Junkyard Find: 1982 AMC Eagle Station Wagon
I live in Colorado, where the AMC Eagle sold as well in the 1980s as the Subaru Outback does now, and so I see the all-wheel-drive versions of the American Motors Concord and Spirit everywhere here. This means they show up in Denver-area self-service wrecking yards like clockwork, and I photograph them when they do (and I walk right by most air-cooled Beetles, which I know is wrong).
So far, I have documented the demise of this ’79 wagon, this ’80 coupe, this white-with-plaid-interior ’80 wagon, this GM Iron Duke-powered ’81 SX/4, this ’82 hatchback, this ’83 SX/4 Sport, this ’84 wagon, this ’84 wagon, this ’84 “woodie” wagon, and this ’85 wagon. Now we’ve got this gloriously brown-and-tan-and-beige-and-brown example of Malaise Era proto-crossover Kenosha goodness.
After Chrysler bought the tattered remnants of American Motors in 1987 (in order to get the Jeep name plus a bunch of Renault-derived chassis designs), Eagle was made into its own marque. Unfortunately, the Chrysler version of the Eagle logo wasn’t nearly as majestic as the original AMC one.
Since this car had a center differential and none of that confusing truck-ish, low-range gearing stuff, it was what we’d call all-wheel-drive today.
Back in 1982, though, if it had power to all four wheels, you called it “4-wheel-drive” and no hair-splitting pedants yelled at you about it.
This car still has some outdoorsy stuff inside, including this Coleman lantern and a binocular case, so it probably had its share of camping trips in the Rockies during its 34 years on the road.
Look, no Iron Duke engine!
“One thing the Japanese haven’t caught up to … is the American Eagle.”
Writer d'Elegance Brougham Landau.
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