Friday, February 16, 2018

Pacer Memories or A Visit to The PX: 1976 AMC Pacer X

To close out the week, we'd like to share with you a bit of old-school car sales knowledge and Pacer memories from our resident ex-dealer, Hunsbloger. Huns starts by saying: "The worst part about looking at this horribly vague ad is that it dredges up memories that I wish had stayed buried." Find this 1976 AMC Pacer X with rare manual trans option in Anchorage, AK for $3,500 via craigslist. Tip from Zach Z.

Hunsbloger explains that the "X" was basically a sticker and bucket seats package, but most Pacers already had the buckets. Sooo...yay, stickers? The real oddity with this particular car for sale is the manual transmission which must have made it into only a small fraction of total Pacer sales. We will let him take the story from here.

"When one was charged with selling Pacers, Matadors, and Hornets/Concordes, about all you had as a selling tool for features on a Pacer were..
  • Huge passenger side door that made it easier to get kids into the ridiculously bad back seat, where they were surrounded by glass which tended to make the vinyl incredibly hot after parking it in a K-Mart parking lot in August in Oklahoma
  • Easy to see out of...(re-read comment about how hot it was)
You walk your customer out to the car, open the door and the fumes of melting plastic abound! You open the door and start talking immediately about how capable the air conditioner is!! You unlock only the drivers door, step in, start the car and the air conditioner, pop the hood release and exit the vehicle to start your 'walk around'  You start at the back of the car by opening up the hatchback to release a torrent of hot air.. you leave it open."

"You then walk to the front and open the hood for the dad to stare at the abundance of 1976 vacuum hoses, you excuse yourself to the back of the car to close the hatchback (to verify the A/C is starting to do its job). Having delayed the fun for as long as you can, you pull the car out from between other cars so that they don't ding the car next to it with the HUGE oversized passenger's door!"

"Once back in the car, you are hit with the realization that everyone is wearing polyester (it's 1976 after all) and it may very well melt.  Arriving at a driver-switch spot, you exit the driver's side, climb into the back seat and let Dad enjoy the power of the AMC inline six and the incredible stability of a car that's nearly as wide as it is long. Once dazzled by the handling, you direct them back to the dealership where they sign the loan papers and you prepare the car for delivery. As you wave goodbye, you realize that you've successfully sold a Pacer....and your soul...all in one transaction!"

Find a better memory dredger? email us here:


  1. Excellent reminiscence from Hunsbloger (I never noticed there was a "G" missing). Thanks for a good read, a good laugh, and good reminder of how awful it really was in the "Malaise Era".

  2. Excellent description of the sales tactics required to move those Pacers. The references to the heat reminded me of the Winnebago Man (angriest, polyester wearin',fly swattin'hungover in the heat salesman ever)

    1. Love the Winnebago Man! Never gets old.

      "...I f**cked up the word 'rear'..."

  3. What great fun car and story line - a complementary write-up is offered by WIKI at

    AMC certainly tried hard to be different and were probably just short of cash to really solve some probs. Alternate power source conceived included the rotary and electric - not bad for a car designed from the inside out - just seat four people & wrap them up - done, Greg


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.