Last One? 1978 AMC Concord Wagon

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The best part about writing for Barn Finds is learning about vehicles you didn’t know existed. Take, for example, this 1978 AMC Concord wagon here on eBay. While I have long known AMC for their intrepid 4×4’s memorable and high-riding hatchbacks, this Concord completely slipped past my automotive radar. This example is located in Oregon with a Buy-It-Now of $12,995 and the reserve unmet. 

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This particular car sports a rare leather interior with super groovy patterns, quite appropriate for the era in which it was made. I believe the current owner scooped this car up for a song a few years back, as this listing on the Grassroots Motorsports message board seems to be of the same vehicle (it was also in Oregon, the same place where this refreshed example is currently for sale). Assuming these are the same vehicles, the seller is charging a premium for the maintenance items he’s addressed along with the detective work needed to find replacement interior panels.

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This Concord comes with the largest engine available for that model year, a 5.0L V8. In the case of this example, it would have likely been paired with a three-speed manual or automatic, or a four-speed manual. However, a previous owner of this particular vehicle removed the Torque Command 998 and swapped in a 904 unit. The seller has disclosed that the transmission in the vehicle does have a tendency to slip until warmed up and that there’s a slight leak. I don’t know that the transmission swap bothers me that much, especially in a vehicle that is so rare to begin with.

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I find this vintage wagon to be quite attractive, and the original buyers of these vehicles likely found them to be quite comfortable and quiet. AMC worked hard to incorporate sound deadening wherever possible along with other features that cosseted occupants from rough road surfaces. Today, the Concord is an extremely rare sight on American roads. The seller says this car runs and drives like new, with only a few nagging issues ranging from occasional lifter tick and some light smoke at startup. This seems like a great ride for the AMC enthusiast, but does it appeal to anyone else?

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Comments

  1. boxdin

    Rare car because of front & rear ends and I’ve always liked these wagons 2wd or 4wd. Cut the price in half and its not bad.

  2. Mark P

    Like It?
    In 1980 our driveway had a
    ’77 Matador wagon,
    ’76 Hornet X,
    ’74 Hornet X,
    ’78 Concord sedan,
    ’75 Sportabout wagon and a
    ’77 Gremlin
    People thought we owned a dealership, nope just people that liked the cars.I’m not so sure of over $12K for this but it’s a nice car.

  3. Chebby

    Too bad they never made a 4wd wagon with the V8.

  4. John

    My roomate and I drove one of these up to school ( Kalamazoo ). His father worked for AMC.
    Years ago my brother also worked on many of Richard Teague’s car collection. At any one time we had 2 of the 5 AMX III’s that were assembled, parked in our driveway. The 6th on is stored in crates in Italy.
    If one is fond of AMC, then you will know who Dick Teague.

  5. Jubjub

    A Concord wagon seems almost naked without the lower wood trim and color keyed wheel covers. Seems almost too ideal…like how I’d have ordered one.

  6. Matt

    The car has a transmission that leaks and slips, and a rear main seal that leaks. The guy did a nice job with the cosmetics, but I think he should’ve focused more on the mechanics.

  7. RichG

    Really like this vehicle, but $12k seems a bit steep with the issues stated. I really dig the interior with the brown and orange accent carrying through the seats and door panels.

  8. Rando

    Didn’t the original Porsche 959 have an interior pattern similar to this? That was my first thought…lol

  9. AMCFAN

    Great detective work on the Grass Roots Message board. Can’t beat the ‘net for research. Pretty sure the guy is fishing for something close but no way I would pay it and I like AMC’s! For that money it should have NO mechanical issues. Likely what has happened is that the original owner let the fluids get low. Not a secret that AMC’s of this vintage leaked fluids profuse soon after the warrantee ran out. 904 Transmissions are very tough and only really fail because of high miles or unless of course ran low on fluid. Same with engine. Smoking after start up could be as simple as valve seals which seller could have replaced while having the valve covers off painting them the nice blue that they are and leave the heads on. The rocker arms have the non adjustable dreaded steel rocker arm with an aluminum bridge. Didn’t take long at all for the aluminum to wear against the steel and make nice metal shavings to flow through the engine. Engine chatter at startup could very well be a lot of STP now. Thinking you are buying a rare wagon with a V8 that is a performance car? No way. Sadly the 304 V8 of this vintage only put out whopping 130 smog choked HP. This is not a performance car in any way. The 258 six cylinder put out a little less HP but was also lighter in the front end and fuel mileage was better. $3500-$4500 is more like it. Want a wagon? Buy a Rambler/Rebel/Ambassador or Matador. Stuck on the Hornet/Concord body style? A much better buy is an AWD Eagle wagon would be a better way to roll.

  10. Ron Akerman

    Price reduced to $8500

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