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1971 Hornet Sportabout

'71 Hornet in September '72

Not many people remember American Motors, (AMC). This is a car company that went broke and died out years before it became fashionable.  Behold a not-in-showroom-condition ’71 Hornet Sportabout.

My friends and I used to refer to this car as the “Silver Rolls”. What this car lacked in looks it made up for by being distinctly uncomfortable. Seeing this car makes me smile – for all its shortcomings, it still brings back memories of adolescent freedom. Yes, I remember back in June of 1977, driving north on Cahuenga towards Franklin, listening to the Young Marquis and Stanley on KROQ AM play “Back in the Saddle” by Aerosmith, along with Sparks and the Ramones. There was one speaker set into the middle of the top of the dashboard.

My dad crash tested this car in September of 1972.  My mom and I were in the car with him; it was a typical family affair. We were going up the narrow and twisty Hollyridge Drive in the Hollywood Hills at dusk. As my dad drove around a blind curve, a teenager in a stolen Cadillac hit the front corner on the driver’s side. It turned out that the Hornet could take a punch.

This car lived a surprisingly long and expensive life. After that, my parents drove Hondas.

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