Prepare to be captivated by one of the most peculiar-looking cars in history—the AMC Gremlin. Its unconventional appearance may have raised eyebrows, but for some, it was its oddity that made it alluring. With a staggering production of 671,000 units over eight years, the Gremlin left an indelible mark on automotive history. This particular 1976 model, a relic from the fading era of the hippie movement, holds sentimental value for the seller, who has cherished it for far too long. Located in Manassas, Virginia, this time capsule of eccentricity is now available on Craigslist for $9,500. Thanks to Rocco B., we bring you yet another exciting discovery!
It’s unclear whether AMC intended to create a car that would be subject to ridicule, but the Gremlin emerged when they took a Hornet (also introduced in 1970) and shortened its wheelbase by 12 inches. AMC had previous success with such transformations when they created the AMX from the Javelin in 1968. Operating on smaller budgets than the “Big 3,” this cost-effective approach allowed AMC to introduce a subcompact vehicle to compete against the German and Japanese imports, as well as Ford’s Pinto and Chevrolet’s Vega, on the horizon.
Among the sea of competitors vying for a piece of the VW Beetle’s market share, the Gremlin stood out as the only contender with a six-cylinder engine (later replaced by a small-block V8). Although not as fuel-efficient as its rivals, its weight lent it a commanding presence on the road. The Gremlin graced the streets from 1970 to 1978, making way for the Spirit in 1979, which was based on the Concord—a model that had succeeded the Hornet. While the Spirit resolved some of the Gremlin’s quirky aesthetics, it retained a similar core under the skin.
This ’76 Gremlin, formerly owned by the seller’s mother, boasts an impressive 40,000 miles on the odometer. While it may not be entirely original, the car received a fresh coat of the factory color a few years ago, along with reupholstered front seats. Powering this unique gem is a reliable 258 cubic-inch inline-6 engine, complemented by a smooth-shifting automatic transmission. The seller’s primary concern is finding a deserving new home for this cherished vehicle—an understandable sentiment. Please note that the eye-catching AMC rally wheels showcased in the photos will not be included, as the seller intends to keep them. Instead, regular rims with hubcaps will be provided.