Automotive

Don’t Hate Me but I Have to Say It: The AMC Eagle Coupe Is Cooler Than the Wagon


Photo: Private Seller (Hemmings)

This morning my world flipped upside down, because I realized that something I once considered irrefutable fact—the superiority of the AMC Eagle Wagon over its non-wagon counterparts—was, in fact, the opposite of fact. One might be so bold as to call it fiction. Yes, the AMC Eagle coupe, not the wagon, is the coolest of the bunch.

Most times when Jalopnik mentions the AMC Eagle, we post pictures of the wagon. I myself, when asked to help someone decide which car to buy, recommended the long-roofed version of the machine. That’s not surprising, because around these parts, wagons are basically sacred. But today a reader named Douglas sent me this link to an AMC Eagle for sale on Hemmings, and upon gazing at it, I realized that I’ve been erring in my ways.

The coupe is cooler. It just is.

Seriously, just look at that video and picture above, and compare that to this wagon also for sale on Hemmings:


Photo: MJC Classic Cars (Hemmings)

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If you’re looking at the big red AMC and thinking to yourself “Hell, that looks pretty dang cool, too,” then this completes your physical examination. You’re in good Jalop shape, because yes, the wagon is awesome as hell.

But it’s just not quite as awesome as the coupe, which is called the SX/4, and which you could also refer to as a liftback or sportback or hatchback or whatever your heart desires.

In any case, that coupe version of the Eagle is what the world yearns for right now as its inhabitants nearly get themselves killed lifting and installing off-road tires onto Fiat 500 Abarths, and give Nissan 350Zs and Toyota Supras similar treatments.

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The safari trend is hot these days, and AMC was way ahead of the game with this little off-road “sports car.” The wagon is cool, but let’s be honest: a tall wagon is just a crossover. A tall coupe, though—a true coupe, not a giant BMW X6 thing—is something different and just that much more awesome. And for $3,800 or best offer, if I hadn’t imposed a car embargo onto myself, that one for sale on Hemmings might have wound up in my driveway at some point.


Image: AMC Eagle Brochure (Unique Cars and Parts)

Before I conclude this random blog that clearly convinced you why the SX/4 Eagle is cooler than the wagon, it’s worth mentioning that there were five variants of the AMC Eagle. They were: SX/4, Kammback, two-door sedan, four-door sedan, and wagon. You’ll find those variants above, and the labeled diagrams of the vehicles in the brochure below.

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The idea that such a niche car somehow got green-lit for five variants and the complexity associated with it is just wild.

Well, sort of. The Kammback and the SX/4 were based heavily on the AMC Spirit, while the wagon and two sedans were actually based on the AMC Concord, Allpar writes. And if you look at the Concord and Spirit, you can see that AMC basically took those cars and jacked them up to give us the Eagle line we all know and love. But those roots don’t detract from the off-road wagon/sedan/coupe glory one bit.


Illustration: AMC Eagle Brochure (Unique Cars and Parts)

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So there. SX/4 > Wagon. I said it, and there’s no turning back. I’ll board my windows up for the incoming rocks, eggs, tomatoes, 258 inline six valve lifters, and whatever else your livid self decides to hurl my way.

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