1983 American Motors Spirit GT, Another Hornet Variation

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I don’t know how much money the American Motors Corporation spend developing the 1970 Hornet but it seems to me that they got their money’s worth. They took a structure that dated to the Rambler of the early 1960s, grafted on the front suspension from their fairly recently redesigned full size Ambassador and then styling chief Dick Teague’s team sculpted a very attractive body that still looks good more than 40 years later. Teague’s talented team then used the Hornet as the foundation for nearly every passenger car that AMC made until it was taken over by Renault in the mid 1980s except for the Pacer. The Gremlin was a short wheelbase Hornet with a Kammback rear end. In time, the Hornet became the Concord, and the Hornet wagon was jacked up and given a full-time four wheel drive unit from Jeep and called the Eagle, a crossover way ahead of its time. The Gremlin’s Kammback was replaced with a slick looking fastback roofline and the economy car was renamed the Spirit. They may have had different front ends and back ends, but if you look at the A pillar and doors, the recycling was obvious. AMC probably used the same windshield glass on all of those cars. This ’83 Spirit came in GT trim, so it had a spoiler and some nifty aluminum wheels. AMC always had stylish wheels. Teague’s staff of designers might not have had the budget to redo entire cars, but at least they gave their cars nice rims.

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