1981

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1981 probably had the most significant changes during the entire model run. The most obvious was the addition of two new models: The sporty SX/4 based on the Spirit and the low priced Kammback based on the old Spirit/Gremlin. All Eagles this year received new bumper end caps and an integrated bumper look that improved the overall looks of the car. Other new features were a restyled grill and the optional alloy wheels. Under the hood a four cylinder engine ( A Pontiac 2.5 L) was now standard making the 258 engine an option and a manual transmission became standard equipment as well. Three trim levels were offered in 1981; Base, DL/Sport and Limited. During the model year Select Drive was offered as an option on some models. This meant the driver could now choose between 2 wheel or 4 wheel drive at the flick of a switch from inside the car. Other new features this year were: Six cylinder head and engine block redesigned for weight reduction. aluminum intake manifold, plastic valve cover and better casting techniques; idle speed control on six cylinder engine; 4 Wheel Drive" cast metal emblem on rear quarters; and all 50 series Eagles (SX/4's & Kammbacks) came with a "power bulge" hood and no hood ornament. Despite the addition of two models and the styling changes 1981 sales were about 9,000 fewer from the year before. The 3 orginal models took the biggest sales dives, especially the 2 and 4 door sedans; while the SX/4 sold very well as it attracted younger first time 4WD buyers and more than likely first time AMC buyers.

A rare variant of the 1981 AMC Eagle was a Convertible model. Based on the 2 Door Sedan it was fitted out with the new top by the Griffith Company. It has not been established how many were ever built, estimates range from 250 to 500 units; and if they were only built in 1981 -- they were available in 1982 but may have been 1981 production models. Buyers would order the two door sedan of their choice thru their AMC dealer and then the car would be built and transported for conversion which added around $3,000 to the selling price.


The line up for 1981.


Kammback

1981 Production 5,603

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SX/4 in Sport Trim

1981 Production 17,390

81sx4.jpg


Wagon

1981 Production 10,371

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Four Door Sedan

1981 Production 1,737

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Two Door Sedan

1981 Production 2,378

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Two Door Sedan Convertible

1981 Production Unknown

81twodoorconvert.jpg


Introducing Select Drive


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Standard Features for 1981


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Options and Accessories for 1981


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1981 Buyer Protection Plan and Ziebart Rust Proofing


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1981 Models Owned by AMC Eagle Nest Members


AMC Eagle Nest Member's Submitted Pictures of 1981 Eagles

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1981 Sundancer Photo by Eagle1985 ---------------------------------------- Nobodyslaw's 1981 SX/4


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Mick's Rare and Radical 1981 Kammback


1981 AMC Eagle "SX/4 Flyer" -- A Regional Paint Variation


81sx4flyer.jpg