Rust-Free 52K-Mile 1986 AMC Eagle Wagon 4WD

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“American Motors, the world leader in 4-wheel drive technology, introduces another breakthrough. The American Eagle now has Select Drive . . . a spectacular new piece of engineering that lets you switch back and forth between full-time 4-wheel drive traction and 2-wheel drive economy.” So says a brochure showing the 1986 AMC Eagle wagon. This example is posted here on craigslist in Yorba Linda, California and the seller is asking $15,500. Here is the original listing, and thanks to Rocco B. for the tip!

The Jeep wheels are a bit too big for me, or the tires are. They seem way too big, scale-wise, but the seller must have liked this look. They have done a nice job on the listing with great photos and a ton of information, so if that’s the only issue (for me) on this car, that’s a tiny one. They say that this car has just over 52,000 miles and it’s rust-free, does it get any better than that? Not for me it doesn’t.

AMC made the Eagle wagon from 1980 through 1987 and then the dream ended, as did AMC, sadly. And along with it, Eagle, at least under AMC’s watch. Chrysler had the brand active until 1998 with an unusual mix of rebadged Mitsubishis and front-wheel drive cars, along with the fantastic Eagle Talon, one of the few available with AWD after the Chrysler takeover. You can see the incredible condition of this car in the photos, it really looks like a gem.

Oddly enough, this is the only interior photo showing any of the seating surfaces, so I may have to amend my former statement about having so many great photos in this listing. Still, what is shown looks great. You can see the console-mounted gear selector for the Chrysler-sourced TorqueFlite three-speed automatic transmission. The rear cargo area looks perfect and just under 7,000 Eagle wagons were made for the 1986 model year, and all were made in Canada. All of the unusual body styles were gone by 1986, with the remaining Eagle models being a four-door wagon and four-door sedan.

This super clean engine is AMC’s 258-cu.in. OHV inline-six, which would have been factory-rated at 115 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque when new. The seller bought this gorgeous time capsule from the original Arizona owner’s estate in 2018 and they have spent thousands on maintenance. Presumably, it runs as well as it looks, although they don’t say how it runs. The AC compressor and blower motor are new and it’s ice-cold, so that’s good news. Let’s hear those Eagle stories!

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Comments

  1. Fahrvergnugen FahrvergnugenMember

    Is tis better-running model worth 3x the one just sold on BFAuctions? Certainly presents well.
    Wheels look identical to those on our 05 Liberty.

    Like 4
  2. Rw

    I was thinking XJ wheels,I like the look..

    Like 6
  3. Mark

    Same rims that fit on an older jeep wrangler, liberty and cherokee XJ.

    Like 3
  4. JustPassinThru

    Fewer than 7000 Eagles (AMC’s only passenger car by this time) made in 1986.

    By comparison, Studebaker’s last year, 1966…only a six-month run, September to March…made 8947 cars. The year before, they made about 20,000 cars.

    Of course AMC had the Alliance (“Appliance”) and variants; but sales had imploded, once buyers found it simply didn’t hold up; and AMC was losing money on every unit.

    It’s really remarkable how the company fell so far, so fast, and still kept the lights on. Twenty-five years earlier, their Rambler was the third-best-selling brand in the US. And just fifteen years earlier, Gerald Meyers, later the head of AMC, opposed the planned purchase of the Jeep line; and then as he assumed the CEO position, he adamantly asserted that AMC could not simply phase out their cars and focus on the Jeeps.

    As it turned out, Jeep carried what was left of the car lineup AND their license-built Renault models. It’s no wonder that Renault was so eager to get out.

    This one: Excellent time capsule, and an orphan to boot. Soon, instead of being asked “What’s a Matador,” people will ask, “What’s an AMC?”

    Like 10
    • Glenn Krasner

      “It’s no wonder that Renault was so eager to get out.” Renault wasn’t eager to get out – they enjoyed the vast dealer network that AMC offered for their products. Unfortunately, anarchists in Paris murdered with guns the CEO of Renault after they announced some layoffs in France, and in its tragic aftermath, the company decided to just focus solely on the European car market.
      “Georges Besse (25 December 1927 – 17 November 1986) was a French businessman who helped lead several large state-controlled companies. He was assassinated outside his Paris home by the armed group Action directe while he was the CEO of car manufacturer Renault.” Glenn in Brooklyn, NY.

      Like 1
  5. Justin

    These cars were unappreciated for a long time. This one seems to have it all.If someone can negotiate the price a bit it would be a good one to have in your garage.

    Like 3
  6. Michael Tischler

    Another rust free car from AZ.I see cars 20 years old or more out here preserved like this from the dry air,then I see cars crushed 5 years old on Auto Parts City,Illinois site with the bodies and frames rusted out,long before the drive trains.

    Like 2
    • Barto

      I concur. I moved to Rochester NY after living 28 years in AZ. When I go back I’m always noting the cars there that we only see at cruise-ins here.

      Like 4
  7. Retired Service Manager

    I worked at a AMC dealership back in late 70s, early 80s. These were great vehicles for their time. Chrysler adopted much of AMCs warranty administration program.
    AMC would take their test color vehicles to Detroit Auction. They came with a quart of matching paint in the trunk.

    Like 1
  8. jwaltb

    Enough with the old ad copy starting writeups. It got old quick. Am I the only one who thinks so?

    Like 0
  9. 97stang

    I bought the same model 2nd hand , same color different wheels . My Wife hated it so bad that she sold it one day when I was at work. This was in the late 90s. If I remember correctly it was for $1200. Those were the days , you could find decent cars cheap.

    Like 3
  10. Aussie Dave Aussie DaveMember

    I really love the Eagle, and the original Subaru L wagon didn’t have a 2 speed transfer case. I’ve owned 2 L wagons, one with and one without a 2 speed transfer case, I’m mixed with either.
    But a straight 6 Eagle wagon? Blow an L wagon away. The torque would be great.
    I just want.

    Like 0
  11. Derg

    Near Future holy Grail find right here. In fact id be willing to bet this clean example IS someone’s holy Grail find.

    Like 0
  12. Claudio

    The amc eagle awd 2 door coupe is what started my life long passion for awd vehicles ! My first one got a suspension rise and jackman mags , had to chop the fenders and inner fenders to get these huge tires to stop rubbing!
    Deals can still be found but not the same decade , just bought a great running ,low km, hyundai santa fe limited awd for $500, it only needed a battery , i didn’t need it but it was too good to be true , i seriously wouldn’t want another amc as i have gotten use to better modern cars but this one looks pretty good

    Like 0
  13. Fred in TN

    I loved the AMC line up, including eagle. My uncle had one that would go anywhere my dad’s Chevy 4×4 would go. Dad’s truck had 292, and my uncle had a 258 I believe. But they was no comparison on the highway, the eagle was a better ride across the board.

    Like 0
  14. Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

    Listing update: the seller lowered their asking price to $14,850.

    Like 0

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