The autoTRADER.ca Find of the Week this week is more than just a cool old wagon. It's part of the evolution of the crossover and it comes from one of the strangest automotive brands of the last half of the last century. It's an AMC Concord Wagon.
American Motors was formed back in 1954 when Nash and Hudson merged. It was a big deal at the time, as far as business mergers go. The company wanted to take the fight to Ford, GM, and Chrysler. But if you're familiar with Nash and Hudson, then you know they were never going to take the same path as the big three. AMC had a much lower budget than the competition which meant that they had to make some more unusual choices. Like strange styling and stranger rehashes of existing cars.
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Jeep was brought under the AMC umbrella in 1970. And through much of that decade, it was the only thing keeping the company afloat, with nearly half their sales and most of their meagre profits. With Jeeps selling so well and cars selling so poorly, somebody came up with the idea to add more Jeep to the cars. It started with the Concord. Which would get lifted and have drive sent to all four wheels. And a new badge, too. The Eagle would land a concept that the Subaru Outback would popularize before spreading across the market, though AMC did it nearly two decades earlier.
But this week isn't about the Eagle. It's about the car it was based on. Because every Raptor needs an F-150. Just like every Hellcat needs an SXT V6. The is about the AMC Concord. A still-cool wood-grained tall-looking wagon.
The Concord was developed as the successor to the aging Hornet. The Big Three were downsizing or introducing all-new models that would bring their more popular cars into the same size class as the Hornet and the company knew it couldn't compete. So it needed something fresh.
But AMC couldn't really afford a new car to replace the Hornet. What they could do was give it a restyling. And then take the money they saved on a new chassis and put it into the interior. So the Hornet got a mild facelift that borrowed its nose from the 1977 Gremlin. Then it got a new interior that was supposed to have better finishes and better workmanship, making it a luxury compact instead of the more pedestrian Big Three offerings.
Ads at the time called it "the luxury Americans want - the size America needs." Smaller cars were still popular at the time, as the memory of the 1970s fuel crises was still fresh.
There were multiple engines available, including the 2.0L four from the Porsche 924, a pair of inline six-cylinder engines, and even a 5.0L V8. The four-cylinder, though, despite being less powerful wasn't the base option. It cost AMC more to buy so it was the extra-cost option for buyers wanting more fuel economy.
With a three-speed automatic, even the V8 was far from quick. A 0-100 km/h run lasted a little over 10 seconds. But that was about average for the time.
AMC went big on rustproofing in this era. At a time when cars could rust with impressive speed, AMC used galvanized steel for 100 percent of their exterior panels. They also used aluminized trim screws, plastic fender liners, and dipped each body in white in primer up to the window frames. Those are all normal features now, but they were very unusual in 1980 when AMC started it.
This Concord wagon, a DL trim model, came well equipped for 1982. What looks like a leather interior is actually "deluxe grain vinyl," but it's perforated. How many modern compacts get perforated leather? There was more insulation inside, it had power seats, and wood grain trim that looks surprisingly real.
It's for sale in Cookstown, ON, and comes with the 4.2L version of the AMC inline six that ran in various forms from 1964 all the way to 2006. It made 108 hp and a more useful 200 lb-ft of torque. That torque was available from just 1,800 rpm. Swapping the gears was a three-speed auto and it drives the rear wheels.
The seller says that the wood-grain is in excellent condition, always a concern on a car of this era. They also have the original wheels if you're not a fan of the later alloys fitted. It has covered just 61,400 miles since new and looks very fresh for anything that came out of 1982.
It looks like nothing else on the road, plus it's a wagon with wood. And this 1982 AMC Concord is our Find of the Week.