1972 AMC Gremlin X 304: An Overview of a Classic Muscle Car

In this episode of Muscle Car of the Week, we take a closer look at the 1972 AMC Gremlin X. This little car has made a previous appearance on our show, but today, we not only get to see it, but we also get to hear it roar. The purple 1972 AMC Gremlin X caught the attention of many when we featured it in our coverage of the Corvette national show. While some may question the 304 cubic inch V8 engine’s status as a muscle car engine, there are those who recognize the performance potential of this compact beast.

Appearance and Features

The 1972 AMC Gremlin X boasts unique design elements that make it stand out on the road. The exterior design features a distinctive and compact shape, giving it a sporty and aggressive look. The silver rally wheels, wrapped with raised white letter Goodyear tires, add to its charm. Additionally, the car features eye-catching gold stripes, which further enhance its appeal.

Inside the Gremlin X, you’ll find a super basic interior that reflects the car’s no-nonsense approach. However, it does come equipped with a three-speed manual transmission, located on the floor, adding a touch of driver engagement and control.

The 304 Cubic Inch V8 Engine

The heart of the 1972 AMC Gremlin X is its 304 cubic inch V8 engine. However, by the time this particular model was released, the 304 engine had lost some of its performance potential. With a reduced compression ratio of 8.4 to 1 and a small 2-barrel carburetor, the engine produced around 150 horsepower. While this may not sound like a lot by today’s standards, it’s important to consider the context of the time.

Despite the reduced power output, the Gremlin X still offers an enjoyable driving experience. Its light curb weight of 2,900 pounds translates to a power-to-weight ratio of approximately 1 horsepower per 420 pounds. This enables the Gremlin X to achieve a quarter-mile time of around 16.8 seconds, which is respectable for a car of its era.

The transmission and handling of the Gremlin X contribute to its engaging driving dynamics. The three-speed manual gearbox allows for precise gear changes, while the car’s compact size and suspension setup provide nimble and responsive handling.

Muscle Car Elements

While the Gremlin was primarily designed as an economical and practical car, the Gremlin X incorporates some muscle car elements into its design. The silver rally wheels, wrapped with raised white letter Goodyear tires, not only enhance the car’s appearance but also improve traction. The Gremlin X also features a traction bar rear end, which helps deliver power to the ground more efficiently.

It’s intriguing to consider what the Gremlin X could have been if it had been born a few years earlier and powered by a more potent engine. For example, imagine if it had been equipped with the Hurst SC Rambler 390 engine. The combination of the Gremlin’s compact size and the powerful V8 from the SC Rambler would have created a true sleeper car—a seemingly ordinary car with exceptional performance capabilities.

Fun and Head-Turning Factor

While the Gremlin X may not be the fastest car in the Brothers Collection, it certainly turns heads wherever it goes. Its unique appearance, combined with the rumble of its V8 engine, captures attention and sparks conversations among car enthusiasts. It’s a testament to the diverse range of cars in the collection, each contributing its own element of fun and excitement.


In conclusion, the 1972 AMC Gremlin X is a fascinating car that combines elements of economy and muscle. While its 304 cubic inch V8 engine may not have the same performance as some of its counterparts from the era, it still delivers an enjoyable driving experience. The Gremlin X stands as a reminder of AMC’s innovative approach and the unique cars they produced.

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