The Quadraphonic Gremlin Progress report....

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Q-Eight

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(or, The Gremlin Preservation Society)

Is it ok to post this here? Some of us here are into vintage cars and my Gremlin DOES have a Quad 8-track deck! So it's sort of on topic.... just hard to categorize....

In case anybody that was following my progress in the lockdown thread was wondering.... YES, I did finish the Gremlins' front suspension; put it loosely back together and we did deliver it to Pacific Muscle Cars (the body shop) 3.5 hours away.

Gremlin Suspension 003.JPG


Loaded up:

GREMLIN DAY 001.JPG


Progress Report after 1 month. Windshield Rail fixed. Both quarter arches repaired. Major progress on the trunk floor. After this, it'll be stripped, and the final dent removal and door repair/fit will happen.

Gremlin - Kelowna 001.JPG


Gremlin - Kelowna 002.JPG


Gremlin - Kelowna 003.JPG


The owner figures at this point, they're ahead of schedule and they might even be able to lay primer by my birthday (August 8th) and paint shortly after a couple days of blocking. If all goes according to plan, we may be going back to pick her up near the end of August. Don't ask how much money this is costing me. :ROFLMAO: But really, it's not that bad.


And then stupid me goes and picks up another project....

General Delivery with Slots 001.JPG
 

doity

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Wow. Cool project 👍. Well one thing is for certain.....you will likely be the only person on your street with a bright green Gremlin. Like a lot of folks here, I remember when those first came out and what a novelty they were. There was nothing that looked like them on the road. God I miss the 1970’s, what a weird and wacky time to be alive. I was actually contemplating buying a Pacer some twenty years ago and a very nice one was at a local car lot. Just the regular two-door and not the wagon. I was surprised how solidly built the thing was, but was kind of put off with all of the glass as I had 2 dogs that rode with me a lot.

Looking forward to seeing your progress for sure.
 

DuncanS

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Nice machines

:unsure:
We never got Gremlins over here, well I've never seen one, but isn't there something about not feeding them after midnight and keeping them away from water or they multiply? :rolleyes::oops::LOL: Well the projects have!
 

Doug G.

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In the winter of '83 - '84, my wife had an accident with our '77 Cutlass Supreme and it needed extensive body work. My brother-in-law lent us his Gremlin while the Cutlass was being repaired. For some reason, the choke flap was gone from the carburetor (the temps were 10 - 15 degrees below zero) but he said just to keep pumping the gas pedal and it would start. It always did.

My older brother had a yellow Pacer and I never thought it was such a bad car.

Doug
 

Q-Eight

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Wow. Cool project 👍. Well one thing is for certain.....you will likely be the only person on your street with a bright green Gremlin.
While Big Bad Green is a popular color today, it was the LEAST popular back in 1969 & 1970 when it was offered. It was only offered on the Gremlin from April through July of 1970. My car was built in June. I have been able to document one other real BBG '70½ Gremlin and his build date is also June '70 and our VIN's are only 1600 apart. I've located another car in Texas and it sadly, is not a runner. Haven't been able to get a VIN or door tag, but looks to be original BBG. I've not had an update on the car in years, either. Suffice to say less than 1% of Gremlin production in 1970 was Big Bad Green, and with only 25,300 produced.... that makes it less than 250 possibly produced in this color makes it a pretty rare car. I'm the ONLY one registered with the AMO (American Motors Owners' Association).


In the winter of '83 - '84, my wife had an accident with our '77 Cutlass Supreme and it needed extensive body work. My brother-in-law lent us his Gremlin while the Cutlass was being repaired. For some reason, the choke flap was gone from the carburetor (the temps were 10 - 15 degrees below zero) but he said just to keep pumping the gas pedal and it would start. It always did.

My older brother had a yellow Pacer and I never thought it was such a bad car.
Mine has always been reliable. When I still had a 1-barrel carb on it, the choke did not work. Car still always started. In 2005, it had a lifter collapse and bent a pushrod, but it still ran fine the half hour home on 5 cylinders. I famously drove it for 3 days with no starter. Literally: no starter. Nobody could find me a new one, so the old had had to be rebuilt. But I still had to get to work! I'd push start it in the morning; luckily our driveway is a bit of an incline. And at work, our parking lot was on a hill. So I'd back into the top spot so after work it was just a matter of popping the clutch and driving home. I have a winter story similar to yours, too. By this point, I had a 2-barrel carb and an electric choke. We were experiencing a very cold winter .... -40ºC was not uncommon. I walked out after work to start my car and the gas pedal would not move. Everything had contracted so much, the throttle shaft would not move. I pulled the air cleaner, set the choke by hand, manipulated the accelerator pump so some fuel got squirted down the throat.... turned the key and prayed! Vrooom! Still had no throttle control though. Had to run the car for almost 10 minutes at a high idle before everything expanded to start working again.

This whole odyssey began with me wanting to repair items on the car that annoyed me.... but it sort of snowballed into "Lets restore the car for her 50th Birthday!". Well, she's 51 now.... so I was close! I've had this little car for 21 years now. I've owned it the longest out of any of it's previous owners. The fellow I bought it from has actually offered to buy it back, since Gremlins (and all AMC's, really) have started to gain popularity and acceptance.




The truck is nothing special. I've needed a truck for a while and so has my mother for her gardening, dump runs, etc. It's an '88 Ram D100, 3.9 litre V6 (NOT the Slant 6) and an automatic. 75,000kms. Zero rust. Perfect interior. I bought it from a friend who had a 440 V8 in it but then bought a '71 Polara that wanted a 440 more. So, he pulled the 440 out of this truck and then it sat. He had planned to do minor body work to it and put in a 318 but that plan fell by the wayside. I'm trying to put the 3.9 V6 back in since I don't need anything powerful.... and, it kinda pisses people off that it's such a cool truck but NOT a V8. In the 5 years it sat with no engine though, some parts got repurposed for other projects. So, I'm on the hunt for a few pieces to put it back together. Then it'll go for a quick scrub n' spray, we'll get it box-lined and will become our groovy little 6-cylinder, 1/2 ton farm truck.

And yes, I am looking to find an 8-track player for it! :cool:
 
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Sonik Wiz

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While Big Bad Green is a popular color today, it was the LEAST popular back in 1969 & 1970 when it was offered. It was only offered on the Gremlin from April through July of 1970. My car was built in June. I have been able to document one other real BBG '70½ Gremlin and his build date is also June '70 and our VIN's are only 1600 apart. I've located another car in Texas and it sadly, is not a runner. Haven't been able to get a VIN or door tag, but looks to be original BBG. I've not had an update on the car in years, either. Suffice to say less than 1% of Gremlin production in 1970 was Big Bad Green, and with only 25,300 produced.... that makes it less than 250 possibly produced in this color makes it a pretty rare car. I'm the ONLY one registered with the AMO (American Motors Owners' Association).




Mine has always been reliable. When I still had a 1-barrel carb on it, the choke did not work. Car still always started. In 2005, it had a lifter collapse and bent a pushrod, but it still ran fine the half hour home on 5 cylinders. I famously drove it for 3 days with no starter. Literally: no starter. Nobody could find me a new one, so the old had had to be rebuilt. But I still had to get to work! I'd push start it in the morning; luckily our driveway is a bit of an incline. And at work, our parking lot was on a hill. So I'd back into the top spot so after work it was just a matter of popping the clutch and driving home. I have a winter story similar to yours, too. By this point, I had a 2-barrel carb and an electric choke. We were experiencing a very cold winter .... -40ºC was not uncommon. I walked out after work to start my car and the gas pedal would not move. Everything had contracted so much, the throttle shaft would not move. I pulled the air cleaner, set the choke by hand, manipulated the accelerator pump so some fuel got squirted down the throat.... turned the key and prayed! Vrooom! Still had no throttle control though. Had to run the car for almost 10 minutes at a high idle before everything expanded to start working again.

This whole odyssey began with me wanting to repair items on the car that annoyed me.... but it sort of snowballed into "Lets restore the car for her 50th Birthday!". Well, she's 51 now.... so I was close! I've had this little car for 21 years now. I've owned it the longest out of any of it's previous owners. The fellow I bought it from has actually offered to buy it back, since Gremlins (and all AMC's, really) have started to gain popularity and acceptance.




The truck is nothing special. I've needed a truck for a while and so has my mother for her gardening, dump runs, etc. It's an '88 Ram D100, 3.9 litre V6 (NOT the Slant 6) and an automatic. 75,000kms. Zero rust. Perfect interior. I bought it from a friend who had a 440 V8 in it but then bought a '71 Polara that wanted a 440 more. So, he pulled the 440 out of this truck and then it sat. He had planned to do minor body work to it and put in a 318 but that plan fell by the wayside. I'm trying to put the 3.9 V6 back in since I don't need anything powerful.... and, it kinda pisses people off that it's such a cool truck but NOT a V8. In the 5 years it sat with no engine though, some parts got repurposed for other projects. So, I'm on the hunt for a few pieces to put it back together. Then it'll go for a quick scrub n' spray, we'll get it box-lined and will become our groovy little 6-cylinder, 1/2 ton farm truck.

And yes, I am looking to find an 8-track player for it! :cool:
Your post set me off far and wide for all things AMC. I thought this was pretty fun, but no mention of the cars sound system.....

 

Q-Eight

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Your post set me off far and wide for all things AMC. I thought this was pretty fun, but no mention of the cars sound system.....
AM Pushbutton, Single speaker or NOTHING. :LOL: I don't like that review by Car & Track. They took an obviously ill-equipped Gremlin around the test track. For instance MY Gremlin has a front sway bar and doesn't suffer anywhere near as much front-end plow as that car. Also, you could opt for a Twin Grip (AMC-speak for "Positraction") rear diff if you so required. But at the very least, the car isn't digging it's wheel beauty rings into the asphault!! Seriously! Look up the Car & Track episode where they test a '69 Impala, and they include several shots, were the tire has rolled over so bad in a corner, the beauty ring on the wheel is chewing pavement! :eek:

I think I'd rather have my Gremlin if that's the case!

Mines' got a Craig 3134 ( I think that's the model #)

More Gremlin 013.JPG
 

MidiMagic

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My sister-in-law had one.

My brother said the shape was like a "light switch on wheels".
 

Sonik Wiz

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AM Pushbutton, Single speaker or NOTHING. :LOL: I don't like that review by Car & Track. They took an obviously ill-equipped Gremlin around the test track. For instance MY Gremlin has a front sway bar and doesn't suffer anywhere near as much front-end plow as that car. Also, you could opt for a Twin Grip (AMC-speak for "Positraction") rear diff if you so required. But at the very least, the car isn't digging it's wheel beauty rings into the asphault!! Seriously! Look up the Car & Track episode where they test a '69 Impala, and they include several shots, were the tire has rolled over so bad in a corner, the beauty ring on the wheel is chewing pavement! :eek:

I think I'd rather have my Gremlin if that's the case!

Mines' got a Craig 3134 ( I think that's the model #)

View attachment 69641
Mea culpa Q-Eight. I didn't mean to insult by posting a link to a lousy review. I just thought it was a unique enough find from back in the day to share. My only 1st hand experience with a Gremlin was being a delivery car for the custom photo lab I worked for at the time. I didn't drive it but the lab owner knew with it's distinctive looks and very few few of them in town, it was like a company calling card, rolling around town. And considering the monthly mileage, pretty reliable too.
 

Doug G.

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Articles in the magazines of the day were usually hard on the driving qualities of any given car. It's like they expected them all to handle like race cars.

Doug
 

Q-Eight

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Mea culpa Q-Eight. I didn't mean to insult by posting a link to a lousy review. I just thought it was a unique enough find from back in the day to share. My only 1st hand experience with a Gremlin was being a delivery car for the custom photo lab I worked for at the time. I didn't drive it but the lab owner knew with it's distinctive looks and very few few of them in town, it was like a company calling card, rolling around town. And considering the monthly mileage, pretty reliable too.
Oh no.... I was not insulted. The Gremlin is no race car by any means. I actually enjoy that review because it's something contemporary to show what people thought of the Gremlin when it was new. It's just a bit annoying that they gripe about it's handling, but didn't equip the car to be better handling. It's obviously a pretty loaded car with A/C, automatic, the bigger engine and Magnum 500 wheels and Polyglas tires. Spend another $12.75 and have them throw a sway bar on the damned thing! :ROFLMAO:

For the years mine was a daily, mileage is decent.... I wouldn't say great, but decent. Nowhere near the claimed 500 miles per tank but easily 350 miles between fill ups. Anything I disliked about mine were age-related, not design related. The saggy door hinges, the steering column that refused to lock, the wavy-gravy door panels, saggy headliner and mis-matched paint. But those have all been rectified now and I might drive the little car again!

But never again in the winter. It's tried to kill me too many times for that.
 

Doug G.

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Of course, AMC had always used cheaper cosmetic materials, compared to GM or Ford, to build their cars and this became even worse by the Gremlin's time and so, age-related problems/deterioration with materials were due to that.

Doug
 

Q-Eight

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Of course, AMC had always used cheaper cosmetic materials, compared to GM or Ford, to build their cars and this became even worse by the Gremlin's time and so, age-related problems/deterioration with materials were due to that.

Doug
Yeah, let's not delve down that rabbit hole. How many Ford or GM products suffered the same or worse interior issues while at the same time having all their interior plastic turn to chalk? At least my plastic hasn't turned to chalk and even my dash pad is in good shape. Believe it or not, AMC had some of the BEST build quality at the time. The idea that they used "cheap" materials comes from facts like they used trunion suspensions until 1969, while the rest of the industry had gone to ball-joints in the mid 50's. AMC stuck with vacuum wipers until 1972 and wouldn't adopt electronic ignition until 1975; it's things like that where the Big Three beat them to the punch. AMC was still playing with antiquated 3-speed transmissions while the Big Three offered 4 and 5 speeds. I will concede that they were way behind on things like that.

But build quality and cheap materials?? Maybe by the late 70's. But when my car was built, they were at the top of their game. Look at the interiors of some of the '60s cars like the Marlin or the Ambassador. For "economy" cars, those are some pretty plush interiors. That sort of thinking was not lost on the Gremlin - yet. I've seen much newer Big Three products that make my car look like a G-D Rolls Royce in terms of quality and durability. If you look into contemporary reviews against it's Big Three counterparts (Vega, Pinto; even Maverick) the Gremlin and stablemate Hornet still came out on top in pretty much all categories except in price. You had to pay a little more for an AMC but that was simply due to economies of scale.
 
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Doug G.

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We'll let everybody decide , for themselves, which companies had the better overall quality through the years but it's not really important to this thread.

Anyway, I saw a big bad green late model Dodge pickup today.

Doug
 

Doug G.

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Yeah, that was the Levi's edition. The upholstery looked like denim but was really a nylon material for durability

The car had the "Levi's" logo on the sides up by the front wheel wells.

Doug
 

doity

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Pretty much every car back then had horrible braking times. I am surprised that it took so long to develop ABS, especially when they were building faster and faster cars every day. When did good braking systems get introduced?
 

Sonik Wiz

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Pretty much every car back then had horrible braking times. I am surprised that it took so long to develop ABS, especially when they were building faster and faster cars every day. When did good braking systems get introduced?
Well, I agree & good question. Perhaps a dedicated gearhead better than I can give definitive answer. For myself my 1st car was a Camaro RS convertible. Next was a Firebird (not TransAm.) The one that really lit up my life was a Lincoln Mercury '74 Capri. Laugh if you want. Independent MacPherson strut suspension, rack and pinion (non-power) steering,uni-body construction, and.... disc brakes up front. Compared to my previous cars it drove precise like on a mono-rail. And stopped on a quarter, if not a dime. That was my defining point for the coming decades of other car purchases.
 
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