(an Auto so Homely it’s Cute?)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
AMC Pacer AMC Pacer coupe
Manufacturer American Motors (AMC)
Production 1975 – 1980
Assembly Flag of the United States Kenosha, Wisconsin
Flag of Mexico Mexico City (VAM)
Body style(s) 2-door hatchback
2-door station wagon
Layout front-engine, rear wheel drive
Engine(s) 232 in3 (3.8 L) I6
258 in3 (4.2 L) I6
304 in3 (5 L) V8
Transmission(s) 3-speed manual
3-speed with overdrive
Wheelbase 100.0 inches (2,540 mm)
Length 171.8 inches (4,364 mm) (coupe)
Width 77.3 inches (1,963 mm)
Height 52.8 inches (1,341 mm) (coupe)
Curb weight 3,000 pounds (1,361 kg)
Fuel capacity 21.9 US gal (83 L/18 imp gal)
Designer Richard A. Teague
The AMC Pacer is a two-door compact automobile produced in the United States by the American Motors Corporation between 1975 and 1980. Its initial design idea was started in 1971. The car’s unusual rounded shape with massive glass area greatly contrasted with the mostly boxy, slab-sided models of the era. The Pacer’s “jellybean” body style is a readily recognized icon of the 1970s.
Now old enough to be a “classic car”, the Pacer has come to be regarded in some quarters as a 1970s design icon. (According to Business Week magazine the 1970s were “infamous for disco, Watergate and some of the ugliest cars ever.
Nevertheless, in spite of their bad reputations, cars of the 1970s era such as the Pacer are becoming collectors’ items. Business Week reported that the rising values of so-called “nerd cars” – ugly 1970s-era cars] – prompted the CEO of a major collector-car insurance company to buy a Pacer which has “inexplicably appreciated substantially beyond the $2,300 that he paid for it in 2004. In 2002 he said: “In what can sometimes be a sea of automotive sameness, the AMC Pacer continues to turn heads even today”, and he put the value of a “mint Pacer” at “between $4000 and $6000″, saying that “the increased value is fueled solely by the heart. This trend is all about a fascination with ’70s things almost because they were so bad.”
The Pacer has been described as one of the formerly unloved cars from the 1970s that are enjoying a resurgence in both collectibility and auto restoration — especially among fans of cars from that era. The Pacer is one of several 1970s cars that were always thought of as cheap vehicles; therefore they were poorly maintained, which reduced their life expectancy. Also the heavy engines used in the car put more load on the front suspension than intended, which caused the rack & pinion steering to fail frequently on Pacers built in 1975.
One longtime collector-car expert says you will pay just about the same — around $20,000 — for a complete restoration, whether it’s on a $1,000 1978 AMC Pacer or a $5,000 1969 Chevrolet Camaro. When restored, the value of the Pacer may be about $4,000, compared with the Camaro’s $25,000.
Today the Pacer’s originality – as well as its deficiencies – are appreciated, if not loved, by car hobbyists and serious collectors alike.