1980 AMC Spirit AMX 258
Unique old fashioned rear wheel drive compact
Rear main seal.
Hood hinge sprung (due to not latching hood all the way down).
This was my first car. I paid the princely sum of 200 bucks for this gem. Over the course of 8 years it has served me well. It sits around a bit during the snowy winters common up in the Wisconsin north woods due to the extreme lack of traction.
I get quite a few comments on the car. It is a unique design and there weren't many Spirits with the AMX appearance package. It has a pleasing shape for an early 80s car.
Car handles decent for being nose heavy. Brakes stop the car well enough.
The engine I think is pretty well used up, it ticks and even before the main seal went out it used some oil. The 1 barrel carb doesn't do much for performance and gas mileage isn't the best. After taking the carb off I found it wasn't the original. Some hillbilly had filed the bolt holes on the carb to get it to fit.
It seemed like every spring the car kept getting worse mileage, this year it was down to a big block like 12 mpg. I finally swapped it out for one off of a 77 ford with a 300 six, mileage improved to about 20 mpg if I really baby it. Still not that great when compared to my AMC Eagle that gets 25 mpg out of the same engine in a heavier car. I think this may be partially to due with the fact that the carb is too big for the motor, and the motor itself is just plain worn out.
Seats are comfortable enough, but the vinyl really sticks to the body on a hot humid day, making long trips a back drenching affair. The rear seat is not comfortable at all unless you're either a midget or a child.
As far as reliability goes, it hasn't been too bad considering the amount of miles and the age of the car. I probably have about 400 into the car total for the past eight years, so I can't complain. The car has left me stranded once, and that was because I jumped it on a very rough road and the fan decided to kiss the radiator. It had just made a 3 hour trip prior, and had zero problems beyond the usual oil consumption.
Bottom line, if you want a car that is easy to work on and reliable, plus unique looking, this car may be for you.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st August, 2008