For $4,000, Get A Regal Eagle

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Historically, Wisconsin is famous for two things; American cheese, and American Motors. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe AMC Eagle is one of the last gasp attempts by the Kenosha kompany to stay afloat. Now that they're long sunk, and this bird has flown, it’s up to you to say if its current price is cheesy.

For some reason, Japan isn’t all that big on cheese. Instead, they like tiny cars and J-POP. Representing for the little guys was yesterday’s 1986 Honda City Turbo II, which now calls Florida crazy home. Sadly for the seller, that car’s less is more mantra should have also applied to its price, and it fell in a 73% Crack Pipe loss to start the week.


Did you know that Benjamin Franklin once lobbied for the turkey to be our national bird, instead of the bald eagle? His assertion was that the turkey possessed a stoic nobility while the eagle was a predatory opportunist, not the best representative of a representative democracy.

Had old Ben gotten his way we might be these days eating eagle with our canned cranberry on Thanksgiving. And in that bizarro world, today we would also be considering the AMC Turkey. Of course, saner and more politically astute minds prevailed, and instead what we have is a nicely presented 1982 AMC Eagle SX4. The AMC Turkey would eventually come a couple years later, although it would officially be called the Alliance.

The Eagle however slightly predates AMC’s short-lived dalliance with Renault, and actually owes more to the vehicles that helped liberate France, than with that great nation itself. Starting with a platform initially developed in the late sixties to underpin the Hornet, and which went on to support almost all of AMC’s mid to late ‘70s cars, AMC added a drivetrain that spun all four of its tires.


The resulting Eagles were versions of the Concord which itself was a Hornet with a fancy pants grille. This one happens to be the SX4 hatch edition which, while perhaps not as utilitarian as the four-door wagon, is at least the most fetching of the offered bodystyles.


Rocking two-tone brown paint over a beige vinyl interior, this mid-sized hatchback still has all its chrome bits and rubber bumper caps. The ad notes that it comes with two sets of wheels and tires, and the ones that are presently on the car look like they’ve come off something else. They’re really familiar looking but I just can’t place them, but still look okay on the car.

The additional drivetrain pieces added about 300 pounds to the car, and the single speed viscous coupling transfer case ensured that they were suitable for inclement weather duty, but not so much tackling the Rubicon trail. The rest of the mechanicals on this SX4 include the rock solid 258-CID OHV straight six and a new for ‘82 5-speed manual transmission. The ad notes that the car has done but a modest 76,000 miles.


In what I think is a fist for NPOCP ads, the seller offers a before and after of the engine bay so you can see the new carb and coil, and maybe if you squint hard enough, the fresh valve cover gasket. Strangely enough it looks like the car has also lost its A/C compressor in the transformation. Other new hardware that does seem to be there include CV joints on the front axles, and this being a 1982 edition those can freewheel thanks to the gas saving Select Drive feature.


The first manned vehicle to land on the Moon - the Lunar Module - was called Eagle, and it set down in a place dubbed the Sea of Tranquility. At $4,000 this Eagle comes at a fraction of that one’s cost, and it’s now time to ask yourself whether you’d be loony to pass up a deal like this, or if this Eagle's price is just pie in the sky?

You decide!


Autotrader, or go here if the ad disappears.

A blip of the throttle to Jeepgc93 for the tip!

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