The United States car market was suffering another of its down cycles.
This one was made worse by inflationary pressures on car prices. The new 1975 compact car, the Pacer, would have to be a hit or things would start to unravel at AMC.
￼The recession and low consumer confidence was taking it’s toll on the industry as a whole. New car sales for the industry had fallen from 11.8 million in 1973 to just 8.2 million cars for 1975. Things were looking bad, especially for America’s last independent!
With so much riding on the success of AMC’s new addition, the Pacer, the Hornet line would be a carryover from it’s previous year.
Of more Historical interest is what was no longer in AMC’s product line for 1975.
The Ambassador was dropped. All big car sales would now be Matadors. The Javelin and the AMX were gone. Patrick R. Foster, author of the book American Motors the Last Independent, made an interesting remark about the Javelin and AMX that I thought confirmed the brilliance of the Hornet’s shared chassis design.
“It’s curious that no attempt was made to build them on the Hornet chassis, which would have made them viable products.”
The Hornet design had proven itself. And although all car sales were tumbling, the Hornet would yet again be counted on to tow the company line. The Hornet line wore the same styling for 1975, now six years old, with few mechanical changes.
Some of those changes included a new grille with vertical bars and an “overdrive” option for the automatic transmission.
The list of options as always is very impressive. This is what allowed the new buyers of Hornet to personalize it to their tastes. Power plants continued to be offered in 6 cylinders or V8.