Discussion in 'A Body: Duster, Valiant, Dart, etc' started by Fast Eddie, Dec 16, 2019.
Interesting comparison. Both are cool cars but more likely their 6 cyl varients would face off on the street back in the day.
Don;t know much about amc cars...were they competive to chevelles and road runners?
Buddy of mine had one back in the 80's, we started a 401 engine swap one summer and as teenage boys are apt to do, left it there to turn to rust. The car was light and even with the 360, was pretty quick, catching the Chevelles and even a few Camoros sitting at the light. The 3 speed was the kiss of death, the true muscle cars didn't take long to come roaring by, lol!!
Today they make 4 doors with coupe like styling.
This Hornet was a 2 door with 4 door sedan styling. But yet it still makes a fine looking car.
The three speed offered a couple of benefits. First, it was slightly cheaper so it made for a lower priced car. Second, insurance companies apparently rated a car with a 4 speed a higher risk so you might save on insurance with a 3 speed manual - and insurance costs were part of what killed the original muscle car.
We had an AMC/Jeep dealer in my town when I was a teenager in addition to the Chevrolet and Ford stores on opposite sides of the same street. I used to stop in there to see some of the interesting AMC muscle cars and the SJ Wagoneers. Articles like that one make me miss the fun and inexpensive muscle cars we grew up with and kind of took for granted. Now all we see is a sea of look-a-like Asian CUVs that literally turns my stomach. Thank GOD for DODGE still making excitement.
My 1974, 198, 3 on the tree, 3.55 geared Dart Swinger beat a Maverick with whatever 6 banger Ford offered back then.
Body style as well; a two door Chevy Impala with the 427-425 HP engine/4 spd combo was $$$ for insurance; yet a four door big chevy with that identical drivetrain was considered to be a 'family sedan'.
What rear axle, 8.25? Back in the day my friend had a 70 Valiant 225 /6, 7.25 rear with 3.23 gears. It was surprisingly quick. The Holley 1920 responded well to a larger jet and cleaning up the casting. He put in a high energy coil, opened up the plugs to 0.045", and set the ignition timing to 5 BTD. That's all it would take before pinging. It was an oddly optioned car: 225, A904 Automatic, P/S, and the 3.23 rear gears. Otherwise, bench seat, rubber floor, and radio delete.
No matter how good the AMC running gear was, the Duster body was a better body. (Didn't have tapered axles too).
Never looked. In 1974 the 3:55 was standard on a 198 3 speed. I could get a good squawk hitting 2nd!
Using new 1971 models, the April 1971 issue of Car Craft magazine had a direct comparison of a Demon 340 and a Hornet s/c 360. I wish I could remember a few more details, but the Demon won.
Just my opinion on subjects above.
The 340 was a great engine, strong and was the basis for NASCAR engines. It was also powerful. It would be my choice over the AMC 360.
As far a the 6 cylinder competition. Any light body (Valiant etc.) with the 225 manual ran well, AMC with the 258 ran well. Ford with the 200 six was a good engine but a little slower than the previous two. Pontiac OHC six would outrun them all, the Sprint version was even faster. Most all of them were slower after about 1970 when smog regs. kicked in.
The 225 Slant Six had a good reputation in that era. They were tough, ran well and fairly efficient. My father had a 69 Dart 2dr. hardtop that to this day is one of my favorite cars I have driven. It had a torque flight with 225, drove nice and to my eyes, looked good.