April 1, 1970 – AMC introduces the Gremlin

Word on the street was Ford and General Motors were going to launch new subcompact cars in 1971, and AMC wanted in. By essentially cutting down the existing AMC Hornet model by shortening the wheelbase from 108 to 96 inches (2,743 to 2,438 mm) and the overall length from 179 to 161 in (4,547 to 4,089 mm), and adding an almost vertical hatchback, the AMC Gremlin was born nearly a year before the suspected launch of the competitor’s vehicles. Introduced to the general public on this day in 1970, the new economy car would compete with the Chevrolet Vega, Ford Pinto , Toyota Corona and the VW Beetle, which it was only two inches longer than. It originally featured a 199 cu in (3.3 L) inline 6 and was available with or without a backseat. Production of the iconic Gremlin lasted through 1978, with 671,475 units leaving the assembly line, before being replaced by the AMC Spirit. 1974 AMC Gremlin (front). Original photo by  Greg Gjerdingen CC2.0 https://flic.kr/p/tijj5y

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