, here is the craigslist ad.

That being said, this is one of the nicest AMC Hornets that I have ever seen, from the photos that are shown by the seller. The one flaw that they do show – the detail of the right-bottom of the rear window trim area – doesn’t look like it would be impossible to repair, maybe, hopefully… This car is originally from the desert and the seller mentions buying the car from a collector in Palmdale, California.

The seats in front look like new and unfortunately, we don’t see any photos of the rear seat but I’m assuming that they look at least as nice as the front seats do. The headliner looks like new. Really, other than that small tear/repair in the right-rear corner of the vinyl roof, I don’t see any flaws in this interior at all. The Hornet had to be an eye-opening design compared to the Rambler that it replaced, the American. The trunk also looks great in this car with just a bit of cracking in the gasket material.

The engine is AMC’s 232 cubic-inch inline-six which had 100 hp. With a column-shifted Chrysler TorqueFlite transmission, this won’t win any races and may not be as fun to drive as a manual-shifted Hornet would be, but as of now, it isn’t even driveable. The seller says that probably due to sitting for a year or two and having bad gas, it doesn’t currently run. I’m fairly sure that it will run again with a carb rebuild and cleaning out the old gas. This would be a great project car for someone jumping into the vintage car hobby.


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WANTED 1987-1989 Buick Lesabre T-TYpe Looking for a clean example, no rust. Leather a +. Ready to buy. Contact

WANTED 1972 Ford Ranchero GT Ready to go 4 speed, no restoration project, preferably white in Midwest Contact

WANTED 1967-1969 Pontiac Firebird Looking for an original 400 convertible, 3 or 4 speed preferred. No restomods. Contact

WANTED 1974 Pontiac Grandville Need a new windshield for Granville convertible w antenna. Contact

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  1. Stevieg Member

    Not a bad little toy, especially at this price. Could easily be a cute little coupe.

    Like 2
  2. PaulG

    A steal, and already gone…

    Like 4
  3. Western Classics

    I tried to buy that car 3 years ago,but the other seller would not answer the phone or respond to texts.It would be fun little car to have.

  4. Classic Steel

    Looked like a good dessert 🍨 cR 😅

    This was grabbed quick!

    Like 4
  5. Superdessucke

    It is a desert survivor with a desert setting on its air conditioning panel!

    Like 1
  6. Chuck

    Item has been deleted. I was going to contact seller. I find it almost ‘cute’. Yes, Im a little odd.

    Like 1
  7. Skorzeny

    This is my favorite AMC product, but I much prefer the 4 door and wagon. STILL, this was a great deal, and some AMC fan didn’t hesitate… You get this running and it could have been a small town daily driver for years. Nicely bought.

    Like 1
  8. Harriston Richardson

    For that price ,it has beautiful possiblities ,

    Like 1
  9. CJinSD

    Before the ethanol mandate, leaving a car sitting for two years was no big deal. Now leaving your lawn mower sitting for two months is the kiss of death.

    Like 4
  10. Jim C

    $3000? What a deal! I’d grab that one if it were near me.

    Like 1
  11. jerry z

    Not surprised it’s gone already. At $3K, what a bargain! Until I lighten my load of cars in my yard, an AMC will have to wait.

    Like 1
  12. dogwater


  13. rex

    I had a used orange ’73 AMC Hornet Automatic with the liftback/hatchback and think it looks a helluva lot better than these 4 door sedan or wagon versions!! Trust in rust with these beauties and east coast winters. Gone but not forgotten, my first ride. Having James Bond do an amazing cork screw stunt silences my friends when they heard I had one:

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