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’75 Hornet – A Grille Update

Summer’s here and I’ve been away from my bench getting some automotive projects done. Finally had the slushbox on my ’75 Hornet rebuilt so I tackled something that always bothered me. The grille from the 75 and later cars. The 73/74 units look much more muscular IMHO and since my cars running a 304 it might as well look the part.

I sourced a 74 grille and bezels and thought of how I wanted them to look. I settled on silver over satin black after checking out color schemes on the web but the problem was masking the silver to spray the black. From the factory AMC started with a black part and misted on the silver highlights resulting in a splotchy bunch of overspray when you look between the fins.

(I have heard the rumor that AMC might have really stood for Alcoholics Making Cars.) Fortunately my LHS saved the day. Tamiya makes a size tape for everything that needed to be done which made masking all the tines (all 162 of them) a snap. I swapped the amber tun signals out with clear lenses and trim rings from a ’70 AMX and I love how the grille looks like it’s floating between the bonnet and the bumper. The grille is only temporarily mounted from the front as I need to source a 73/74 hood release as mine is trapped in the jail cell that is my new grill making it impossible to open the hood.

13 additional images. Click to enlarge.

12 responses to ’75 Hornet – A Grille Update

  1. Takes a modeller to tackle this like you deed. Looks great!!

    • Yes, you can tell the difference between how the factory painted them and how I painted them. The four pictures embedded in the article are from an eBay ad and show how they look from the factory. Mine have nice crisp edges and silver showing on the front surfaces.

  2. Great work, Josh.
    This car is not well known in Europe, but it’s a very beautiful design. I’d love to hear more about it. The colour reminds me of a tone named rosso corallo which was very popular on Fiat 500.

  3. Looking great.
    Did you put a clear coat on eventually? I’d be anxious that if not, the paint job may deteriorate with time.

  4. Just noticed a nice Alfa 164 in the background. Yours as well?

  5. fiat x1/9

  6. One of the very few US-cars that I really like (no harm meant, I see you’re an Alfa guy, so I hope you’ll understand).

  7. No, I guess I just have a thing for odd cars. I’ve always wanted a car with a V-8 but didn’t want a ?Camaro or Mustang. The Hornet was just unusual enough that I wanted it. (Plus living in Wisconsin I can say EVERYONE else is driving an import! My other go to saying referring to the car is that it is so American it has “America” right in the name! Drives Chevy/Ford guys nuts!) Although I like my Hornet, if I had the money I’d trade up and get a ’70 AMX.
    One cool thing about the Hornet is you can go camping in it! I am this weekend!

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

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