Holy Grail Hornet: 1971 AMC Hornet SC/360

Holy man / holy grail – this is not a car that a person sees too often, if ever. With a reported 150 examples left in this configuration, this 1971 AMC Hornet SC/360 is one highly-desirable car. The current bid of $14,800 on eBay reflects that it’s not just myself who would love to have this car. It’s located, coincidentally, in Kenosha, Wisconsin where it was built 46 years ago.

AMC built a mere 784 Hornet SC/360 models and just 304 of them had the now-preferred combination of a 4-speed manual transmission and a 4-barrel carburetor. They were built just for the 1971 model year and if you think about what else was around back then, they seem fairly modest. But, for those of us who prefer unusual cars, this is as close to the Holy Grail as it gets, muscle-car-wise. Was it the fastest car in 1971? Not by a long shot. Was it the best looking? Even those of us who love the Hornet would probably agree that a Barracuda is much more beautiful than a Hornet is. But, there’s just something about a slightly ungainly car with a big engine that gets to me.  This car has had one repaint sometime in the late-70s and the top was painted white at that time, it should be the same as the body color. The white stripe was masked off for the respray so it remains as it was applied at the factory.

A dealer sticker on the rear of the car shows Pennsylvania , but who knows how long it was there or if it has been in Wisconsin for most of the 47 years since being built. In either case, road salt has worked its magic on a couple of areas on the body of this beauty, mostly behind the rear wheels. The seller has a legendary stash of NOS parts that are going with this sale and that is not insignificant. Just ask anyone who has spent months or years trying, sometimes in vain, to track down parts for a restoration project. NOS sheet metal goes with the car to repair those rust spots. And, you’d better sit down for this, also “rechromed front and rear bumpers, NOS tail lenses, NOS headlight bezels, NOS parking lenses, dash trim, another set of moldings to do another car, 2 factory radios, the original carb, 2 sets of fenders, NOS wagon and sedan quarter panels, NOS Driver side mirror, and probably more once I take inventory.” And, “NOS side marker lights, NOS air filter, NOS gas cap, NOS wiper arms, 1 NOS R hood hinge, 1 NOS wheel lip molding, Complete set of NOS “Hornet” and ‘Bee” emblems, NOS “bee” emblems for the door panels, extra set of hood hinges, heater controls, extra set of taillight assemblies, second set of rocker panel moldings, another space saver spare and inflator, and another non luggage rack trunk lid.” WOW!

The interior will also need a bit of restoration, but overall it looks good for being almost five decades old. The back seat looks like it’s never been used and the trunk also looks good and will look great once it’s spruced up and a new mat is cut to fit. The seller says that the “floors are spotless, as are the rocker panels. All wheel lips are perfect with all spotwelds visible. Wheelhouses, trunk drop offs, frame rails, etc are rust free.”

Here is what most of the hype is about: AMC’s 360 V8 which when new would have had a Motorcraft four-barrel carburetor and around 285 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. The four-speed transmission was only available with the four-barrel carb option, so it’s a double-whammy of goodness. The seller says that the engine “is largely factory stock, for the exception of a Holley carb(original included), plug wires, and a very mild cam.” They mention that this car is worthy of a concours restoration and I agree, but the next owner had better rebuild the original Motorcraft carburetor, judges are funny that way. I know that I’m in the vast minority in preferring this car over a similarly-equipped “muscle car” by the big-three. Have any of you owned an SC/360 Hornet?

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Comments

  1. 68custom

    I dream of being able to own one of these but they are so rare! nice car with a hell of a stash of parts.may not of been the fastest car in 71 but definitely one of the most unique.

  2. jdjonesdr

    I always thought they should have made these in a fastback model. That rear trunk lid is what makes it look dorky.

    If it was a fastback it would be one sharp looking car.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      I agree…the Hatchback came out in ’73 and it should have been offered with the SC/360 package. The Hornet is of My favorite AMC models.

  3. Rhett

    Love love love these cars. Cleanly styled, and very quick. Whether you like AMC technology or not, they made some cool cars.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      AMC technology was just that….American ingenuity. Take the best, and make it better, more dependable as well as affordable to the average American family. Design some style and toss in some innovative thinking and you’ve got the compete package. Growing up, there were plenty of AMC’s in Our neighborhood as well as their predecessor’s because they were dependable,affordable and comfortable to the blue collar family just tryin’ to live the dream.

      • jal11180

        Where do you live, DrinkinGasoline?

  4. PaulG

    This car with a 100 point restoration will (one day soon) bring big big bucks…and would be a blast to drive!

  5. JW

    I’m one who loves the unusual cars of the musclecar days, this car / the Gremlin with a 304 4 speed, Pinto wagon with porthole windows. Great find !!!

  6. wuzjeepnowsaab

    WOW. Quite the flip! This was sold in Colorado for a third of the current bid. Doesn’t even look like the car was so much as washed

    • Gopack4spd

      That is incorrect about the price it sold for.

      • SC360

        yeah, he is way off… a third? not even close…

  7. Mark-A

    I’m going out on a limb but I really like the White roof & stripe combo! Sweet car

  8. Rube Goldberg Member

    Holy ( Grail) freakin’ crap, a SC/360! This car took the place of the SC/Rambler. AMC buff’s dream about this car. At the time, it was one of the cheapest muscle cars you could buy at $2,663, or about $40 bucks cheaper than a 340 Duster. It did a respectable 0-60 in 6.7 seconds, and 14.9@ 95 mph in the 1/4. Out of the box. They planned on 10,000 units, but the fire went out at 784. I bet Eddie Stakes would love to get his hands on this. Incredible find, Scotty. Worth every penny!!!

    • Blaine

      Mine runs 13.1s @ 104 with about the same mods except it’s an automatic.

      3
      • Rube Goldberg Member

        That car looks great, Blaine. Did you, or anybody here make it to the AMC reunion in Kenosha this last summer? I went in 2014, and there was only ONE SC/360!!! It was a great show for all, especially for us AMC fans.

      • Mark Thompson

        I had matador red sc like yours the holy graile 4speed back in the day.wish i had it now!

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Yep Yep !…..A SC/Rambler (We called them Scramblers before We knew better of the Jeep model), was the cat’s @zz. Easy Peasy over the 340 Duster and the later Demon any day…..
      I do appreciate the luggage rack as an option but I would be compelled to find a replacement decklid taking into account age when re-painting and run that while retaining the original.

    • Mike H. Member

      Sort of?

      In 1969 there was the SC/Rambler with its 390 and a 4-speed, somewhat over-the-top Red/White/Blue paint scheme (actually two paint schemes, the B-scheme being the rarer of the two), and very limited production (1,512 examples).

      For 1970 you got the Rebel Machine, also in Red/White/Blue, but offered in other colours too. 340hp 390, which bested the 315hp of the 1969 model offered in the SC/Rambler and AMX models. The Machine was offered with both the 4-speed and the automatic, and production was nearly double that of the SC/Rambler with 2,326 examples built. The Machine package was offered again on the Matador in 1971, but the real screamer in ’71 was the SC/360.

      My point, I suppose, is that this car really wasn’t the performance follow-up to the 1969 SC/Rambler; one must consider the Rebel Machine’s place in that pecking order.

      • Scotty

        Nice thought but check things out closer, the Scrambler still used the old style rectangular port heads and a different head chamber, next the Machine although the engine had large HP the horse power to weight ratio far exceeded that of the SC 360 plus the rarity of the SC 360 compared to the other two makes the SC 360 a really hard to find car. Just to one more thing I am biased as I own a SC 360 which I bought new and today has only 9,326 original miles and is complete stock right down to the original tires

  9. Tony B.

    I’m kind of slow, in that it took me years to figure out that this was just a long Gremlin with a trunk. 🙂 If only I hadn’t sold my Gremlin…

  10. Radarone

    I love this Hornet but I don’t think I could talk Mama into it.

  11. Radarone

    Blaine, your red one is a beautiful car too!

  12. dennis

    It will need over $10k in Paint, interior and body work. Is it really worth over $25k when done?

    • CarBuzzard Member

      Do you mean, will it sell for $25,000 when done? Worth to whom…?

  13. LAWRENCE

    Like….and yes it’s been around…..please note SC 390 vrs 340 mopar….you’d expect a win…….duh….

  14. Gaspumpchas

    Like JW said,its different.LIke the lines,the 360 4 speed would be a blast to drive. AMC tried their best with the musclecars.It’s all good.Bud of mine has a bone stock 390 Scrambler sitting in a dirt floor shed. I used to pump sunoco 260 into this car when i was in High School in’71!!!

  15. z28th1s

    My favorite AMC car of all time! There was a guy in my town that had two of these back in the 80’s when I was a teenager.

    1
  16. Deb Walton

    I had a 1973 hornet wagon that had Gucci interior it was a blast

  17. Troy s

    Good looking car, but probably overshadowed by the javelin in terms of AMC muscle. It has that understated look to it, kinda like a Maverick grabber or Nova SS350. Sometimes it works sometimes it fails.

  18. Moparmann

    It seems to me that the chrome strip around the base of the roof possiby indicates that it was a separate color originally.

    • Robert Lays

      That chrome strip indicates it had a vinyl top.

  19. Adam Clarke Adam T45 Staff

    Hornets in any form were a rare car here in Australia. Having said that, when I was a young bloke of about 7 or 8, a man down the road from us had one of these. For me it was love at first sight. I still find these an extremely attractive car today.

    • Craigie

      Adam, I am a Hornet fan from Downunder also ! Had an Aussie assembled 4 door back in the 80’s. Only recently imported a SC/360 ……………

      2
  20. Mark H

    My wife’s first car was a 4-door version. Terrible looking car…..just saying…..

  21. leiniedude Member

    Winning bid:US $17,102.00
    [ 48 bids ]

  22. Eddie Stakes

    That car actually sold on ebay That sold on ebay https://www.ebay.com/itm/142576514584

    About same time this one sold for $9800 also on ebay https://www.ebay.com/itm/263299246437

    and a 3rd one popped up, Blaine with the red one above, which is one of the most well known ones of the 136 still in existence, he put his up for sale for $19,000 on a SC/360 facebook group
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/299424017114638/

    I have two of them myself, if you consider production numbers, they are the rarest AMC Muscle Car sans Trans Am Javelin & SS/AMX. 1512 Hurst SC/Ramblers were produced, 2308 Rebel Machines, only 784 SC/360 Hornets.

    Not all ram air cars, the one I recently picked up a “business mans” muscle car 360 2 barrel, automatic, factory air condition, power steering, power brakes, non go pack, non ram air, but no clock but $50 accessory clock. So really unassuming SC/360.

    It is extremely rare to see 3 for sale at once, and really rare to see them even at big AMC National events displayed. I have been documenting and registering them since 1990s, and you can learn more about these rare bees on the SC/360 Registry on my site at Planet Houston AMX
    http://www.planethoustonamx.com/sc360/sc_registry.htm

    To Adam above, a real SC/360 was recently IMPORTED into Australia! You can see more of it in the facebook SC/360 group I mentioned. Here is one of two SC/360s I own, it is on youtube,
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbgduy8CCoA&t=2s

    Consistent 13 second 1/4 mile car also, 360 4 barrel, Hurst 4 speed, 3:91 rear gears. Have owned it since early 1990s, it is one of 392 AMCs I have personally owned since 1976, (11 currently) real crowd pleaser with Veterans Day parades, 4th of July celebrations and Memorial Day activities the Veterans love it! Hope all these SC/360s for sale find a good home! Eddie Stakes’ Planet Houston AMX

    2
  23. Eddie Stakes

    One more thing. AMC “DID” put 360V8s in not only 2 door Hornets, but also 4 door Hornets & station wagons AND HATCHBACKS in 73-74…in 1972-74, some of those wagons were rare Gucci interior wagons. Imagine a 2900 pound wagon grocery getter with the AMC 360/727 combo. Every now and then a Hornet with factory 304V8 (H code) or 360V8 (N code, no P codes AMC never made a 304/360 4 barrel after the SC/360) will pop up for sale. Not a lot of them left as the Hornets (and Gremlins) didn’t get the undercoating other models like AMX & Javelin, and more like Ambassador & Matador got, so sadly, sort of throwaway cars. And those with V8s got cannibalized. You can see how few 2door, 4door & wagons got 360s (and 304s) in the PRODUCTION FIGURES section of my site http://www.planethoustonamx.com/main/amc_production_figures.htm

    A 73 360 (N code) Hornet hatchback was recently for sale in Atlanta craigslist $4500 for example. A 304 (H code) 73 Hornet 4 door was for sale for abut $3500 in the Reno craigslist
    https://reno.craigslist.org/cto/d/1970-amc-hornet-sstautomatic/6384093303.html

    I am big fan of American Motors wagons, this is the side of my house in Houston, the 82 Concord and 74 Sportabout both saved from crusher, 82 Concord 39K miles, original owner, the 74 Hornet Sportabout 79K miles, both sold new at Vance & Sons AMC, a dealership locally I bought out in 1980s
    http://www.planethoustonamx.com/photo-gallery-stakes-amcs-1/amc-collection-stakes-5.jpg
    both cars are AMC six bangers, and these cars are DRIVEN DAILY by wife & me in Houston,Texas.

    On the vinyl top, Robert, you could get vinyl tops n these and that is a factory installed chrome strip there. You can see more in the AMC Parts DVD you see me sell, 2500+ page dealer book on DVD/CD form, it shows ALL the models 1967 thru 1972 in there, including Group 26 TRIM, and that includes SC/360 Hornet with these vinyl trims
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/332361468907

    Worth having to look up items, ID, or restoration in a shameless plug. Hope this clears up some of the questions

  24. John Ammeter

    I owned an AMC SC 360 Hornet around 1976 or so… It was fast in the straight away but couldn’t corner that well. Foolishly, I traded it in for an Audi Fox.. wish I had it now.

  25. Anne F

    At the ages of 18 and 20 my ex and I traded our ’70 plain jane Hornet for a new SC360 in Des Moines Iowa in 1971. Red with the ombre stripe interior. 4 speed, 4 barrel, posi…fun, fast and good looking. It’s one of several cars I wish I still had!

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