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 |  Dec 10 2012, 2:02 PM

AMC Eagle

American Motors was the result of a merger between two struggling car companies, Nash and Hudson. Usually two wrongs don’t make a right, but apparently two desperate automakers can build some pretty innovative vehicles. Case in point: the AMC Eagle.

This boxy ambassador of 1980s design is far more than just a high-riding passenger vehicle; it was America’s first car with four-wheel drive. The screaming Eagle kicked off the SUV fad that was soon to sweep America. Others would expand the segment – trucklettes like the rough-and-ready Jeep Cherokee and the immensely popular Ford Explorer, but the Eagle is largely credited with starting it all.

It swooped into the market as 1980 model and was offered in a number of different body styles including a two-door sedan and a station wagon. Regrettably though, the innovative Eagle would fall victim to another merger, Chrysler’s acquisition of AMC in 1987. The car was offered for one more year before going extinct.

  • Tomst37

    I loved this. It was really interesting and informative.

    Thanks

  • Greenjeep1998

    Don’t know if you knew this Craig, but the Eagles and Cherokees were sold side by side for a short period of time since AMC owned Jeep for the last 20 years before being bought by Chrysler for the Jeep brand. IIRC, Chrysler’s Turbine program was started shortly after WW2 and died right around the time they went bankrupt the first time. Even though the turbine engine has yet to make it into a regular production vehicle, Chrysler had some ownership in the manufacturer of the Abrams tanks and I’ve often wondered how much of their turbine tech went into the Abrams instead.

    BTW, the Turbine Cars weren’t the only Mopars capable of burning whiskey……..their 2.7l and Pentastar V-6′s as well as the 4.7l V-8 are all built to be capable of burning corn whiskey. The Pentastar is quite fond of the stuff and my 4.0l I-6 Jeep don’t seem to mind a couple gallons being splash blended every once in a while too :D

  • Craig Cole

    No, I had no idea!  That’s really interesting but not as interesting as Chrysler helping build tank engines.  That’s really cool.  You must be a Pentastar Historian.