AMC Spirit

The AMC Spirit replaced the oddly named Gremlin in 1979. This was a sedan version of the nearly identical Gremlin, only thankfully with a new name and a more conventional rear side window design. In fact, perhaps motivated by the humorous titling of the Gremlin, AMC produced the Spirit, which turned out to be one of the best looking cars to emerge from AMC in its later years. However, the model was short lived and was dropped after 1983. In appropriate recognition to the AMC models, Chrysler, after the acquisition, applied both the Concord and Spirit names to its own cars. In 1970 and 1980 an AMX version of the Spirit lift back was offered featuring special trim items, performance suspension, and white-letter tires. The most power to come from the Spirit was in the 1979 AMX with a 304 AMC V8 capable of reaching 60 mph in 13.4 seconds! Unfortunately, the 1980 model was only available with a 258 in-line six engine. Yet, thanks to collectors who are reminiscent of the AMC name, the Spirit has remained popular because it was the last car to wear the AMX name. Additionally, for those looking for a little more power under the hood, it is possible (and pretty popular) since the Spirit had an AMC V8 to swap in a larger displacement engine. The swap takes little effort, and thus, many Spirit owners have swapped in 304, 360, or 401 V8s. The 1979 Spirit was a fresh and sporty lift back model that left off what the Gremlin started. It ran on the Gremlin's 96" wheelbase and included larger rear quarter windows that paralleled the slope of the Kammback tail. These changes remarkably improved outward visibility, including from the backseat, and gave the car a more modern, although less distinctive look. The front took on a new look with a new combination of grille, headlights, and parking lights that were surrounded by a slim chrome loop effect. Also appealing were the new aluminum bumpers with black end caps, which gave a lighter weight and a more crisp appearance in line with the times.