American Motors Corporation was the result of the 1954 merger of Nash and Hudson. AMC began concentrating on the Rambler compact and Metropolitan subcompact, and the full-size Nash and Hudson cars were dropped after 1957.
An old friend of mine, a true Hudson fanatic who collected 80 Hudsons in his lifetime, once told me that he wept real tears when Hudson was discontinued. Such is the loyalty of some auto fans when it comes to their favorite brand!
Despite heavy competition from the Big 3 (GM, Ford and Chrysler), AMC operated successfully for several years under the leadership of George Romney. AMC had a policy of periodically replacing old brand names with new. Remember Rambler's Classic? The Rebel? The Marlin? How about the AMC Hornet? That replaced the popular Rambler American in 1970, and was advertised as the "Little Rich Car." Nevertheless, its price was well-affordable, starting at only $1,994 back in 1970.
In 1971, Hornet introduced its new station-wagon version, the Sportabout. It was a hatchback, but there was no lower tailgate, making loading it a bit more difficult. The object was simplicity, though, keeping the car affordable to most buyers. One concession to luxury was the optional exterior woodgraining.
Ever seen a Sportabout? After three decades, they've grown quite scarce.
I've been up late this evening, typing this story. After accidentally calling this car the "Sportablut" twice, I think it's time for me to turn in for the night!