One Owner 4×4: 1986 AMC Eagle Sedan

We don’t see Eagle sedans as often as Eagle wagons here at Barn Finds, but we’ve seen two of them in the last year or so. It’s not as much of a novelty or luxury to have AWD in a sedan today as it was even a decade ago. This one-owner, 38,000-mile 1986 AMC Eagle 4×4 sedan has been in storage for the last 15 years and it can be found listed here on eBay in Medina, Ohio. There is an unmet opening bid price of $4,000 and no reserve after that.

I can’t think of any manufacturer who makes a raised AWD four-door sedan today, can you? Subaru made one until fairly recently but they don’t make a raised AWD sedan anymore that I’m aware of, at least for the North American market. A couple of Subaru wagons are raised a bit for extra clearance – or, maybe more to give the appearance of being rugged off-road vehicles with some body cladding. Visually, Eagle 4x4s seem to have been raised even higher than Subarus typically were.

Today’s crop of AWD sedans run the gamut from Mercedes-Benz to the Prius and everything in-between, none of them look like they’re meant to go off-road, they just look like two-wheel-drive sedans for the most part. There were just over 27,500 four-door Eagle 4×4 sedans made between 1980 and 1987 compared to around 118,000 Eagle 4×4 wagons made between 1980 and 1988 when production stopped. Just under 15,000 two-door 4×4 Eagle sedans were made between 1980 and 1982 as a comparison for numbers. My personal favorite, the Eagle Kammback, was available only for 1981 and 1982 with just over 6,100 made. Ok, back to this particular Eagle sedan.

The seller says that this is a barn find and it has been stored in their own barn as of 15 years ago. The cool part? They bought it brand new so they were the only owners and it has just 38,000 miles on it! The interior looks as nice as you’d imagine a low-mile car would look, but they mention a patch on the back seat and a cigarette burn on the front carpet. The underside looks solid, but they mention some bubbling on the C-pillar – or is it the D-pillar?… – under the vinyl top.

The engine is AMC’s solid 258 cubic-inch inline-six with 115 hp and 210 ft-lb of torque. The power steering hose is possibly leaking, as is the fuel pump, and there’ll be the usual to-do list tasks to get crankin’ on due to being in storage for 15 years. It sure looks like a nice example and a nice winter project to me. A few of you have owned Eagle wagons, have any of you owned an Eagle sedan?

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Comments

  1. Mike

    Like all Eagles I would replace the motor with the fuel injected 4.0 liter AMC straight 6 from a Jeep. That motor is also indestructible and 190 hp sounds a lot better then 115. Lol

    Like 8
    • That AMC Guy

      If you want to retain the 4WD system, with any engine swap you’d need to find a way to hang the front differential. (The early 4.0 blocks had differential mounting bosses but they were not drilled or tapped. As I recall that feature was eliminated when the block design was modified in 1996.)

      Like 2
    • Greg Leblanc

      A built 304 v8 will get you over 300hp.

  2. Fahrvergnugen Farhvergnugen Member

    Rubber hoses will crack and gaskets will dry up, but that must have been a great cement-floored barn this car was kept in. Well washed for sale of a very nice find! IMHO I’d wait for a wagon in this condition but only because all I have owned as a DD have been LR’s…

  3. Jolly Joe

    I own a 2 door sedan. Parts are getting harder to find with body parts becoming impossible. Note the plastic on the side of each bumper looks good. These are an unavailable part and look decent on this rig.

    Like 1
  4. greg

    Worked at a rent a car maintenance shop. Worked on many of them Including the 2 door hatch back. Should of seen the one that ran into an overpass pillar at speed, shortened it 30 inches

    Like 1
  5. That AMC Guy

    Beware the plastic valve cover! They always wind up leaking. Aluminum aftermarket covers are available but you have to tap some mounting holes in the head. (Went through that on the Eagles I’ve owned.)

    For the 1986 model year only, the viscous coupling was eliminated and there is an open center differential. (I have no idea why, the viscous coupling was reinstated for ’87.) This means that if one wheel completely loses traction you’ll sit there spinning that wheel!

    The emission control systems on these cars are wicked complicated. Would probably be very difficult to smog check in a place like California.

    Like 3
  6. Lance Platt

    The Subaru Legacy has standard AWD and good ground clearance for a sedan. It’s not a Jeep or jacked up truck but handles snow drifts on the road quite nicely. Too bad this Eagle didn’t have at least a 304 (5 liter) AMC engine as it was a CAFE victim where the government mandated better mileage. Would definitely make a conversation starter at an auto show where classic Mustangs, 1955-57 Chevrolets and muscle cars seem to proliferate.

    Like 2
  7. Howard A Member

    I bet one of these would get me over the pass,,if only I had somewhere to go once I got over the pass, that is. I’d think body parts may be a problem, but certainly just about any mechanical part can still be found. To solve that, just don’t run into anything. Popular, no VERY popular in the north, but rusted terribly, so most were crushed years ago, and southern climates had no real use for them. I remember, before Subaru, the wagons were used extensively for rural mail routes. Great find, I’d love to have one.

    Like 2
  8. Vince

    I’d very much enjoy driving and nursing this. (As a occasional / collector driver)

    Yes I know Subaru makes cars, but we aren’t talking about Subaru.

    Like 1
  9. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this one ended at $4,000 and no sale.

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