Would You Pay $12,000? 1974 AMC Hornet

It seems like classic car prices just keep going up. Ten grand is the new five. Inflation isn’t going anywhere though so we all just have to keep saving our pennies while keeping an eye out for a deal. This 1974 AMC Hornet may not seem like a bargain at $12k but could it be a good buy? It’s located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and is listed here on craigslist. Thanks go to Pat L. for the tip!

You were expecting a V8 in there, weren’t you? It may not be a V8 but that inline six has 258 cubic inches. That’s pretty big for a six so maybe there’s some performance potential here? I’ve heard there are triple Weber intakes out there or you maybe you could slap a 4.0 Jeep head on top and add fuel injection? That sounds fun. You have power steering, power brakes, and air conditioning in there so any extra power would be useful.

If you look real close, you’ll see a 4-speed shift knob sticking up out of the transmission tunnel. That should help make this one feel more peppy. The interior looks clean but I’m guessing the seats have been recovered because the grey material doesn’t match the blue door panels. But then again, the dash is grey…

This AMC has a mini muscle car vibe to it. The blue paint looks nice nd the tire/wheel combo is spot on. The next owner could have fun playing with that engine while they’re dreaming of a 360 V8 swap. It would stand out in the sea of Camaros and Mustangs at any car show too. Would all that be worth twelve thousand bills to you though? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. Miguelito Loveless

    I would go $8500 and leave the 6 in place. Looks good.

    Like 24
  2. sir_mike

    Right in the rust belt so better check carefully for rust issues…unless never driven in snow.Nice looking AMC

    Like 11
  3. Joe

    I’m an AMC fan, but that’s way overpriced.

    Like 13
  4. Terry

    I’ve always liked these cars, and that body style actually wears those big bumpers well. If this car had a 304 V8 (which was offered) and had better interior, I could see forking over 12k for it.

    Like 9
    • jerry z

      I agree.

      Like 1
      • Jeff Member

        James Bond cork screw …Man with Golden Gun, was a 360 V8 called the Astro Spiral not CGI was live event

  5. Troy s

    Neat looking car there, nice wheels, and although many here might like the six, my mind says it would be so much better with a V8. Opions vary.

    Like 3
  6. Tony Primo

    It might be worth 12 grand if it had a 401, 4 speed.

    Like 12
  7. Gary Rhodes

    Nice car, needs interior and a price drop to $6500.00

    Like 9
  8. That AMC guy

    This car probably came with bucket seats from the factory. Possibly the interior was trashed and grey parts sourced from a donor car. Too bad the seat installed is the base-model Gremlin/Hornet back-breaker. Thinnest possible padding and zero support. Comfy seats from a Concord would have been much better. (I’ve installed those in a Hornet and it makes a big difference.)

    The dashboard and door cards have been cut up for an aftermarket stereo and speakers. Carpeting looks like yet another color (tan) but maybe just faded from sun exposure? Since the dashboard has obviously been monkeyed with there is no reason to believe that the 80K miles showing on the odometer actually belong to this car.

    Under the hood a GM HEI distributor has been installed to replace the original points-and-condenser distributor. May be a Chinese-made clone.

    All in all, whoever thinks this car is worth $12K must be smoking some mighty fine wacky tobaccy. Sorry, but the bling under the hood and shiny wax job don’t add $6K to the value. (Not to mention who knows what the underside of this thing looks like.)

    Like 14
    • Jack M.

      Now that Canada and many states have legalized marijuana, that’s a very good possibility.

      Like 7
    • Jeff Member

      Beautiful hornet hatch back, 258 six came with automatic on column or floor and also a manual on floor would be a three speed stick. Buddy had one in 75 brand new. Bucket seats where optional with the center hump automatic or three speed stick……..Good thing im not rich, or i would own 12 cars at least. My 69 AMX is a light blue, 390 has 450 HP at the crank, at bandemeres which is 5800 feet in altitude

      Like 1
  9. Joel Koch

    Nice rig for sure! The way I see it, there’s a possibility there might be that one person who’d pay it. Sentimental reasons and all! I have 1964 770 Rambler Classic Wagon W/42k original miles on its 287 motor and would love to get that kind of money for it. I’ve seen them (Rambler Wagons) sell for $3,500-$25,000! It’s a mad, mad, mad, world!

    Like 4
  10. 8banger Member

    On the other hand, the uncut Geo Tracker is a rare bird….

    Like 3
  11. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    Nice color, and it is in pretty nice condition too! I would leave the six cylinder in place and take it on short drives and to car shows. The only negative is that it is worth about half the ask.

    Like 13
  12. Sam Shive

    It’s been a while since I’ve lived in Pa, but this is NOT INSPECTED. Every dam car in Pa has at least one inspection sticker, Some have two. No Inspection sticker, something is wrong, AND What’s up with the second one on the lift, Donor car or GOT ALL THE GOOD STUFF

    Like 4
    • sir_mike

      Your right about the insp.stickers unless he changed to antique plates.No inspection required then.

      Like 1
    • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

      The car does have PA antique plates, which is why there is no inspection sticker.

      Like 3
  13. James Moody

    Obviously, with the exception of certain Javelins, most AMCs aren’t going to be bringing prices that the rest of the market is.
    Everyone has this idea that because nice cars are bringing top dollar at Mecum or Barrett-Jackson, theirs is worth a mint. Heck, I’m a VW nut and a few others I want now that I’m nearing retirement, but no way am I giving 15k for a Beetle convertible or 35k for a Mk1 GTI for instance.

  14. Rosko


    Like 3
  15. Howie Mueler

    I always say you can ask anything and not get it.

    Like 5
  16. Russ Ashley

    Man, you guys are HARD! It’s a 74 model car that looks great and has a/c you are complaining about $12K, maybe less. If it’s rust free and drives good my guess is that it will sell, maybe not $12K, but not much less. 70’s cars are beginning to increase in price. I like it, just can’t buy every car I like. They are building an AMC 258 engine on one of the shows on PowerNation TV. It dyno’d at near 300 hp when they finished it.

    Like 9
  17. Skorzeny

    I’m a bit of an outlier in that I love AMC products, and the Hornet is my favorite. Here’s my problem. I don’t like the 2 door very much. I love the 4 door and the wagon. It appears clean, and has the manual. Are you gonna find one much nicer for the price? The 12K doesn’t bother me at all. Compare to what you would pay for something new.

    Like 5
  18. JCA

    $12k seems way too high, even in this crazy market. Maybe if it was a low mile rare all original car, but it doesn’t look like it. Looks like it was once an Auto floor shift or a 3 speed manual. Why would someone order a 4spd with the standard 6? Doesn’t make sense. The carpet was cut and patched at the shifter and might even be from a different car as the color is different. If you have the seats out and are cutting the trans tunnel for the 4 spd, why would you put the old nasty carpet back?

    Like 4
    • JMB#7

      I would order the 4-speed with the straight 6, since you asked. Especially in 1974. I suspect that it will sell for just under $10k. If someone is serious about buying it, I would contact the seller and tell them to put it up on that lift in the background and shoot some good photos of the bottom side. The comments about swapping the later 4.0 head and injection are a very good idea (fuel system upgrade required).

      Like 1
  19. Major Thom

    Bench seat and a floor shift stick?
    Give that middle passenger a thrill with every gear change!

    Like 2
  20. Glenn C. Schwass Member

    We had a 75 4 door that I learned to drive in. This is really nice with the 258 and 4 spd. They rust out on top of thecfenders and the bumper brackets. This is probably ok. I don’t know what it’s worth but all that with AC, the new distributor and all that may be.

  21. sir_mike

    Your right about the insp.stickers unless he changed to antique plates.No inspection required then.

    Like 2
  22. Don

    For 12,000 there needs to be more pics. Esp underneath. Paint is 2 yrs old. What is under the paint? Carpet & dash pad are toast. Need correct seats in the correct color. And it would be worth an extra $500.00 without the crappy steering wheel cover.

    Like 1
  23. BlackTa


  24. Bmac777 Member

    Bond wouldn’t have made that corkscrew bridge jump if he had this 6 cyl version.

  25. Mikey P


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