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Stored 24 Years: 1983 AMC Eagle SX/4 5-Speed

Eagle eye readers will know that we’ve seen many AMC Eagle 4×4 cars here over the years, but the majority of them were the station wagon version. This 1983 AMC Eagle SX/4 appears to be in really nice condition, but it’ll need some work due to sitting for the last 24 years or so. The seller has it listed here on eBay in Morgantown, West Virginia: home of Don Knotts. Bids are zooming out there and $6,500 is the current price and there are still two days left on the auction.

Nice car, eh? Of course, I’d want to continue that wide white stripe onto the front fenders, were they painted or why didn’t AMC continue that stripe unto the fenders? It doesn’t look right. The seller doesn’t say anything about the exterior of the car other than to check out the photos in the listing. Maybe they found it and don’t know anything about it? Who knows. It looks fantastic, though.

Sadly, there are only two exterior photos showing the car in its entirety. There are a few more, but they’re partial photos, and there are none of the rear of the vehicle, either inside or out. Bidders clearly don’t mind, unless they’ve asked the seller to send them more photos before bidding. I don’t see any glaring exterior issues on this car, do you? They do include a few underside photos and that’s always nice.

AMC offered the Eagle series of 4×4 cars from 1980 to 1988 in this cool and funky two-door hatchback version, an even cooler and funkier Kammback version based on the Gremlin, and also the four-door station wagon that we’ve seen many times. They also made a four-door and two-door sedan based on the AMC Concord, which was based on Hornet. Other than the driver’s seat fabric split, the interior also looks great to me, including the back seat. And, this car has a desirable five-speed manual. This one needs a slave cylinder and most likely a few other things from sitting for a couple of decades.

The engine – I think there’s an engine under there – is AMC’s 258-cu.in. OHV inline-six, which had 110 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque when new. This car runs again with a new fuel pump but plan on doing the usual work here. The bidders are sure hot for this one, would any of you pay $6,500 or more for this Eagle SX/4?


  1. Stan

    Never knew AMC offered their awd lineup w manuals, until a well informed BarnFinds fan told me a while back. Obviously makes these little rally sleds, even more fun in the snow to drift around ❄️ 🙌

    Like 12
    • The Purple Defender

      The whole point of 4 wheels powered is not to drift around. These were silly, not enough ground clearance for snow country. yes, a little better on ice, but not worth it. Better off with a cheaper and better looking AMC Spirit in those years.

      Like 2
      • Stan

        Purple .. have you ever do any winter driving with hills involved ?
        AWD and a stick shift is an ideal combination for slick roads.

        Like 21
      • Old greybeard

        Wrong Purple. Early 80’s I hunted a mountain top logging road in PA. Had a CJ7. Heck of a climb, and used low range in snow going down. For years one of these was up top, even in 6-7” of snow. These had a good 4×4 system and enough clearance from what I saw.
        This would be a fun car.

        Like 7
      • ramblergarage

        These do not need ground clearence. They can go thru snow with the hood submerged. I have seen it.

        Like 4
    • Robert

      Yeah this is a really cool little ride, very capable off-road (as long as there’s a trail), and in the snow (as long as it’s not too deep)… with a touch of lift and some more aggressive tires that would certainly improve. My buddy who taught me how to do commercial/industrial plumbing in the 90’s had a wagon version of the eagle, it was a black one with red pinstripes, and it would really surprise you how capable this car was from an off-roaders standpoint. A fairly comfortable ride as well, plus you could carry all of your camping stuff and your whole family to places no other station wagon would ever see. I would imagine the smaller version shown here would be a touch more capable, as well as better on gas. I really don’t see paying 10 grand for it though, unless it was a little better appointed and the bugs had already been worked out. Somebody will get a neat little ride that should provide many enjoyable trips off the beaten path, but it looks like they will pay more than it’s actually worth to do so, but that’s a fairly common occurrence in the world of cars these days.

      Like 7
    • Rallye Member

      Gene Henderson did pretty good.

      Like 0
  2. Walter

    I probably would pay the 6500 maybe a bit more but it will go for more than that. Cool car.

    Like 8
  3. BA

    Loved this car from afar as my 1st vehicle was a CJ-7 hard top with same motor. I never had any issues with mine & I drove it everywhere including dirt roads , back woods & occasionally corn fields as racoon hunting was a thing in the late 70’s & early 80’s & never stuck incredibly! I always thought what a cool little 4×4!

    Like 7
  4. RoadDog

    Haven’t seen one of those on the road (or anywhere else, for that matter) in a loooong time! Would be a fun little runabout. Can’t go wrong with that 258!

    Like 7
  5. Grape Ape

    Worked for a car rental company back in the 80s by the name of Jiffy Auto Rental. Had the AMC Eagle station wagon version as rentals. Cool vehicle to drive, especially free, including gas, benefit of employment.

    Like 6
  6. Mike w

    Tires are probably original and replace that plastic valve cover which are prone to leak really bad

    Like 4
  7. Philbo427

    Cool it has the louvers! Unique little car. Wonder if drivetrain parts are hard to find?

    Like 1
  8. Mike Hawke

    It didn’t seem like a visionary car 40 years ago, but here we are in 2023 where everything is AWD and the higher you sit, the better. It was the beginning of the end of the lower/wider car styling trend from the 20s into the 70s/80s.

    Like 3
  9. Danno

    These shorty Kammback’s are pretty cool, and this one looks just mint. I think I prefer the 4-door Eagle wagons’ style better, but tough to wrong with something this pristine. I see it’s at $10k this morning. That’s gotta make the seller happy.

    Like 5
  10. Old Man

    I miss AMC!

    Like 10
  11. Harold

    Glad to see the price going up on these cars,because I have one just like it,except mine doesn’t have the stripes on the side,and mine has a different set of wheels, but they are fun to drive, and will go almost anywhere.

    Like 3
  12. Ten50boy

    Cool little cars! A buddies brother had one. Fun on snowy, Long Island days!!

    Like 3
  13. Skip Haley

    Had the an 82 SX4 manual 5 speed in blue. Took mine to Europe and back. It had plenty of clearance for snow and the weight helped plow through. Great little car, surely be nice to have today. Miss it.

    Like 1
  14. Steve Mehl

    In the early 1990’s I bought one of these, a red 1982. One of my favorite cars. I lived in Pennsylvania and when the interstate was closed because of snow I had no trouble traveling on it away in this car. Great in snow and ice with plenty of clearance so I could park it in snow without having to shovel out a spot first. Mine was a 4 speed manual. It was 4WD pressing a button to select 4WD. Never had a problem climbing a steep driveway in snow. When co-workers could not get to work because of snow, the boss called me to go pick them up and bring them to work. I’m not sure about the motor, since I think it had a 6 cylinder. But to think that people are willing to now pay more than ten grand for one of these seems really strange.

    Like 1

    That underside shot says it all. That is where they rot and this one looks suspect. This and parts availability is the major issue with these cars. If the frame wasn’t so bad I’d buy it because at least the rest is all there but these frames are very hard to fix and usually can’t be.

    Like 0
  16. Put an electric motor in that thing!

    The whole point of having 4WD is to be able drift around in the snow – says every 4WD enthusiast that actually takes their rig off the main shopping mall drag and actually goes places 4WD rigs were meant to go. These Eagle’s were great fun in the snow – I had one and spent more time at a 45 angle to the roadway than parallel to it. Of course these were on privately owned farm roads and fields where there was absolutely ZERO people and traffic laws don’t apply. So don’t bother judging me…. Also, those 4.2L Jeep engines are legendary and won’t die. And a 5 speed!!! Oh, the joy! I was able, using my “lack of knowledge of basic mechanics” (inside BF joke for those that know) to squeeze 275 WHP out of mine with an Offy intake, Holly carb, converted electronic distributor, custom ground cam, planed head, bored cylinders and Clifford headers along with some other internal machining tweaks. Ran like a sewing machine. As for the underside of this one, these AMC’s were rust queens. BUT, if one takes the time to hit the underside with a shot of Fluid Film once a year, they will last forever. This one is in great shape, but is in peril of succumbing if not attended to. It will need to be sealed up immediately after purchase if you want it to last. Drive safe and sideways, and have fun – this little sled will do it!

    Like 0
  17. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this one sold for $10,000!

    Like 0

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