Tag: amc

By on July 4, 2012

Jeep Comanche - CarsInDepth.com photo

One of the cool things about car shows in the Detroit area is that you will most likely start seeing interesting cars before you actually enter the show. I like to call them “parking lot prizes”, but then I’m fond of alliteration. At the recent Eyes On Design show, which benefits the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology, I spotted a couple of prewar V16 Cadillacs, a ’61 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and a first generation Corvette with a custom wooden boat tail before I even got to the press credential tent. Those are not common cars but the subject of this post is particularly rare. What could be rare about a Jeep Cherokee? They were in production in the US, South America and China for over two decades. However, this isn’t a Jeep Cherokee. (Read More…)

By on June 30, 2012

The AMC Eagle must have sold better in Colorado than in any other part of the world, because I see so many of the things in Denver junkyards that I don’t even bother photographing most of them. This ’80, however, is a hyper-Malaise two-door with vinyl top and purple-and-red tape stripes, and that makes it special. (Read More…)

By on May 6, 2012

US Postal Service-surplus right-hand-drive DJ-5s were once cheap and plentiful. Actually, they’re still cheap and plentiful. Some got converted to four-wheel-drive, some got used as farm vehicles, some ended up as urban hoopties… and many of them were bought cheap at auction and then sat for decades, awaiting a project that never got started. Here’s a 40-year-old mail carrier that looks like it went right from the post office to the junkyard. Quite a few rural routes in Wyoming and northern Colorado are handled by non-USPS-employee subcontractors who drive their own vehicles, so it’s possible that this Jeep stayed on the job well into the 21st century. (Read More…)

By on March 14, 2012

By 1985, it was clear to everyone that the Renault Alliance, product of the strange AMC/Renault mashup that failed to save the “not too big to fail” Wisconsin automaker, wasn’t quite as good as the ’83 Motor Trend Car of the Year award suggested. Still, enough Alliances sold that you still see them in the junkyard every now and then. Here’s one I spotted in a California self-serve yard last month. (Read More…)

By on February 17, 2012

Ah, the Malaise Era. By the late 1970s, AMC was on the ropes. The Jeep Cherokee still sold well, however, and the brains in Kenosha decided they’d go for the Acapulco Gold-smoking generation and throw a few square yards of decals on the truck. Golden Eagle! (Read More…)

By on January 13, 2012

While it’s cool and all to find genuine, everyone-agrees-it’s-a-classic cars in the junkyard, what I really like to find is the cars that serve as evolutionary dead-ends or corporate-merger footnotes. The Eagle Premier is a fine example of the latter type. (Read More…)

By on January 10, 2012

AMC got a (brief) new lease on life in the early 1980s when the French government, via Renault, invested in the staggering Wisconsin car company. Meanwhile, huge purchases of DJ-5s by the US Postal Service also helped prop up the once-proud automaker. The Postal Jeep was a common sight on American roads (and junkyards) for a decade or so after the USPS phased it out, but its bouncy-box-on-wheels ride and two-wheel-drive configuration doomed most examples to The Crusher. Here’s one that I spotted in a Denver self-serve yard last week. (Read More…)

By on October 4, 2011

Many of the older cars you find in the junkyard clearly spent a decade or three moldering in a side yard or driveway before taking that final ride behind the tow truck. The project that never gets started, or the once-reliable car that needs a new transmission, or sometimes just Grandpa’s forgotten daily driver. We don’t know that this Rambler ran when parked, but we can tell when it was parked: 1986. (Read More…)

By on September 8, 2011

I find a lot of AMC Eagles in Denver, both in and out of the junkyards, but almost all of them are wagons. During a recent junkyard visit, I spotted the first Spirit-based Eagle I’ve seen in a long time. (Read More…)

By on August 26, 2011

I never thought I’d ever find an Oleg Cassini Edition AMC Matador in the junkyard. Oh, sure, I’ve seen Givenchy Continentals, Mark Cross New Yorkers, a couple of Etienne Aigner VW Golfs, even a Levis Gremlin… but even with all I’ve written about the Oleg Cassini Matador I’d given up hope of actually seeing one on its way to The Crusher. That changed yesterday. (Read More…)

By on July 13, 2011


Since I’ve only been wandering about in Denver junkyards for a year, I have no way of telling whether the current glut of junked AMC Eagles I’m encountering (e.g., this ’84, this ’84, and this ’82, plus a few more that I haven’t photographed yet) is a recent development or a trend that’s been going on for many years. Eagles are still plentiful in Denver, but a cheap used Subaru becomes more attractive once the youngest possible Eagle has turned 24 years old. (Read More…)

By on June 28, 2011


The Speed Holes Racing AMC Marlin took home the Organizer’s Choice award at last year’s Colorado 24 Hours of LeMons race, because A) it has a 454 yanked from a wrecked GMC truck set back about three feet from the Marlin’s normal engine location, B) it has a Jaguar XJ6 rear suspension and differential, C) it has hundreds of speed holes punched into the body and, most of all, D) it’s an AMC Marlin. The Marlin wasn’t exactly fast (the tall Jaguar gears and very tired 300,000-mile EFI small-valve engine didn’t make for great acceleration out of the turns), but the handling was surprisingly good for such a big car. For the 2011 B.F.E. GP, Speed Holes Racing decided that more power would be needed. (Read More…)

By on June 10, 2011


Most of my junkyard-prowling experience has taken place at the modern-day self-service yards, where the inventory turns over fast, prices are standardized, and 90% of the cars on the yard tend to be 15 to 20 years old. Now that I’m in a constant search for parts for a 45-year-old Dodge van, I’ve been venturing out to the more traditional wrecking yards, where you haggle for every part and the inventory sits for decades while each and every salable part gets picked. A couple weeks back, I went on a quest for A100 parts at a breathtakingly vintage junkyard located about halfway between Denver and Cheyenne. (Read More…)

By on May 11, 2011


With the AMC Eagle being such a historically significant car, let’s hope at least a few of them survive the next decade. We saw this brown ’85 Eagle wagon last week, and this black ’84 wagon will join it in a Fujian steel plant soon enough. (Read More…)

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. (Read More…)

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