“The Eagle has landed … on all fours!”
Essentially (and brilliantly) an AMC Concord with 4-wheel drive, the 1980 AMC Eagle came standard with AMC’s 4.2 liter/258 ci carbureted inline six, making a grand 100 bhp, giving a 0-60 time of around 15 seconds, and returning 16 mpg by the standards of the day. A three-speed automatic was the only transmission available to help move the almost 3,500-pound vehicle.
The Eagle was available in all the Concord’s body styles, so buyers had a choice between the 2-door sedan, the 4-door sedan, and the 4-door station wagon. Standard equipment at a base price of $7,168 (for the 2-door) included power steering, power front disk brakes, and 15-inch wheels. Moving to the Limited trim level (an extra $400 or so) added a tilt steering wheel, power door locks, and snazzier interior appointments. Options included air conditioning, cruise control, power windows, and an Eagle Sport package.
The Eagle had a 3-inch taller ride height than the Concord and came with a stone/gravel deflector under the front bumper and 3-inch wide fender flares. It was a significant hit for AMC in 1980, selling over 46,000 units, with the station wagon configuration selling about 56% of that total. AMC would sell them through the 1988 model year for a total of almost 200,000 built.
AMC Eagles show up with some consistency in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds. As I write this in January 2014, there are no 1980 Eagles, but there is a Cardinal Red 1982 2-door sedan with 44,000 miles for sale for around $7,000.