Project X-58: 1989 Eagle Premier LX

Do any of you remember the Eagle Premier? It came at a time when most of the offerings by “AMC” were 4WD in nature and were named Eagles. This 1989 Eagle Premier LX is a one-owner car. It can be found on Craigslist, or if the listing goes away you can see the photos and specs here on the CL archive. It’s located in beautiful Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen an Eagle Premier online let alone in person. Hopefully they aren’t so rare to keep the next owner from replacing that broken LF marker lamp. Other than that, this car appears to be in crazy nice condition. These were pretty roomy cars even though they were smaller than some other offerings at the time. It has fewer than 50,000 miles on it which is nothing these days.

This particular example seems to be in great condition, at least visually. The seller really touts it as being in mind-blowing condition and it looks the part. These cars were the result of AMC and Renault’s partnership and in wanting a front-wheel drive car. They were dubbed Project X-58, which sounds exactly like a 1950s sci-fi black and white movie that I would love. They actually made this car in a Dodge Monaco, too. No, really.

The seller’s description is well worth the price of admission. It’s a hoot whether they meant for it to be or not. They say “Has the right options power mires row up windows power locks tilt crusie control pristine condition cloth interior bench seats Nice Factory entertainment system am fm xm Sirius radio Tape player rear defroster Factory 15 inch Alloy wheels Newer Premium Firestone all season tires tinted glass have 4sets of keys tinted glass !” I’m guessing that they may have typed that on a phone, but you get the drift. This really does look like a great example of a super obscure and rarely seen car. And, check out the highly-unusual automatic column shifter/stalk.

It’s powered by a PRV (Peugeot Renault Volvo) fuel-injected 3.0L V6 with 150 hp. That’s a good amount of power, at least for 1989. The seller says that it’s a Mitsubishi engine but they must be getting it mixed up with the other Mitsubishi products that were spread out among ChryCo. This one “runs perfect”and the AC is even cold. This car won’t appeal to a lot of the readers but when was the last time that you saw one?

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Comments

  1. Kenny

    Way ahead of its time. Factory satellite radio 12 years before satellite radio service was launched!!

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      I read, “moisture sensing” wipers too, the harder it rained, the faster the wipers went.

    • Bryan

      Agreed – We had an 88 with keyless entry….

      Awesome car…

  2. Rube Goldberg Member

    Ah yes, the Eagle Premier, the last nail in the AMC coffin. I read, it was really a Renault, but you wouldn’t find that anywhere on the car. Probably a pretty nice car, an Alliance on steroids, kinda, I heard they drove nice, but Chryslers FWD program was in full swing, and these faded out quick. It’s amazing to even see one.

    • TheCrustyAutoworker

      Actually had AMC not been bought by Chrysler this car would have been sold as a Renault product. I work at this plant and the first cars built had the Renault diamond shaped logo on the grill. That is why the Eagle shield is so large, to keep costs down they made the tooling change to cover up the Renault logo, at least that’s what an engineer told me way back then. (now we build Hellcats and Demons)

      • Miguel

        Eagle to Hellcat.

        That is a big upgrade.

  3. Rich Truesdell

    Actually, this car was a side benefit when Chrysler acquired AMC in 1987. Chrysler got this thoroughly modern front-wheel-drive-engineered platform and an all-new plant in Canada that currently builds Chrysler 300s, Dodge Chargers, and Dodge Daytonas.

    Yes, there was a badge-engineered version, the Dodge Monaco, but why this car is so important is that it was the foundation for the platform that underpinned Chrysler’s first-generation of large cars starting in 1993; the cab-forward LH platform Chrysler Concorde, Chrysler LHS, Chrysler 300M, Dodge Intrepid, and Eagle Vision.

    In retrospect, the Eagle Premier is, after Jeep, the most important part of Chrysler’s acquisition of AMC, along with the many ex-AMC employees that became an important part of Chrysler prior to the DaimlerChrysler merger. Many of these ex-AMC employees are still at Chrysler, most now towards the end of their careers, some in senior positions at FCA.

    Good look back on the development of the history of the LH cars, noting that their starting point was the Eagle Premier/Renault 25, and the contribution of AMC to Chrysler’s success in the 1990s can be found here for those interested.

    https://www.allpar.com/model/lh2/index.html

    Like 2
  4. T Mel

    I’ve seen one recently for sale in equally nice condition. Also worked at a dealership when these were new. Nice cars.

  5. OIL SLICK

    VERY nice cars. I doubt you can find that tsignal easily.

  6. Mark Hoffman

    My mom had a friend with a Dodge Monaco. The friends family bought many cars at a Dodge Dealer about 120 miles away who went to college with them

    The local Dodge dealer knew nothing about them. They didn’t sell Monaco’s.

    When the transmission puked it’s guts and had to be replaced, the lady gave the car away and bought cars from the local Dodge Dealer after that

  7. Bob c.

    Oh yeah, I remember these. I believe they were built in Canada. Kind of an oddball car than never really caught on.

  8. XMA0891

    My mom owned an ’88 Premier. It really was a well-appointed, handled well, and looked great (especially when compared to the ’85 Taurus it replaced). The Premier needed those traits to make up for the vehicle’s electrical shortcomings. Being a late-80’s car, the headliner fell (didn’t all cars’ headliners of this era fail?) Hard to believe this car is pushing thirty. I think it still holds up! Love those lace rims!

  9. PatrickM

    Used car lot! Really!?!? Definitely not a barn find or private seller. Whew! Stretches my imagination.

  10. David Zornig

    “Roadhouse” villain approved…

  11. Rodent

    All A/Cs blow cold when the car is parked on snow, even the ones that “needs charged”.

    Like 1
  12. Gary Fogg

    I have one. Pierre Cardin edition Gold, Gold leather interior. Mine has power windows. My uncle had it shipped up to Maine from Florida for his used car lot many moons ago [ he had 3 of them ]. Shortly after it was up here the heater core started leaking, so my cousin took the dash out to replace the core. Uncle wanted him to stick ” any” heater core in it, cousin refused and demanded that my uncle ” buy the right dam part for once and stop trying to Gerry rig everything !”..Became a huge sticking point with them and the car got pushed ” out back” onto the gravel where it sat for many years because of their stalemate.

    Many years later my cousin passed away and my uncle decided to crush several rust free Florida cars because they were ” too old to bother with”. I snapped up the 89 Premier and a 92 Grand Marquis, both no rust for crusher weight price.

    • Zion Dawson

      That’s really cool. I’m only 11 years old I would really love to have an Eagle. I didn’t know they had special edition Eagles.

      • Tim Rusling

        I had a ’91 Premier ES and my mother had an ’89 ES. Very nice cars. You wouldn’t know this, but there was a base model planned but never made it to production. It was to have a four cylinder engine . . .it’s listed in my advance product information package.

  13. Gary Fogg

    Heater cores are the weak link in Eagles…..Here’s why.

    Like 2
  14. ramblergarage

    Our family had three of these, that last one over 200,000 miles and still going strong.

    • Josh

      So you needed to go through two others to have one that actually made it to 200k…?

      🤔

  15. FarmerBoy

    I had one of these ! 88 or 89 in white with a blue velour interior. It was haunted. Seriously, I am not kidding. HAUNTED. Intermittent electrical problems from brand new until I took a huge loss after 1 year and almost gave it away. Frequent dead batteries, headlights would go out on the highway and then come on again. Brake lights worked one second and then not the next press of the pedal. Electric door locks would go up and down repeatedly – but only at night. Dashboard would go crazy with CELs and then suddenly stop. Had to be towed to the dealer on several occasions with a dead battery when a jump start wouldn’t even turn over once. Comfy seats though…

    RUN AWAY !

    Like 1
  16. dyno dan

    had a 1989 eagle premier wagon in Germany.
    same as a Renault r21.parts were cheap then.
    ran perfect there and back here. hard to find
    anywhere today.

    Like 1
  17. Mitch Ross

    The Eagle Medallion was the Renault 21. This car had more in common with the Renault 30

    • Concinnity

      The Renault 30 was the earlier model which was Renault’s first car with the PRV V6. It was essentially ,a Renault 20, (the 16’s replacement), with the V6 and slightly higher spec.The engine and transaxle in both manual and auto forms provided the running gear for the DeLorean, the later 5 speed manual gearbox, the UN1-16 also being used by Lotus in the Espirit.

      The Premier is based on the 20/30 replacement, the Renault 25, pictured here. Renault pulled out all the stops on their new large car at the time. They stole the head of Citroen’s design department, Robert Opron, by apocryphally doubling his salary. He had designed the SM,CX and GS ranges for Citroen. And just to make sure, the interior was designed by Marcello Gandini, the Lamborghini Miura and Countach designers.

      The 25’s big claim to fame was it’s aerodynamics, something the Premier continued with. The base thin tire versions of the 25 had a Cd of 0.28, and the top versions were still only 0.30 which was also the Premier’s Cd. Despite the blocky looks these are much lower figures than the ‘aero’ Ford Taurus of the same era, heavily marketed on it’s aerodynamics, at 0.32 to 0.33.

      Continuing the ‘nothing but the best’ design theme the 25’s conversion into the Premier was by Giorgetto Guigiaro of Ital Design(Saab 9000, VW Mk1 Golf/Rabbit, Mk1 Passat, Mk1 Scirrocco, DeLorean DMC, Mk1 Lotus Espirit, Fiat Uno , De Tomaso Mangusta, Iso Grifo, etc) The maestro himself ran a Premier as his own personal car in Italy for a while.

      Looking at a 25 it’s clear that the main structure, doors and windscreen are carried over to the Premier.

      • James P Bandy

        Whoa,

        You know your stuff….! Interesting…..

      • Concinnity

        We had a 25 V6 for quite a while. It’s still my mothers favorite car. The GM Europe automatics are weak and eventually uneconomic to repair. (Hence?)The Premier has a ZF. Due to the good aero even with just the 2.7 PRV V6, they’re quite fast. We saw 240 km/h(150 mph) indicated a few times. They have a lovely interior, very comfortable, and being 80s French, with six cigarette lighters and ashtrays.
        It also had an amazing factory Philips stereo, the first I’d used with steering wheel controls, and great sound quality

  18. David Miraglia

    Saw a few here in the five boroughs. Surprised to see one still in existence.

  19. P Wentzell

    As I’ve said before, I’m odd, I’ve always liked these (checkout the column shift!)One Premier and one Monaco live in my area. Yes, if this were closer….

  20. That Guy

    I love oddball cars, and this checks all the boxes for me. It has to be one of the best left. My wallet is terrified right now.

  21. Marc

    I once maintained one for a lady friend, challenge was finding parts, talked her into a dodge mini van and she was never happier….. the 3.0 liter and efi would be an improvement for a DeLorean, yes, it would bolt right in.

  22. Dusty

    who would want this …really ? they might get $39.95 for it

    • Josh

      They were innovative cars. Ok. But also mostly terrible from a reliability standpoint.

      The various French parts, iffy electronics, and especially that PRV weren’t doing anybody any favors.

      • Hugh Logie

        Josh, by 1988 the PRV V6 was a thoroughly sorted-out powerplant. It was in production for 25 years and just under a million were produced. The biggest fault with this version is that it’s in North American tune and could use a lot more power. Far better engine than the 3.0 Mitsubishi that Chrysler was using concurrently. The overheating problems were due to the fact that nobody knew how to bleed the cooling system properly. It had a bleed valve at the highest point in the system which was typical Renault practice, but since most North American mechanics weren’t familiar with this they often left a lot of air in the system when replacing the coolant, which wouldn’t purge on its own. The results were predictable. I have a lot of experience with these engines, mostly in Peugeots, and the mid-80s and later variants did not deserve their reputation. They are in fact excellent engines.

        Like 1
    • Tim Rusling

      That wasn’t very nice.

  23. Tim Rusling

    We had a gold ’89 and a silver ’91 – very comfortable and reliable cars. Nice mileage and handling too.

  24. Miguel

    I never met one that did not overheat.

    Of course I lived in Las Vegas and not a snowy area.

  25. Tim Rusling

    Our two would never budge over the normal mark in very hot weather, even using the A/C.

  26. 50missioncap

    My uncle had one in the early 90s. Fantastic car!

    • Tim Rusling

      Our two were great cars, and it didn’t take long for me to really like the way they did the turn signal operation.

  27. jl

    Ah what AMC could have been had it all survived my crude photoshop of next gen pacer my partial spec would be an extended Alliance platform with the 1.7 l upgraded with 4v/cyl, vvt, and direct injection at about 130 hp. Donor image from their concept I series of show cars.

    • Jörgen Lundin

      Yes, maybe the plan to common modell, Renault 19 presents in 1988, 1,7 l, 135 hk.

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