The Nicest One Left? 1983 Eagle SX/4

Sometimes the most we can ask for is to find a car that we love that has 95% of the features that we want. I have found maybe a shop teacher’s handful of cars over the last 40 years that have had 100% of what I wanted for features – options, colors, engines, etc. This 1983 Eagle SX/4 is a 95%’er for me. This museum-quality looking car is in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and it’s listed on Hemmings. The seller knows what they have on their hands and the $13,850 asking price reflects that.

The exterior of this SX/4 looks like a museum car, I don’t see one flaw anywhere at all. I’m stuck on the Eagle Kammback, but the SX/4 is my second favorite Eagle 4×4 vehicle design. The Eagle SX/4 is based on the AMC Spirit liftback with the added benefit of having all four wheels powering the car. That comes in handy here, says the guy with a foot of fresh snow in the driveway over the last two days.

The interior also appears to be in such great condition that it almost looks like it’s been restored. The 5% deduction from being 100% of what I would want in an SX/4 is the automatic transmission. And really, the crack on the center console is the only flaw that stands out for me on the interior. That automatic wouldn’t be a deal killer, however. The back seats and the incredibly small and cramped rear cargo area both look fantastic, too.

Yeah, whatever, Scotty G. – just show us the engine for cryin’ out loud. Ok ok, here it is: AMC’s 258 cubic-inch inline-six that would have had 110 hp. It looks as good as every other part of this car does. This is the nicest one that I’ve seen in quite a while, is it $13,850 nice?


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  1. SunbeamerStu

    That stance…that color…those graphics….

    Looks like a final edition MGB.

  2. Scot

    ~ The ‘crack’ on the center stack is factory fit plastic trim. Unless you’re seeing something that I missed.
    edit – I see it now.

    • Tiberius1701

      It is the separation line for the ashtray.

      • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

        Tiberius1701, did you click on the red “crack on the center console” words in the story? The photo clearly shows a crack on the bottom right screw out diagonally on the shifter area.

  3. Vegaman_Dan

    Louvers on the rear hatch! So very 80’s. Always liked that look on any hatchback.

  4. jdjonesdr

    Wood dash. I’ll take it. I’m a sucker for wood dashes.

  5. JW

    It sure looks showroom condition and that’s why I wouldn’t want it because I would have to use it for it’s intended purpose which is to drive it and we do have salt on our roads in the winter. Rather then drive it only on sunny summer days which defeats the purpose of AWD I’ll leave it to someone else.

  6. Max

    Its worth 10K max in my opinion

    • Wally

      What would be your min, Max?

  7. Rube Goldberg Member

    Just shows, around this time, it didn’t matter what AMC produced, it didn’t do well ( although, the Concord helped some) I had a friend that bought a brand new one of these, only red and a 5 speed. It was a great car, perfect size, but the 5 speed was troublesome right from the get go. After the 3rd transmission ( in 2 years and weeks of waiting each time) he traded it. He even admits, the automatic would have been a better choice. They never caught on, like the wagons. It was a small car. Cool find.

  8. XMA0891

    A 95%-er for me as well. Those wheel-covers – Everything – So period-perfect! As 1983 was the last(?) year for the SX4, this one really belongs in a museum. S.G., please keep tilting on the Eagle Kammback windmill – Not that I’ve been looking; but I’ve only ever seen one in-person, and when seen, AMC was still in business!

  9. Nrg8

    I miss Alan from Beirut LEBANON. I wonder if his Buick and Concord ever showed. Actually I don’t miss him. I’m sure he misses him, cause it was always hey that’s nice, but I got a so and so with 4 tires and I got it for 500 less than asking……

    • Ikey Heyman Member

      I think he just wanted to express his enthusiasm for American iron, maybe this site seemed like a way to connect with like-minded folks. Don’t know if they have many “cars ‘n coffee” get-togethers in Beirut!

    • That AMC guy

      I think he posted a photo of his Concord not long ago.

  10. Matt

    Shop teacher’s handful. LOL! Nice ride but 10k is over the moon, let alone 13…

  11. Andrew Tanner Member

    Scotty G! I saw this one and knew it would be one of yours. I love Eagles of all shapes and sizes; they are my guilty pleasure! I owned a 1982 Eagle Sport Wagon 2014-2015 and it is the only car I’ve ever sold that I sincerely regret selling. Fantastic and underrated vehicles (spoken by a Mopar guy!).

  12. P Wentzell

    If you realy, REALLY want it, make an offer. You don’t know unless you try. When was the last time any of us saw one this nice? I’d still like the Hornet/Concord based Eagle wagon.

  13. Jody

    There was an extremely nice wagon from Sioux Falls SD on here not all that long ago. Where are these hiding? Remarkable that they’ve been kept so nice on the heavily salted roads we have around here.

    • Jon Hellinga

      Definitely not a recent picture either. I am close if anyone wants me to check it out

  14. ICEMAN from Winnipeg

    A GREMLIN on steroids !!

    AMC was far ahead of it’s time. AMC EAGLE AWD cars foreshadowed the predominance of AWD cars of the present, and the PACER, however weird it was, foreshadowed the shape of so many current cars. If they had had the funds to deal with quality control issues and continued product development, they might have survived. The Cab Forward design that Chrysler had in the 1990s was designed by AMC when they were in a partnership with Renault. Lee Iacocca bought AMC to get the Cab Forward design, as well as the JEEP marque. Renault is now partnered with NISSAN.
    That AMC straight six later used in the Cherokee put out 190 HP; damn good for the early 1990s.

  15. That AMC guy

    Great looking SX/4! Looks like it may have the common Concord/Eagle malady of cracked plastic headlight buckets. If you look carefully you can see the headlights (especially the passenger side) look a bit off.

    The engine has the original type plastic valve cover. Looks clean, but they always warp and leak over time. Aftermarket aluminum replacements are available, mainly targeted to the Jeep crowd but they work just as well on an Eagle.

    I see some aftermarket wiring and what looks like a Ford HEI coil and cap. A common upgrade for a hotter spark. (I did that on mine.) The red wire going to the carb is probably for the electric choke.

    For 1983 Eagles had a vacuum-operated front axle disconnect and you had to stop to change back and forth between 2WD and 4WD. The control is designed so you need both hands to operate it. (It is possible to modify the system so it works like the 1985+ Eagle shift-on-the-fly models.)

    Note there is no AC so there are no dash vents. There are fresh air vents above the package shelf that work like old-style kick panel vents. (Ventilation was not a strong point of these cars.)

  16. BillD

    MY car featured on this site – AMO gold winner in junior non-stock class.

    IF the car shown here on barnfinds is worth their price, mine is a $20K car because I have NOS transfer case, tons of other NOS parts, and a fresh engine, professionally rebuilt transmission and differentials, cold AC, new injectors, all new brakes, all new steering and suspension, new carpet, powr windows and locks, NOS leather steering wheel, cruise, and it was a RUST-FREE California car. I’d drive mine coast to coast and not be worried.

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