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.
Changes were greater for 1976. The front fascia was revised again for oval, in place of the previous circular, headlight bezels. The grille shape became a stretched hexagon and included in its insert two opposing loops stacked atop each other and housing new rounded parking/turn signal lights. Front fenders were also modified to be taller, with a slight finned effect. A new "Custom" trim line debuted, featuring an striped interior trim called "Potomac", as well as a spare tire cover and other minor details. The A models made do with another new striping scheme, this time with the hockey stick-style stripe of the previous year adding a secondary extension that ran from the door-handle straight back. The X package was now available only on Custom models.
Due to flagging sales, the 304 cu in (5.0 L) V8 engine option (now downgraded to 120 hp (89 kW)) was cancelled at midyear, after only 826 installations. (A total of 40,994 Gremlins were equipped with the V8 engine from 1972 to 1976.) A 4-speed manual transmission was made available at midyear. However, the changes were not enough to revive sales, which tapered slightly to 52,941 - a decline of 5.5%.
Source: Wikipedia, 2011