It’s not every day you see a “flying fishbowl” out on the road.
American Motors Corporation, established as a standalone automaker beginning in 1954, became part of a Chrysler subsidiary in the late 1980s. One of the company’s subcompact models from the late-1970s will forever be ingrained in pop-culture: the Pacer.
This Pacer represents one of nearly 300,000 units sold between model years 1975 and 1980, and it appears to be well preserved for its age. “Beautiful condition inside and out. Winner in local, national shows,” the seller states.
The Pacer first debuted in 1975 AMC’s two-door subcompact. Its styling, positioning, and engineering attributes were unique for its time – especially considering the fact that other manufacturers were marketing large barges under a “bigger is better” mindset.
Finished in a Dark Ginger Metallic repaint, this Pacer’s body appears straight and rust-free in the gallery of over 60 photos accompanying the listing. Featured predominantly along with the car’s rounded shape was a large rear window area — the Pacer’s body surface was calculated to be 37% glass. Additionally, in the interest of passenger ingress and egress, the passenger door was four inches longer than the driver’s door.
AMC reportedly designed this car from the inside-out, making the cabin as compact as possible while still offering ample room for four adult occupants. The seller calls this a “sweet interior” and says that it’s free of dash cracks. The seat fabric is a basketry print with brown accents over a white base that evokes a sort of Southwestern vibe.
Controversial styling aside, the Pacer was well thought out. Servicing of the dashboard and instrument panel for bulb replacement required removal of just a few screws, and powering this space-age economy car was a tested-and-proven American Motors inline-six paired with a column-shifted three-speed automatic transmission. The seller states that the car runs great and has cold air conditioning.
The Pacer has enjoyed its share of time in the pop-culture spotlight over the years. One of its most noteworthy appearances was in the 1992 movie “Wayne’s World” featuring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey. The 1976 Pacer featured in the film was outfitted with chrome wheels, flame decals, and a licorice dispenser. Decades later, the movie feature car was restored and sold in 2016 at Barrett-Jackson in Las Vegas for $37,000.
The seller is asking just $16,900 or best offer for this Pacer, although it doesn’t include a licorice dispenser.