HomeFeatured VehiclesPick of the Day: 1984 AMC Eagle Wagon

Pick of the Day: 1984 AMC Eagle Wagon

The car that carried AMC


An old proverb is, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Automotive history has shown that innovation by automotive companies makes for some interesting bids at survival – Graham and Hupmobile, Studebaker, and the Chrysler Corporation show that hard times doesn’t discriminate. Of course, American Motors found itself struggling to survive several times in its existence, and the most recent relic from that struggle is our Pick of the Day, a 1984 AMC Eagle Wagon. It is listed on by a dealership in Hailey, Idaho. (Click the link to view this listing)

1980 AMC Eagle two-door sedan

The Eagle traces its history to the 1970 Hornet, AMC’s all-new compact developed to replace the Rambler American. Though sized smaller than the most popular American cars of the time, the Hornet was fully capable of handling most of the needs of American drivers, plus it was a response to the increasing competition coming from Japan. Those and other imports generally did not come standard with a six-cylinder, and none of them offered a V8, but the Hornet did. Available as two- and four-door sedan when introduced, the Hornet even spawned the shorter, stylish Gremlin hatchback. A Hornet station wagon joined in 1971, and a swoopy hatchback arrived for 1973.

The station wagon was called the Sportabout, like a sporty runabout. “Combines fun with function,” said AMC when describing the Sportabout, a car that had no competition from the Big Three, and the imports had nothing as utilitarian and stylish. AMC continued building all four body styles of the Hornet through 1977, upon which it was replaced by the Concord – basically the same car with a new name.

The Concord was produced through 1983, but for 1980 it was joined by a four-wheel drive version called the Eagle. Available as two- and four-door sedans, and station wagon, the Eagle utilized a full-time 4WD system and featured three inches of additional ground clearance compared to the Concord. Interestingly, AMC managed to have the EPA classify the Eagle as a light truck, so it did not need to subscribe to certain regulations that the Concord did. Certainly, the connection to Jeep helped make the Eagle happen.

In 1981, it was joined by a Kammback (a four-wheel drive Spirit, which was the former Gremlin) and SX/4 hatchback and, mid-year 1981, AMC introduced Select Drive. This allowed a driver to operate in two-wheel drive mode and switch to four-wheel drive instantly once stationary – and without having to exit the vehicle to adjust the front hubs. In an era where fuel economy was king, Select Drive increased the Eagle’s appeal and would supersede the full-time 4WD system and; for 1985, shift-on-the-fly capability was integrated into Select Drive.

The Eagle was produced through the 1987 calendar year, upon which Chrysler (AMC’s new owner) discontinued the model. That’s quite a run for a car initially created to compete against the Japanese and, today, the AMC Eagle has become a cult car beyond AMC fans. This wood-grained, Honey metallic 1984 Eagle Wagon is powered by AMC’s legendary, torquey 4.2-liter inline-six with a two-barrel carburetor, an engine that would become standard the following year. An automatic transmission shifter sits on the floor sans console. “The spacious and very comfortable interior features seating for up to 5 passengers and amenities such as air conditioning, power windows, and [AM/FM] stereo,” says the seller.

“With only 48k original miles, this unique classic has plenty of miles of fun left to go!” he adds. With so much life left, would you even dare to take it to places where four-wheel drive was needed? No idea if AMC fans are having a conniption with that thought, but $14,000 (OBO) is a reasonable take on the passenger car that sustained AMC to the bitter end.

Click here for this Pick of the Day.

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in metropolitan Phoenix.


  1. Had one of these in a dark green/fake wood scheme. All the maintenance was same as a Jeep CJ, the 4.2 I6 was bulletproof even with an aftermarket 4bbl/Offy manifold & header. But, like Jeeps of that era, rust. Lotsa rust. @210,xxx mostly trouble free miles, the front seats began to drop through the floor, so it had to go. Wish I had one now, perfect car for ND.

  2. I WOULD BE GLAD TO HAVE THIS AMERICAN 4X4 EAGLE WAGON IN MY GARAGE, they have it for USD 14,000, the year I met my wife with whom in a year and a half we will celebrate 50 years of marriage and I would like to give her this 1984 model as a gift, I don’t know where is found, but I would like to admit her through Tijuana, since we live in Los Cabos, Baja California SUR, does this price cover the transfer to San Diego? Or how much would I have to pay for her to move to San Diego and my daughter, who has a visa current transfer to San José del Cabo.
    Thank you for her kind response.


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