I was desperately trying to find my way out of the dreaded part of North Phoenix known as “The Square” (look it up) when I came across this Hornet parked on the side of the road.
I love the look of these first-gen Hornets. And yes, I realize that these Hornets are the successor in namesake to to the Hudson Hornet, and technically maybe shouldn’t be called “first generation”, which is weird to think about. I’m calling it that anyways though. It’s also interesting to think that Chrysler ended up with the rights to the name “Hornet” when they acquired AMC and could potentially come out with a new one some day.
I think It would have been kind of cool if Dodge would have not made the SRT-4 out of a Neon, since Neons are totally lame, and instead had come out with a non embarrassing-looking car to make a fast version of. “Hornet” would have been a pretty cool name, and they could have still used up all of that leftover yellow paint they were obviously trying to get rid of when they were making the SRT-4.
These old Hornets are some of the only classic American compact cars that even come off as remotely compact today. They also had some pretty cool options available. Although this isn’t one of them, some Hornets were available the SC360 package, which must have been a blast to drive. Although it was only rated 285 hp, it was a tiny car with a 4 speed and a 3.90 rear.
In ’71, I don’t think you were going to be able to find a car that was much more fun than that.