AMC Hornet Case Study

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The Hornet Representing AMC in the 1970s

Things You Didn’t Know About the AMC Hornet

When it comes to classic cars you don 't see a lot of AMC automobiles at the local shows. It 's not because the car company went out of business in the 80s or lack of support for the individual models. It 's more about the number of units sold, and automotive styling often described as something only a mother could love.

American Motors always struggled to gain traction when competing with the Big Three in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Now some forty years later, the same thing can be said about many of the mainstream AMC automobile models in the classic car market. Nevertheless, these cars still have a small, but rabid fan base and remain an interesting representation
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One interesting fact is they built it straight through in one generation. An unusual strategy at a time in history when other car makers continued to evolve the sheet metal styling based on consumer input. As an example, [the first generation Dodge Charger] debuted in 1966 with an odd looking fastback design. After two years of unremarkable sales figures it went through a complete overhaul in an effort to appeal to consumers.

Just two years post launch [the second Generation Chargers] looked like a completely different automobile when they hit showrooms in 1968. Only three years later, Chrysler would radically refit the sheet metal again based on declining sales and customer feedback. [The third generation Dodge Charger] would run through 1974 before it became the Dodge version of a Chrysler Cordoba.

When comparing the production of the Hornet it seems stuck in time from the point it first rolled off the assembly line to when production ceased in the fall of 1977. This isn 't to say the car didn 't look different as it progressed through its seven-year build. However, the changes were in the styling of the pieces that attached to the automobile. Things like the grille, taillights, bumpers and wheel combinations changed almost every year. Nevertheless, the sheet metal styling, although massaged, basically remained the same from 1970 through
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This included the two-door sedan, three door hatchback and the four door sedan or station wagon. In addition to the standard choices the company rolled out a few special editions in an effort to stimulate sales and enhance the image of the automobile. In 1973 a partnership with Levi Strauss launched a special trim package that included denim style interior seat coverings. Even the door panels had copper rivets and familiar looking stitching associated with the Levi Jeans brand.

In 1971 AMC offered the hornet SC 360 Sport Coupe. This would be the vehicles only shot at becoming a full-blown muscle car. With a sticker price of around $2,700 it was cheaper then [the Dodge Dart V8 Swinger]. Buyers could pony up an extra $200 and get the go package with a four barrel carburetor and [a ram air style hood scoop]. Power output of the go pack combination exceeded 285 HP. This gave the Hornet some sting as it could produce quarter-mile times in the fourteen second range right off the showroom floor. AMC had planned to build a lot of these cars, but the timing would not be on their

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