Could This Be The Ideal Colorado Winter Car?

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

I moved to Denver over the summer and am now experiencing the joys of proper snow driving for the first time in the 29 years since the State of California saw fit to give me my first driver’s license. With just a ’92 Civic and a ’66 Dodge A100 in my personal motor pool, I figure it’s time for me to start shopping for something with four driven wheels. In fact, I need something that can do four-wheel burnouts on dry asphalt!

I could do what everyone else in the state— including my wife— did and just buy an Outback, but I was thinking more along the lines of a Scout… or maybe a BMW 325iX… or an AWD Justy. At the top of the list, however, sits the 15-years-before-its-time/the-fools-weren’t-ready-for-it AMC Eagle, a car that came about when the cash-strapped folks in Kenosha decided to drop a Concord body atop Jeep-based running gear. You see quite a few of them around here, but I hadn’t seen one that I needed to buy. That is, until I got tipped off about this excellent ’82 SX/4 (you can go here to see some photos, but do not attempt to install the American Greetings software that allows you to look at full-sized images. Trust me). Why, yes, a rally-ized Eagle coupe with hot-rodded 390, 4.10 gears, and manual-body Torqueflite sounds like a great idea! I’d probably have to cut out at least part of the full roll cage, since whacking one’s dome on a steel bar in a minor fender-bender isn’t my idea of fun, and I don’t feel like wearing a helmet on the street. OK, fine, it’s actually a very, very stupid idea, but still: I must have this car!

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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4 of 63 comments
  • MattMan MattMan on Jan 23, 2011

    Evo X + Blizzaks = Win

  • AJ AJ on Jan 23, 2011

    Back when I lived in Colorado in the 90s, I always noticed that Outbacks were popular with lesbians. At the time my sister-in-law (also living in Colorado) bought an Outback for driving to the mountains to ski. I laughed and pointed out my observation, and she realized this too and sold the car. (lol)

  • Moparman426W Moparman426W on Jan 23, 2011


  • Moparman426W Moparman426W on Jan 23, 2011

    Milk, remember tho, interior parts from a gremlin, hornet, spirit or concord will fit the eagles, since they used the same body. Back in the day before I could afford a new truck I had several AMC's for winter beaters. They make for a fun beater, and are cheap and easy to keep running as long as you have an AMC powered one. I wouldn't want one of the later spirits or gremlins with the audi 4 banger.