Too Good for Winter: 1985 AMC Eagle Wagon

This 1985 AMC Eagle wagon is an unrestored survivor with under 100,000 original miles. The Eagle remained in the long-term care of the original owner until 2017, when a second owner acquired it and quickly passed it along to the current seller. The Eagle is rust-free and shows incredibly well underneath, and is now offered for sale here on eBay as the third owner will not use it as a winter vehicle as originally intended. Bidding is over $3K with no reserve.

The AMC hadn’t seen regular use since 1999, when the original female owner parked it in the family barn and left it in storage. The wagon did suffer some damage as a result of being backed into a pole in the barn, which required paintwork to the rear hatch; you can see here the original rear bumper still shows a dent from impact. The original wood trim appears to remain in excellent condition.

The interior is a treat, with clean carpets and untorn seating surfaces. Door panels look quite cherry as well (literally), and the seller says the dash is perfect. Some blemishes do exist, such as a cracking steering wheel and a drooping headliner. Still, these are minor gripes in light of the fact that the rest of the interior is so mint. The AMC is said to run well but still has some issues that need sorting to be driven daily.

These include a bad actuator that leaves 4WD engaged all the time; a faulty CV shaft that clicks when turning; and the need for a new rear differential bearing, which has spooked the seller due to the bearing noise, and he hasn’t driven it much as a result. No title, as its home state of Maine doesn’t title older vehicles, but it will come with a certified Maine registration. It has needs, but a rust-free 4WD wagon is a find.


  1. That AMC Guy

    That’s the conundrum – these are great winter cars but at this point you really wouldn’t want to use up a nice one that way.

    Problems with the vacuum-operated 2WD/4WD actuator are common. It could be a simple as a bad vacuum line. However it’s no big deal to just leave it in 4WD mode. CV joint should not be too bad to deal with, Rockauto shows axle shafts in stock and other places should have them as well. (Main thing to be aware of is when the shaft is out don’t move the car because that’s what holds the front wheel bearings together.)

    Differential bearing could actually be a bad rear wheel bearing or it could be an internal diff problem, that would need to be determined. The most common problem with these axles is the hub spinning on the shaft due to the 2-piece setup back there – that big nut needs to be kept torqued to 250 ft-lbs. There was a year where the problem was particularly common in Eagles due to them being under-torqued at the factory but I don’t remember what year that was.

    Like 7
  2. jeff

    I lived in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the ’80’s and these things were everywhere. Still have a soft spot for them.

    Like 3
  3. PatrickM

    This is one nice looking car. I sure wish I could buy it. I would sell my big 4wd Dodge ASAP. This AMC wagon would fit my needs almost perfectly. I have a good mechanic that would be all over this thing, just to say he had one in his garage. Not many around here in Maryland, near DC. I’m sitting here brainstorming just to find a way to bid. Also, I still can’t get my head wrapped around why AMC failed, outside of poor management. Their car were good specimens. I knew a few in USAF who had them and loved them. Sure wish I could get my hands on this one. Best of everything to seller and new owner.

    Like 6
  4. irocrobb

    I had one and it would plow threw snow well. The body actually stood up real good.

    Like 1
  5. PB

    Give me this any day over that Wagoneer posted later today. Talk about cool, these were way off the chart for their time.

    Like 1
  6. ccrvtt

    Good Lord, that’s a nice car! We seldom get any appreciable snow in southern Indiana so I promise not to drive in salt. No reserve auction should give us a rational market value.

    I’m already envious of the eventual buyer.

    Like 3
  7. Claudio

    Living in montreal with the cold and the snow, i really loved these inexpensive 4wd , i had 2 and used for work , the first one died cause of a big pothole that ripped the suspension out and left me with a big bill so i replaced it with another one !
    Got a company truck so the black loaded eagle with ac , cruise and power windows and those big cushy leather sofas was pushed to the side and sold , this one makes me smile and realise that i have gotten old …

  8. Allen

    That’s a nice car. Sure does bring back memories. Rented one in Seattle on vacation going up to Mt Rainier and traveled the state. Slept in the back at campgrounds. Nice driving car in bad weather

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