Home » Someone Bought The Nicest Remaining Example Of A Car For Just $3400

Someone Bought The Nicest Remaining Example Of A Car For Just $3400

Eagle Premier Ts2
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Every so often, we all come across glorious automotive anomalies. Those pinch-me moments that makes us question reality, due to the sheer implausibility of seeing what’s before us. Here’s another one: This 1991 Eagle Premier ES Limited recently sold for $3,400 on Hemmings Auctions, and it might be the nicest one left in the country.

If you’re younger than 30, you’re probably wondering just what the hell is in these pictures. Allow me to introduce a mashup of Renault components and AMC styling sold under Chrysler’s umbrella. See, in the 1980s, AMC was tied at the hip with Renault, and in 1986, Renault chairman Georges Besse was, um, assassinated by a far-left militant group. Besse is remembered as a big champion of trying to make the AMC thing work, and in the wake of his sudden demise, Renault didn’t want anything to do with American Motors. Enter Chrysler, swooping in to buy AMC in 1987. The Jeep brand and the Brampton assembly plant were the real prizes, but a few products still in the pipeline ended up being sold as Chrysler products, such as the Eagle Premier.

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This positively rectangular sedan represented an interesting mashup of Italian style and French mechanicals. It’s based on the Renault 25’s monocoque, uses some Renault 21 suspension bits, was offered with the PRV V6 popularized in the public conscience by the DeLorean, featured an interior by AMC’s own Dick Teague, and wrapped it all up in Giugiaro sheetmetal. It was developed on a shoestring budget from completely bonkers circumstances, and yet turned out almost normal.

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Alright, so putting the lighting, wiper, and HVAC controls on weird pods behind the steering wheel was moderately ludicrous, but set those quirks aside, and the Eagler Premier becomes conventional. It’s a front-wheel-drive sedan with a pretty normal dashboard, normal gauges, normal seats, and normal styling. Well, normal styling on most trims.

Eagle Premier

See, this is the range-topping ES Limited trim, which means it gets a chunky skirt package, a monochrome exterior, rear disc brakes, bucket seats, and all the trimmings. Sure, its V6 engine made the same 150 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft. of torque as the V6 in the standard car did, but sometimes it’s swagger that counts. This thing? It’s got it.

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According to the listing, this Eagler Premier was bought new at AMC-turned-Chrysler dealer Chilson Motors, traded back in sometime in 1999, and liked so much by the dealer that it was kept in a climate-controlled collection until 2022. That’s more than two decades of preservation! As a result, this thing only had 91,457 miles on the clock when it sold last week, a small sum for a 30-plus-year-old family sedan.

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Okay, so it isn’t perfect. The air conditioning packed up sometime over the past three-plus decades, there are a few minor cosmetic imperfections to tend to, and the tires rock the spooky date codes of 1999. However, this is genuinely a case of “find another.” Where else are you going to see an Eagle Premier ES Limited in this condition?

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Eagle Premier

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There’s an undeniable appeal to well-preserved everyday cars because it feels like a public service instead of an expectation. Think of it this way: Sports cars are typically third or fourth cars, used sparingly on weekends and tended to with care. Of course, they’re going to survive. However, the regular stuff? The stuff that everyone saw around but nobody thought to preserve? That’s rare right there. It wouldn’t surprise me if there were fewer Eagle Premiers on the road in America than Ferrari F50s, and that’s a shame. So, here’s to everyone whose idea of having fun with a car is preserving something regular but meaningful. The world depends on you for its future hits of nostalgia.

(Photo credits: Hemmings Auctions)

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Is Travis
Is Travis
2 months ago

Keep this one mint, because parts for it are going to be a bit scant

John E
John E
2 months ago

I liked these a lot when they came out. Test drove a Dodge Monaco and it was a nice car all around. But even a Chrysler guy like me couldn’t get around their reputation as complete and utter garbage. It wasn’t “just” the engine or transmission or electronics or wheel bearings or fuel pumps or the interiors, it was ALL of it. It was the one Chrysler product that fulfilled every negative stereotype of Chrysler. When I was a Ford/Toyota tech in the mid 90’s the used car lot asked me to do a quick inspection on one. It was only maybe 4 years old by then and there was , and I mean quite literally, very little inside the car and under the hood that worked. I advised them to not take it and they didn’t. I don’t know how this one made it to 91k miles and I not joking.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
2 months ago
Reply to  John E

My parents had one. We were forbidden from talking about it it was so unreliable.

EXL500
EXL500
2 months ago
Last edited 2 months ago by EXL500
Gilbert Wham
Gilbert Wham
2 months ago
Reply to  EXL500

I don’t blame you. It’s so very, very car-shaped. I like it a lot. Can we not just go back to uncluttered 3 box sedans?

EXL500
EXL500
2 months ago
Reply to  Gilbert Wham

Or big-ass wagons?

Gilbert Wham
Gilbert Wham
2 months ago
Reply to  EXL500

Those too, those too.

Albert Ferrer
Albert Ferrer
2 months ago
Reply to  EXL500

So you like the Renault 21? 😉

EXL500
EXL500
2 months ago
Reply to  Albert Ferrer

For some odd reason…

Rusty S Trusty
Rusty S Trusty
2 months ago

I guess you found the upside to buying an Eagle Premier. Still don’t think it’s worth $3400 just so a few people from future generations can know it existed. Back when these were on lots they were universally recognized as terrible cars, even by people who knew nothing and couldn’t have cared less about cars. If we’re going to preserve at least one of every car, and we should, only one of these will be sufficient.

Toyec
Toyec
2 months ago

I beg to disagree to the “developed on a shoestring budget” thing. Yes there was some parts bin engineering, because there wasn’t anything fundamentaly wrong with the Renaults 25 and 21, but they could have hastily put a trunk on a Renault 25 (or even just big bumpers) and instead they created a whole new car, and built an entirely new factory. It was a very serious investment, as Besse (and Hanon before him) were dedicated in making Renault a “two continents” constructor instead of an european one.

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
2 months ago

“…it gets… bucket seats…”

Ah, the days when those were sporty/classy options. Is anyone even making front bench seats anymore?

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
2 months ago

I always thought these were handsome cars.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
2 months ago

Can you get parts for these things? I don’t remember seeing a million Dodge Monacos driving around either, and I lived in an area with an above average number of Chysler products on the road.

TommyG
TommyG
2 months ago

I owned a 88 or 89 Eagle Premier. WORST CAR I EVER OWNED. DO NOT BUY ONE. DO NOT TAKE ONE IF SOMEONE GIVES IT TO YOU WITH $1000 IN THE GLOVE BOX.
Yes, it was quick for the day. Yes it was comfy and a great highway cruiser, but the constant & unrepairable electrical problems were a constant issue. The list of things that did not work, dead batteries, door locks that sometimes would not unlock, door windows that went down when they felt like it, the wipers that did not work sometimes in the rain and headlights that would go out at night were all called “just his imagination” (by the dealer) when I tried to use the Lemon Law to return it. Read somewhere years later that the electrics were garbage.

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
2 months ago
Reply to  TommyG

But… but… the car is a Renault-AMC-Chrysler-Giugiaro mutt, and mutts are supposed to be the sturdiest dogs. ;D

TommyG
TommyG
2 months ago

I my defense, my wife had a Renault Alliance which she loved so it would only follow that the Premier was just as good. Right? Right?

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
2 months ago

In my finest Harrison Ford-

“It belongs in a museum! Specifically a weird museum that collects screwball things that have a really convoluted background and were basically forgotten in their own time! They can display it next to bottles of Heinz green ketchup! Now everybody get to cover because I’m going to fly this airplane!”

TheNewt
TheNewt
2 months ago

The Autopian Museum of Automotive Curiosities.

EXL500
EXL500
2 months ago
Reply to  TheNewt

The Lane is sort of this site’s patron saint museum.

Gilbert Wham
Gilbert Wham
2 months ago
Reply to  TheNewt

Make it so! I would absolutely leave such a fine organisation an endowment in my will.

I mean, it’d consist of an off brand socket set, an internet comment history and the keys to whatever superannuated shitbox I was driving when I died, but still.

Piston Slap Yo Mama
Piston Slap Yo Mama
2 months ago
Reply to  TheNewt

I’d chip in on funding that.

FuzzyPlushroom
FuzzyPlushroom
2 months ago

I haven’t seen one of these in 15 years, and that one was a big enough deal to me then that I stopped and took a few photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fuzzyplushroom/albums/72157623796151417/

Edit: Dammit, the correct link is https://www.flickr.com/photos/fuzzyplushroom/albums/72157624123759152 – my scroll wheel betrayed me for a moment, but I’ll leave the original link for the sake of comparison and contrast.

Last edited 2 months ago by FuzzyPlushroom
Chris D
Chris D
2 months ago

My wife had an ’88 one of these, if I remember the year correctly. She had bought it because “Premier” sounded royal or special or something. It was nothing special. I remember checking the distributor cap, and it was in the worst shape that I had ever seen. 100K and it was the original. It’s surprising that the car even ran. A replacement cost around a hundred bucks. The AC quit working, and the camshaft position sensor headed off to the Renault version of Valhalla shortly after. We tried to sell it and then one of the CV joints started clacking on the turns.
When she finally found a buyer, they tried to return it to her.
So this fancy white one with the detail job and 25-year-old tires and 91,000 miles is no bargain. It’s great if you love Eagle Premiers, but not so hot if you want a dependable car to drive around in. I hope the new owner enjoys it.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
2 months ago

Wow, what a deal since it’s in good shape and is the fancy one. I always made fun of the Eagle brand (NOT the AMC Eagle) since they weren’t known as being very good cars/bland but they were still alright. I’m slowly learning to love more obscure and quirky cars along w/ the regular ones like this.
My brother used to have 2 AMC Eagles including an SX/4 and they were fun, awesome, great body style, and I really want to get one like he had eventually

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
2 months ago
Reply to  Freelivin2713

The others were more straight forward rebadges right? Eagle Talon = Mitsubishi Eclipse, Eagle Vision = Chrysler Concorde/Dodge Intrepid, Eagle Summit = Mitsubishi Mirage.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
2 months ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

Yup!

Alex Kwanten
Alex Kwanten
2 months ago

In ancient high school times, I had a math tutor who had an Eagle Premier exactly like this.

She and her husband, both nuclear physicists, had come to New York from the Soviet Union in 1989. When I asked her why they chose that, she said, “It has an Eagle right on it; what could be more American?”

I didn’t have the heart to tell her it was made in Canada.

Last edited 2 months ago by Alex Kwanten
GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex Kwanten

Given its roots, had to have been one of the more truly internationally influenced choices she could have made too!

Kind of reminds me of a lady I worked with briefly a few years ago. She mentioned her previous car was a Honda Accord but she didn’t like it at all and she figured she preferred American cars. I could understand what she meant about the way Accords drove, and maybe a Toyota would have made more sense for her. But what I really wondered was what she would’ve thought if she knew where the Buick Envision she then had was built.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
2 months ago

I’m not sure about the US, but here in Canada a whole lot of food products can be labelled “Product Of Canada” just because they were packaged here. Kind of like a final assembly loophole. Very few people realize how much of our seafood, cheese, apple products etc. are from China.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago

I don’t doubt that happens here too. I’ve actually been talking about that sort of thing recently with a friend regarding Lidl grocery stores – many European countries having more restrictions on ingredients and things than the US does, and Lidl being German and carrying many products with “of Germany, Spain, etc.” on the labels. Does that mean it’s theoretically better and has less than an American product would offer, or is it a similar loophole thing especially since it’s billed for US sale? Not sure…

Cal67
Cal67
2 months ago

The apple thing burns me. Apples are grown and picked in Canada, then shipped to China for processing into juice, then canned and shipped back to Canada. Somehow that still makes the companies that do this more money than processing them in Canada.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex Kwanten

I did some imaging/automation work at the Brampton plant around the early LH days. An old timer still there from AMC days confided in me how he thought quality control and general gives a shit had gone down hill from the AMC era. I was a bit shocked and said really? It’s even worse than the Renault times? He said “sadly, that was a high point”. I had also done work at Chrysler Windsor and found it to be top notch, so I remain confused. Perhaps there is enough differentiation in the cultures of various shops.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex Kwanten

I imagine that Eagle was a bit nicer than the Ladas and safer than RBMK reactors they drove back home.

EXL500
EXL500
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex Kwanten

And had French roots.

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
2 months ago

Pretty cool. These things were pretty rare to see when they were still being sold new, but they were a lot better looking than their Dodge Monaco sibling. With that said, few shed any tears when the Premier and Monaco were replaced by the Vision and Intrepid.

There was a guy I knew back in the 90s with a Premier who used to brag that his car had the same PRV V6 as the Delorean. I didn’t have the heart to point out that it wasn’t the same engine, as the displacement wasn’t the same, and that the Delorean was hardly the performance benchmark he seemed to think it was.

Toyec
Toyec
2 months ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

Well, the PRV V6 is also shared with the Venturi 400 GT (the frenchest supercar of them all) and the WM prototype who still has the record for the fastest top speed during the 24h of Le Mans (407 km/h, never the be beaten as the Hunaudières is no more a straight line) and THAT is what I call a performance achievement !

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
2 months ago
Reply to  Toyec

Fair point, except the Premier didn’t have the same variant as the Venturi, so it was down on power compared to the Venturi 400 by nearly 250hp. The Venturi were an interesting series of sports cars and, as you say, very French.

Ariel E Jones
Ariel E Jones
2 months ago

I can’t recall the last time I saw one of these or any other Eagle for that matter. Throw in its twin Dodge Monaco as well.
I was one of few people to go to a Chrysler/Jeep/Eagle dealer and buy a brand new Eagle. It was a 1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD in black with tan leather. I got it over the Eclipse because everybody had an Eclipse. Plus it looked better. Awesome car.

Last edited 2 months ago by Ariel E Jones
Vee
Vee
2 months ago

This is me. This is the kind of stuff I would buy if I had the money.

Because who else is going to care? Who else is going to remember things like these? Surface level enthusiasts wouldn’t even know this thing exists. Deeper down into the sphere most people wouldn’t want it because it’s just a boring sedan without any weird features like AWD or a twin turbo. Dig down to the deepest part of the automotive enthusiast community and you still likely wouldn’t find anyone that wants it because it has all the same features as a bunch of other cars from the era, and being a dead marque from a stepchild corporate venture doesn’t add allure, it detracts.

But these are exactly the cars we should preserve and show, because otherwise survivorship bias kicks in and people only remember cars being polar, either extremely shitty or insanely awesome.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
2 months ago
Reply to  Vee

Concerning every single point you just made, I’m taking my recently acquired Triumph Acclaim to the Vancouver All British Field Meet tomorrow to enter it in Class #61 Triumph (Other). Rest assured there are some of us fighting this fight.

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
2 months ago
Reply to  Vee

Agreed. That’s why I proudly rock my ’88 Jaguar XJ6, the redheaded stepchild of the XJ family. If I didn’t take mine to the car show there wouldn’t be one there, and it makes it a lot easier to win your category in judging when you’re the only one in it.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
2 months ago
Reply to  Vee

Some things don’t deserve to be remembered. Actually, maybe these do just as a warning for how unreliable Chryslers can be.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago

Car and Driver put up a couple tests of these in their archive section and they liked it more than I might have expected, not that the car itself seemed bad (outside of things like reliability).

RarEST Eagle would surely be the Medallion though if there are any remaining.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
2 months ago

Renault Medallion for one year, then Eagle Medallion another year, then POOF!

Last edited 2 months ago by Dogisbadob
Robert Cassingham
Robert Cassingham
2 months ago

In ’88, I worked for a few months selling cars at a Jeep/Eagle dealership in Utah. I actually sold an Eagle Medallion to this couple who came in to get their AMC convertible repaired at the shop. “Hey, instead of getting it repaired, how about buying a NEW car instead?” I am probably still reaping the bad karma from that…

Sold a few Premiers, too. 36 years later, I still can’t escape the shame of being a car salesman.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
2 months ago

You got someone to trade an Ambassador convertible for that?
What kind of sociopath are you?
😉

Robert Cassingham
Robert Cassingham
2 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

The very most alluring kind of sociopath. Firm, chiseled jaw. Glossy perfect hair. A butt that goes on forever. And a heart of black ice, black as the vastness of interstellar space.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
2 months ago

You sound like my perfect future Ex.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
2 months ago

Rumor has it that God may forgive you one day…

Robert Cassingham
Robert Cassingham
2 months ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

I have reliable sources that inform me that, no. No she will not. For that matter, no forgiveness coming to most car salesman.

We done goofed.

EXL500
EXL500
2 months ago

See my post elsewhere about the Medallion. I have a weird like for it.

Oh, what the hell, I’ll repost the link.

https://carsalesbase.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Eagle_Medallion-US-car-sale.jpg

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago
Reply to  EXL500

I really want to see one in person, I’m not sure that I ever have or that I ever will. I saw this print ad for it recently and it seemed actually pretty modern for its day, like something Nissan would have run in the 90s.

EXL500
EXL500
2 months ago

I know it’s not a great car, but I do love its sharp (literally and figuratively) styling.

Always broke
Always broke
2 months ago

Front wheel drive with a longitudinal engine. Weren’t the follow on “cab forward” cars similar?

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
2 months ago
Reply to  Always broke

See below, my memory is screaming at me that these formed the basis of the LH cars.

Tbird
Tbird
2 months ago
Reply to  Always broke

The later LH cars borrowed the basic architecture, yes.

Albert Ferrer
Albert Ferrer
2 months ago

The American Renault!

Andy Farrell
Andy Farrell
2 months ago

Ahh, yes the Eagle Premier. My parents had a 90 ES Limited in gray, it was not a good car. They replaced it with an Accord.

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
2 months ago

By the way, if my memory serves me correctly, these things formed the basis of what became the Chrysler LH cars.

Albert Ferrer
Albert Ferrer
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

There are Renault genes in those?

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
2 months ago
Reply to  Albert Ferrer

I don’t know exactly, but I seem to recall that the longitudinal engine/front drive format and the general architecture was carried over to the LH. I can’t find any common parts on a quick search so I’ll need someone else with good Chrysler history knowledge to chime in. It was long ago I read this somewhere, I’m almost positive.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

Allpar is probably the best bet, I know I’ve read about it on there. They migrated to a forum format at some point so it’s a bit tricky to search; the Premier page doesn’t make a ton of mention, but here’s a “main” page and LH development and there’s probably more buried in there somewhere. At the very least it was the blueprint seems to be the consensus.

Toyec
Toyec
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

By doing the inventary in a Renault garage, I found some brake discs that were shared between the Renault 25, Alpine A610 and… Dodge Viper. So I have a strong opinion that they were probably shared by a bunch of LH cars on the other part of the atlantic

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

Yes, it’s basically a zeroth gen LH car. It was also designed to accommodate AWD, but that never happened until the LX cars came out.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

Similar to what we now call platform sharing. The parts were not necessarily common, but the hard points or ‘chassis layout’ were from the same design. Renault were actually pretty innovative at this stuff. They just didn’t have the best record of screwing together and rustproofing. This is where, surprisingly, Chrysler added value when the re skinned it into the LH and moved to their own engines.

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
2 months ago

THAT’S ALL IT WENT FOR???

I saw this thing on Hemmings a week ago and thought, dang, that’s the best Premier I’ve ever seen and totally want it just for that. I know there are Renault freaks out there and just assumed it would get bid up past F-it money.

Would have looked great next to my Yugo.

My wife would have not spoken to me for a week though.

Freddy Bartholomew
Freddy Bartholomew
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

Only a week? Great wife! Actually, my wife is pretty great. I had a 1986 MR2 that she hated, but I drove it for 17 years. We are celebrating our 36th anniversary in a couple of days.

William Domer
William Domer
2 months ago

Hmmm. I’m at the you want another toy then sell one you all ready have. I respond with: but I sold the Saab 900 convertible. Not good enough. Lose the cabriolet if you want an or orange new Beetle Convertible. We are working towards 38. Lucky for me she likes the Del Sol and seems to still love me somehow

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
2 months ago

Don’t recall ever having seen one. But, I like it: it’s got that ‘lean in to being square’ look like the Datsun 810 (Maxima). Throw some boxy fender flares on it and cruise like it’s 1989!

Aaron Headly
Aaron Headly
2 months ago

I will now forever think of these as Eaglers.

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