Described by AMC as “the first American-built import,” and based on an AMC chief stylist’s sketch on an air-sickness bag, the AMC Gremlin was a two-fold response both to Japanese imports of the time and to the fuel crisis. AMC did not have the budget for a full-fledged new car to match up with Ford and GM’s new import beaters, so they developed the Gremlin first on a shortened Hornet. Resembling a sawed-off station wagon, the Gremlin is only slightly longer than a VW Beetle, although its long hood gives the impression of a larger car. The “X” trim package came with stripes, body color fascia, slotted road wheels, and a blacked-out grill insert. While these features did not make the Gremlin any faster – it was already the most powerful sub-compact – they did increase appeal and contributed to a 30 percent increase in sales for 1973.