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AMC Eagle AWD

Email: The year is 1979, a failing AMC needs a swift kick in the ass. So what does the great American Motors Corporation do? They produce the Eagle; an All Wheel Drive derivative of the AMC Hornet/ Concord platform with a one inch longer wheelbase (109" from 108") and a full time all-wheel drive system. The AMC came standard with a 4.2L (258 cubic inch) I6 engine with a 2-barrel Carter Carburetor, this engine produced 112hp at around 4000rpm and 210-lb/ft torque at around 1500rpm. The engine had 7 main bearings and was cast iron from 1971-1980, it was aluminum from 1981 until it was canceled in 1990.

The Eagle itself was produced for eight years; 1979-1987, some may say it was built for seven years, some may say nine but I say eight because it went on sale in late 1979 as a 1980 model and the last Eagle (the last Eagle was also the last AMC) was built on december 15th 1987 but the last of them were sold in 1988 so you can see where the seven, eight, and nine opinions come from.

The AMC Eagle was offered in all kinds of different packages, in 1980 three models were offered; wagon, sedan, 2door, the wagon lasted until the end while the 4door sedan was cut in '87 and the 2 door was cut early in '83, these cars all had 109 inch wheelbases and were classified the Eagle 30 Series.

In 1981 the "new" Eagle 50 series cars were presented, they were basically AWD AMC sports which were essentially deritives of the original AMC Hornet 2 and 4 door of 1970.

In the last 17 years of American Motors, 50 percent or more of their cars were based on the AMC Hornet, The Eagle had the same body as the Hornet except for the following differences: Front end and headlights (or nose), Hood (or bonnet), Tail-lights (the Eagle featured separate lights for braking and turning). The interior featured wider seats and a flat dashboard, the Hornet's dashboard had a hump in the middle, most Eagles had vinyl covered roofs while most Hornets did not, the Eagle was an all wheel drive with 15 inch tires, the Hornet was rear wheel drive with 14-inch tires, the Eagle had I6 and I4 engines standard of some models, every AMC Hornet had a standard I6 and an option of many different V-8s. anyway the Eagle 50s had shorter 98inch wheelbases, all Eagle 50 and 30 series cars had a width of 72 inches.
- Bill MacRoberts [4/'01]

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