In 1972 Randall AMC of Mesa Arizona was already know as a Performance AMC Dealer when they sought endorsement of a 401 Gremlin project from American Motors Corporation. AMC gave their “unofficial” approval and shipped Randall AMC 30 complete 401 engines. This was the beginning of the “Baddest” Gremlin ever. The Randall 401-XR Gremlin was born.
It was an idea that was sure to happen with the introduction of the 304 V8 Gremlin in 1972. The external dimensions of the 304 are identical to the 401, so that made the swap a breeze. Randall began with a 304 equipped Gremlin as a basis for the 401-XR. The main reason is for the heavier suspension and larger brakes, but the cross-member and motor mounts being for a V8 made this almost too easy.
You could call Grant Randall or Mike Randall at Randall American, place a order and pickup up your new car in a couple of weeks. They offered many different options, from basically a stock car with only the engine switch for $2995 to what ever you could dream up. Options include but are not limited to, 4 speed, Automatic, Headers, Twin Grip Rear, Handling Package, Disc Brakes, Cam Kits, High Rise Manifolds with the carburetor of your choice. The rear end ratio could be ordered with anything from a 2.87:1 to a 5.58:1. You could get a completely new gauge package which included a 160 mph speedometer.
Randall American promised a pure stock 401-XR Gremlin will run 13.90’s at 103-106 mph all for $2995. If you decked your car with all the performance goodies the numbers would improve to the 12.30’s at 114-117 mph.
Mike Randall has provided some of the information and photos for this article. Mike says they only built 20 of the cars for the street and 1 for the strip. They were built in 1972, 1973 and in 1974. All of the cars started out as 304 V8 cars.
Thirty 401 AMC Engines at the Randall Dealership awaiting Gremlins
photo provided by Mike Randall
Today Mike is in the boat business, but he still will build a AMC engine with all the tricks he learned in his years of AMC performance. He has just located one of the original 401-XR Gremlins which he plans to restore. He would like to have it complete and on display at the 2005 AMO Nationals which will be held in Atlanta, GA.. Below you will find copies of two different magazine articles on this car, take the time to read them, you will find them very interesting.