Too Nice For Snow: 1982 AMC Eagle SX/4 DL

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UPDATE 1/2/19 – After more than three years, this AMC has popped up again here on eBay with no reserve. It was bid up to $4k last time around, but the seller doesn’t mention that sale in the new listing. We would some recent photos and a guarantee that they are actually going to sell it before bidding.

FROM 10/5/16 – This great looking car is a 1982 AMC Eagle SX/4 GL and it’s in Luzerne, Pennsylvania. It can be found on eBay with a current bid price of just over $2,000 and there are eight days left on the auction. There is no reserve so this one will sell to the highest bidder.

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AMC really had some cool vehicles, at least I think they did. Their Eagle line threw the gauntlet down as far as breaking new ground with their four-wheel-drive system. They even gave Subaru a run for their money with a full-time system to drive all four wheels automatically; back in the late-70s/early-80s that was quite a thing. We take it for granted 30+ years later when a lot of us drive AWD vehicles year’round, even if we don’t live where it snows out. Of course, they’re made for more than snowy weather, but for those of us who live where it’s winter six months of the year (not bitter).. they sure come in handy.

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The AMC Eagle SX/4 and Kammback were based on the AMC Spirit, which was a Gremlin replacement, and they were known as Series 50 cars, an update to the Series 30 cars from 1981. The Kammback was basically a 4WD Gremlin, or at least in appearance. The Kammback so unusual and so rare that, of course, it’s on my master wishlist; how could it not be?! This SX/4 looks about nice as anyone that you’ll most likely ever find. The only bummer is that it’s an automatic instead of a 5-speed, but that’s not a deal breaker. The rear hatch area looks very nice other than some fading.

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The interior is amazing, other than faded carpet and some fading in interior plastics. I bet that this interior could look like new again with some detailing and dying of the carpets and plastics rather than trying to find replacements. The rear seats look almost like new.

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This is the “big” engine for these cars, AMC’s 4.2L, 258 cubic-inch inline-six with around 110 hp and 205 ft-lb of torque. The 4WD system added about 300 pounds to the weight of the already 3,000 pound Spirit so it wasn’t a light car, and the 0-60 and MPG numbers reflected that. But, nobody can argue that AMC wasn’t afraid of taking a risk in some of the vehicles that they brought to market up until they evaporated in 1987. That was a very sad day when that company went away, at least it was for me. With no reserve, what do you think this one will sell for? What do you think of the AMCs of this era?

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Comments

  1. Vegas Vic

    AMC! What wonderful memories this fine ride trigger. These were neat, excellent in mud, snow, ice.
    Great styling, slow engine, good cargo room made this an useful vehicle in Reagan days. Thanks for finding it!

    Like 3
  2. AMCSTEVE

    If it was a stick it would be in my garage already. Lil tank

    Like 2
  3. Peter

    If you read the text it says AMC were building cars ’30+’ decades later that is, 300 years or more ago which predates Dailmer (Benz)! They were certainly advanced for their age.

    Like 1
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      HA! Excellent catch, Peter! That’s even older than I am. Thanks for catching that.

      • Peter

        This AMC car might in fact, be the real Delorian from “Back To The Future” as they look the same from the side on view.

  4. Joe Muzy

    4 wheel drive from Pa spells rust

    Like 3
    • JCW Jr.

      Not always. Depends on. how they were keept. Have bought cars rusted out with low miles and near perfect with high miles. Condition just shows how maintained.

      Like 4
    • tioguille

      So the car was in PA 2 years ago and sold for 4100 and now is in CA, but the posting is still using the pics that are 2 years old?

      Like 1
    • CS

      On the other hand, find me an area other than Pennsyltucky where you can still find these with regularity.

  5. Matt

    Didn’t like these when new but I’m older now and wouldn’t mind owning one for the rare factor. Cool cars

    Like 1
    • Jeffro

      I totally agree with you Matt

    • St. Ramone de V8

      Have to agree, Matt. When these were new most of us thought they were ugly and awkward cars. They were driven by our professors and teachers. I guess there was a reason for that. Now, folks like that drive Subarus, and I would like to drive one of these AWD AMC’s. The fuel consumption is not an issue, but finding a good one is. This looks like a good candidate for someone, but I would be looking for four doors and more room. Never thought I’d be interested in my professors ugly ride.

      Like 5
  6. Quentin

    They stopped making this body style in ’83.

    Like 1
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Arrggg! You’re 100% correct, Quentin, that’s my mistake, I had 1984 listed for some odd reason. Thanks for catching that! Jeez, I need more sleep.

      Like 1
  7. Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

    This is one of those unusual cars where I’d actually prefer the automatic. Nice find, wish I were in the market. It would be nice to use down here when it snows because we rarely use salt.

    Like 1
  8. Chebby

    Scotty you said there’s a great looking car in the picture…where is it?

    HAHAHA you can’t thumbs-down me, suckers!!!! LOL

    Like 2
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Thumbs down. LOL.

      Like 3
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Yes we can – LOL!

      Like 4
  9. Krash

    Well played, Chebby!

    What’s hiding behind it in the front end shot..(Scout or a Bronco)?

  10. Glen

    I think it’s a Bronco. Too nice for snow? It’s perfect for snow.

  11. chad

    lemmie no when U find the wagon
    8^ )

  12. Joe

    Parts Availability???

  13. Brad

    I had a friend that bought one brand new. In a snow blown Chicago winter, we found a huge snowdrift to test out the 4WD capability. Leaving it in 2 wheel drive, we plunged the car straight into the drift @ about 20 mph. We were definitely stuck. Then, he switched to 4WD, put it into Drive, and the car exited the drift without ever spinning a tire. Very nice car !

    Like 8
  14. Howard A Member

    Scotty has heard this one, but I have a friend that bought one of these new, only red and black and a 5 speed. It was a nice car, sure went through the snow great ( not so much when he buried it in a mudhole up to the fenders) About 1 year in, the transmission began to whine, and within a month, it was downright grinding. He took it in to the dealer ( who, he claims, didn’t want to mess with it) and it sat for 2 months while, they claim, were waiting on parts. He got it back, and within a few months, began to whine again. He took it back, and it sat for another month, when he got it back, it still whined, and he traded it. I think the automatic is a better choice. They were good cars though, and for years, rural letter carriers used the wagons, before Subaru became the car of choice. Great find.

    Like 1
  15. Jay E.

    Despite their poor appeal in the 80’s these were surprisingly good snow cars. A girlfriend had one and I drove it often. Where everyone was chaining up to get around Tahoe, this car would refuse to get stuck. I always wondered why they didn’t catch on (possibly the poor build quality reputation?), certainly Subaru figured it out.

    Like 4
  16. Matt

    This makes me wonder what mine is worth, since it’s been restored and freshened up. I’m also in PA but mine is from WV… it’s an ’82. I don’t think I could ever sell it.

    Like 16
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Good grief, that’s killer, Matt! What a beautiful car, thanks for sharing.

      Like 5
    • Jay M

      Matt, that is really cool. These under appreciated cars are destined to go up in value.
      I’d love to know more about it.

      Like 2
    • BMW4RunninTundra

      Matt, off of one pic you are receiving more compliments than some entire posts receive!!!!! From that one pic I too have to say, that is a Hottie!!!!! Maybe Barn Finds could do posts on “Barn Find Rebuilds”? Do not have to necessarily be “Barn Finds” but maybe Barn Find Members Rebuilds? I would love to hear about the resto on yours!!!!! And see a lot more pics! I understand your never wanting. to sell it. I wouldn’t either.

  17. RJ

    That dash brings back memories. My first car was a 1987 Eagle wagon. That lower dash portion was a haven for one mouse I could not seem to get out of the car.

    Like 3
  18. Willte

    Had a ’83 SX/4, 4 cylinder, 4 speed, Worst purchase of my life! Car had 30,000 miles on it and everything that held a fluid except for the gas tank leaked. It was so underpowered that tractor trailers use to pass me coming up the mountain on my way home from work. Oh and if you didn’t have it in 4WD before you got stuck, you were stuck, because it took a full revolution of the front tires for the 4WD to kick in. All that and 14 MPG. looked exactly like the one pictured.

    Like 1
  19. MikeG

    What a really cool version. I like it!

  20. JoeNYWF64

    That’s gotta be 1 of the highest transmission humps i ever seen!
    Bumpers seem to have been tucked in.

    • dweezilaz

      Joe, I thought the same thing.

      But these came under a “truck” designation so the bumper standards of the period were different for vehicles in that category than mainstream passenger cars.

      Still, they look even tighter than factory placement.

      Like 2
  21. iirocrobb

    I had one as a winter car for 2 winters. Mine was a wagon with the mactac woodgrain on the sides. Great in snow but what a rattletrap. Awful on gas with the 6 cylinder plus used lots of oil. Mind you it had 150,000 miles on it back then.
    This one looks good but not for me anymore.

  22. Todd Priest

    Too nice for snow? Maybe but I’d still use it for a winter ride. It would be a nice one and a great conversation piece.

    Like 2
  23. GLK

    Funny how Audi gets all the attention but doesn’t this AMC pre-date the Quattro? Would’ve been cool if someone had rallied them.

    • Mitch Ross Member

      They were rallied

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