Southwest Survivor: 1977 AMC Hornet AMX

AMC has proven itself over and over again by making some of the funkiest, coolest, and most unusual cars of any car company, maybe ever. Case in point: this 1977 AMC Hornet AMX. The seller has this faded Firecracker Red car listed here on craigslist in Goodyear, Arizona where I should be right now given the 5″ of fresh snow on the ground here. They’re asking $5,800. Thanks to the dynamic duo of Ikey H. and Pat L. who both sent in this tip at basically the same time!

Some of you know that I like my vehicles on the unusual side so I’ve always been a big fan of AMC’s offerings. AMC’s AMX didn’t go through as many crazy changes as Dodge’s Charger did, but going from an all-out two-seater muscle car AMX to a variation of the Hornet had to have rankled a few staunch muscle car guys and gals. I’m glad that they followed through on it and gave us the Hornet AMX, an options package a buck cheaper than $800 and you could only get it on the hatchback version of the Hornet.

AMC only made the Hornet AMX for 1977. But wait, before lighting those torches and sharpening those pitchforks, the company did offer an AMX package on the new-for-1978 AMC Concord, but that went away after a year. The AMX name lived on in 1979 and 1980 in the AMC Spirit AMX, maybe the coolest body style of all, in my opinion, and the last AMC passenger car to have an available 304 V8.

I like this design. I could maybe do without the stainless steel basket handle B-pillar trim but otherwise, I’m not sure if I could change a lot in the looks department. This car almost looks like it’s had a spray-can treatment, one of those products that you can supposedly peel off once you’re tired of it. The seller doesn’t mention the paint at all but they do say that there is a little rust behind the rear wheel wells. I know that vehicles can and do rust in southern Arizona but that’s a little surprising to hear.

The interior looks great other than front seat covers that fit like my skin does in my old age, sort of like a plastic bag over a chicken carcass. Luckily, seats can be fixed much easier and cheaper than skin. The back seat pretty much looks like new and the rear cargo area under the hatchback also looks great. You can see the rear window louvers that give these cars a very cool detail touch and I can imagine that they’re pretty useful, especially in Arizona. You can also see the Chrysler Torque-Command automatic floor shifter, could this car have the 304 V8 which only came with an automatic transmission?

Alas, this car has AMC’s 258 cubic-inch inline-six which is a fantastic engine and had 114 hp. It’s no V8 but it only had six fewer horsepower than the 304 V8 did. Still, a V8 is a V8 is a V8, at least value-wise. As with every other part of this car, the engine and engine compartment look fantastic. This could be a good buy for the right owner who doesn’t have to have a V8 in their AMX. Have any of you owned a Hornet AMX?

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Comments

  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    There are two of those in this area (Roanoke,VA) –
    both in exceptional condition.I know one of the owners,&
    I see him driving it (as it should be) around time to time.

    Like 6
  2. jerry z

    The car does look clean, perfect to upgrade to a 401/5 speed! Shave/tuck the bumpers and get rid of those overriders!

    Like 2
  3. John J

    Actually a little rough for what they are asking. Might be 175,000 miles. Look at the condition of the seat belt webbing. Completely frayed away. Door panels look rough. To me this is a $3000 car. Hard to believe this car is in Arizona with inoperative A/C!

    Like 1
  4. Steve Clinton

    $5800. What a bargain!

    Like 1
  5. Mark P

    I had a 1976 Hornet X, not an AMX but it had the 258 with a standard. Power steering and power disc brakes. It was black with red X striping. It had the AMC sport rims. Very good looming car. With the stick it was fun to drive. Nice bucket seat black interior. I worked at an electronics shop, it had a nice Sanyo Bi-Amp stereo and of course a CB modded for extra channels. I traded a ’70 Chevelle for this, I’d taken the tired Chevy as far as I wanted, had a job with a commute that needed better than 7 miles to the gallon even back then. Good times in that car.

    Like 2
  6. Eddie Stakes

    AMX marketed the 77 AMX without the “Hornet” moniker just “AMX” about 5300 of them produced. Unique and hard to find are the front spoiler and flairs. 77 AMXs (and most 76-78) AMCs have some bad quality control issues. 77 AMXs not much under coating and what you do find, looks like silly string. I helped a lot with Hemmings Motor News article years ago on 77 AMXs http://www.planethoustonamx.com/stuff/1977-amc-hornet-amx.htm worth a read. They are wonderful cars I may add, while the biggest engine you could get is 304, I stuffed a 401 in a white 77 AMX years ago wife drove daily in Houston. Easy to do. A white 77 AMX 304V8 Texas car I had here, loaded, I sold for $3000 a few years ago some photos of the car, which had never been out of Texas remain on my site. http://www.planethoustonamx.com/my-amcs-for-sale.htm there is a facebook group for later model AMXs. Also the AMX name lived on AFTER 1980 though axed in USA early in 1980 production ( AMC axed Pacer & Spirit AMX November 1979 4 months into 80 production, dealers ordered no more orders, take down all banners, posters, even printed new catalogs) but AMX name used 1981-83 in Mexico VAM (Vehiculos Automotores Mexicanos). Oh, the louvers on 77-78 AMXs high dollar item as fit 68-70 AMX & Javelin, and due to shorter back glass, saw off bottom louver and fit 71-74 same!

    Like 3
    • Steve Clinton

      Wonderful post with valuable information. Thanks!

      Like 1
  7. Alec

    There’s one in the PNW for $500, similar shape except a tree fell on it.

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