CC For Sale: 1980 AMC Concord Wagon – From The Department Of Last Rides

Last month I took a large figure-eight roadtrip involving going to Minnesota and back home and then continuing (after one day’s rest) to the West Coast without backtracking on any single road.  At the tail end of the first portion I found myself in Murdo, South Dakota for an overnight.  Wanting to get back on the road for the leg home, I woke up early and put my bag in the car.  While yawning, stretching and turning around I glimpsed something perhaps CC worthy, and a slightly closer look revealed a For Sale sign.  Eureka!

While the price seems shockingly high for an 39-year old AMC, it certainly did come across as being in excellent condition.  But wait, there’s more!  What’s this about a hearse?

Here’s the business end.  Oh, so late 70’s, early 80’s with those exposed hinges but large, almost oversize, tail lights and a huge bumper extrusion with plastic or rubber end caps.  The rear-most side window almost looks like it’s too small for the space it occupies, as is AMC was trying to save money on glass or something – along with saving money on everything else.

The publicity shot of a Concord Limited Wagon shows a nice little applique or painted area around the rear window that solves that problem, I suppose I am not the first person to have pointed that out.  The whole car looks pretty good here, actually.

Here’s a slightly better view of the back and the license plate area pronouncing it as being part of the U.S. Government Department of Indian Affairs.  Did such cars really not get actual license plates?  Or is it just this one since the plates were removed?  How else would one identify such a car should the need present itself?  Then again, how many hearing-aid beige 1980 Concord Wagons really were/are running around?

It looks almost factory fresh in here.  It’s easy to look at an old car like some of the ones we feature (especially one from Eugene without door panels etc.) and wonder how they were ever sold as new, but looking at this I can see how someone might, well, not “fall in love” with it, but could be persuaded to take it for a test drive and then maybe home for the night and then perhaps sign the big check.  Maybe.  It certainly doesn’t look like it got much use.

I’m pretty sure the first digit on the odometer is a 3 and it doesn’t look to have rolled over so yeah, 39,000 miles seems believable.  That’s about the sparsest instrument cluster I’ve seen in some time but the car does have air conditioning so it’s not completely bare bones.

I leaned over the backseat to get that shot as the one glaring defect the car had was that the driver’s door didn’t open from the outside, the latch just pulled out and stayed out without unlatching anything.  Hence I was not able to get an engine shot as I mistakenly assumed the release would be on the left side as opposed to the right side of the column.

I believe the only two engines for 1980 were the Iron Duke, sourced from GM, and the 258 AMC I-6.  My money’s on the Iron Duke being under the hood, it being a gummint car but who knows, it’s got A/C after all.

If this really is some kind of hearse, well, here’s where the action is.  No rear seat, but a bolted in platform covering the rear area.  And a space blanket on top, not sure of the point of that, but I suppose it’s period correct.  It seems kind of short for anybody (or, more properly, any body) to stretch out back there but what do I know.

If you’ve ever had a hankering for a Concord wagon, this one’s about as good as it gets. It’s owned by the proprietress of the motel even though the ad says to call Dave.  My guess is that the price is negotiable but then again, maybe they know what they’ve got.