By on May 5, 2011


How many Eagles did AMC sell? According to the Standard Catalog, 24,535 Eagles rolled out of AMC showrooms in 1984… and I betcha that 20,000 of them were sold in Colorado. You still see plenty of Eagles on the street here in Denver (I can think of a half-dozen within a few blocks of my house), but you also see plenty of AMC’s before-its-time all-wheel-driver in Denver junkyards.

By the end of the Eagle’s (and AMC’s) life (1987 model year), the competition from the relentless sararimen at Fuji Heavy Industries had gone from nuisance to onslaught; the AWD Subarus were still on the flaky side compared to the hammer-simple AMCs, but they were cars, not Jeeps with antiquated and only vaguely car-like styling.

This one still has the insurance auction “STARTS” sign, so we’re looking at another runner that’s about to be turned into raw materials for Chinese industry. I must admit that I prefer the even goofier-looking (and more reliable) mid-80s 4WD Tercel wagon to the Eagle, but this sight still saddens me.

Even worse, this isn’t the only newly-arrived Eagle in this self-service junkyard. Two more right nearby. Next stop, Guangzhou Steel Factory #112!

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15 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1984 AMC Eagle...”


  • avatar
    DDayJ

    I love that it’s the “Limited” model, yet doesn’t have power windows.

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    Our neighbors had one of these when I was growing up in this color. We could always hear the unmistakeable rattles that eminated from it’s chassis as it rolled down our street.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    My 1982 Chevy Celebrity was this color. (Lower half, upper half was tan.)

    Back when I was a Four Wheel and Off Road magazine subscriber you would see a few of the 4X4 models in their coverage of trail rides and such. Seems many guys upgraded to Jeep components and loved the plush interior and off road ability.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I compared these to my mom’s 1979 Concord and I had doubts as to how they would hold up. Her car was absolutely bulletproof, but the Eagles had so much stuff seemingly just tacked-on, I wouldn’t trust one as far as I could throw one, had we the money to actually buy one back then (we didn’t).

  • avatar
    MoppyMop

    Am I the only one who thinks the eagle emblem looks like Sam the Eagle from the Muppet Show?

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Kermit the Frog: We will also see a rousing finale from Sam the Eagle. What’s it called, Sam?
      Sam the Eagle: It’s called “A Salute to All Nations, But Mostly America”.

  • avatar
    econobiker

    My family bought a new ’81 Subaru GL 4×4 equipped with the headlight bush bar (vs center version) and skid plate (which was odd for any car in suburban NJ at that time). Comparing a 1984 Eagle with that it shows how mid-1970s wood grain interior that the Eagle still was- probably due to AMC’s economic woes. The fact that the Subaru had storage loops for the rear seat belt seat side clasps shows how much they thought about the cars design. AMC -R.I.P.

    MoppyMop- agreed on the Sam the Eagle Muppet similarity…

  • avatar
    red60r

    My brother had one of those (don’t remember the year) — it spontaneously combusted in front of his house. Really.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    My brother had one of these for about 17 years as his daily driver. He got it out of an irrational fear of getting stuck in snowdrifts (seriously) but didn’t want a Jeep. Far from perfect, but incredibly tough, he drove it about 300K miles. The car had some dumb things on it like a plastic valve cover and some other parts (along the same lines) that were cheap. But it was all retrofit-able with replacements from older AMCs. He bought the car shortly before he married and kept it until the last kid got out of high school, but eventually the cost of repairing the body to meet Pennsylvania inspections got too high.

  • avatar

    Who says this one still runs? It may have ran when it was auctioned but something could’ve snapped, these cars had a ton of features to go wrong after 20 years.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I kick myself not to this day for not buying, back in 1990 an early 80′s SX4. It was all black w/ fog lights and priced at about 1K. What kept me from it was that it had a leaky transfer case or transmission. Memories of Jeep’s problems with the Quadratraq in Malaise era Wagoneers made me hesitate.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    A friend’s dad had one, don’t remember what year, the same awful turd brown as the one in the pics. He drove it year after year, until it had rotted to the point it had to be retired. He bought a Dodge Magnum in ’08, and had it until it got T-boned late last year by an old lady who had no business driving at all. It got replaced by a ’10 Chrysler 300 SRT8. He’s 82, and I had to laugh seeing him behind the wheel. I keep asking him when I see him, “So, have you floored it yet?”. So far, the answer has been “No, not yet!”. He better get on it, the clock is tickin’!

  • avatar
    joekuul

    I have an ’84 Eagle right now! It’s a 4dr sedan, not a wagon though. One of the most reliable cars I’ve ever owned, and I’ve owned a LOT. I’ve owned it for over 7 years now, so of course I’ve upgraded a few things. The 2 best improvements I’ve made were replacing the stock Carter BBD carb with a much better performance Weber carb, and upgrading to a one-wire GM HEI distributor. The Eagles were raised higher off the ground (since they are 4wd) than the lowly Concord, which was only 2wd. Other than this and the Eagle’s 4wd components, the 2 vehicles are identical. I originally bought this vehicle because I live in the Northeast, and have a completely rational fear of winding up in a snowdrift or killing myself while driving these roads in the Winter. The cars I had before would spin out on the snow-covered roads here and I just got sick of it. I didn’t really want a truck, so I started looking at 4wd cars. It basically boiled down to either an Eagle or a Subaru. It was easy to see that the Eagle had superior ground clearance, so I decided to look for one. Found one on eBay, loaded with options, for $800. I went to Pennsylvania and picked it up, and have never regretted that decision since! I’ve only seen a few here in NY, mostly wagons. They seem to have been popular in Pennsylvania though, I’ve found many good parts cars in the junkyards there.

  • avatar
    and003

    I wonder if a 3G Hemi can fit in the engine bay. Seems fitting since Chrysler bought AMC in 1987.


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