BF Auction: 1977 AMC Pacer

Sold for $6,000View Result

  • Seller: Susan B ranco
  • Location: Naples, Florida
  • Mileage: 164,262 Shown
  • Chassis #: A7C667C154597
  • Title Status: Clean

UPDATE – The seller has added a video testing the car’s A/C system.

Over the past decade or two, interest in oddball cars has taken off. It’s easy to see why, in a world where all cars are more or less the same, oddities like the AMC Pacer and Gremlin truly stand out. It also helps that lots of people daily drove these unique machines as teenagers! This example has been parked in the seller’s garage for the past 20+ years, but before that, it was their daily driver. It’s recently been treated to a full tune-up and is running and driving great again, but it’s time for it to go to a new home where it can be enjoyed. It’s located in Naples, Florida, and is being offered here as a BF Auction.

The seller purchased the car in 1989. At that point, it was treated to a fresh coat of paint and was gone through to ensure it would be a reliable driver. The work that was done at that time included: a new rack & pinion, a rebuilt transmission, new brakes, ball joints, shocks, a starter, and anything else that needed to be replaced. Once all that work was completed, it was put into service as a daily driver. After 10 years of faithful service, it was retired to the garage where it has stayed ever since. The seller kept it registered, insured, and started it occasionally over the past two decades while in storage, but they’ve realized this Pacer would be better served with someone who will drive and enjoy it.

Getting it going again was a straightforward task. It received a full tune-up, including new spark plugs and wires. Everything is said to work as it should, but they haven’t tested the A/C, which was still using R12 when it was parked. They state that the A/C worked great when it was parked, but by now there’s a good chance all the refrigerant is gone. A shop that specializes in A/C repair should be able to service the system and either convert it to R134 or recharge it with R12. Given how much of the body’s surface is glass, having working A/C is recommended if you plan on driving it in the summer heat.

During its production run, the Pacer was offered with a few engine options starting with a 232 cui six and going up to a 304 cui V8. This example received the optional high-output six-cylinder, the 258 cui. The 304 V8 might offer more grunt, but this engine offered 114 hp, 190 ft-lbs of torque, was very smooth running, and most importantly has proven to be very durable. The odometer is currently showing 64,262 miles, but the seller states the mileage is 164k miles. While not low mileage, this engine likely has a lot of life left in it. There’s no word what the mileage was when the transmission was done, but as long as it’s currently working properly, it should be good to go. Its next owner will want to inspect the front suspension and steering rack, just to make sure it doesn’t need service. Because of the Pacers’ design and inline engine, the car is front-heavy and was known to wear out steering racks, ball joints, and shocks.

The interior is in good condition, especially considering the mileage. It would seem that it has been well cared for from new. One of the Pacer’s top selling points was just how much interior space it offered compared to other compact cars on the market. The rear seats aren’t particularly large, but the high roof line means adults can ride in the back in relative comfort.

The seller has provided videos of the engine starting and running. Some additional parts are included with the car. They’ve also provided photos of any rust issues they are aware of. While these spots should be addressed sooner than later, they shouldn’t keep the car off the road. This looks like a fun and interesting project for anyone wanting a unique classic. With minimal work, you could have a driver that will draw attention everywhere it goes! If you have any questions for the seller, please leave them in the comments.

Bid On This Auction

Sold for: $6,000
Register To Bid
Ended: Feb 22, 2024 10:00am MDT
Winner: AriiTane
  • Avatar photo
    AriiTane
    bid $6,000.00  2024-02-21 20:06:53
  • Avatar photo
    Tinka bid $5,100.00  2024-02-20 10:47:28
  • Avatar photo
    AriiTane bid $5,000.00  2024-02-19 23:17:02
  • Avatar photo
    Greg B
    bid $3,300.00  2024-02-19 17:43:42
  • Avatar photo
    Detroit Rock City bid $3,200.00  2024-02-19 16:02:58
  • Avatar photo
    Greg B bid $3,000.00  2024-02-16 18:21:29
  • Avatar photo
    AMC ConceptVan
    bid $2,500.00  2024-02-16 17:30:36
  • Avatar photo
    Greg B bid $2,000.00  2024-02-15 16:44:03
  • Avatar photo
    G.Gwiner bid $1,500.00  2024-02-15 12:06:39
  • Avatar photo
    Greg B
    bid $1,000.00  2024-02-15 11:25:35

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Ted

    I had mentioned that I had 1975 Pacer X, manual 3 speed and no air. As mentioned in the auction, with all that glass, I suffered during the summer. These are quirky! You either loved them or hated them! I miss mine! I see one posted for sale in the next town and I am tempted to check it out. I will be watching this auction as well! GLWTA

    Like 9
    • Avatar photo Terrry

      I’ve never sat in one, but I’d bet you have a good view all around, in traffic. That’s the opposite of the Gremlin, which has a good sized blind spot.

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo Mark Switzer

        A most unusual car ! I think AMC was trying to leap too far into the future with this most unusual body design . The Pacer was not produced very long , and by 1980 all production ended . I just can’t picture the young teen crowd owning one of these ! Ramblers did have their followers , and you either loved them or hated them . Same with Studebakers. Hopefully this car will go to a new home soon . Happy Motoring !

        Like 8
      • Avatar photo Gary James Lehman

        Terrry,
        The rear sail panel on the Gremlin was not very large between the glass and the body. Rear visibility was not bad.

        Like 4
  2. Avatar photo Greg B Member

    I recently sold a ‘77 but I wanted to replace the front windshield. They don’t remake them and finding an NOS front windshield is like finding a needle in a hey stack. I had paid over $1,000 plus careful shipping from YouShip for another $350, plus a few hundred dollars for removal and insulation.

    Questions for the seller:

    Are there any chips, or cracks in any of the glas?
    Where is the rust located?

    Thank you,
    Greg

    Like 8
    • Avatar photo Seller

      The glass is in very good shape and I believe to be original? The windshield has a pPg logo and labeled “Sunshade Solex Duplate Laminated Safety Float”. There is a fine1.5” scratch on the Passenger side of the windshield. There are no cracks anywhere. There is a small chip the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen on the rear driver side. There is some minor wiper blade wear only visible if you get very close to the outside windshield and not visible from the inside (see the exterior whindshield /dash photo). The car has factory tinted glass and also had a professional after market tint application years ago that still looks good from the outside but should be removed or replaced.

      The minor rust spots are on the lower passenger door visible in the photo. The rear bumper has some blistered chrome (visible in the photos) and there is some rust around the inside of the rear hatch.The floors are solid & appear to have factory undercoating.

      Like 10
      • Avatar photo Greg B Member

        Susan (Seller),

        I am assuming that the tires are more than 10 years of age. Do you know just how old the tires are and if it needs any front end work such as ball joints, bushings, shocks, and an alignment?

        Is the radio original and also work as it should? Is it AM/FM/8 Track? Speakers work properly?

        Does the heating, and defrost, and horn all function properly?

        Sorry to ask all this but repairs add up and I’m one of those guys that like things working properly.

        Was it in a covered garage all these years?

        Greg

        Like 1
      • Avatar photo Seller

        Greg,
        The tires are more than 10yrs old, the fronts have very little mileage on them and are 205 R75x14 (oversized for the weight of this model).
        The rear tires & spare are older & need to be replaced (they hold air & will suffice for shipping). The shocks & alignment also have very little mileage (maybe 5k?). The suspension feels tight and the car still handles well, and stays level on tight curves. Re: parts, I do have some spares that we purchased just to have when parts were getting hard to find (this was our 3rd Pacer), including a new set of lower ball joints, the uppers seem to last forever. I was planning to include a box of spares w/the car but I need to inventory what I have.
        The original radio was an AM/FM stereo. It was upgraded w/ a Jensen AM/FM w/cassette that works well, the speakers were also upgraded w/the radio. I do have the original radio and another w/an 8-track that could go w/the car? Also the owners manual for the car & Jensen radio.
        Heating, Defrost & Horn all work, both Horns were replaced & still sound like new. It also has a rear window defroster that works. The AC compressor was also replaced yrs ago and I’m temped to try it.
        Re: Garage, it was garaged since we purchased it in ’89 but was used daily for work so it did get exposed to sun & rain during the week. I bought this car in Florida so I don’t think it was ever exposed to snow or salted roads.
        I’m planning to take it for a ride and upload a video of it on the road.
        I appreciate the questions (and will reply if you have more). We relate to “things working properly “

        Like 1
    • Avatar photo JoeNYWF64

      So much for the Safelite TV jingle. You won’t be seeing a Pacer in any of their tv commercials
      & a crack in a ’64 firebird IV or GM-X Stiletto windshield would give them a seizure.

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo Ted

        And also beware as this glass replacement business (at least in my area) may not “calibrate” a beer car’s windshield to the factory norm. My good friend had her 2017 Prius front windshield replaced from them as an insurance claim and they told her that she needed to take it to a dealership to get that service completed at her cost! She voiced her concerns with the manager who did the final adjustments on his own. So, speak up for proper service!

        Like 0
      • Avatar photo Ted

        How the hell did I type “beer car”?? Meant to type “new car”!
        Fat fingers on a tiny iPhone keypad!
        As a side note, I just had a tiny 1/4 inch “star” chip filled in from this business. The chip looks better, but not as advertised. Does anyone know of a self done repair kit product or business that it will make it appear “like new”? I will assume that there “ain’t no such animal” on the market. Thanks for any feedback!

        Like 1
  3. Avatar photo MoparDoug

    Ahh, the Pacer. I have to admit, I thought these were kinda cool, but never really cared for the station wagon model. A family man in my hometown bought one of these new when they first came out. He traded in a turquoise with black vinyl top and interior with a 383 1969 Dodge Charger for it. YIKES!

    Like 8
    • Avatar photo RoadDog

      Betcha he got took on the trade-in value. I wonder if he wishes he could get a mulligan on that deal.

      Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Terrry

    Have to give the seller credit for not trying to pawn this car off as having “only 64k miles”, and I like Pacers and Gremlins. If he wasn’t across the country I’d consider looking at this. BTW the 232 and 258 were precursors to the 4.0L Jeep motor, which is nearly indestructible.

    Like 11
  5. Avatar photo ALKY

    Very unique cars indeed for sure and rare in this condition. I had a friend who had one and he actually stuffed a 350 V8 chev. engine in it. It was radical beyond belief ….tal;k about a sleeper, except for the sound.

    Like 3
  6. Avatar photo JoeNYWF64

    Interesting that the tailpipe goes UNDER the rear axle! – is that stock?
    Would look a lot better with a lower roof – why so high? I bet the roof would clear a 7 footer’s head!
    I didn’t realize these have rack & pinion steering! – the only such AMC car to have it that year – i wonder why.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo That AMC Guy

      Yes, that’s the stock setup for the tailpipe, under the rear axle. I guess there’s not enough suspension travel for the axle to clobber it.

      Pacers were equipped with rack-and-pinion steering because there was no room for the steering box and linkage used by other AMC models.

      Like 6
      • Avatar photo Michael Tischler

        I flew from Philadelphia to Tampa in 1976,my cousin had just bought a new Pacer and she let me drive to Disney.
        Fact : the passenger door was longer than the drivers door.

        Like 8
      • Avatar photo BrianT Member

        I had two 75s. The manual rack and pinion in one had play in it. I got a rebuild kit which included a few fiber sleeves, a couple bearings and some crush washers (I think, this was quite a while ago). It was easy to rebuild and all the play was gone.

        Like 6
      • Avatar photo RoadDog

        I recall reading that the Pacer was designed to use a GM Wankel rotary engine under development at that time. GM scrapped the project, so that left AMC scrambling to fit an alternative. That’s most likely why they were front-heavy & caused premature wear on the steering & suspension parts. Also why the back of the engine is so far up under the cowl. Made changing the rearmost plugs a bit of an adventure.

        Like 4
    • Avatar photo seller

      I think the Pacer was the only 1975+ American made car w/ Rack & pinion steering. GM (Vettes) went to it around ’80.
      Unlike most American cars of the era, the Pacer designers weren’t looking back to the glory days of the 60’s but were designing a car that was more like a mid 80’s future concept car that offered a smooth ride much like a bigger car but had the steering responsiveness / feel of a go-kart.

      Like 9
      • Avatar photo BOLIVAR SHAGNASTY

        Mustang II had rack and pinion.. standard equipment.

        Like 8
      • Avatar photo JoeNYWF64

        all ford pintos too

        Like 9
      • Avatar photo That AMC guy

        I think the Pinto was the first American production car with rack and pinion, but the Pacer was the first with power rack and pinion. The rack was sourced from GM/Saginaw division but as far as I know was never used in any GM cars.

        Like 3
  7. Avatar photo Yblocker

    Most things from my memories of 50+years ago are good, some things not so much, AMC not so much. Now looking back, these little cars weren’t all that bad. Nice to see one well preserved

    Like 10
  8. Avatar photo justpaul

    Lord but that interior shot brings back some memories.

    But when you’re 16 and this is what your 17 year old girl friend has to drive, it’s as cool as cool can be.

    Like 13
    • Avatar photo Carbuzzard Member

      Yes, but not the best car at the drive-in. Not only is all that glass good for looking out, it’s also good for looking in. And that armrest. Whatever happened to the bench seat? 😔

      Like 9
    • Avatar photo Big C

      I dated a girl that had a Pacer Wagon. We always took my Thunderbird when we went anywhere.

      Like 5
  9. Avatar photo FBD

    I was never a fan of the Pacer’s styling, but I dunno, I kinda like this one. I guess after all of these years the nostalgia overcomes things. That said, I always thought that it was uncanny how similar the styling of the Porsche 928 was to the Pacer. A Pacer in drag as it were.

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo Dale L

      I read a few articles that stated Porsche was ‘inspired’ by the Pacers styling, so…Bridget Bardot even owned one.

      Like 4
  10. Avatar photo Jack Quantrill

    Have mercy! These are ugly mothers.

    Like 4
  11. Avatar photo Mister Green

    The world’s first birth-control car. No female would have anything to do with you if you drove this down the street.

    Like 10
    • Avatar photo RoadDog

      Hey, it worked great for Wayne & Garth! 🤣

      Like 8
  12. Avatar photo JGD

    A good friend bought a yellow Pacer (I don’t recall which model year) with one of the I-6 engines. It served him well for a few years until a growing family required a larger car. The passenger’s door was longer than the driver’s door to provide easier curbside access to the rear seat.

    FWIW, a 1976 Pacer finished in 2nd place in the 1979 Baja 1000 Class 6/Production Category behind a V8 Ford Ranchero. The Pacer swapped the lead with the Ranchero a couple of times until an impact damaged radiator gave the lead to the Ford after some 21 hours of off road racing.

    Like 10
  13. Avatar photo DON

    I never thought of the Gremlin as an oddball car ; it was the right car for the right time for AMC , and unlike one of its competitors (Vega) , it had a tried and true platform and drivetrain , and used most of the parts from the Hornet, saving money for them. The Pacer was an oddball , but in its original design was to have a rotary engine and really was supposed to be a roomy, economical people mover for the supposed fuel crisis afflicted public .

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo Carbuzzard Member

      Yes, but not the best car at the drive-in. Not only is all that glass good for looking out, it’s also good for looking in. And that armrest. Whatever happened to the bench seat? 😔

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo Carbuzzard Member

        This was meant for another comment but was also posted here, which it why it doesn’t seem to fit here.

        Like 2
  14. Avatar photo Dale L

    It definitely needs some new tires asap.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo JoeNYWF64

      Most likely, it’s gonna get much larger tires – and wheels.

      Like 1
  15. Avatar photo Richard B Kirschenbaum

    One of the few truly inspired cars of the ’70s. AMC deserved to survive for having produced this car alone not to mention the AMX,

    Like 6
  16. Avatar photo Alvin Lynn Edwards

    I had a 75 Pacer X ,bought it used in76 and drove it till 80,. only problem i had with it was no power steering. wish I had it back,LOL

    Like 3
  17. Avatar photo Michael Freeman Member

    The one and only “Flying Fishbowl”. Had a friend that had his grandmothers, she named it Marge. Right door is longer than the left door for rear seat access (think the whole RF seat tilts like a Jeep). Left front is fixed because it was to make you load from the curb side.

    Like 1
  18. Avatar photo JoeNYWF64

    Imagine drivin 1 of these in august thru death valley with a broken air conditioner.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Yblocker

      People did it before air conditioning. Imagine that

      Like 3
      • Avatar photo Carbuzzard Member

        Two-seventy A/C.

        Like 3
  19. Avatar photo Greg B Member

    Thank you Susan,

    “ I do have the original radio and another w/an 8-track that could go w/the car? ”

    I would be interested in both if I end up getting it, and all the extra spare parts.

    Greg

    Like 3
  20. Avatar photo Nelson C

    The first wide small car. Kind of fun to look at then and now. Love those wheels and the sleek early grille. V8 engine didn’t come along until the new camel hump grille. IMO Ford managed to pull this is off with their Edge which was also a small but wide car. They took great care not get too close to any Pacer reference.

    Like 2
  21. Avatar photo Kroegs

    The straight 6 in this Pacer is the forerunner to the 4.0 straight 6 used by Jeep for many years. Bulletproof reliability, lots of torque, and cheap and easy to work on. My 20 y/o son drives one and can’t kill it! Sadly, those days are long gone.😫😫

    Like 3
  22. Avatar photo Corvair Jim

    It was a cold, rainy evening in late November of ¹1977 when we walked into the showroom of Fairview Motors AMC-Jeep ‘-Renault to look for a new Pacer for my mom. She was taken by the look of the car and the idea of the extra interior room. Outside, the dealerships owner, a family friend, showed us a (very).leftover car. A bright red 1976 model. That’s right, the ’78s were already there and this one was a ’76. It was a complete stripper; the only option on the car was a limited-slip axle, there because of a strike at the company that made the axles. AMC didn’t have any open rears on hand, so if they were going to go on building cars, they would have posis! When I say no options, I mean NONE! No power anything: steering, brakes, windows, locks, seats, hatch release, nothing. No A/C. No radio. The base straight-6 and 3-on-the-tree. None of this was a problem for mom. Being raised during the Depression, she was frugal to a fault and actually preferred a stick to an automatic. Her old car was a similarly equipped ’65 Chevy II sedan, so she was already used to driving a car like that. It was love at first sight, and she decided that she wanted it without so much as a test drive. Dad sprang for a dealer-installed AM/FM/cassette radio (remember mono!?!?), which was installed by a tech who had stayed late that evening while all the paperwork was finalized. The dealer just wanted it gone, so my folks got the deal of all deals on it: out the door, including tax, paperwork, and the radio for about $1,950. I think that it may have been the last brand new car in America to sell for under two grand! So mom got her Pacer and I got the Chevy II, since they were only offered $50 in trade for it. I was thrilled: my first car about three months before I even had my license! Fast-forward 8 years. The Pacer is showing its age and mom is finally getting tired of shifting. She also wanted something that would get better than 15 mpg. She went to trade it in on an ’86 Chevy (Toyota) Nova and, in a case of history repeating itself, was offered $50 in trade. To top that off, we were looking for a second car at the time, so she gave me the car. It was an OK ride, especially after I gave it a full-on detailing, bringing the dull, pi kish paint back to a brilliant, shiny red. The tan cloth interior came clean as new, too. It got beauty rings around the stock poverty caps. I replayed the grille in matte black, wiping the chrome face of it clean. I smoothed out the hundreds of stone chips on the rockers and sprayed them semi-gloss black, then ran a strip of 1/2″ self-adhesive chrome along the top of the rockers. The back end, between the taillights got the same treatment. The headlight trims was resprayed in the same semi-gloss black, again wiping the chrome outer ring clean. The car then got a custom pinstriping job. Finally, I spent most of the next weekend applying window tint. THAT was a job that I won’t be doing ever again, even if I do wind up with another Pacer. Which, frankly, I would really like. Stuff either an LS or, preferably, a warmed-over AMC 401 under the hood and hook it up to a Tremec T-56. Drop the car about 2″ inches and throw a set of RWL B.F. Goodrich TA Radials at it and call it good. Then go out hunting for young guys in their Fox bodies!

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo jwaltb

      Until you come to a corner.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo AMCFAN

        You turn into a corner and go right around. Pacers came with a V8 as an option in 78-79. Handling was no issue.

        This is one of the best deals on a very clean Pacer. It has been well cared for. It shows. Bravo to the sellers.

        Like 2
    • Avatar photo Yblocker

      I remember those Toyota Novas, we used to call them “Toylets”

      Like 0
  23. Avatar photo chrlsful
  24. Avatar photo Seller

    Update on the AC: Up until now the AC was untested out of concern for the compressor and not having access to R12 to charge for a valid test (some may remember the site glass and looking for bubbles in the freon flow).
    I tested it today & will try to upload a brief video but in short it seems like there is some R12 left in the system. It is low on R12 but working. Using an infrared thermometer the vent discharge air temp dropped 10 degrees lower than the dash temp in less than a minute.

    Like 2
  25. Avatar photo Ted

    I went to see a local 1976 Pacer DL for sale in my area. It is in good shape, but needs many small details to fix. This one on BF is in way better condition. I wish it were closer and I had the space store it! Happy riding to the new owner!

    Like 1

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