Monday, September 29, 2014

10k: Pacer of the Apocalypse: 1978 AMC Pacer Restomod

The Pacer was a poorly built hatchback from the waning years of AMC's existence on this planet and would have totally rusted into the collective garbage heaps of America if not for the iconic appearance as the preferred ride of two rockers named Wayne and Garth in the groundbreaking SNL skit-crossover-feature movie Wayne's World (actually, Blues Brothers beat Wayne's World to the big screen by a decade, but we aren't talking cop motor/cop shock combinations today).  Today's Pacer is no Mirthmobile or ordinary example; it looks more like the Pace Car of the Apocalypse. Find this 1978 AMC Pacer Restomod offered for $9,900 reserve-not-met on eBay, with 2 days to go, located in Detroit, MI.

This Pacer has been thoroughly restomodded by its current owner.  It represents a great chunk of the previous owner's money, far greater than the current bidding price, but the price should still cause a double take.  Almost 10 large for a Pacer?  That's what she said.  

The original 304 cubic inch  V8 was pulled out and replaced with a 401 cubic inch V8 that has been massaged majorly from the original 200ish horsepower to something on the order of 400 horsepower if the tuning is done right.  The V8 actually fits easily in the Pacer because it was an oddly wide car that featured the width of a full sized car in a compact package.  Party on Garth!

The view from the back seat is positively Bohemian,  and the black face gauges only hint at the Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader transformation this car has been through. One last thought, that shifter, shhhwing!!

See another car that looks more like a Porsche 928 having an allergic reaction?


  1. I totally love this and would cherish some time driving this to work and for fun. I'd have to change the wheels finish to something darker but man oh man this car has to be a riot!

  2. Faith in humanity restored.

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  4. This car seems to be very nice, it's been around and about the intertubes for a while. No fan of slapper bars, and us Californians can forget ever getting this thing past the smogpolizei. Otherwise, done really well.

    To me, the Pacer was a great design. I like big windows, I like low beltlines, I like short hoods. Makes finding a new car I can tolerate almost impossible these days, but that's another story.

    The translation of the shape to production was, of course, a disaster, compromised by a litany of factors almost too long to list (AMC had no money to do a really modern platform e.g. the Golf/Rabbit of the same period, the rotary engine for it failed, the US auto industry's production standards of the time involved a crew of militant UAW stoners taking some rusting sheetmetal from the back room and spotwelding it into something that looked vaguely like a car, then pissing sometihng badly approximating paint onto the result)

    I remember back in the early '80s riding in a friend's Pacer and the top of the dash (metal, in front of the pad) was rusting, so it's almost amazing that there's as many survivors as there are.

    The Pacer still attracts some interest these days - the fact that it was designed around huge and heavy AMC powertrains means that the ratio of engine-bay size to vehicle size is pretty impressive, I'd love to see one with a GM LSA - I'd bet that if AMC had managed to scrape together money for a modern FWD tin-can it'd have been completely forgotten by now.

  5. They wore out the comments on BaT for this is a great job on a bad orphan.

  6. I love this car!! It has caused me to look for old surviving Pacers to do a similar treatment. Don't care that much about the power...just love the clean sleak look!

  7. My family owned many AMC products, including many Ambassadors, a Rambler station wagon, a Hornet wagon that we didn't keep long due to an u fortunate incident with a grocery truck, and finally- three beloved Pacers.
    A 1976 X model, a 1975 D/L that survived my high school years unscathed except for a valve cover gasket and finally- a 1979 D/L wagon- fire engine red- that was in our family over 25 years.
    Great cars, cheap to fix and great on gas.

  8. where can i Watch X-Men Apocalypse


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