Junkyard Find: 1984 AMC Eagle

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

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

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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  • Joekuul Joekuul on May 20, 2011

    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.

  • And003 And003 on Apr 26, 2012

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

  • Redapple2 37% USA Canada content. This should pass you off ! THIRTY SEVEN.
  • Theflyersfan I guess I should have kept my first ever car which was also a 1987 Nissan. Probably could have sold it for $50,000 by now if I was living in this fantasy world where used up 37 year old Nissans sell for the same price as a new Versa. I wish a link was here so all of us can check out this treasure among junk 200SX. The only way this car is even remotely worth that kind of money is if there are illicit substances hidden somewhere in the frame that, as part of the sale, you have to drive across the border and "make a delivery." Otherwise, get that thing off of my lawn.
  • Sobro Needs moar Roots.
  • RHD Questions? None, no, not really. Interested in some random Hyundai? No, not at all. Yawn.