Scott A

Hey, what motor is in that?

My Son and I have been "working" on his '73 Gremlin X since we procured it from a field in 2006. After seeking and receiving a clear California Title we began the job of gutting it. It was a factory 258 c.i.d. 6 cylinder and 3-speed transmission car. The motor had no compression whatsoever, the transmission had exploded, the seats were torn and rotted, and the instrument panel of the dash was gone.

After we removed the entire interior, motor, and transmission, we started a 4-year search for parts. While seeking an AMC 360, we instead found a 401 is a wrecked '78 Jeep Wagoneer. (Although those motors were cancelled after '75 they were still installed in some larger Jeeps through '79.) We dissembled that motor and had it machined. We reassembled it using .030 over 9.5:1 Speed-Pro pistons, an Isky Cam, Edelbrock Intake and Carb, as well as Hedman "Hedders." We hooked it up to an AMC-specific BW T-10 4-speed from a '68 Javelin, and removed the weak AMC "15" rear for a Mopar 8.75 rear from an A Body, running 3.55 gears and sure-grip. After pulling some seats from a Dodge Durango and having a custom dash built by my (now late) Brother-in-law, we fired the car for the first time on February 27, 2010 and drove it for the first time the following March 19.

Although still not completed, in need of paint and some interior work, the car runs well and turns heads. We installed a functional hood-scoop that is a copy of the one used on the '72 Hornet SC/360, and put a "401" script on the scoop that I found on eBay from a Javelin.

So, here's my story! I am driving the car one day. (My Son was away in College and someone has to drive the car!) I stopped at a light to turn left. Some guy in a convertible '80s Mustang pulls up and hears the car rumble through the dual exhaust. He says, "Sweet ride man! What's in it." I thanked him and pointed to the 401 script on the scoop. He says. "That's cool, but what motor is in the car?" I said, "A 401." He says, "Come on, what are you running, Chevy 350?" Me, "No, AMC 401, their largest motor, only this one is now a 407. They were made from '71-'75." Him, "Never heard of it. Come on, what's in it?"

Don't think I was ever more glad of a green light than that day!

So, what are you running?

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