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60k Original Miles: 1975 AMC Pacer D/L

The AMC Pacer has its own dedicated band of enthusiasts, and there would be plenty of them that would like the look of this 1975 Pacer D/L. This is an original survivor that is in excellent condition. If you do happen to be one of those merry supporters looking for a vehicle to add to your collection, this has to be worth a serious look. It is located in Roseville, California, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $9,200, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

The Pacer is one of those cars where a specific color can make the difference between a vehicle that grabs your attention and one that you wouldn’t give so much as a passing glance. Medium Blue is definitely one of the better colors, and it is what this car wears. The paint holds a beautiful shine, and it is free from significant defects. It would seem that the car has spent its life in California, and that has helped it to remain rust-free. The panels are clean, and there are no signs of any dings or dents. The trim and chrome are in good condition, with everything being present and shiny. Given the enormous amount of glass that AMC blessed the Pacer with, the fact that the original owner ordered this one with tinted glass was a wise move. The D/L package brought several cosmetic improvements to the Pacer. One of these is the full hubcaps. These are a classy looking item, and the ones on this car appear to be in excellent condition.

The 1975 Pacer was not what you would call a muscle car, but this one should be a competent performer. It features the 258ci 6-cylinder engine, which is hooked to a 3-speed manual transmission. This one was also ordered with power steering and power front disc brakes. The 258 would be producing 110hp, which means that it had some work to do getting the 3,190lb Pacer up and moving. The result is a ¼ mile ET of 19.1 seconds. However, give it enough room, and it has the potential to wind its way to 108mph. It might not be a bitumen burner, but it would still be a very competent freeway cruiser. I’m quite surprised that the owner provides no information on how well the Pacer runs or drives. If the appearance of the engine bay is indicative, then the news should be quite positive. He does include a large folder of documentation for the vehicle. This includes service records and the original Build Sheet. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was evidence to verify the claim that the car has covered a genuine 60,000 miles.

One of the weaker points of the Pacer was the interior trim. The 1970s was not a decade where trim longevity was at its best. The Pacer copped a double whammy in this area because those enormous expanses of glass meant that the trim tended to be exposed to more UV rays than most of its contemporaries. This Pacer would seem to be an exception to that rule. The interior trim has survived remarkably well, with no major problems. The plastic is in good condition, and there are no signs of any cracks on the dash or pad. There is some slight “dirtying” on the driver’s door trim, but I suspect this could be cleaned. The owner has added a clock, along with an AM/FM stereo radio. The most significant addition has been the glass sunroof. This is fitted with a wind deflector, and that should keep buffeting to a minimum. One addition that I don’t care much for is the console. Its condition isn’t up to the standard of the rest of the trim. It is also off-center, and I would probably be inclined to “lose” that item.

The D/L Package brought with it what the Build Sheet refers to as Basketry Print fabric and vinyl upholstery. This graces the seats and the door trims. The seats look excellent for a vehicle of this age. There is some wear on the outer edge of the driver’s seat, but this is insignificant. The cloth itself is in excellent condition, and there aren’t any signs of stains or splits. The carpet and headliner also look extremely good.

I have heard some people refer to the Pacer as a goldfish bowl on wheels, and I think that this is unkind. I admit that the styling doesn’t appeal to everyone, but it represents another example of the daring styling that AMC was willing to undertake with so many of its offerings. Whether you love them or hate them, the Pacer is a vehicle that has found its feet in the classic car market. Values have increased by a whopping 30% over the last 5-years, and prices of $15,000 or more for good examples is not unprecedented. Given the overall condition of this one, I wouldn’t be surprised if it threatened that figure. If it sells for less, there is the possibility that someone will have scored themselves a pretty decent buy.


  1. angliagt angliagt

    Wonder why it doesn’t have it’s original plates?
    Would have been Blue/Gold plates.

    Like 3
    • alphasud Member

      Vehicle was probably bought out of the state. Although my 71 Beetle was a Cali car from new and it had reissued plates. I never found out why.

      Like 0
    • Mike

      In California it’s a good idea to get new plates when you buy a used car from a stranger. Otherwise you could be pulled over for unpaid tickets, etc. from the previous owner.

      Like 1
    • Geoff

      Ebay ad says car was an original California car (3 yrs) that spent 30 years in Minnesota. It has been extensively detailed but given it history it would have been nice to see its under carriage. Still it looks clean and solid and the sales price of 12k does not seem out of line for this quirky bit Americana.

      Like 0
  2. alphasud Member

    It’s sad AMC couldn’t make it. Their lack of finances gave the company grit determination. Somewhere in a parallel universe there is a pacer that did get the Wankel engine and the Wankel was long lived and fuel efficient. And AMC had the financial reserves of the big three and were able to meet the production demand while still maintaining quality. And in that parallel universe they are poking fun at all the other cars of the 70’s with their silly 3 box designs.

    Like 10
    • chrlsful

      several things there would have me wanna live there, shame, no?

      Like 0
  3. Cadmanls Member

    Design was pretty bold, two different size doors all that visibility and even had plans for the Wankel. This is a good looking example other than the dreaded aftermarket sunroof. It’s hard to go back after that hack.

    Like 1
  4. mark

    I had a retired dentist friend that bought a new Pacer the first month they were out.

    Silver. Black upholstery. Dog dish hubcaps

    He died about 1990. The car had 30,000 miles.

    He traded in a 1972 Buick Electra 225. His wife picked out the Buick.

    Never met his son. Wish I had.

    Father and son went car shopping for dads new car in 1964.

    Son got an order form and proceeded to spec out a new Pontiac

    Doc was driving a triple black 64 Pontiac GTO, automatic. Dog dish hubcaps and Tiger Paw redstripe tires when I met him in 1968

    Like 3
  5. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Just for fun, google “pacer restomod” and look what can be done with one of these.

    Like 0
  6. Joe

    Those aren’t wheel covers but styled rims. Upholstery is called Navajo.

    Like 4
  7. ACZ

    The ancestor of the current “crossover”.

    Like 0
  8. Jasper

    Flattering colors! Cool interior. Colors and trim were make it or break it on these. I suppose the sunroof is at least period correct. Those nice looking wheels are actually plastic wheel covers.

    Like 1
  9. JolietJake Member

    Party on, Garth !!!

    Like 2
  10. Louis Chen

    This BF is a Gem! I’m in one of those group that like the AMC cars…”Yep it’s a Matador” All 6 of us all owned at one time or another had Gremlins, Pacer, Matador, AMC/Renault Encore, Alliances. Too bad Big Bad Chrysler bought i and killed it! It was similar to the French Citroen cars….designs were “Avant Garde” for it’s time-Pacer= Porsche 928….Gremlin= Toyota FX 16…. I hope Roy Chapin is resting peacefully in his grave! R.I.P. Roy…

    Like 1
  11. JoeNYWF64

    I guess the fragile plastic trim between the bumpers & body was simply “punched out”, rather than take off the bumpers & try to repaint.
    Not sure what AMC was thinking here, making the roof that high – no practical benefit – except if they wanted to sell more – to very tall people in the NBA? lol
    Just lowering the roof to the highest point of the optional front vent widows would result in a much better looking car.
    Plus also makin a sport version with 401 like this(minus the rear spoiler)
    i bet would have sold a LOT more cars! Big mistake!
    I believe the Pacer was the smallest car ever fitted with hidden wipers!!

    Like 1
  12. K. R. V.

    There are some very unusual things about these cars other than looks. Like the passenger door being a few inches longer, to help get in the rear seat. I had been led to believe, at a local AMC dealer I walked an rode my bike to in Pawtucket R.I., where I used to go an dream of owning an AMX, where the sales manager told me AC was standard on a new Pacer, due to all the glass area! Of course there were no more real AMX’s in the showroom anymore by that time!

    Like 1
  13. coolcarzmike coolcarzmike Member

    This car was sold last February at the McCormick auction in Palm Springs for $10,335. plus fees. Doesn’t look like anything has been done to it since. Really nice car. The original listing is here: https://www.classic-carauction.com/auction-results?auctionnbr=68&auctionid=11181

    Like 2
  14. Mitchell Ross Member

    This may be the nicest Pacer around, Well worth 15k. That engine compartment, just wow!

    Like 0
  15. Dale S.

    I owned a 1975 Pacer in this exact marina blue color. It was the base model that I purchased used in 1977 with 25,000 miles on it. It had the vent window option too, which gives the roof line the look of being lower than it actually is. The other rare options were blue color matching seat belts, blue body color sport mirror that you could adjust from inside the car, full wheel covers, AM radio, a 258 6 cyl. motor, power steering, and an automatic transmission. I was seriously thinking about bidding on this Pacer, but the after market sunroof, and manual 3 speed were two negatives I couldn’t overlook.

    Like 1
    • JoeNYWF64

      Anyone notice how far back that shifter is mounted & how low/stubby it is?! I would think the aftmkt console might get in the way – i guess it can be pushed back when driving.

      Like 1
  16. chrlsful

    this one’s good! (No go, tho, cuz the waggy really gets it).
    Can’t even get that fabric any more – I looked…1 bolt left

    Like 0

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