AMC Pacer


AMC Pacer

Infobox Automobile


name = AMC Pacer
manufacturer = American Motors (AMC)
production = 1975 – 1980
assembly =flagicon|USA Kenosha, Wisconsin
flagicon|Mexico Mexico City (VAM)
class = Compact
body_style = 2-door hatchback
2-door station wagon
layout = front-engine, rear wheel drive
engine = Auto CID|232 I6
Auto CID|258 I6
Auto CID|304 V8
transmission = 3-speed manual
3-speed with overdrive
4-speed manual
3-speed automatic
wheelbase = convert|100.0|in|0
height = convert|52.8|in|0 (coupe)
width = convert|77.3|in|0
length = convert|171.8|in|0 (coupe)
weight = convert|3000|lb|0
fuel_capacity = Convert|21.9|usgal|L impgal|0|abbr=on
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.

Design

AMC's chief stylist Richard A. Teague began work on the Pacer in 1971, anticipating an increase in demand for smaller vehicles through the decade.

Car and Driver magazine noted that "AMC said it was the first car designed from the inside out. Four passengers were positioned with reasonable clearances and then the rest of the car was built around them as compactly as possible."Sherman, Don."AMC Pacer" "Car and Driver" February 1975]

Designed to appear futuristic, the shape was highly rounded with a huge glass area, and was very unusual for its time. "Road & Track" magazine described it as "fresh, bold and functional-looking". [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/04/automobiles/04CARS.html?pagewanted=print&position= "New York Times" "Marlins and Hornets and Gremlins, Oh My: The Quirky Classics of A.M.C." by John Matras, April 4, 2005] , retrieved on March 28, 2008.]

Development was under Product Group Vice President Gerald C. Meyers, whose goal was to develop a car that was truly unique: "...everything that we do must distinguish itself as being importantly different than what can be expected from the competition..." [ [http://www.hemmings.com/hcc/stories/2005/03/01/hmn_feature30.html Patrick Foster, "American Motors' Pacer" Hemmings Classic Car - March 1, 2005.] Retrieved on July 15 2007.]

Unique for a comparatively small car, the Pacer was as wide as a full-size American car of the era. Contrary to myth, it was not widened six inches (152.4 mm) to make room for the rear-wheel drive configuration. According to an AMC market study from the early 1970s, front-wheel drive was never considered,fact|date=June 2008 although the editor of "Road & Track" asserted that front-wheel drive, as well as a transverse mid-engined configuration, were among "various mechanical layouts...tossed around by the idea people at AMC", adding that "it's unlikely they ever had much hope of being able to produce anything other than their traditional front engine and rear drive, using components already in production." [Wakefield, Ron: "American Motors Pacer" "Road & Track" February 1975.] A rear-engined layout was also explored. 1975 AMC advertising literature proclaimed it as "the first wide small car".

The width was dictated partly by marketing strategy—U.S. drivers were accustomed to large vehicles, and the Pacer's occupants had the impression of being in a larger car—and partly by the fact that AMC's assembly lines were already set up for full-size cars.

Also unique at the time, the passenger door was four inches (101 mm) longer than the driver's. This made passenger loading easier, particularly from the rear seats; and they would also tend to use the safer curb side in countries that drive on the right. Ford used this design element in the 1990s Windstar mini-van.

Teague's low-drag design, which predated the fuel crisis and the flood of small foreign imports into the American market, was highly innovative. Its drag coefficient of 0.32 was outstandingly low for a car of its size. Teague even eliminated rain gutters, smoothly blending the tops of the doors into the roof—an aerodynamic detail which, although criticized at the time for allowing rain onto the front seat, has become the norm in today's designs.

The Pacer was also among the first production cars in the U.S. to feature rack-and-pinion steering.

In the mid-1970s the U.S. government mandated major safety improvements for the 1980 model year, to include convert|50|mph|0|adj=on front-end crash testing, convert|25|mph|0|adj=on side crash testing and convert|30|mph|0|adj=on rollover testing, as well as installation of bumpers to resist convert|5|mph|0|adj=on impact at the front and convert|10|mph|0|adj=on at the rear. The Pacer was designed to these specifications, and also had laminated safety glass in the windshield.

General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler persuaded the government that it was not financially viable to modify existing production cars to comply with the new regulations, and that instead each company would be put to the enormous expense of producing new, safety-compliant vehicles. Accordingly the government requirements were reduced, which led to the deletion of several safety features from the production Pacer—for example the roll bar over the passenger compartment, and the bump in the roof that accommodated it. The Pacer's remaining safety features were not strongly advertised, and seldom influenced a potential customer's purchasing decision. The car's extra weight—due in part to the safety equipment and the abundance of heavy glass—hurt fuel economy: production models tested by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave mpg|16|1 in the city, but mpg|26|1 or better on the highway (depending on driving habits and transmission), thanks to aerodynamic efficiency.

Originally the car was designed for a Wankel rotary engine. In 1973, AMC signed a licensing agreement with Curtiss-Wright to build Wankels for cars and Jeep-type vehicles. (The agreement also permitted Curtiss-Wright to sell rotaries elsewhere.) [ [http://wardsautoworld.com/ar/auto_rearview_mirror_15/ Ward's Auto World Staff, "Rearview mirror", Ward's Auto World, February 1, 2000] . Retrieved on: March 29 2008.] Later, AMC decided instead to purchase the engines from General Motors (GM), who were developing them for use in their own cars. However, GM canceled development in 1974 for reasons that included durability issues, the fuel crisis, tooling costs (for the engines and also for a new product line designed around the rotary's ultra-compact dimensions) and the upcoming (late 1970s) U.S. emissions legislation. It was also thought that the high-revving Wankel would not suit Americans accustomed to low revs and high torque.

GM's change of plans left the Pacer without an engine. AMC had invested too much money and effort in the car's design to scrap it, so they hastily reconfigured it to accept their existing straight-six engine. This involved a complete redesign of drivetrain and firewall to keep the longer straight-six within the body dimensions designed for the Wankel, but allowed the Pacer to share many mechanical components with other AMC models.

Production

Introduced in showrooms on February 28 1975, the Pacer was designed to attract buyers of traditional large cars to a smaller package during a time when gasoline prices were projected to rise dramatically. [ [http://wardsautoworld.com/ar/auto_rear_view_mirror_16/index.html "Rearview Mirror" Ward's Auto World, December 1, 2003] Retrieved on: March 29 2008.] In its first year of production, the Pacer sold well, with 145,528 units. Some reviewers referred to it as a "fishbowl on wheels" or a "jellybean in suspenders" because of its unconventional styling, while some described it as a "cute" car. There was little competition from other American manufacturers, most of whom had been blindsided by the oil crisis. The increased demand for compact, economy vehicles was growing rapidly. However, Pacer sales fell after the first two years, and it was available through the 1980 model year. Similar to its mid-year introduction, on December 3 1979, production of the Pacer ended at the Kenosha, Wisconsin assembly plant where it had begun five years earlier. [ [http://wardsautoworld.com/ar/auto_rearview_mirror_4/index.html "Rearview Mirror" Ward's Auto World, December 1, 2001] Retrieved on: March 29 2008.] A total of 280,000 cars were built. Increasing competition from the Big Three U.S. automakers and the rapid consumer shift to imported cars during the late 1970s are cited as the reasons for this outcome.

The Pacer's unconventional styling was commonly cited in its lack of success. Other concerns included a lack of cargo space when carrying a full load of passengers (because of its short wheelbase). Cargo space could be increased to convert|29.5|cuft|2 by folding down the back of the rear seat to form a flat floor. Drivers also cited a lack of power. The Pacer was heavy — "Car & Driver" wrote, "American Motors had already quoted a curb weight of 2990 lb. for the basic Pacer when we first wrote about the car, and that already seemed quite heavy; but when we weighed the test car (whose air conditioning, automatic transmission, power steering and so forth would not account for the full difference) it registered an astounding 3425 lb.""Road & Track" April 1975.] — and the standard Auto CID|232 I6, with a single-barrel carburetor and optimized for low emissions (all vehicles at the time carried emissions-reducing devices), was relatively low-powered ("The Pacer comes with either of two AMC inline six-cylinder engines, both producing 100 bhp, but the larger 258-cu-in. (4.2 liter) unit delivering better mid-range torque"). In 1976, a "High Output" version of the Auto CID|258 engine was offered, which helped performance at the cost of higher fuel consumption. By the time a Auto CID|304 V8 was offered in 1978, the company had introduced a successful line of "luxury-compact" models (the AMC Concord). Additionally, gasoline prices remained high, limiting demand for V8-powered vehicles.

For increased cargo capacity, a station wagon body style was offered from 1977. A less unusual-looking design, it was longer, with a squared-off back and straight, almost upright, rear side windows. Although front vent windows were optional on all Pacers, the wagon's rear side glass featured vent windows as standard. The big rear hatch opened to a wide, flat cargo area with convert|47.8|cuft|2 of space. The rear seat also folded flat to form a continuation of the cargo floor. Some wagon models featured simulated wood-grain trim on the lower body sides and the liftgate.

Model designations

The short lifespan of the Pacer is interesting as it went from being an economy car initially, to becoming a small luxury car. The following information details some of the highlights.

The "X" Package: Basically just what it implies-a "sporty" edition Pacer. This option package was available from 1975 until 1978 on the coupe version of the car. The title changed to "Sport" in 1978 and was eliminated after that. The package consisted mainly of cosmetic changes including vinyl bucket seats, and a floor gear shift. On the outside it received exterior chrome features, styled road wheels, and package identification.

The "D/L" Package: A more upscale edition of Pacer, the D/L was available for the entire run of the car becoming the "base" model in 1978. This package was more upscale including, originally, a "Navajo-design" seating fabric and a woodgrain instrument panel as well as a few interior features that were optional without it. The exterior received additional chrome accents, different wheelcovers, and identification badging.

The "Limited" Package: Available in 1979 and 1980, the Limited package was an elegant farewell for Pacer. Inside, leather seating was standard as were many features that would have been options: AM radio, power door locks, power windows, and tilt steering wheel, to name a few. The exterior offered many chrome accents, styled road wheels and exterior identification badging.

In 1975 only, Pacer was available with a "Sundowner" package on the west coast of the US. This option package was basically a Pacer "D/L" with a new package designation. In 1977 Pacer was available with two-tone paint for the first time. 1979 and 1980 saw a hood ornament and center chrome strip down the hood. 1978 saw the option of power door locks; however it would be 1979 before power windows would join the option list.

International markets

Europe

American Motors exported the Pacer to several European nations. The AMC distributor in Paris France, Jean-Charles, compared the rounded body of the new Pacer to another attractive rear-end shape in its magazine advertisements. Cars exported to Europe were available in higher trim levels. [ [http://www.american-motors.de/en/pacer/buyers-guide/accessories/ Extras and Originality "plain and naked base model (hardly to be found in Europe)", undated] , retrieved on 2008-06-28.] According to some reports, the Pacer sold well in Europe and even Brigitte Bardot is said to have promoted the car in Paris. [ [http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_145054-AMC-Pacer-1975.html?PHPSESSID=d8a0409fc8b5fdf1f991a3498773096c IMCDb.org database, undated] , retrieved on 2008-06-28.] Nevertheless, the Pacer was designed for American drivers and highways, and not the narrow streets typically found in Europe.

There are still Pacers on the road in Europe as evidenced by the number of nations listed in the AMC Pacer Registry [ [http://amc-pacer-registry.com/ AMC Pacer Registry web site, undated] , retrieved on 2008-06-28.] , the member's cars in the Swedish AMC/Rambler Society [ [http://www.amcsweden.com/ the Swedish AMC/Rambler Society, undated] , retrieved on 2008-06-28.] , a German Pacer enthusiast Internet site [ [http://www.american-motors.de/de/pacer/historie/AMC Pacer Projekt Amigo, undated] , retrieved on 2008-06-28.] , a former AMC dealer in Germany [US-Autoteilehandel Gericke GmbH in Bad Homburg, Germany.] that had an inventory of original parts as of early-2000s, as well as a Pacer wagon now in a private museum in the Netherlands. [ [http://www.rambler-amc-museum.nl/home_eng.html The Rambler - AMC museum in Berlikum, Netherlands, undated] , retrieved on 2008-06-28.]

United Kingdom

Unlike AMC's other models,fact|date=June 2008 the Pacer was only available with left-hand drive. In Britain, vehicles have right-hand drive and travel along the left side of the road. The British importer for the Pacer converted the car from left-hand to right-hand drive by leaving the majority of the steering gear on the left-hand side of the car, and running a chain-drive behind the dashboard from the steering wheel (now on the right-hand side) to the top of the steering column. However, the car retained its unequal-length doors, designed for LHD markets, meaning that in the UK the longer door was on the driver's side, leaving the passengers to use the smaller door, which "in the typically confined British parking spot was virtually impossible.". As with other European markets, the Pacer was simply not able to find buyers- in Europe the Pacer was not considered 'compact'- it was wider than a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and the same length as the then-current Ford Granada, which was marketed as a large saloon. The Pacer's engines were too large and too thirsty to make any sense in the European car market- the top-level 4.2-litre engine was 4 times the size of those commonly found in a European compact car, and twice the size of the engines found in a standard saloon. The engine's capacity was even greater than the V8 fitted to the Range Rover at the time.

The car was adversely reviewed by the motoring press and AMC soon stopped importing it.

Mexico

The Pacer was produced in Mexico by Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos (VAM) starting in 1976. The cars came with different engines, interiors, and other components because vehicles made in Mexico had to have at least 50% locally sourced parts. The engine was an AMC design, but modified and built by VAM. A unique to Mexico Auto CID|282|2 I6 engine was standard. It was designed to cope with low octane fuel and high altitudes. This engine featured dished pistons with a convert|3.909|in|adj=on bore and convert|3.894|in|adj=on stroke, as well as a unique head and exhaust porting design.

All Pacers built by VAM came with the following standard equipment: power disk brakes, power steering, handling package, slot wheels with ER78x14 radial tires, reclining front seats, and a radio. [American Motors 1976 Pacer "Numero Uno in Mexico". AMC Marketing Department Press Release, November 1976.] The Mexican Pacers also had different interior trim and seats that featured high-design upholstery that was not available in the U.S. models. [ [http://www.arcticboy.com/Pages/arcticboysvam3.html Arcticboy's VAM page #3, 1976 Pacer brochure illustrating the interior, undated] , retrieved on 2008-06-28.]

Media appearances

Feature films

The "Mirthmobile" in the 1992 film Wayne's World is a Pacer. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/04/automobiles/04WAYNE.html. "The New York Times" Automobiles "Party on, Mirthmobile!" April 4 2005] . Retrieved on March 30 2008.] Wayne's World 2 (1993) has two Pacers: customized convertible and stretch limousine. Other feature film appearances include Car Wash (1976), Eyes of Laura Mars (1977 film), Oh, God! (1977), Mask [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089560/ IMDb "Mask".] Retrieved on March 30 2008.] (1985), Cobra (1986), Miracle Mile (1988), Edward Scissorhands (1990), The Spirit of '76 (1990), A Goofy Movie (1995), Good Burger (1997) and Crash (2004),

ongs

Lisa Brokop wrote (with co-writer Kim MacLean) a song titled "Lime Green Pacer", which appears on her 2005 CD, "Hey, Do You Know Me".

Television

American television appearances include That '70s Show, The X Files and Pimp My Ride (in which a live rat is discovered in the dashboard). The Pacer appeared in the Mexican TV series La Familia P.Luche from the famous actor/comedian Eugenio Derbez.

Also, a 1975 Pacer appears in the music video for Alien Ant Farm's cover of the Michael Jackson hit Smooth Criminal. About 2 minutes and 15 seconds into the video, AAF's lead singer, Dryden Mitchell, re-enacts a moment from a Michael Jackson video by leaping onto the roof of the car and belting out a scream that blows out the car's windows.

Print and new media

Magazines and newspapers

In the Pacer's first year of production the American press said polite things about it. [http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/motoring/features/classic-cars-amc-pacer-480350.html Buckley, Martin "Classic cars: AMC Pacer: The Pacer looked horrible, drove badly and ate money. Martin Buckley wonders why Americans loved it" "The Independent" May 30 2006.] Retrieved on May 12, 2008.] For example, Don Sherman wrote in the February 1975 issue of Car and Driver that it was "our first real urban transporter...There is, of course, the chance of monumental failure; it might be another Tucker ahead of its time or a pariah like the Marlin. But...with its high priority on comfortable and efficient travel and absence of Mach 2 styling, [it] at least seems right for the current state of duress. Consider this bold offering from AMC a test: Are we buying cars for transportation yet, or are they still social props?"

Road & Track magazine's April 1975 road test review described the Pacer's appearance as "bold, clean and unique...even when it's going 60 mph is looks as if it's standing still..." but noted that, even with the test car's optional front disc brakes, "in the usual panic-stop tests...our driver had one of his most anxious moments ever as the Pacer screeched, skidded and demanded expert attention at the steering wheel to keep from going altogether out of control. The histrionics are reflected in long stopping distances from highway speeds... [The car’s] engineering—old-fashioned and unimaginative in the extreme—does not match the perky design", which the magazine declared "most attractive to look at and pleasant to sit in." ["American Motors Pacer: The world’s biggest small car?" "Road & Track" April 1975, pp.35-38.] And Michael Lamm, writing in Popular Mechanics, said that with its "very modern styling, ample power and generous interior" he felt it was "more car" than "the Mustang II or "GM’s sporty compacts (Monza, Skyhawk/Starfire)", and that its performance felt "strong—certainly on a par with most V8s." [Lamm, Michael: "Driving AMC’s brand-new Pacer" "Popular Mechanics" 1975.]

The British press has shown less restraint: the cover of The Motor, a weekly automobile magazine, announced: "We test the Pacer - and wish we hadn't", and the motoring journalist and author Martin Buckley wrote in The Independent newspaper in 2006 that " [t] he Pacer looked horrible, drove badly and ate money."

Buckley said that its problems "really stemmed from the fact that the Pacer was the issue of AMC (American Motors Corporation), by far the weakest of the Detroit producers," and that it "might have had more credibility as the all-American answer to the invading hordes had it not been powered by a 3.8-litre straight six engine that could barely push its quivering bulk to 90mph on an emissions-strangled 95bhp while averaging 18mpg or less." He added that the weight of the Pacer’s "boat anchor of a power unit", which was " [t] aken from the Jeep", was so great that it "broke the steering on early Pacers." (The AMC 232 was standard in 1972-1978 Jeep CJs and 1965-1970 J-series pickups and Wagoneers.) [ [http://www.jeeptech.com/engine/amc232.html Jeep Engine: AMC 232 I6, Jeep Tech] . Retrieved on June 29 2008.]

Buckley concluded that the Pacer was "so uniformly inept in almost all respects that it has passed into folklore and become perversely ‘cool’," and that its "cult following" in America "proves that some Americans do have a sense of irony." [The article's author was a child when the Pacer was launched because he says that his first feature article was published in 1985, when he was aged 18. [http://www.martin-buckley.co.uk/journalism.html Martin Buckley's personal web page, undated] , retrieved on 2008-06-28.]

In the latter respect, the Englishman's view is shared by American automotive journalist Marco R. della Cavo, writing in USA Today in 2002: " [Pacer owners] love that their cars often draw incredulous guffaws. You can’t say these folks don’t have a sense of humor." [The article’s author, in common with various other authoritative journalists who have written about old cars in more recent publications, may have been a child when the Pacer was launched because he has only "written about cars and the automotive industry for the past 23 years": [http://www.robbreport.com/archived-issues/Article.aspx?article=14840 "20th Annual Best of the Best", by the Editors of the "Robb Report", June 2008.] Retrieved on June 30 2008.]

Books

In "The Ultimate Classic Car Book" [Willson, Quentin: "The Ultimate Classic Car Book" p. 10, Dorling Kindersley 2006. ISBN 0-7566-1885-1.] motoring expert, TV presenter and 2004 Motoring Journalist of the Year Quentin Willson [ [http://www.quentinwillson.co.uk/ "Quentin Willson Official Website" "Welcome".] Retrieved on June 1 2008.] [ [http://www.autotrader.co.uk/EDITORIAL/CARS/FEATURES/35781.html Eckford, Alex. "Auto Talk: Quentin Willson" "Auto Trader UK", August 15 2007.] Retrieved on July 01 2008.] writes: "Who will ever forget the...AMC Pacer?...truly awful...painted in violent hues, laden with safety devices and strangled by emission pipery."

The car also appears in several humorously-written opinion-based books of "worst cars", including:
* "The World’s Worst Cars". [Cheetham, Craig "The World’s Worst Cars", Barnes & Noble 2005. ISBN 0760767432.]
* "The Worst Cars Ever Sold". [Chapman, Giles "The Worst Cars Ever Sold", Sutton Publishing 2007. ISBN 0750947144]
* "Lemon!". [Davis, Tony "Lemon!" Thunder Mouth Press 2005. ISBN 1560257571]
* "Automotive Atrocities! The Cars We Love to Hate", [Peters, Eric "Automotive Atrocities!" Motorbooks 2004. ISBN 0760317879] whose cover the Pacer graces.
* "Crap Cars". [Porter, Richard "Crap Cars"Bloomsbury USA 2005. ISBN 1582346380.] The author, a "BBC Top Gear" scriptwriter and "Evo" magazine journalist, rates the Pacer the third worst car out of 50.

Internet

The Pacer features in several lists solicited from the general public and published online, e.g.:
* MSNBC.com's 2005 "least-loved American autos". [ [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10139923/page/2/print/1/displaymode/1098/ MSNBC "Readers choose the least-loved American auto: Selection of the best comments on turkey cars from MSNBC.com readers" November 23, 2005.] Retrieved on March 30 2008.]
* Time.com's 2007 "50 Worst Cars of All Time". [ [http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/completelist/0,,1658545,00.html Neil, Dan "The 50 Worst Cars of All Time"TIME magazine", November 7 2007.] Retrieved on March 30 2008.]
* "The Most Questionable Car Designs of All Time", a 2007 non-scientific survey of policyholders with a major collector-car insurance company. [http://www.businessweek.com/autos/content/aug2007/bw20070823_780539.htm Palmeri, Christopher. "Revenge of the Nerd Cars" "Business Week". August 23, 2007] , retrieved on March 30, 2008.] [ [http://www.hagerty.com/NewsManager/templates/template3.aspx?articleid=1318&zoneid=52 Hagerty Insurance Agency "Top Ten Questionable Designs", August 2007] . Retrieved on March 30, 2008.]

Famous owners

Pacers have been owned by American country music artist Conway Twitty, French actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot, American auto racer Richard Petty and 2008 U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. [ [http://www.amcpacer.com/famous/owners.asp The Pacer Page "Famous Pacer Owners".] Retrieved on March 30, 2008.]

Collectibility

Now old enough to be a "classic car", the Pacer has come to be regarded in some quarters as a 1970s design icon. [ [http://www.american-motors.de/en/pacer/history/ "AMC Pacer History" American Motors] retrieved on March 29, 2008.] (According to Business Week magazine the 1970s were "infamous for disco, Watergate and some of the ugliest cars ever." [The article’s author was a child when the 1970s and the Pacer arrived because he won a "30 Under 30" award in 1991 when he was with Forbes magazine: [http://www.newsbios.com/30under30/Past%20Classes.htm "Past NewsBios 30 Under 30 award winners", "NewsBios, Home of the World’s Most Influential Journalists."] Retrieved on 01 July 2008.] )

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" [http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-3079093/Nerd-cars-capture-special-market.html "Nerd cars capture special market" Best's Review, July 1, 2003] , retrieved on May 5 2008.] - ugly 1970s-era cars [http://www.appeal-democrat.com/articles/cars_55713___article.html/hagerty_car.html "Eye of the beholder: Here’s a jaded look at some of the worst - yet somehow desirable - cars of all time" Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA) October 25, 2007] , retrieved on May 5 2008.] - prompted the CEO of a major collector-car insurance company [This pundit was a child when the Pacer was launched because The New York Times says that he was 38 years old in 2006. [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/01/business/smallbusiness/01hagerty.html?ex=1304136000&en=6961bf41d97aa4ec&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss Schneider, Keith. "Love Your Classic Car? They’ll Insure It for You", "New York Times", May 01 2006.] Retrieved on June 30 2008.] 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", [http://www.hagerty.com/NewsManager/templates/default.aspx?a=417&template=print-article.htm "Hagerty Insurance Announces Inaugural 'Nerd Car' Sweepstakes" November 17, 2002 - Hagerty Insurance] , retrieved on May 5 2008.] 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." (Author's emphasis.)della Cava, Marco R. "Born to be mild", "USA Today", March 29 2002.]

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. [http://www.roadking.com/story.php?id=308 Miller, Chuck. "Some people just can’t shake their habit of owning unloved 1970s vehicles" RoadKing, September/October 2007] , retrieved on May 10 2008.] 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. [ [http://www.american-motors.de/en/pacer/history/ "AMC Pacer History" "American-Motors" undated article] . Retrieved on May 12 2008.]

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. [Linden, Steve: "Car Collecting: Everything You Need to Know", Motorbooks 2008. ISBN 0760328099.]

Today the Pacer's originality - as well as its deficiencies - are appreciated, if not loved, by car hobbyists and serious collectors alike. [ [http://www.forbes.com/2002/05/06/0506feat_print.html Frank, Michael. "Covering Your Automotive Assets" Forbes, May 6, 2002] , retrieved on May 5 2008.]

Ownership support

There are many active AMC car clubs that welcome Pacers. New, used and reproduction parts are available.

References

;Inline;General
* [http://www.hemmings.com/hcc/stories/2005/03/01/hmn_feature30.html Patrick Foster, "American Motors' Pacer: A Piece of Tomorrow" Hemmings Classic Car - March 1, 2005] , Retrieved on: March 29 2008.
* [http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/bv/amc_pacer.htm Bill Vance, "AMC Pacer" Canadian Driver, January 13, 2004] , Retrieved on: March 29 2008.

External links

* [http://www.pacer.at Nice Pacer pictures and big parts list]
* [http://www.amcpacer.com amcpacer.com]
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20030811105111/http://www.classic-american.com/features/pacer/pacer.html Classic American magazine (UK) Pacer article (Internet Archive copy)]
* [http://www.american-motors.de/en/pacer/specs/ AMC Pacer specifications]
*


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  • AMC Matador — 1976 AMC Matador coupe Manufacturer American Motors Corporation Also called Rambler Matador (foreign markets) Production …   Wikipedia

  • AMC Matador — AMC AMC Matador Kombi (1972) Matador Hersteller: AMC Produktionszeitraum: 1971–1978 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pacer — Pacer, PACER or Pacers can refer to: PACER (law), a United States government legal documentation system standing for Public Access to Court Electronic Records PACER (fusion), 1970s nuclear power project at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the… …   Wikipedia

  • Pacer — steht für: Herzschrittmacher mehrere US amerikanische Automodelle: Edsel Pacer AMC Pacer ein Flugzeugmodell von Piper Aircraft, siehe Piper PA 20 Diese Seite ist eine Begriffs …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • AMC Ambassador — Ambassador Brougham Limousine (1973) mit 6,6 Liter V8 Der Ambassador war die größte PKW Baureihe, die die American Motors Corporation (AMC) in den Jahren 1958 bis 1974 herstellte. Der Wagen war bekannt als Rambler Ambassador, Ambassador V8 von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • AMC Marlin — Rambler Marlin Hersteller: American Motors Corporation Produktionszeitraum: 1965–1967 Vorgänger: Nachfolger …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • AMC Rambler — Rambler American Hersteller: American Motors Corporation Produktionszeitraum: 1958–1969 Vorgänger: Nash Rambler …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • AMC Straight-6 engine — The American Motors Corporation (AMC) straight 6 family of engines was used by a number of AMC and Jeep vehicles from 1964 through 2006.* For an outline of all engines used by AMC see main|AMC Engines195.6American Motors first straight six engine …   Wikipedia