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All-Terrain Bird: 1982 AMC Eagle Wagon 4×4

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This 1982 AMC Eagle Wagon is on eBay with a current bid of $1,525 and four days left on the auction. It has 156,000 miles on it but I would have guessed that it had 56,000 miles after looking at the photos on the auction listing, it looks like it’s in great shape. Back on the first day of 2016, Barn Finds writer, Jeff, showed us a nice AMC Eagle Wagon with 55,000 miles on it with the classic woodgrain treatment. I don’t know which one I like better.

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These were, and are, great winter cars with the 4×4 system and having lots of room both inside and out; as in, a big roof rack for skis, snowboards. etc. The seller says that the silver portion of the paint is fading a bit and the shine isn’t what it once was, but who cares, it’s your winter car.

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The RR bumper end looks like it’s cracked, but other than that I don’t see too much wrong with the exterior of this car. 20,899 AMC Eagle wagons were made in 1983, by far the best-selling body style.

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The interior looks great, too, other than the driver’s seat which needs to be retrimmed a bit. I love the headrests in these cars, that’s a pretty ingenious design. Speaking of love, this padded headliner looks like some sort of 1970s custom van interior; that’s crazy!

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This is a 4.2L 258 inline-six cylinder with about 110 hp. The seller says that this “Eagle idles so smoothly that I’ve sometimes had to check to make sure it’s still running. I haven’t noticed any leaks and the engine does not smoke.” And, that the “automatic transmission engages smoothly and shifts properly with absolutely no issues. Out on the highway, she drives nice and straight with absolutely no complaints. She easily cruises at 70-75 no problem. The 4WD system is tested and working properly.” This one sounds and looks like a winner to me. How about you, are you a fan of these AMC Eagle wagons?


  1. RonL

    I owned a 1980 version of this wagon, they were unique cars for sure. I drove it cross country once and got many comments on it, even when these were common cars. The later models (I believe 1981 and newer) had a selector in the glove box to take it in and out of 4×4 mode, which improved the gas mileage. The 1980 (first year) versions were full time 4×4. You could even do some mild off roading with these cars, mine was equipped with skid plates on the transfer case and gas tank.

    AMC was ahead of their time with these cars, look at all the 4wd cars and vehicles on the road today.

    Great find!

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  2. JW

    I always wanted one of these back when new but never got the chance. Nice find !!!

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  3. Dolphin Member

    I believe it was an Eagle 4-WD like this that Road & Track tested for the magazine when they first came out. 4-WD cars other than Jeeps weren’t too common back then, and wagons were even scarcer.

    Trouble was, they drove it offroad somewhere in California and the car wasn’t up to the off-road use that R&T put it to. They reported that some of the suspension was damaged and needed repairs, which generated a big bill. They weren’t very critical of the car—IIRC they were more critical of themselves. But I guess it showed that these weren’t the upscale wagon equivalent of a Jeep back then.

    One of my co-workers bought one new and had a similar experience with the suspension after going off-road, so there were at least 2 cases I knew of where problems came with these being used off-road.

    I would never be in the market for one, but decades later this one looks better than I remember them looking back when new.

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    • JW

      Yes it’s a boulevard wheeler for sure but would make for a nice daily driver here in the snow belt.

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  4. Hmm

    Not sure how ‘ingenious’ the headrest design is. Our 1972 Peugeot 504 sedan had headrests that fitted like these – flush with the top of the seat when stowed and could be raised and adjusted to the appropriate height for travel.

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  5. Kincer Dave Member

    I believe that headliner is sagging and was stapled back up, I had a Cutlass Ciera that looked the same way after I stapled it back up so I could see out the rear view mirror lol.

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    • DrinkinGasoline

      90 % of all domestic vehicles in the U.S. had headliner issues due to the lack of quality adhesives and foam backing used during the mid to late 70’s and into the late 80’s.
      You were not alone…..lol
      7 of 10 headliners were in fact replaced under factory warranty by most manufacturers. I wrestled more than a few headliners during that time.

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  6. MeepMeep

    “All-Terrain Turd”…..not Bird

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    Awesome example of a great car. These things are tanks and there are still a ton of em out there. The car was never meant to be an off road car but be excellent in inclimate weather, which they do very well.
    They are also comfy and the precursor to the small Cherokee that we all know and love.

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    • DrinkinGasoline

      I guess that the mortality rate of these “great cars” depends on the region in which one resides…..I haven’t seen “hide nor hair” of the likes of one of these, east of the Mississippi River in 20 years or better. You may want to redefine the term “tank” when it comes to 80’s sheet metal….I have a very different recollection.
      Maybe….that’ll make this example worth buying?

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      • AMCSTEVE

        And you may want to “revisit” your poor attitude twords everyone you flame. Get a life dude.

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      • Keith

        I see these for sale regularly (meaning a couple times each month) on CL here in rusty old NJ. Some look great (so I’m sure garage kept) and others not so much. But considering these weren’t plentiful and now 30+ years old, I’m surprised I see as many as I do.

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      • Dave Wright

        We don’t see many of these in the Northwest either. I was buying new cars in these decades. Much to the contrary of AMCsteve……the only people that bought AMC products (except for Jeeps that AMC did not design or develop)were people that couldn’t afford a Malibu, Blazer or Bronco or anything else. They were the cheepest American built cars. They occasionally gave decent service to the owners but frequently dealer support was terrible. Values were low and a high percentage of them were sold by the ton as scrap. We old guys remember the truth these cars that younger guys either never knew or forgot.

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      • MeepMeep

        AMCSteve….I can’t see where any “flaming” occurred. Maybe you took offense because of prejudice on your part towards AMC products? We do tend to defend….
        I don’t think any harm was intended.

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  8. Paul Jones

    It looks like the rear end was smushed in as well.

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    • Mike H. Mike H.

      No, that’s just how they looked, going all the way back to 1971 when this car was called “Sportabout”, which was a stupid name for a car. We had many of them in my family in the early to mid 1970’s and they all appeared as though they’d been rear-ended, although the earlier models were quite a bit more stylish with the smaller bumpers. My sister’s 1971 (304 2V auto) in blue with woodgrain was always my favourite of the bunch.

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  9. DrinkinGasoline

    I apologize if I offended anyone with My comments. If it makes anything better, I did bring My Father’s ’75 Pacer 258 auto back to life after it blew a head gasket. It ran for two more years until He sold it to an AMC guy who wanted to restore it. To each his own.
    Live and Let Live.

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  10. Scotty G Staff

    Auction update: this car sold for $3,000!

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  11. Jason

    I remember the AMC Eagle. This was during the 1980s. I was too young to drive, let alone get my drivers license. But I remember admiring its styling and its engineering.

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  12. Melvin B.

    Always wanted one of these. Where is the car located? I’ll buy it.

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