Despite the fact that AMC had spent it’s resources on the Matador Coupe and the Pacer…
It’s automobile lineup got a few worthwhile low-cost improvements. A new Hornet model was introduced into the existing lineup, the Hornet AMX. AMC applied the AMX option to the Hornet hatchback, in typical AMC tradition it seems, as a going away present for the model.
The Hornet AMX was the old hatchback model with a full dress-up package that added wheel flares, rear window louvers, sport wheels, a brushed aluminum “targa” band on the it’s window pillar, and a oversized hood decal.
The rest of the Hornet line was again a carry over with a a few touches to stir interest. They continued to offer the same variety of motors from the previous year. The basic motor is the 6 cylinder 232 cid, with the 6 cylinder 258 cid and the 304 cid V8 as optional. Once again the buyer could choose between a manual transmission or an automatic with “overdrive” as an option.
As the 1977 model year ended, it was obvious that American Motors was in deep trouble. The Hornets were the best selling 1977 AMC car, but they, along with the Gremlin, were dying in the showrooms for lack of new styling to rejuvenate them. Sadly, all of AMC’s capital had been spent on the Pacer and the Matador, so the needed all-new designs for the Hornet would never come.
It was the end of the line for the beloved Hornet. What little money was left to improve it was used to slightly modify the Hornet body to create something new for 1978 model year, the “Concord”.
Front fenders from the Gremlin were grafted onto the Hornet, with a new hood, a very tasteful die cast grille, modified end caps on the rear fenders and new taillights. A new smoother and quieter suspension, sound insulation, and a plushly dressed up D/L package placed the new Concord on a decidedly more upscale market than the Hornet had ever seen.