Junkyard Find: 1982 AMC Eagle Station Wagon

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
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.”

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Writer d'Elegance Brougham Landau.

More by Murilee Martin

Join the conversation
3 of 22 comments
  • E30gator E30gator on Feb 11, 2016

    Aside from snapping universal joints and falling drive shafts, my $400 '87 AMC Eagle was one of the funnest beaters I've ever owned. They had (IMO) some of the best interiors of the 70s-80s. I miss the 4.0 I-6 too. We put about 290k on ours, impressive for 80s domestics.

  • CarOli CarOli on Feb 11, 2016

    As impressive as your list of Eagle finds is, you haven't nailed the ultra rare 1981-82 only Kammback body style, which was the old Gremlin body with larger rear quarter windows. So yes, in those two model years you could get two door Eagles in trunked, hatchback, and Kammback versions, as well as the more common 4 door sedan and wagon. Here's some pics and info: http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2014/03/10/lost-cars-of-the-1980s-1981-1982-amc-eagle-series-50-kammback/

    • La834 La834 on Jun 10, 2017

      Don't forget the Sundancer convertible! It was a third-party conversion (by ASC?) but sold by AMC. So there were six Eagle body styles.

  • TheEndlessEnigma Ah Mini, the news no-one was waiting for.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Gruesome Newsom has spoken, you are now required to bow and do his bidding.
  • TheEndlessEnigma $7900 is asking a bit much, they are asking about $2500 more than is appropriate for a private party sale. This is a $5500ish car at best.
  • Tassos While the Fit is an intelligent design and while I have owned and liked Hondas for decades, asking for $8k, even in worthless 2023 devalued Idiot Joe Biden dollars, for n 11 year old, SUB-civic Subcompact, with 120k miles and who knows what hidden issues, is way too damned much.And as always, you should ask YOURSELF, if you even think bidding on such a tiny, unsafe at any speed (NO passive safety, NO active safety) vehicle:"HOW MUCH IS MY OWN LIFE WORTH"?Or, if you had the bright idea to buy this POS for your college bound kid or grandkid,"HOW MUCH IS his or her LIFE WORTH"?
  • SCE to AUX Seems like a good car at a good price. $7900 can buy a real junker these days.