“X” Marks the Spot! 1977 AMC Hornet Wagon

The Hornet replaced the American in 1970 as American Motors’ compact car offering. Less boxy and roomier than its predecessor, the Hornet would be a mainstay in the AMC lineup through 1977, after which it would morph into the Concord which was a bit more upscale. This ’77 wagon with the “X” appearance package looks like a decent vintage car, although it did get a repaint several years ago. Located in Las Vegas, Nevada, it’s out in public again and available here on Facebook Marketplace for $2,499. Thanks for my first tip from Edward Sel!

Fans of AMC products will recall the Hornet name first appeared on a pre-merger car built by Hudson (who would merge with Nash in 1954 to form AMC). Besides being a big seller for the company, the Hornet served as the basis for the Gremlin subcompact which was a shortened Hornet with a sharply raked rear hatch area. 1977 would be the model year before the shift was made to the Concord and the wagon (like this one) was the second most popular body style, accounting for nearly 29,000 units.

For being a 45-year-old automobile, we’re told this Hornet has only had two owners. The odometer is close to rolling over at 97,500, so the buyer will get the chance to see it flip back to zero. The “X” package was a trim option that added a little pizzazz to the AMC product, but nothing performance-wise. This machine has the almost bullet-proof 258 cubic-Inch inline-6 married to an automatic transmission. It also has goodies like power steering and brakes and factory air conditioning. The carburetor needs to be rebuilt and the brakes are iffy, but that may be all you need besides tires.

The red/copper paint is rather faded and could stand to be redone, or just driven the way it is. Overall, rust seems to have been held at bay except for a couple of places. Aside from carpeting, the interior seems to be fine, and the wagon has those cool AMC reclining front seats. If you can whip this back into a daily driver, what a nice treat it could be for Cars & Coffee. When was the last time you saw one of these wagons?


  1. Dave

    Clean it up and drive it as is until you can find a Hemi to transplant.

    Like 1
  2. S

    One repaint? It sure doesn’t look like it. In elementary school, my friend’s mom had a brown 75 Hornet wagon just like this. We were driven to and from school many times in it. They sold it for $1000, and replaced it with a Chevy Celebrity wagon.

    Like 2
  3. Troy

    No telling what the miles really are but if it runs and drives it could be a dependable car for someone

    Like 5
  4. Jay McCarthy

    Clifford and Holley have products that can wake this 6 cylinder up and make it a lot more fun, the transmission is probably the A904 from Chrysler. This is a cool car that might clean halfway decent

    Like 5
  5. Bill

    I had one of these with the 304 V8. It was seriously rusted when I bought it for $100. I patched up the rust and painted it gray with some left over paint I had. Drove it for two years and then sold it for $500. A guy wanted the engine for his CJ 7.

    Like 4
  6. bruce book

    Hello Russ Nice write up and PLEASE, call me Ed! The car being sold in Las Vegas (NV) may account for the relative absence of rust and w/o seeing any pics of the carpet it’s a relief to see that the rest of the interior seems not to be suffering from the “sun rust” that so often turns car interiors to crackly dust after being parked in the heat and dryness for a few years, but good upholstery (no mention of saggy headliner) and as I recall the ad says the car runs and drives, with the braking soft-ish, but rare enough to not see yourself coming and going, and a nice mid? sized wagon suitable for those long old lonesome Nevada road trips…maybe even has cruise control in the “X” package. Vintage plates and off you go!

  7. JMB#7

    Mom had 77 sedan Hornet when I was in highschool. Drove & handled rather well. Had the larger sway bars that came with the radial tire option. I ran it rather hard.

    Like 2
  8. douglas hunt

    mom had a Hornet wagon when I was in my early teens, so I never got to drive it. Rusted out along the fender / hood line. I remember helping dad wash it and he was griping about how fast it had rusted out

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