Simply seven years earlier than American Motors Company was acquired by Chrysler (for the Jeep model and a few helpful Renault engineering), the oldsters at Kenosha produced a revolutionary automobile that turned out to be additionally Revolutionary: Eagle. A cushty automobile—Not a military-style passenger van—with raised journey peak and anti-stupid all-wheel drive we now name the Eagle a crossover. Again within the Nineteen Eighties, most weren’t certain what to do with such a automobile, however the Eagle turned well-liked in Colorado and I nonetheless discover examples in Denver-area auto graveyards for to this present day. The SX/4 is a sporty raise, a rarity even in Colorado, and I discovered this ’81 on the Aurora yard final month.
The primary Eagles had been primarily based on the AMC Harmony, with coupe, sedan and wagon variations. Beginning with the 1981 mannequin 12 months, an Eagle-sized AMC Spirit model was out there, with the three-door convertible receiving the SX/4 badge (sure, Suzuki used an nearly an identical identify for one. equally configured crossover, 1 / 4 of a century later). There’s even a hatchback referred to as the Kammback that apparently has Gremlin roots.
This one is bought with the Sport choice bundle, a $472 improve over the SX/4’s $7,269 record value (about $1,610 for a $24,800 automobile in greenback phrases). 2022 adjusted for inflation). The Sport bundle comes with many upgrades in look and luxury together with higher tyres.
The bottom engine is GM’s Iron Duke four-cylinder tractor and 82 hp, however this automobile has a real American Motors 258 cubic inch (4.2 liter) inline six with 110 horsepower (value: $136, or about $465) right this moment). A 4.0-liter model of this engine was put in by Chrysler on new Jeeps till the mid-2000s.
A 4-speed guide transmission is customary tools and that is what this automobile has. When you insisted on a two-pedal setup, the Chrysler Torqueflite three-speed slide was out there to 350 typists (at the moment 1,195 typists).
Whereas the Eagle could be thought of loud, underpowered, and cramped by 2022 crossover requirements, in 1981 it was the one new true all-wheel drive automobile out there. And it delivers that whereas additionally working fairly properly for a Jeep. The next 12 months, nevertheless, Audi confirmed up with its novel Quattro system; Different producers started providing AWD autos later within the decade.
The Eagle has bought properly sufficient to present AMC a number of extra years of existence (sadly the AMC-Renault partnership did not save the corporate), however it may very well be an enormous success if extra automobile patrons notice how helpful a four-wheel drive automobile could be – with the ability to drive with elevated floor clearance.
Eagles had been bought for mannequin years 1980 by way of 1988 (though the 1988 automobiles had been bought by Chrysler underneath the brand new Eagle model, making them Eagle Eagles). SX/4 is just out there for fashions from 1981 to 1983.
This can be a prime instance of a “uncommon however nugatory” scrap yard dweller.
Nonetheless, it actually stands out on this Inside on the Boneyard.
Be aware the road concerning the US Olympic Ski Group switching to Eagle SX/4, a nasty stab in Subaru’s ribs. Whereas the Eagle lets you change between 2WD and 4WD, there aren’t any sick results (aside from poor gas economic system) in case you hold it in 4WD mode on dry pavement. With 1981 Subaru 4WDs, you run the chance of mechanical injury in case you go away your automobile in 4WD mode on dry pavement. In a while, automobile patrons higher understood the four-wheel drive/four-wheel drive distinction.
Past the Trans Am nook within the delicate sand!