The Hornet was a very significant car for AMC. Not only did it finally put the Rambler brand behind itself, the Hornet would would go on to have a much longer life than undoubtedly anyone at AMC would ever have imagined, morphing into the Concord and Eagle, as well as having its hind-quarters clipped to become the Gremlin and Spirit. The Eagle would live on until 1988, and become the last remnant of the pre-Renault AMC. Or in other words, the last true…Rambler.
The Hornet’s story has been told here by Jim Cavanaugh, so I won’t go into much depth here. I will say that it was a rather fresh styling job for the flamboyant times; surprisingly clean and unfussy. Which undoubtedly explains how it could have survived so long. But under its taught skin, things were not quite so fresh. The suspension was shared with the larger AMC cars, which didn’t do much for its lightness, or handling.
But then that was just never going to be an AMC strength. Rambler’s legacy was hard to shake off fully.