AMC Gremlin cars from the ’70s: The vintage subcompacts with the memorable name

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The AMC Gremlin (1977)

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Right from the start, the AMC Gremlin’s unique styling and sporty individuality appealed to a specific range of drivers. Take a look back to the ’70s, and find out what these cars were all about.
AMC Gremlin cars: The fun Americans want. The size America needs. (1977)

It takes something pretty strong to make people trade in their Volkswagens.

When you buy a Gremlin, a great little economy car that’s fun to drive.

You get a car that’s been road-tested and checked over so thoroughly, we make this promise: If anything goes wrong and it’s our fault, we’ll fix it. Free. And, if we have to keep your car overnight for guaranteed repairs, over 1900 dealers will loan you a car. Free.

Finally, you get a name and toll-free number to call in Detroit if you have a problem. And you’ll get action, not a runaround.

Nobody in the business does all this for you after you buy a car. Which is probably why people who’ve never bought a car from us before are buying one now.

1972 American Motors Gremlin car


AMC Gremlin: The fun Americans want. The size America needs. (1977)

Right from the start, Gremlin’s unique styling and sporty individuality appealed to a wide range of drivers.

For 1977, we’ve given Gremlin a fresh new look that’s bound to make it even more appealing.

There’s a rich-looking new front-end treatment and distinctive taillights that give Gremlin an exciting new look from bumper to bumper. But in spite of the good looks, practicality and value still get top billing.

ALSO SEE: Ford Pinto: The bestselling sub-compact economy car from the ’70s & ’80s (and its fatal flaw)

Vintage 1970s AMC Gremlin cars

Gremlin has a new more expansive rear lift window for easier-than-ever loading. (The back seat folds down to provide a handy, roomy cargo space of nearly 27 cubic feet.) Front disc brakes. Parking brake warning light.

Foam-cushioned seats in Rallye Perforated vinyl. Bright metal exterior moldings and much, much more. To add a distinctive flair to all this new Gremlin excitement, add the sporty X Package, one of dozens of options.

Gremlin features an easy-handling 96-inch wheelbase, and a proven 6-cylinder engine with a 21-gallon fuel tank (for responsive driving performance and long driving range.)

And to protect Gremlin value, there’s the new buyer protection plan II, an AMC “standard” that other cars don’t even offer as an option!

From American Motors

The AMC Gremlin (1977)


The AMC Gremlin. More fun than a barrel of gas bills. (1971)

The Gremlin is an economical* small car with the room, ride and comfort of a bigger car. It’s economical because it has an efficient 4-cylinder engine and 4-speed gear box, which manage to be very thrifty and very peppy at the same time.

The Gremlin also comes with a lot of things that make it more fun to drive. 4 on the floor, wide-track handling and easy maneuverability, give the Gremlin quite a sporty feel. And casual Levi seats, racing stripes and slot style wheels give the Gremlin X quite a sporty look to go with it.

You also get AMC’s exclusive buyer protection plan, with the only full 12 month/12,000 mile warranty. That means AMC will fix, or replace free any part, except tires, for 12 months or 12,000 miles whether the part is defective, or just plain wears out under normal use and service.

Discover how much fun, and how economical, driving can be with a perky, practical Gremlin.

*Based on EPA estimated ratings, 35 highway, 22 city, 27 combined for the optional 4-cylinder engine with 4-speed manual transmission. Your actual mileage may vary depending on your car’s condition, optional equipment, and how and where you drive. California figures lower.

DON’T MISS: Look back at the Chevrolet Vega, the subcompact car Chevy produced from 1970 to 1977

Vintage The AMC Gremlin (1978)


Retro ad for white AMC Gremlin (1971)

Vintage 1971 AMC Gremlin - American Motors


Anatomy of a Gremlin (1973)
  1. Gremlin is the only little economy car with a standard 6-cylinder engine.
  2. Reaches turnpike speed easily.
  3. Weighs more than other small cars. And its wheels are set wider apart.
  4. Has a wider front seat.
  5. A wider back seat.
  6. And more headroom in the trunk.

And only American Motors makes this promise: The Buyer Protection Plan backs every ’73 car we build. And we’ll see that our dealers back that promise.

AMC Gremlin. We back them better because we build them better.

Vintage 1973 American Motors Gremlin cars


The toughest car inspector we know. (1974)

The American Motors Buyer Protection Plan. Every ’74 AMC car we build has to pass with top marks before it gets to the toughest car inspector we know.

We believe that you’re the toughest car inspector we know.

That’s why we take special precautions through our Buyer Protection Plan to make sure that your new 1974 AMC car will live up to your expectations. It starts at our factory where specialized production personnel have the responsibility of seeing that our high quality of manufacture is constantly maintained.

But it doesn’t just stop there. Then your American Motors Dealer puts it through an extensive Pre-Delivery Inspection that includes a 37 point check and certifies in writing that he has inspected and approved things like the braking, handling and overall performance. All this is part of the Buyer Protection Plan and it’s done before you even drive an AMC car off the lot.

What we’re really trying to do is give you, the toughest car inspector we know, the easiest job on the road — owning one of our cars.

1974 AMC Gremlin - American Motors


Relieve the fuel shortage (1974)

AMC Gremlin is the only U.S. sub-compact with a standard six-cylinder engine. Yet for all its engine, the car is very easy on gas. Averages over 18 mpg, depending upon the way you drive.

And Gremlin still out-accelerates, weighs more, has a wider track, wider front seat, and wider back seat than any other car in its class.

If you want to know what else Gremlin relieves, price one.

1974 AMC Gremlin - Fuel shortage


“I bought it because it looked like it needed me.” (1978)

When I saw that lovable little Gremlin in the showroom window, my heart went out to it and I went in. 

They showed me the Levi’s seats. And the 4-speed stick shift. They explained how efficiently the 4-cylinder engine works. So you get a lot of pep and power without eating up a lot of gas. And they told me about the exclusive AMC Buyer Protection Plan.

Then I took it for a test drive and discovered how roomy it is. How nicely it rides and how easily it handles. And I realized that I needed that little Gremlin as much as it needed me.

But it wasn’t the engineering that sold me, it was the chemistry. You know, if I hadn’t taken it, I think it would have followed me home.

AMC Gremlin. The fun Americans want. The size America needs.

1978 AMC Gremlin

ALSO SEE: AMC Pacer Wagons from the ’70s: The compact hatchback with a unique design

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