In the 1980s, American Motors built some of the hottest 4x4s family haulers on the market. The AMC Eagle is not one of them. While it has the same 254-cubic-inch inline-six that was used as the base engine in the 1986 Grand Wagoneer, and impressive wood paneling and cushy brown leather interior were just an option check away, the AMC Eagle hasn’t yet reached the collectible status of the classic Brooks Stevens SUV. Shame.
Visit the Hagerty website to read the full article: https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-profiles/we-tried-but-we-couldnt-make-the-eagle-cool-as-amc-hoped/
The Eagle isn't meant to be compared to the truck-based 4X4 segment. AMC's selling point for these cars was the feel of a car with the security of four wheel drive for inclement weather - not necessarily off-road romping, or being "cool."
The engine mentioned earlier is a 258 cubic inch (4.2l) inline 6, which is based on previous versions of the AMC inline 6 dating back a couple decades prior.
The Eagle isn't a off-road vehicle. It is a car that is sure footed in the snow, rain and light off-roading. Your comparisons are off. I'm the owner of a 1983 Eagle wagon and I show it off at the local car shows and cruise ins. People love it! And if you check out the two main Eagle groups on facebook, you'll see there are a lot of us out there.
I don’t understand the point of this article. My Eagle is insured with Hagerty. Hagerty exists to insure cars that are certainly unique and “cool” to their owners. Maybe I should call their competitors and see if they think my car is cooler.
The engine size is 258. Why in the world would the Eagle be a competitor to the Grand Wagoneer? They were sold on the same lot. The Eagle was not a truck or SUV. It was a new concept at the time, so it’s not an apples to apples comparison. If I have an accident, I sure hope the adjuster they send has more knowledge than this. Or will I be arguing with them over the “Dodge” engine in my AMC...
I bought a 1980 AMC Eagle Wagon in Michigan and cleaned up in the 4WD class (even if it was, technically AWD) during the following ice racing season. And that was even without the fancy Scandinavian snow tires people were just starting to use. I also towed my summer race car with it. It was not a GREAT car but I still remember it fondly.
AMC design/engineers don't really get enough credit.
While precursor examples exist (various Willys Jeeps/Jeepsters, International Scouts, etc.) it was the AMC efforts that entrenched the SUV and what we now call crossover segments.
Eagle is grandparent to both Subaru Outback, Ford Escape and anything else of that ilk.
I think Eagles are pretty neat. But they aren't popular or particularly respected as a collectable I would agree. Maybe in part because although they lead us to what most people want to drive today, most of those driving said crossovers aren't passionate about them as a vehicle --like say how Dodge Challenger or Toyota 86 owners are.
You make a good point. Every time I see an Eagle, especially the two-door version, I can't help but imagine what it would be like sliding around a gravel road. Now that you mention it, that's something the Challenger is really good at ever since they gave us an AWD version.