AJ's Car of the Day 1971 AMC Hornet S/C 360

Car: American Motors Corporation ( AMC ) Hornet S/C 360

Year: 1971

What makes it special: It was a follow-up to AMC's famed 1969 S/C Rambler. A compact 2-door muscle car with a 360 V8 stuffed between the sub-frame rails.

What made it famous: With AMC's 360 cu in V8, the S/C was distinguished by styled wheels, hood scoop, body striping, and other performance and appearance upgrades. In standard 2-barrel carburetor form, the 360 produced 245 hp. With the addition of the $199 "Go-package" with a 4-barrel carburetor and Ram-Air induction, the S/C's power increased to 285 hp. Also, in place of the standard 3-speed was a Hurst-shifted 4-speed or an automatic transmission. Goodyear Polyglas D70x14 tires were standard, with upgrades including a handling package and a "Twin-Grip" Limited-Slip rear with 3.54:1 or 3.90:1 gears

Why I would want one: The sheer surprise factor. The AMC Hornet had the "rep" of being a Mom & Dad economobile, so at a fast glance you'd think that's all it was. The whole "Wolf in Sheep's clothing" scenario really plays out with this one.

Fun fact: Even though the Hornet S/C 360 could not compete with the holdover big-block muscle cars, it gave respectable 0 to 60 mph times of 6.7 seconds and ran down the quarter-mile in 14.9 at 95 mph.

( 1971 AMC Hornet S/C 360 photo from hooniverse.com )