Here’s how much a 1977 AMC Gremlin costs today

Some cars are famous for their incredible performance, glamorous design, or relatively affordable price, while others, like the AMC Gremlin, are famous for being complete dorks. In the early 1970s, AMC was the largest company after the Big Three in the United States, and it was also affected by the same problem that plagued the American auto industry at the time: the fuel crisis. The rise of fuel-efficient imports that were vastly more reliable and of better build quality than domestic American vehicles put American manufacturers in disarray, and AMC was no different.

However, the company’s lack of funds compared to its rivals was a harbinger of its future demise, as it was unable to create new designs like Ford and General Motors did with the Ford Pinto and Chevrolet Vega. Consequently, AMC used the already-in-development AMC Hornet as the basis for a new car known as the Gremlin, essentially cutting off the rear end to transform the car into a sporty sedan that was marketed as the “first built-in import American”.

It’s a bit of a headache of a marketing slogan, but AMC was betting on pairing Japanese and European imports with small size, high build quality and good ’70s fuel efficiency. Either way , the tagline was enough of a hit, because while the Gremlin wasn’t exactly sporty, well-built, or even a true sedan, it turned out to be the second best-selling car AMC had ever built.

That said, AMC’s standards were far below those of its rivals. In the entire production of the Gremlin which lasted from 1970 to 1978, a total of 671,475 cars were built. Not exactly competitive with GM or Ford in raw numbers, and the car isn’t remembered in a particularly fond light. Still, the Gremlin has a quirky charm all its own, enough to make it a worthwhile second-hand buy today.

The AMC Gremlin might be remembered as a silly car, but here’s what a 1977 model of the car costs in 2022.

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1977 AMC Gremlim Specs

1972 AMC Gremlin X, green with black stripe, Mecum
via: Mecum

The 1977 AMC Gremlin was powered by a standard 3.8-liter straight-6 engine, but a 4.2-liter straight-6 engine was also an available option. There was also a 4.0-liter carbureted inline-4 engine available, which had better fuel efficiency at the cost of less power. But of course, no one bought a Gremlin for its power; the car’s purpose was to save money as gas prices soared in the 1970s.

With the 4.0-liter I4 engine, the Gremlin has 80 horsepower and 105 lb-ft of torque, with a 0-60 mph time of 14.1 seconds and a top speed of 94 mph. It also has a then-impressive combined fuel economy of 21.7 miles per gallon. At the other end of the scale, the 4.2-liter I6 gave the Gremlin 114 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque, with a 0-60 mph time of 11.9 seconds and top speed. peak of 104 miles per hour. Fuel economy took a big hit, with a combined average of 16 miles per gallon.

Other features of the 1977 AMC Gremlin

1972 AMC Gremlin X interior
via: Mecum

The style of the Gremlin is distinct, for diplomatic word choice. At the time, it was sometimes called resembling a “sawn-off station wagon”, due to its derivation from the AMC Hornet. The 1977 model featured a redesigned front end for the first time since the original model, which was four inches shorter than the original.

As mentioned earlier, although it looks like a hatchback and is sold as such, the Gremlin doesn’t have an actual tailgate. Instead, only the rear window opens and closes to provide access to the cargo area. And that was only on the four-seat versions, because the rear seat was an option on the Gremlin. For the two-seater, the cargo area was only accessible from the inside via the passenger doors.

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The cost of the 1977 AMC Gremlin today

One of the main assets of the AMC Gremlin was its very cheap price. In 1977, the base MSRP was $2,995. In 2022 dollars, this equates to approximately $14,022. For comparison, a new car that targets a similar sector of the market in 2022, the Kia Soul, has a starting MSRP of $19,290. So cheap small cars were much smaller and cheaper in the 70s. And for anyone looking for a 1977 AMC Gremlin today, you’re in luck: the price has gone up, but not by much. On average, a 1977 AMC Gremlin sells for around $15,000 today. But of course, this is an average price, not the price of every Gremlin. Gremlins have sold in recent years for $32,450 and as low as $2,750. So all in all, if you want to own one of the most famous cars of the 70s, you won’t have to pay much for it.


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