American Motors introduced its Eagle series in the 1980 season, and it was unique at the time, offering four-wheel drive in an ordinary family-type car. Previously, four-wheel drive had been limited to Jeeps and other SUV types. Eagle introduced it to a new market. This Eagle Kammback was an affordable four-wheel-drive subcompact, priced below $8,000.
Eagle also built a four-door sedan, a four-door wagon, a two-door club coupe, which was described in sales literature as a "two-door sedan", and a true two-door sedan: the fastback SX/4.
The Kammback had a profile not unlike AMC's discontinued Gremlin, which had shocked the world in 1970 because it looked like the front half of a two-door sedan, no rear deck section!
A Select Drive option was available for those who wished to switch to two-wheel drive in certain situations. After all, four-wheel drive was only necessary when driving through snow or mud, or on other slippery surfaces, or on tortuous, steep dirt roads in the mountains.
1981 AMC cars were covered by a 12-month/12,000-mile warranty, with a five-year Ziebart Factory Rust Protection warranty against corrosion not caused by neglect.
AMC had a rather stormy history while affiliated in the early 1980s with France's Renault. Then Chrysler Corp. bought AMC, mainly to acquire the lucrative Jeep. Chrysler retained Eagle for a few years, but the American Motors identity was dissolved, laying to rest an organization that had begun with the 1954 merger of Nash and Hudson and that had later taken in Kaiser/Jeep as well.