Notorious Gasser: 1976 AMC Gremlin

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Ever feel like you’re not getting the full story, even when it’s likely to be a good one? There are certain cars where I feel as if the history is the most comepelling part of the sale, but sellers clam up when it comes to laying out the goods. This AMC Gremlin is said to have “some real Socal notoriety and history” according to the seller, but he doesn’t tell us what it is! You’ll find the former hot rod Gremlin here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $3,800. 

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The Gremlin looks to have been a real terror back in the day with those fat slicks sticking out the back. In fact, it used to have a blown Chevy 350 under the hood which likely made this thing fly, but the engine is no longer included with the car. The seller claims he had big plans but priorities have changed and now it must go. I can’t help but wonder if that’s really the case or if he just wanted to snag the drivetrain and dump the rest.

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No word on how well-done the original build was, or if the Gremlin was a regular fixture at an area drag strip. These are the parts of the story that would likely help this car find a buyer, as even in its engine-less state, enthusiasts can get wrapped up in becoming an interesting car’s next caretaker. The previous owner is purported to be from South Dakota, where the car still holds its registration. Wouldn’t you love to know if this Gremlin used to tear up the Badlands?

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With the seats missing as well, I’m fairly certain this confirms the seller’s intent all along was to strip out the pieces he could use for another project and sell the shell. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it would have been preferable if a car with some history came with the motor that gave it those interesting stories. No point to crying about it now, I suppose, so what would you do with this Gremlin? Would you re-create its hot-rod history in some form, or go in a different direction altogether?

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Comments

  1. Oingo

    Finish stripping it and scrap it so the parts that are usable can be put to good use.

  2. Cleric

    As a South Dakota resident who is in the military and so does not currently live in South Dakota: I can tell you that there’s nowhere easier to register a car than SoDak. I have cars with SoDak plates that have never been to SoDak. There’s a chance that the previous owner had SoDak connections and registered iit there to avoid Cali smog laws. Or to get around Cali back taxes. If he did, he would not be the first.

  3. Howard A Member

    There’s a guy, named Brian Ambrosini, and he does wheelie drags with his Gremlin at Byron Dragway, about 30 minutes south of Rockford, ILL. ( Right next to the nuclear reactor) He usually takes the trophy for the longest wheel stand. By the sound, this ain’t no 6 banger. This time, he got the trophy for the “most catastrophic” wheel stand. Look at the fans, they love it!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkYXHtUIPxw

    • JW

      I used to live just south of Byron and my son still lives nearby, we have seen Brian run that gremlin quite a few times and yes he’s a regular there. BUT I thought he was going to jail for him and a partner stealing some engines from some warehouse out east, never heard how that whole incident played out.

      • Howard A Member

        Hi JW, can’t say, although, there’s always a sinister plot going on with these types of activity. If I remember, he flipped that car a couple times. Brian tried to flip the car, but this guy wasn’t so lucky. ( he was ok, but wasted the car) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIMD4A4PPvo

      • JW

        Hi Howard, I was at that race, he won the most radical trophy and the next year he won the longest, he is a regular at Byron also. If anyone has never been to Byron for the Wheelstanding Nationals the first weekend in October it is AWESOME. I wasn’t able to make it this year which was a bummer.

      • Howard A Member

        Yeah, and another bonus, being so close to the reactor, your cell phones charge themselves without being plugged in. I’m sorry, those things (nuclear reactors), just freak me out, although, I know we’d be screwed without them.

      • JW

        Howard that was a running joke at the track, if a guys brakes failed the reactor will stop him and everyone else in their tracks. I’m not fond of them either because they are leaving spent radioactive rods everywhere one is built because they have nowhere to store them safely yet. Where I moved from I could sit on my porch and see the clouds of steam rolling out of it, kind of creepy.

  4. KeithK

    Step 1. Order and install crate engine and trans. Blower optional.
    Step 2 . Source salvage yard interior.
    Step 3 . Add and install road legal bits.
    Step 4. Fill with gas and enjoy terrorizing the local scene . Repeat as necessary.
    (Paint very optional in my opinion.)

  5. JW

    I would give him 1K for it then as stated above drop a new drivetrain in it and paint it with a single stage paint job from Maaco, put some new interior / tires and wheels while checking out brakes the run it. It’s already butchered so you can’t hurt nothing as far as value.

  6. M/K

    gremlins are cool. since its already gutted and since small block chevys in everything is so overdone how about an AMC 401 and torque flight? almost 500 lb.ft. in that gremmy? gear head erotica.

  7. Rick

    Had a hankering for a Gremlin for years (something wrong in my upbringing I guess) and recently found this one a few miles from me.

    • JW

      Like it !!!

    • 70kingswood

      that one is awesome!

  8. Jeffro

    Had a elementary school teacher who had a Gremlin X. It was purple with white stripes. He had big & little tires with slot mags. It was a 304 with a 4speed. After 40+ years, whenever I see a Gremlin, I always think of his car. I thought it was bad ass in elementary school.

    I need a more gas efficient car, cause Memory Lane is getting longer.

  9. elchinero

    Phony baloney … no sign of a “cage” in that blivet, for one.

  10. AMCSTEVE

    That thing will fly down the track. Very easy project to get going. 2k tops

  11. Ck

    To whoever buys this jewel ,when you get your junkyard seats I’ll sell you all my old beat up levis to recover them in.Then you can tell everyone IT’S FACTORY.You guys can fight over this one I’ll take the Monza Wagon.

  12. Jack

    This was for sale on Craigslist 6 months ago with a b&m 144 roots blown 350 and a 2004r for 4500.

    • Rick

      Looks like he’s trying to get a cheap drive train!

  13. MARK BOYCE

    Here is this car at maybe Pomona ,, has the famed “south dakota” plates too… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcISla9lHF0

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