Can You Dig This AMC Eagle on Jeep Wheels?

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Taking a Look Back at the First Crossover: The AMC Eagle

These days, crossovers are about as ubiquitous as air. There’s a good chance that if you look out your window now, you’ll see something that resembles a lifted wagon or hatchback with car-like features. Heck, it might even be in your own driveway.

It’s no secret that Jeep more-or-less invented the idea of an everyday 4×4 for regular folks. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when gas prices shot up and people clamored for smaller vehicles with SUV styling, Jeep was there, too. Enter the AMC Eagle.

First offered for the 1980 model year, the Eagle was available in wagon, sedan, and coupe body styles. A sporty hatchback joined the lineup the following model year. As was common in the 1980s, an aftermarket convertible version was even offered.

CHECK OUT: What Forum Members Are Saying About This AMC

The purpose of the Eagle was to offer typical road manners with additional capability for light off-roading. For AMC, it was an example of being in the right place at the right time. With sales of full-size Jeeps dwindling because of rising gas prices, the AMC Eagle was able to slot between lower-priced offerings from Subaru and more-expensive Jeeps. And it offered similar capability by underpinning an AMC Concord with Jeep’s four-wheel-drive system.

Due to the similarity of these components, it’s not uncommon to see an AMC Eagle rocking Jeep wheels from the same era (or a bit newer). It makes the family resemblance even stronger, as seen on this example, recently shared in the Facebook Malaise Motors group.

Despite the Eagle’s forward-thinking approach, some aspects of the car are very much a product of its time. The two-tone brown paint, vinyl roof, and opera windows are terribly dated. But they do make for one cool soft-roader, in a Boogie Nights sort of way.

What do you think of the AMC Eagle? Let us know!

Cam Vanderhorst is a contributor to Harley-Davidson Forums, Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum, and MB World. He is also a co-host of the Cammed & Tubbed podcast.

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