I Want To Fly Like An Eagle, But Not This Eagle

Eagle Premier
When Renault sold Jeep to Chrysler in the late Eighties the agreement hinged on the latter taking a bunch of unloved cars and engines too. That resulted in that Nineties fad, the Foster Family brand. Just as GM had Geo, Chrysler had Eagle, and that was a hot mess of leftover AMC/Renaults, Mitsubishis, and some home-grown iron. The top of the heap upon the brand’s introduction was the Premier, a Giugiaro-designed riff on the Renault 25.
Built in Ontario Canada—which made its name kind of funny—the Premier soldiered for the marque for five model years, seeing both upgrades over that time and, in 1990, a sibling in the Dodge Monaco. A total of about 120,000 Premiers were built over that time, and I’ll bet today you’ll not find a single one on the road, either here or in Canada.
Image: Flickr

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  1. tonyola Avatar

    I know where there is one in Miami that seems to serve as a stationary driveway ornament. Too bad, because for all its faults, it’s not a bad looking car. Here’s a picture of one with the originally-intended Renault badge.

    1. duurtlang Avatar

      It wears Dutch plates. I wonder who imported that into the Netherlands. When I run the plates it shows it was imported in 2005 and hasn’t changed hands since. The plate lists it as a Chrysler, with model name Eagle Premier.

    1. Tanshanomi Avatar

      That’s a clean car for $950!

  2. The Real Number_Six Avatar
    The Real Number_Six

    Here’s one for sale in my burg just a month ago. Still a handsome sedan…I’m intrigued by the “older lady” who owns this classic. Rawwrrrrrr

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      Those are both pretty decent. What does the lady look like?

    2. PowerTryp Avatar

      It is a genuinely attractive car and for only $900.

  3. PowerTryp Avatar

    And now I am having dirty thoughts! This car is the direct predecessor to the unfortunate Intrepid and as such I am now imagining converting this to RWD and make people say WTF. Of course, that probably wont happen but hey, a guy can dream right?

    1. karonetwentyc Avatar

      Or AWD by placing a second transaxle at the rear. Bonus points if it also ends up with four-wheel steering.

    2. Maymar Avatar

      Hey now, the Intrepid was a pretty great car that was let down by a few reliability issues, which is really fitting with its European heritage.

  4. karonetwentyc Avatar

    The Premier to track down would be this one, then turn up at any LeMons race with it completely as-is and see what happens. Of course, that’s assuming that it hasn’t been scrapped in the nine years since the article was written, which it probably has been.

  5. Citric Avatar

    Seven years ago I knew of one in Humboldt, Sk which was absolutely immaculate – seriously, the thing looked like it just rolled off the showroom floor. I don’t know if it’s still running, but looking at it I think it’d be a real shame if it wasn’t, it was actually kinda special in a weird way.

  6. salguod Avatar

    The Canadian equivalent of the old Chrysler corp 7/70 warranty just didn’t quite have the same ring to it.

  7. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    I always liked the car it was based on, the Renault 25. Designed by Robert Opron’s design team, many of whom were stolen from Citroen, as was Robert Opron himself, he designed the GS and CX and the SM.)
    Like the Premier it has a very low Cd,(0.27 for the 25) despite it’s square appearance which helped it’s speed and economy. ( ‘Stolen’ from Citroen by reportedly being offered double their salary to move to Renault.)
    My mother’s 25V6 saw 250kmh/155mph more than a few times, (admittedly on a slight downhill) and always did about 25 mpg. The leather interior was always comfortable and hard wearing and it had the most amazing factory fit Phillips Stereo with the first steering wheel mounted controls for it that I’d ever seen. It is still missed and I hope the bastards that stole it die long slow lingering deaths.
    The great maestro Giogetto Guigiaro who performed the restyle from 25 to Premierr ran a Premier for a while as his own car in Italy where it didn’t look out of place amid the Lancias and Audis.

    1. crank_case Avatar

      It’s amazing how rapidly these and 21s disappeared of European roads, even the restyled version badged “Safrane” is a rare sight, and not only that, I can’t remember the last time I saw a Vel Satis either. Shame, I think these had their thunder stolen by the Avantime, but would probably be better suited as a super comfy daily/motorway. There is a new Safrane available in some European and eastern markets, but it’s a pile of generic meh stylewise

      1. Rover 1 Avatar
        Rover 1

        The Safrane was an all new car, it has a transverse engine rather than the longitudinal, Subaru/Audi style layout of the 25. We would buy another if there were any for sale, it had a huge amount of style with it’s Gandini designed interior and crisp lines. You’re right, the later cars were more anonymous, apart from the VelSatis which is just odd; though it did have some 25 styling cues like the big glass hatchback. An Avantime is definitely in my future buying plans though, weird in a good way. And a 21 Turbo might be a good anti-Sierra Cosworth.
        Note: The Safrane in the picture looks like it could be one of the rare Biturbo AWD versions, rare because they were more expensive than an M5 when new and frankly not quite as good. But very highly specced and very fast.

        1. crank_case Avatar

          Never knew that, assumed it was just a reskin. Sort of like the transition from 1st gen R5 to 2nd Gen. Everydays a schoolday. I quite like some modern-ish Renaults from the 00s (but not the current stuff), when they were out Peugeoting Peugeot. Renault Clio 182 Cup/Trophy is hilarious and the Laguna Coupe is a remarkably elegant thing in the metal even though it looks sort of bland in pictures.

  8. MattC Avatar

    I worked at a rental car company at the time and we had a few of these in our fleet. It was a roomy, comfortable car with great lines, but the severe rental punishment ended many of these to soon. Interesting times, as we also had a smattering of Sterlings, Gen 2 Supras, MB 300/190s, etc.

  9. Maymar Avatar

    You know Ontario’s leader is called the Premier, right (although that almost certainly had nothing to do with the name)? Unless we’re talking about the Eagle bit, in which case, Canada’s apparently got more real eagles too.

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