Baby Got Back! 1978 AMC Pacer V8 Wagon

“Oh, My Gosh, Becky…Look…It’s Just So Big!” Perhaps modern poet and original rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot was ogling a ’78 Pacer Wagon when he penned his famous lyrics. This beauty has certainly got it all – a big back, mag wheels, power, and a mix and match seventies interior. This muscle relic is almost painfully hipster, but certain to turn heads with a bit of elbow grease to get her going. Found here on eBay, it’s an H code 304 which means it’s a small block V8 known for get up and go. Thanks to Jon for this tip!

If you’re a purist, you’ll probably simply sell the “…Carl Green fiberglass wide body kits made specific for the V8 Pacer wagon…” that the seller pictures, but if you want to trick this bad boy out to pure retro history – you’ll bring out your inner Alex Toth paint theme. Add the body kit, a wild paint job and you’ll have something truly eye catching.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exclusive to ’78 – this version is D/L was deluxe at the time, which means it had extra’s like faux wooden dash, rear wiper, and super plush seats (the passenger front looks to be original here).  But like an aging disco beauty, it’s about how you look outside, not the health inside. And with dragster inspired 5 hole mags and (…wait for it…) double barreled side exhausts – she does look beautiful.

Lastly, this ’78 comes with Junk in the Trunk. Literally. A picture clearly shows a period original aftermarket chrome spoked steering wheel, bug-eye mesh covers, and tons of DL trim. If you’re looking for a bit of automotive history that Road and Track in 1975 called “bold, clean and unique…even when it’s going 60 mph it looks as if it’s standing still…”, then this big backed beauty might just be the one!

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Comments

  1. OA5599

    Certainly not the best looking, but I bet she has a great personality.

    • williamcleary

      Square car with round headlights!:-(

    • Doug

      I wouldn’t kick her out of my garage!

  2. irocrobb

    I always thought sidepipes looked so damn tacky.Unless they were on a 1967 427 Vette

  3. XMA0891

    I hate to admit that I saw this on ebay yesterday and was hoping it would wind up here. I have an admitted soft-spot for Pacer Wagons. I’d never heard of, or seen, the Carl Green fiberglass Wide Body Kits, and was happy to see a period-photo included. It is probably an automatic, but this car pushes all of the other buttons: Side pipes, V8, two doors, roof racks. Love it! If I had a million dollars…

  4. Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

    Welcome Garr! Great title! Love it. Nice find –with the V8– and great write-up! Who sat around crushing Old Milwaukee cans and said “A wide-body kit for the Pacer – brilliant!”?

  5. redwagon

    these were very different when introduced and i can remember standing on the street corner for crossing guard duty watching for the ‘normal’ non-wagon body style. iirc the wagon was introduced sometime later.

    early versions suffered from weak ac and lots of glass making them very warm. the raised hood up front indicates a v8 – likely the 304. never realized it until now but this looks a lot like a bloated gremlin from the side. intriguing in its quirkiness but not something i would want to dd, or weekend drive.

    • Doug

      The raised hood actually just means it’s a later model. You’re nearly right that it was added in order to make room for the V8, but any ’78 and later Pacer would have one. The only V8 offered was the 304.

  6. Rube Goldberg

    Nicest Pacer yet. While the coupe always looked top heavy, the wagon seemed to even that out. Not sure how many wagons were sold, but few remain like this.

  7. ulm210

    Ahhh… the Pacer Wagon. My Grand Parents had one. I remember sitting in the way back driving north on Lake Shore Drive watching the Playboy sign fade in the distance with Boz Scaggs’ “Lido Shuffle” playing on WLS…

  8. Darrun

    I had a 1975 back in 83. It was fun to drive, and even then people wanted to stop you and talk about it. I bought a 78 model in 1990 that had the V8. Pulled the engine for another project and junked the rest. That’s one of those things that I regret from my days gone by, but by no means the worst car related mistake I ever made. In the 80’s there was tons of cars junked just for the engine.

    This one is near by, so at the current bid, I couldn’t resist jumping in. I expect it to go for three times the current bid. Maybe I’m wrong and in a few more days, if I’m still the high bidder, I’m sure I’ll be asking myself: What was I thinking? But,as in Ebay auctions past, I’ll hook up the trailer and head out to claim my prize. All the while kicking myself for lack of self control. LOL

    • Neal

      I want to be you someday. With a trailer.
      :)

  9. XMA0891

    The Wayback of a Pacer Wagon and the “Lido Shuffle” – All of a sudden the Seventies weren’t all that bad…

  10. JW

    Not a fan of the Pacer but this one I wouldn’t mind in my garage, as far as the 70’s era some of my best memories are from that time and I wouldn’t trade them for the mess we have now.

  11. AMCFAN

    This has all the makings for a truly amazing build. It’s hard to get everything in a unique car all in one package. Solid car. V8 engine, low production and extra hard to find parts. Not to mention the chance to purchase a real Carl Greene body kit. These were used on the factory IMSA cars as well as sold to customizers back in the day. They were hardly advertised at all by AMC Wowzer indeed!

    I once had a V8 Pacer wagon in the early 1980’s a 1979 Limited that a friends mom bought new and traded it in on a K car. I found out about it and ran to the dealer and bought it. Even then it had serious rust on the quarters that amazingly the above car does not have any sign of. It was a sleeper for sure. Gen III Firebirds and Camaros were no match. It handled very well. My car had about everything known to man, Leather upholstery power everything even a factory installed CB. The window sticker on my car if I remember was around $9200 retail. To put that into perspective in 1979 the base Corvette was around $10,500. I was told that the local AMC dealer ordered it for his wife and sold it as a demo.

    Shortly after I got it I installed a new set of Good Year Eagle ST’s and drove it to Union Grove Wisconsin to a NAMDRA meet (National American Motors Drag Racers Association) Sponsored by Old Style (for you beer drinkers) I parked the Pacer early in the show field as I wasn’t too far from the racing action. I came back later and in astonishment there was a crowd around my Pacer the only one there out of about 100 or so cars mostly Javelin and AMX. I was parked next to a Hornet SC/360 (one of only 750 made) and no one seemed to notice. Most were from ‘The Motors” assembly in Kenosha and everyone thought it to be a unicorn. I didn’t know what to think. Someone told me that AMC spent millions on tooling for the V8 and sadly hardly any were made.Had several offers to trade for a 2 seat AMX while there. I knew what I had but the trip home and any drive after that was a proud moment for sure. Back home no one had any idea what they were looking at. Later sold it in the 1990’s where it had been parked in my parents garage and my father who is a GM guy wanted it gone. I placed an ad in Hemmings and had over 40 calls in a week which he fielded and couldn’t believe the interest. It wasn’t until an enclosed trailer showed up that he got it and finally had an appreciation of what it was.

    Brings back lots of good memories. Great find

    • Hide Behind

      If one ants a good car show that has unique tin then watch for AMC National show and swapmeet.
      You will be surprised by variety of autos little known by todays car nuts.
      Do not be surprised if there are some Nash, in fact the early Americans were called Nash Ramblers.
      Do you guys know in (I think 1957) AMC Sedan was US fastest top end car made.

  12. EJB

    Back in the day I had a job pumping gas at the local service station. One of my co-workers Mom had a Pacer. I was very surprised at how much gas that thing could hold. She used to put 30 gallons in at a fill.

  13. Madmatt

    Great story AMC fan!
    Thanks for sharing! I always liked Pacers,
    my uncle had one, My dad had one for a short while,
    it was also the first car
    that I ever Drove appx 1980–I was 12yrs old!LOL.,
    I would definitely Dark tint the windows on that wagon,
    as these Pacers were sun domes on wheels,
    and you could get heat stroke in the back area,
    if you were caught by a train.!

  14. whippeteer

    Non-running, body kit is extra.

  15. gaspumpchas

    Didn’t know they installed a v8–that body was designed for a rotary engine that fizzled and they installed the straight 6–that was enough of a bear to work on!! Would be a gas to blow off somebody at a light with a pacer the 6 cyl version couldn’t pull a sick whore off a piss pot! Good luck to the new owner!!

  16. Gary

    You know I bet those wagons would look pretty cool if the side windows in the back were paneled in

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