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Registry & Bibliography


The 1977 Hornet AMX Registry


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In an effort to learn as much as possible about this limited production, one year only model, I have been locating, tracking and documenting original Hornet AMXs since 1995. In doing so I collect as much information as possible for these cars. This includes location, major options, door tag codes and even the original selling AMC dealership if known. However in order to keep things simple here is a very general summary of the registry results.


    A current summary of 190 registered Hornet AMX cars:

              Engine:  97- 258 six,  91- 304 V8,   2- 232 six

              Transmission:  131- Automatic,  59- 4-Speed

              Exterior Paint:  95- Red,  43- White,  35- Yellow,  16- Green

              Interior Color:  127- Black,  27- Black/White,  24- Brown,  4- Levi’s

To see if your Hornet AMX is included in these results, here are the last 6 characters of the VIN for all registered cars. Please use the Contact button on the left if you have any additions!

107934   168915   176166   185212   197350   202879   206599   210109   238227   251863
144196   169453   176676   186386   197357   202912   208202   213723   239439   252965
144197   169917   176687   186395   197369   205124   208253   215372   239445   252987
151044   169983   177349   186397   197418   205141   208257   215375   239494   253042
152095   170776   177365   186408   198957   205142   208293   215397   243657   255172
152968   172363   178173   186424   198986   205176   208315   219714   243662   255946
155106   172367   178216   189867   199649   205199   209599   227367   244471   258224
160946   172419   182096   189900   199721   205934   209971   228177   245470   258246
163414   173079   182921   193095   199743   205939   210002   228186   246427   259212
163412   173085   184045   193143   200878   205947   210032   231232   247252   259221
163421   173119   184052   193185   201496   205968   210089   231268   247267   263611
164157   173125   184058   197301   202185   206521   210090   233546   249020   263628
166303   175450   184564   197308   202819   206563   210096   233567   249054   264444
167134   175458   184636   197323   202823   206571   210101   233584   249655   267165
167164   175475   185193   197342   202864   206576   210102   233593   251839   271065

New additions:  129706, 164179, 164209, 173088, 176728, 178093, 178116, 178137, 178141, 178157, 185200, 189830, 189837, 189852, 193120, 197254, 197386, 197444, 197452, 199047, 199724, 205179, 205910, 208243, 208275, 210011, 210022, 210126, 213677, 216056, 219661, 230217, 231233, 231276, 231302, 243666, 247236, 249055, 258274, 261262



Lime Green is the rarest Hornet AMX color


Registry Observations

American Motors VINs were assigned as the cars were ordered, not built. They do however indicate approximately when a particular car was assembled within a certain model year. Since the Hornet AMX was a one-year only special edition, it is convenient to organize the registry entries using the last six characters of the VIN. When doing this certain build patterns emerge, especially early in the production run.

Because a red Hornet AMX was used in most of AMC’s promotional materials it is not surprising that most of the earliest registry cars are red. I’m sure that many of these spent time on the showroom floor. The first 10 cars documented are all red ones, with a single yellow car being the only exception. Then something interesting appears. The next 5 cars documented are all white, followed by 3 yellow ones, then 8 green cars. This in itself is significant as only 14 green cars are currently documented! The next red car appears well into December 1976 production, about the time that the hood and hatch decals became available. Following this, all four colors appear in fairly random order throughout the rest of the production run.

Not unexpectedly the four documented Levi’s interior cars also fall together by VIN in the registry. These cars were likely built together in a batch, although one of the VINs is higher than the other three by more than 100, the number of cars reportedly built. All four of the Levi’s Hornet AMX’s located so far are Alpine White; three are 258/1 bbl. cars with automatic transmission, while one has a 232/1 bbl. with 4-speed. The Levi’s Hornet AMX may have been for a commercial or regional promotion, however this much later one documented car is from Canada while the other three are located in the U.S.

Although many Hornet AMXs have moved around since production, some patterns of distribution can also be noted in the registry, such as small groups of cars from Canada, or several in a row from Pennsylvania for example. As more and more Hornet AMXs are included in the registry an even clearer pattern of distribution may appear.



Hornet AMX Bibliography


This is a working list of original AMC publications and promotional materials, plus period magazine road tests. While additional publications may include a mention of the AMX model, these are the best original sources for Hornet AMX information.

1976 American Motors Annual Report, announces the Hornet AMX model for 1977.

1977 AMC prestige brochure (trees on cover), first printing, hood decal is not shown and text mentions “targa band”.

1977 AMC prestige brochure, second edition, hood decal is shown and text mentions “roof band”.

1977 AMC auto show brochure, black cover.

1977 AMC auto show brochure, blue cover, hood decal shown inside.

1977 AMC mailer brochure, blue cover.

1977 AMC postcard, 4.25 x 6″ size with AMX shown in top left quarter.

Hornet AMX magazine advertisement, placed in various magazines between November 1976 and February 1977. A red car is shown along with the front corner of a yellow one (note incorrect bodyside molding on the yellow car).

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Promotional photos, some are in color and show an early production yellow car. Some black and white photos include a (most likely) red car along with a 1968 or 1969 AMX for comparison.

1977 AMC owners manual, includes tips for the care of Hornet AMX parts.

AMC Technical Service Bulletin (No. TB 2, October 28, 1976), covers towing procedure and front spoiler installation.

AMX Technical Service Manual, Vol. 3, Supplement 1, with striped cover. Twelve pages of Hornet AMX information and illustrations, including maintenance, troubleshooting, wiring diagrams, exploded views, etc.

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1977 Hornet AMX Illustrations and Part Numbers, blue cover with AMX shown. Six pages of exploded view illustrations with parts numbers. AMC Parts Division logo on front cover.

1977 AMC parts and accessories 16 pg. mailer, 5.5 x 8.5″ size with red AMX and AMC Parts Division logo on the front cover

1977 AMC Accessories brochure, 8.5×11″ with tan cover. Hornet AMX package is shown with a short description.

1977 AMC export brochure, large 11×11″ size with four cars in a line on the front cover. Dual text is written in both English and French

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Many periodicals from late 1976 included the Hornet AMX with their 1977 model year introductions. However a few magazines actually road tested the car, with Car & Driver even featuring it on the cover. Period Hornet AMX road tests can be found in the following publications.

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Car & Driver, February 1977. A terrific 6-page cover story includes color photos of a red AMX.

Popular Science, April 1977. A 4-page black and white feature which compares the Hornet AMX with the Cobra II, Volare Road Runner and Chevrolet Monza Spyder.

Cars Magazine, September 1977. A 2-page black and white comparison of two Hornet AMX’s. This article appeared very late in the model year leading me to believe the author expected production of an identical 1978 Hornet AMX.

Hot Rod, September 1977. A 2-page black and white article by Gray Baskerville features Randall AMC’s turbocharger kit for the 258 Hornet AMX. The article draws comparisons to a stock 258 Hornet AMX.

alt   Motor Trend also liked the AMX


The Hornet AMX was also used in period magazine advertising for Goodyear GT Radial tires and Superior brand aftermarket wheels.

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On Film

AMC produced a short introduction film for the Hornet AMX which can be found on YouTube. It featured a 1950’s teenager musical theme but was produced nearly two years before the release of the 1978 movie “Grease”. It shows a pre-production red AMX with Firestone 500 tires and no front bumper corner guards.

A red Hornet AMX can also be seen in the background of one scene in a 1982 film titled The Last American Virgin.

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