$9,000! 1980 AMC Eagle Sedan

1980 was the first model year for the new Eagle line of 4WD cars and this one has been restored, or parts of it have been. This is a 1980 AMC Eagle Sedan and it’s on Craigslist with an asking price of $9,000! It’s located in Vashon Island, Washington.

This car wears its original and fantastic paint. It’s hard to believe that after 37 years the paint could look this good, but it does. The seller mentions that he is retired and enjoys restoring vehicles and this is one of his projects. It sure looks like the nicest one around. It was “garaged most of its life and vacant of any rust!” I love that term: vacant of any rust. I wish I could say the same about myself.

The Eagle line was based on the AMC Concord, which was based on the Hornet, which replaced the Rambler American, which.. (tell me when to stop). A lot of people say that the AMC Eagle was the first true 4WD car, well before Subaru laid claim to that. But, there were 4WD Subarus much earlier than 1980 so it’s an interpretation thing, much the same as a lot of other claims are.

It’s not surprising to see an automatic transmission here, and this one has been rebuilt, or the seller says that the “transmission transfer case (heavy duty)” has been rebuilt. The seat fabric is stellar/epic, in my opinion. The back seat looks like new other than a couple of small stains.

The engine has been rebuilt as well and you can see that a couple of items aren’t exactly stock. That’s the beauty of restoring a vehicle, you can do what you dang well please with it. This one looks clean enough to eat soup off of. It’s AMC’s venerable 258 cubic-inch inline-six and it would have had around 114 hp. Some of the work done to this car includes, “radiator, steering pump, pulleys, belts, Crome valve cover, heater fan, all new wiring in the engine compartment, patronic coil, entire front end is completely new, rear springs, air shocks, wheel bearings, brakes, front windshield, headliner, vinyl top, tires, all fluids, Webber carburetor 2 wheel, headers, manifolds, battery, and isolator.” It sure is at the top of the market but the condition is probably as nice as I’ve ever seen. What do you think of this one? Are there any Eagle fans out there?


  1. JW

    I love these cars ( Prefer the wagon version ) but I wouldn’t turn this one down. Myself I think he did a nice job and his asking price may be a bit high but try and find another this nice for less.

  2. Vegas Vic

    Great body, excellent utility, price is high, but what a time capsule!
    As you hop in this glory ride, at Wal Mart, how many times you going to need to explain AMC to the masses?

  3. Rocko

    “Funny looking car, where does he think he’s going ? ” my girl friend exclaimed when she saw my friend driving by in one.

  4. CJay

    Every car has it’s pros and cons.
    A 1983 Eagle sedan was the newest car I’ve ever bought it was three years old. It was also the biggest piece of crap I’ve ever owned.
    It always started and it went well in the mud and snow (the reason I bought it).
    But the repairs it required to keep on the road was ridiculous! It leaked oil every where. The exhaust manifold leaked melting the throttle cable causing it to stick open while driving (almost causing an accident). The right front caliper failed in traffic. I applied the parking brake but still slid under the rear of a Dodge truck. The rear brakes locked up on a curve, the back passed me and I went off the road and down an embankment backwards. The torque converter broke and tore out the front transmission seal. At one time the right rear door was the only door that would open, because the other door handles broke when it was cold. 1970 Hornet doors handle did fit. I could not keep it in alignment then I noticed that the fender and hood gap changed when you hit a hump or dip in the road. I discovered stress cracks where the front suspension mounted.
    At that point,I borrowed a friends tow truck and gave back to the finance company.
    A friend owned a 1980 for 139,000 trouble free miles (why I bought one). His second a 1986 he got rid of after 30,000 miles because of problems.
    This car looks nice though, but so did mine…

    • Cubs win

      WOW, you stated that you bought it “Almost New”. My question is what happened to the car before you bought it?

    • grant

      Did AMC’S not have throttle return springs?

  5. Howard A Member

    Yep, there were good ones and bad ones ( from what I hear, more bad ones) I had a friend, bought a new SX4, total junk. Now mail carriers used these for years, and that’s the toughest thing for a car. I rarely speak of price, but I wish them luck. These aren’t worth much, but still a good car.

  6. Rustytech Member

    We have a local mail carrier here that is still driving one! He has 3 parts cars sitting behind his house though. I think CJay’s may have been wrecked before he got it, or the first owner did off reading with it. These were designed to give good ON road traction in bad weather, they were not strong enough for rock climbing even it they were jacked up. I too like the wagon better, but this would be a nice driver for the wife up here in the mountains. The price though? Ambitious to say the least.

    • CJay

      It had all original paint no prior repairs and a little over 60k on the mileage. But how was it used? My friends and I called it he Pigeon because it was a long way from an Eagle.
      Also gas mileage was poor,13 mpg was about average.

  7. Doug Towsley

    Probably THE nicest one on the planet, but not sure about the price. Smart move on all the upgrades. I still think these are the ugliest things around possible, I submitted the wagon version write up and was surprised how many people are big fans of these. I remember well when they were new. Great concept, badly executed. But as a time capsule and interesting toy, this would be it.
    Vashon island is a funny place, smack dab in the Seattle Sound, have to ride a ferry to get there. Our vintage MC Club the VME has the annual bike fest there. The Vashon Island TT. So popular we have to keep the dates a secret and only members are told the dates. Too many wallet and chain do rag wearing types as well as hooligan Squids on sport bikes were showing up and ruining the scene.

    I am willing to bet the owner who restored/selling this is as interesting as this car is. Hats off to him and would love to hear more of some of his other projects.

  8. John H

    We had a 1980 Eagle wagon and that thing was pretty much unstoppable in Pennsylvania winters. I don’t remember the mileage when we traded it, but we drove it for a good number of years.

    The only problem we had was with front axle bearings — I was told that the 1st model year cars used a different bearing than all other model years. Ours was a 1st year and ate a couple of bearings at something like $700/each installed. Ouch!

    This one looks amazingly good. Brings back a lot of memories! I wouldn’t pay that price to get one, but perhaps the price isn’t bad, given its condition.

  9. Dennis M

    Gotta get me one o’ them “2 wheel carburetors” !

  10. Joseph Wayne Haddock

    I had a 1982 Eagle SX4. The 4cyl died and i transplanted a 79 3.8L Chevy (same as a 305 w/2 cyl lopped off) out of a Pontiac sedan. That thing would fly. Great car and would love to have another one.

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