Live Auctions

5-Speed Wagon: 1984 AMC Eagle 4×4

This is probably one of the more appealing finds I’ve discovered on craigslist as of late, as it’s a generally sought-after AMC Eagle Wagon equipped with the rarely-seen manual transmission. The seller even claims it runs and drives despite its roughshod appearance, but that’s not entirely surprising considering how durable these cars are. The Eagle is listed here on craigslist near Bozeman, Montana for just $3,750.

The seller notes that it will need tires and brakes before it can be put safely back into daily driver duty, but that’s hardly even a list on a car like this. The Eagle wears a pretty incredible coating of patina, looking like the paint was ripped off the car during the height of a brutal North Dakota winter. As I learned buying a car from Bismarck earlier this year, they don’t use road salt in Montana (or at least certain parts of Montana) as the vehicle I bought was spotless underneath. The seller makes no mention of rust, so hopefully this one looks the same.

The interior is about what you’d expect for an Eagle Wagon of this vintage which is to say tired. Given its incredible durability, very few of these 4×4 pioneers were preserved like future show cars, so you’re going to find many of them have well-worn cabins. This one is no different, but the real treat here is the manual transmission. I feel like I remember a time when you would spot one of these wagons for sale with three pedals, but it seems like ages since I can recall spotting one with the row-it-yourself option.

Like the interior, the engine bay looks like every other one of these Eagle wagons which is to say tired. Of course, that doesn’t really matter on a machine like this that is built for untold amounts of abuse, and bullying its way through snow drifts. The seller doesn’t seem to be hiding much in the listing, as the Eagle Wagon is likely still seen as daily driver fodder in places like the Dakotas where bulletproof reliability is essential to one’s survival in the winter months. When’s the last time you saw an AMC Eagle Wagon 4×4 with a manual transmission?


  1. alphasud Member

    I have long since giving up hope that hen’s teeth exist until I saw this write-up. Never seen a manual in a Eagle wagon. I knew one could be had in the SX4 and mostly with the 2.5 iron duke. She’s a little rough but with such a rare option might be worth bring back. It wasn’t until my late 30’s that I finally got my first automatic transmission car and that was not by choice. It was due to buying a wholesale car at the right price when I worked at the dealer.
    So here is a obscure car trivia question. Who built the 5-speed transmission in this 84 Eagle. Was it the Renault transmission or the Asian Warner AX-15?

    Like 3
    • gaspumpchas

      Geez Alphasud, neither one of those 5 speeds sounds inviting.. The gut on this one looks like its been rode hard and put away wet, is that duct tape on the steering column. Being most AMC’s are mongrels made out of everyones parts, wonder who made the drive train? The 258 inline six was bulletproof, think they still use them in jeeps.sand it down and mop a singlestage paint job on her and cruise.

      Like 5
      • Donnie L Sears

        I think they went to a V6 and quit making one of the best motors ever.

        Like 4
      • John S Dressler

        That does appear to be duct tape on the steering column. An indication of the collar being broken off to bypass the locking ignition key assembly so that the car could be started without the key. A common practice of car thieves. This one has been stolen once upon a time.

    • Rumpledoorskin

      I believe they used a Tremec manual transmission. I know they had New Process transfer cases, as I owned an 82 model, but it was an auto.

      Like 1
    • Rob Marter

      I had an 82 SX/4 Sport hatchback with a 258-3 speed manual combination. It was a slug but very reliable. The only problem was the hydraulic clutch which had a constantly leaky slave cylinder. Despite being replaced under warranty it was an ongoing issue. The tiny reservoir needed weekly topping off with brake fluid.

  2. Jolly Joe

    I have an 81 Hornet based 2 door with the stick, 6 cylinder and leather interior. The quality of the interior, exterior and power train leave a lot to be desired.

    It is usually leaking some fluid but when inclement weather comes- it usually starts and has never been stuck in the snow. .

    Like 2
  3. Claudio

    Coming out of our local farmer’s lot , a 40 y.o. Was driving in with a stick eagle !
    I couldn’t believe it
    I circled back and went to talk to him
    We spoke for a while
    I told him that amc -awd got me going on a lifetime of awd and 4×4
    This was in the montreal,canada region
    And vehicles here are thrown away after 10 years because of serious rotting
    And eagle car lovers are like hens teeth !

  4. Pete Rushbrook

    Not a Tremec. Not Renault. Not an Aisen-Warner. Stamped Ford on the case. Likely Borg-Warner. Auto trans were Chrysler.
    The 258 ended in 1987. The 4.0 derivative lives on.
    I saw plenty of 5 speeds at the Jeep dealer I worked at, not only in SX-4s.

    Like 3
  5. chrlsful

    great cars, so hard to own as sourcing prts is tough.

    A 20 yr older mustang has each and every part made today PLUS items that would be upgrades for each (or many) of them . It just seems such a fickle finger of fate to find some Y/M/Ms available yrs later – and others not. I have one of each and the latter is frustrating (use something else just due to availability. Not easy to mod somethings in).

  6. ChevelleSS

    IIRC this car, auto or manual, had the dubious distinction of being the slowest car made, again iirc, something pathetic like 16-18!seconds 0-60 mph!! Obviously made for those with a lot of free time on their hands.
    No thanks. Pass.

  7. Pete Rushbrook

    It was not that slow at all.
    My wife had one for years. We even towed a tent trailer up to Colorado and back. Nobody was passing us.

    Like 4
    • onree Member

      agreed, the six was a real “puller.” But the 4 cyl with auto was just a slug.

  8. Pete Rushbrook

    They did not go to a v6….The 4.0 six cylinder, based on the 258, was used through 2004 or so.

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