X is for eXtreme: 1972 AMC Gremlin

1972 AMC Gremlin X

Those of you who have been following the site for a while probably know by now that we like oddballs and originality. So, when we find an oddball car that is highly original we tend to get excited. While restoring a car can be a fun and fulfilling experience, it is also expensive, time consuming, and in the end the car just isn’t quite the same as an all original survivor. Certain cars just aren’t collectable enough to justify a costly restoration either, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth owning. That’s the place that most AMC Gremlins are in, but this 1972 AMC Gremlin X is one of those survivors that is well worth keeping around. Have a look at it here on eBay in St. Petersburg, Florida. Special thanks goes to Jim S for this tip!

Gremlin X

The seller claims they bought this Gremlin out of Washington State and that it is a highly original survivor. It looks to be in nice shape, but there are a few blemishes and issues. Overall the exterior looks great, but there is some rust starting to work its way through the paint in a few spots and there are plenty of what appear to be swirl marks in the original paint. The X package decals and bright paint certainly give the car a striking appearance and help to make it look more aggressive than it really is.

Gremlin X Engine

Speaking of the X package, it was the most popular option package offered on the Gremlin. It did little for performance, although one could option their Gremlin X with the 304 V8. The option was primarily an appearance package, but did add bucket seats to the interior. Ironically, the most extreme part of the X were the stripes and decals, but that didn’t stop it from being extremely popular. All the standard Gremlin engine options were available in the X and this one was optioned with the mid-level performance 258 cui inline six. The gross power output is rated at 150 horsepower, which was a decent amount of power for a compact car in 1972. Fuel efficiency wasn’t as impressive as some of its smaller 4 cylinder competitors, but the added performance easily made up the difference.

Gremlin X Interior

The interior looks to be mostly original, although someone obviously decided that they needed more tunes than the original radio could provide. They installed an aftermarket stereo system, complete with cheap CD player and speaker boxes resting in the back seats. Thankfully they didn’t cut up the dash to install the head unit, so hopefully removing their custom made console and wiring will be a simple task. The interior is in otherwise original and usable condition. They have a new carpet set and replacement upholstery that need to be installed and they are including both in the auction.

Gremlin X Survivor

Even with nearly 700k Gremlins built, it isn’t every day you come across a clean survivor like this one. The only way it could get better is if it had the 304 and a 4 speed, but for an interesting driver the inline 6 and automatic should work just fine! Of course you will need to fix the exhaust leak and electrical issues related to the new stereo before it will make a good daily driver, but those shouldn’t be huge issues. I would love to own this bright red Gremlin, but is it a little too extreme for you?

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Comments

  1. Mike G

    What a cool car.

  2. RickyM

    Absolutely love it – so 70’s !!

  3. Rick

    Back about 1981 or so when gas was really expensive, I bought a non-X ’71 Gremlin for $250 back in the days when you almost couldn’t give a Gremiln away (or any other AMC for that matter) that was right about the time that the writing was on the wall for AMC, wasn’t around much longer, anyhow mine was in pretty decent shape, and only had about 70K on the clock, and I used it for my daily driver during the early 80s gas crunch. It had the 258 six like today’s feature car, except mine had the factory 3 speed on the floor manual, anyhow that was a peppy car, and you could smoke the tires all day long if you wanted to, mileage was a shade above 20 mpg the way I drive which I thought was pretty respectable at the time. What I remember most is that the plastic parts in the interior started coming apart, things like the plastic cover over the speedo came off and fell into the dash, and the door hinges started sagging really bad making the door difficult to close and causing damage to the latch and striker mechanism. I drove it for almost 3 years and during that time put about 50K on it and sold it for $250 and there really wasn’t anything wrong with the drive train. I didn’t have to make any mechanical repairs while I had it (except brakes). The guy I sold it to said he was going to enter it into an all-Gremlin demo derby, never did hear if that happened, but I do know they used to have those back in the early 80s, and I’m sure a large number of them ended up there. Wish I coulda seen one.

  4. mike

    reminds me of Team Highball Racing from the original IMSA RS series.they ran with a 258 4 speed..3spd was standard…that AMC said was an option.even on the option order form but check it and you never rec’d the car you ordered.really takes me back.this is a really nice Gremlin that needs a good home.

  5. Howard

    Had a neighbor that had one with the 304. With tinted windows, chrome mags and a 4 speed, it was pretty impressive.

  6. Daryl K.

    Who can forget Mr cool, Mike Damone’s Gremlin (defaced by Linda Barrett) in the movie, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”.

  7. Alan (Michigan)

    BF seems to be hitting hot buttons this week….

    School in Quincy, IL in the early 70’s, and one of my classmates bought a new Gremlin X. Manual transmission, although I can’t recall whether it was a 3 or 4 speed. I never drove it, or that would probably be in a mental file somewhere. The car was some shade of turquoise, and seemed pretty peppy for the time. It did have air conditioning, and my bud once pointed out proudly the setting which was marked : DESERT

    Since then, I’ve concluded that it probably indicated re-cooling of cabin air, instead of outside air, but I have no way of knowing for sure.

  8. Joe Howell

    Love it !!!!!!!!!!

  9. Mike D

    I owned a ’73 Gremlin in ’78, unfortunately I rear ended someone with it, and that was that, but while I had it, I loved it. It was just the Gremlin, A/T and 232 engine, bench seat

  10. manta73wi

    Back in the early 1980s, I worked for a pharmacy while in high school, and one of the tasks I had was delivering prescriptions to the elderly and shut-ins. The pharmacy owned a decrepit Vega (complete with star stripes running down the side), and one day when I came in to work, the Vega was gone. The pharmacist explained it had died, and I had visions of a zippy new car, like the VW Rabbit a competing pharmacy had down the road. Image my teenage anticipation sinking when I arrived at work and found a blue ’75 Gremlin in the parking spot. This particular Gremlin had the 258 six, automatic, terribly over assisted power steering, stiff manual brakes, and a radio that would short on and off when you hit bumps. It was peppy, but the bench seat and sloppy steering did not make for a pleasant drive.

    Another memory I have is building a Lindberg 1/20 scale model kit of a red Gremlin in the mid 1970s. It didn’t quite fit in scale with the regular sized 1/24 and 1/25 scale cars, so that one met its demise courtesy of a model rocket engine that thrust it down a deserted gravel road to obliteration.

    This red ’72 X, however, looks so much better with its early bumpers and clean front end. The later “freshenings” did not enhance the appearance of the Gremlin. This one is certainly worthy of preservation and looks like a fun ride. The new owner will enjoy a 1970s icon.

  11. Mark H

    I had a Levi Edition ’76. 304, auto, ac, ps, pb, tilt, buckets, posi rear end and custom hacksawed dual glass packs. Sold it for a song to a guy under the premise of taking it to California to resell. I paid $300 for it. Still kinda miss the little oddball……

  12. William Henshaw

    For a minute I thought that maybe I’d smoked too many meds today! I had a friend who had this exact same car. I’ve never said this before because the laughter would be too loud, but it was a great little car. We used to fold down the rear seat and load our amps and guitars and drive across the state to play gigs, and never did it leave us stranded. I can’t say that about any other gig rig we had. My nephew bought it from my buddy and continued piling on the miles on fishing trips all over the state. It just never broke down! That 258 6Cyl is a great engine that puts out quite a punch in that little car. As Rick said, these things could roast the rubber off the rim, great smoke show. I’ve been keeping my eyes open for one of these locally and can’t seem to find one. If I was still living in Geogia I’d be checking this out. I wonder what the reserve is on this car, I already think it’s priced too high when you include the cost of shipping it all the way across the country. Really cool car, brought back some wonderful memories.

  13. William Henshaw

    Also remember a Gremlin owned by a guy at a junk yard in Auburn Wa. that had stuffed a 401 4spd out of a Javelin in it, never saw it run but I’m sure it was a fun ride.

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