The AMC Spirit-based ’82 Eagle SX/4 Junkyard Find that we admired last week was an interesting car, but it was pretty well picked over and started its junkyard career as a basket case. In the very same Denver junkyard, however, sits this much nicer and more complete ’79 Spirit DL. It was so nice, in fact, that I had to buy some parts from it!
I needed a headlight dimmer switch for my ’66 Dodge A100 van, and so many vehicles of the 1959-1984 period used the same switch that I was able to get one for my van from this ’79 Spirit. It works perfectly.
I’m not quite the AMC expert I ought to be, but I can tell that this Spirit came with plenty of options. Check out this sporty steering wheel, for example.
This car had the fairly rare Rally Pak gauge panel— complete with Malaise-fuel-price-friendly vacuum gauge— on the center console, and I just had to buy it. Maybe I’ll put it in my van, maybe I’ll sell it on eBay, or maybe I’ll just admire it next to my collection of 80s Japanese digital instrument clusters. For 15 bucks, I couldn’t say no.
By late 1970s standards, the 258-cubic-inch L6 offered plenty of power.
Tan pleather buckets, floor-shift automatic, gauges, probably an 8-track player for your Gary Wright tapes, torquey engine… what’s not to like about this fine Wisconsin machine?
The owner’s manual is still inside.
OK, so it wasn’t the best-looking car on the road in 1979, but at least it was prettier than the astonishingly hideous Datsun F10.
If forced to choose between a Spirit and a Chevette… well, that’s no choice at all. Spirit all the way!
Let the spirit move you!
And the Spirit was immune to rust, according to this ad.
In Mexico, where the Spirit was sold as the VAM Rally, the ads were más macho than what we got north of the border.
The VAM Rally AMX American GT came with the Rally Pak gauges and an overwhelmingly bordellic red interior.