1975 AMC Pacer

1975 AMC Pacer


The 1975 AMC Pacer, the car that spawned the era of "smart cars" and became the automotive synonym for "loser."

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Nothing wrong with the Pacer, it was a perfectly good car for it's era, comfortable, reasonably reliable and with plenty of room inside.

Now if you REALLY want a car that's a synonym for loser try a Chevy Vega with a Powerglide (2 speed!) automatic. There you have a slow car with an engine that self destructs if it gets too hot, gets rotten mileage, and had virtually no rust protection so the thing would dissolve around you.

The chief thing I remember about the Pacer was it being a greenhouse.

Yes, it WAS a bit of a greenhouse.

Maybe AMC should have done what Studebaker did with their Starlight Coups in the early 50's and offered venetian blinds!

The Pacer & 74 Corvette were designed to use the "new" rotary Wankel engine that GM had licened to produce. The Wankel engine had lots of power but were not fuel efficent or "clean". The oil embargo (& rising fuel prices) caused GM to "shelf" the Wankel engine. This caused AMC to "shoe horn" their inline-6 into the Pacer. VERY difficult to work on & changed the weight distribution ratio. This caused an unstable ride.

The 74 Vette was designed as a "mid-engine" supercar. It was not produced & 75 delayed because GM had to redesign car for use of its front mounted V8 engine.

If the Wankel had been produced, both of these cars would have been a "game changer" for the American auto industry.

As I recall the car we got to know as the Monza (and it's Pontiac sibling the Sunbird) were supposed to have that rotary engine.

I don't think there was anything wrong with the weight distribution of the Pacer, yes the engine was a big further back then in a normal car but if anything a front mid engine design (which is sort what that is) would be more stable than a conventional car.

The Monza is a couple of cars ahead in this gallery.

Why so it is.

I'm no Chevy fan but those were nice looking cars, as was the Sunbird.