The Eagle was AMC’s late ’70s answer to the OPEC oil embargo and high
gas prices that followed; sales of traditional pickup trucks and SUVs
were down, so they introduced a plus sized car riding on a raised suspension in what can be considered the ancestor to the modern crossover SUV (CUV). A few hundred (200 according to some sources) were turned over to the Griffith Coachworks in Florida, who did what they were paid to do — and lopped off the top, turning it into a quasi convertible/targa known as the Sunchaser. Find this 1982 AMC Eagle Sundancer offered for $4,800 in Port Huron, MI via craigslist. Seller sub from Gord.
The Eagle coupe used the same four-wheel-drive and Iron Duke power (with optional AMC inline-6) as the wagon and sedan version, but it was the only one you could get with the convertible top. The true convertible had been all but buried by the safety gestapo, so the best you could get were these targa style aftermarket conversions that maintained some roll over integrity with the hood. Unfortunately the parts availability is limited, so while the issues with it running aren’t a big deal, you’ll have to find a good shop that can make a custom canvas top for the back.
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