The AMC Gremlin is a subcompact car from American Motors Corporation, introduced as a 1970½ model and produced through the 1978 model year. AMC reduced development and manufacturing costs by adapting a shortened compact Hornet platform with Kammback-like tail producing what was described at its introduction as "the first American-built import".
The AMC Gremlin was introduced April 1, 1970 competing with the Chevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto introduced six months later, as well as imported cars including the VW Beetle and the Toyota Corona. The Gremlin would become American Motors' best-selling passenger car since the Rambler Classic. From April 1970 through 1978, a total of 671,475 Gremlins were built in the United States and Canada. With a mild body restyling, the basic design continued with the AMC Spirit and the all-wheel-drive AMC Eagle until 1983.
In its final year of 1978, the Gremlin received a number of changes, but customers on a tighter budget could still get a standard six-cylinder base model Gremlin for under US$3,400. The biggest was inside: a revised instrument panel borrowed from the then-new 1978 Concord. The dashboard featured high-level ventilation, HVAC and radio switchgear within easier grasp, as well as a full-width flat top. The X's tape striping pattern was yet again revised to mirror that of the 1978 Concord Sport package design, with the stripe at the lower body side and curving over the wheel lip.
At mid-season, a GT package became available with a front spoiler and flared wheel openings as on the 1978 AMX. The GT added an aluminum overlay to the instrument panel, was powered by the 258 cu in (4.2 L) I6 as standard, and had its own stripe scheme: a wide tape stripe, outlined by a narrow one, ran back from the front fenders and widened aft of the rear quarter windows. The package also included body-color fender flares and front air dam, as well as body-color bumpers, all of which combined to give the GT a modern, aggressive look, but fewer than 3,000 Gremlin GTs were built.
The Gremlin's body shape had not changed appreciably in its nine years of production, and more advanced subcompacts, lighter in weight, with more doors, better interiors and front-wheel drive, had appeared on the market. This probably explains the 52% drop in sales for the Gremlin's final year, bringing the 1978 total to 22,104 units.
Source: Wikipedia, 2011