Junkyard Find: 1982 AMC Eagle SX/4 Sport

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1982 amc eagle sx 4 sport

The AMC Eagle may have disappeared from public consciousness decades ago outside of Colorado, but Eagles are still all over the place in the Mile High City. I can think of a couple of daily-driven Eagle survivors within several blocks of my house (not to mention several VW Vanagon Syncros, but that’s another story), and fallen Eagles show up in Denver-area self-service wrecking yards with great regularity. In this series, we’ve seen this ’79 wagon, this ’80 coupe, this ’82 hatchback, this ’84 wagon, this ’84 wagon, and this ’85 wagon. As for the very rare AMC Spirit-based Eagle SX/4, we’ve seen just this Iron Duke-powered ’81 prior to today’s find.

A two-door, quasi-sporty car with four-wheel-drive… put out by a company that, by 1982, was obviously doomed. Still, some SX/4s were sold.

With the good old bulletproof AMC 258 straight six, this car had all the torque it needed to unstick itself from mud and snow. Fuel economy wasn’t so great, but gas prices dropped quickly as the mid-1980s approached.

Chrysler stuck with the AMC six well into our current century, but axed the Eagle just a year after its 1987 takeover of American Motors. Confusingly, Chrysler made the Eagle name into a separate marque.

Did this car really get 32 highway MPG? Maybe at 47 MPH, downhill!

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  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Aug 05, 2013

    I get such a warm feeling when I see the AWD Eagles. I really would like to have one of the wagon ones - they're impossible to find without massive rust in the Midwest.

  • Phargophil Phargophil on Aug 05, 2013

    My first car being a '74 Gremlin showed me that an AMC was a solid car, at least until rust hit it. Shortly after my wife and I married we bought an '81 SX/4, and sadly had to part with it a few years later due to a move. Last year I picked up an '81 Eagle Kammback as a winter daily driver. It looks like a basket case but runs like a top. They are great cars in a very crude way.

  • RHD The price will also be a huge factor. Most websites expect it to start at around 50K. Add in the dealer fees, taxes, markup, options and assorted nonsense, it'll probably easily pass 60 grand. A Chrysler Pacifica starts around 38K. The real test will be if anyone with nostalgia for the old VW Van/Kombi/Station Wagon/Bus/Etc. will be motivated to actually buy one. Once the new and unique wears off, its innate excellence (or lack thereof) will determine its long-term success.
  • Carlson Fan I think it is pretty cool & grew up with a '75 Ford window van so I can attest to their utility. $60K is a lot for any vehicle and I'm not convinced EV's are ready for prime time for a number of reasons. It would make an awesome 2nd or 3rd vehicle in a multi-car household but again the price would keep most from considering it.I agree with the other comments that those who have to have it will buy it and then sales will drop off. Offer a panel version for the commercial market, that could have possibilities.
  • Wjtinfwb Panther Black? or Black Panther? Shaped like a decade old Ford detectives sedan? Seems like an odd way to send out your marquee car...
  • Kwik_Shift Instead of blacked, how about chromed? Don't follow the herd.
  • Carlson Fan Nicest looking dash/gage cluster ever put in any PU truck. After all these years it still looks so good.