1977 AMC Gremlin

Gremlin finally received substantial restyling for the 1977 AMC Gremlin model, which was overdue but welcome nonetheless.

The 1977 AMC Gremlin featured a sloping nose.
A sloping nose with an eggcrate grille distinguished
the 1977 Gremlin from the front. The X model
wore a new wave-style stripe.

The rear hatch area was reworked with a big new window that allowed large objects to fit through. Taillights were enlarged, too. The front end sported new shorter fenders, a sloping hood, and a cleanly styled eggcrate grille -- quite handsome overall. Gremlin X striping was revised again, very successfully.

Overall length shrank to 166.38 inches, about three inches less than in 1976, but still five inches longer than 1970. Blame that on the hefty safety bumpers.

The V-8 was no longer offered, but between the emasculating effect of emission controls and the high price of fuel, few really missed it. Its loss was offset in early 1977 by the arrival of an engine more in keeping with the Gremlin's subcompact image -- a 2.0-liter four.

The new engine was a modern ohc design. AMC purchased the tooling from Audi, which had produced the engine for its own cars and for Porsche (which used a version in the 924 coupe). In the Gremlin, it developed 80 horsepower.

The 1977 AMC Gremlin featured enlarged taillights and a deeper hatch window.
Alterations to the rear of the 1977 Gremlins included
enlarged taillights and a deeper hatch window.

The 2.0-liter four, which included an aluminum head and intake manifold, helped AMC shave 250 pounds off the Gremlin, enabling it to achieve an EPA rating of 21 mpg city/33 mpg highway.

Though a bit noisy, the 2.0-liter's durability was excellent. Not only that, but it could be had with a newly available four-speed transmission. Motor Trend tested a four-speed 2.0, reporting a 0-60 time of 17.9 seconds -- not bad for the era -- and said Gremlin was "as fun to drive as it is simple."

Interior choices for the X included a black-and-orange plaid, perfect for this car's Sun Orange paint.
Interior choices for the X included a rakish black-and-orange plaid.
Car and Driver said it was "plenty peppy for darting around town." Model-year assemblies of four-cylinder cars came to 7,558 units, about 16 percent of total Gremlin output.

There was only one model at announcement time. It included carpeting, rocker panel and wheellip moldings, and front disc brakes as standard equipment.

The later arrival of the four was accompanied by two additional models -- a six-cylinder Gremlin Custom and a Custom 2.0-Liter.

Continue on to the next page to see photos and learn more about the 1978 AMC Gremlin models.

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