Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, and in honor of that, our Nice Price or Crack Pipe contender is about as Yankee Doodle Dandiest, all-American a car as you can get, American Motors that is. Its price, however, may live in infamy.
Yesterday, real rocks rather than those found in a Crack Pipe ruled as the wackadoodle Range Rover stripper which, according to 65% of you, looked ready to rock and roll, and also to do so at a very nice price. And that price apparently got even nicer as the day went on!
Perhaps not quite as accomplished in the shit as that Range Rover, but significantly less likely to air out your dirty laundry in while doing so, today's 1981 AMC Eagle SX/4 does still possess a good deal of 4X4 acumen.
Steve Miller wanted you to fly like an eagle, while the Eagles themselves advocated taking it to the limit, one more time. The hayday for both those bands was back in a time when American Motors also tried to tickle one's interest with an Eagle, one which had four wheels that would work in harmony. The AMC Eagle was a brilliant melding of Jeep all-wheel-drive technology and a body originally designed as the Hornet for the 1893 World's Fair. The SX/4 version - exemplified here - was based on the rear-drive only AMC Spirit liftback and was more closely related to the Gremlin compact than the mid-sized Hornet/Concord due to its foot-shorter wheelbase than the four door and wagon versions.
This particular SX/4 is claimed to be a 1981 model however the seller claims that it sports a 5-speed manual, a gearbox that was not made available until the ‘82 model year. The differences between those two years are probably of less importance than the fact that this one sports the optional 258-six under its hood, rather than the standard engine - the lamentable GM Iron Puke. The six gained several improvements for ‘81, and remains to this day as indefatigable as a junior high rumor. Peeking under its skirt you will find the tried and true FF drivetrain titty twisting all four tires through a set of very butch steel wheels, making this one of the most manly cars you could find, even despite its size.
That's right, not only is the SX/4 the smallest of the Eagle's nest, but with the probable exception of the similar Kammback, owing to its smaller hatch opening, it's also the lightest. That means fuel economy and performance should be the best you could expect from the mark, and if it really is an ‘82, then the Select Drive system allows for rear-only going, making it even better.
An issue with all the Eagles of this era is that rather than being bald, they are instead rust buckets and typically are missing or have seen significant degradation to the bespoke trim pieces that are hard to come by this century. This one looks to be not only rust-free but also resplendent in its wheel well flare jeans and hatch finishing spoiler. Up front the eggcrate grille is set off by a pair of small cheesy-looking driving lamps that probably do little more than keep the cicadas from clogging a portion of the radiator.
The seller makes no mention of the state of the interior, or the mileage, but if the exterior is anything to go by, both are probably acceptable. He does say that everything works and that it has lost a lot of new parts by which he obviously means lost a bunch of old parts, that have been now replaced with new ones. That's a good thing, and better would have been to list the parts that were lost and then replaced. Unfortunately there are two basic kinds of Craigslist ads - those for less than desirable fare which have descriptions rivaling War and Peace, and those for stuff you really might want which are little more than troglodyte grunts and an email address.
This ad is closer to the second, but the seller does also offer a price tag in his ad - always a good factor for its inclusion in NPOCP - which in this case is $3,500. That gets you a pretty unstoppable
killing driving machine, plus all the AMC groupies that you can handle - and seriously, they seem to come out of the woodwork, drawn to a nice Eagle like zombies to a Mensa convention.
But what about that price? Is that low enough for this SX/4 for you to join the Cult of American Motors? Or, is that too much feathering of this Eagle's current owner's nest?
H/T to Batphreak for the hookup!
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