Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

Classic Original: 1976 AMC Pacer

Yes, I’m the guy who wrote up a recent report on a 1970s Mercury Zephyr and tried to convince you that an orange four-door is worth collecting. Now here I am again with a 1976 AMC Pacer in mind for you to stash in your garage. This might be a bit crazy at nearly $23K, but hey, I’m spending other people’s money, so I’ll say it this way: you’re gonna get a lot of attention with this car, precisely because it’s an oddball. Thanks to Larry D who found this one here on ebay. It’s waiting for the right person in Lisle, IL.

This Pacer has the 258 CID 6-cyl auto and shows 65,000-plus miles on the odo. There’s no mention of its fitness for use, but looking at it, you’ve got to think it’s possible you could drive it away from its current home. And look at how stylish you’ll be if you do that: full wheel covers, body-side moulding, split bench seat, chrome window surrounds. Oh yes, this has some luxury touches. So what if the front-end view is kind of sad? The point here is preservation, right?

The problem with paying up as this price asks you to do is that you have scant information to go on. There’s no narrative in the ad. The photos show the exterior (and a little bit of the interior) of the car and the engine, but nothing underneath. Often in cases like this, the engine is considerably more grungy than the exterior looks, though this one looks pretty clean. How much money are you going to spend to get that engine in shape? Not much, especially if you can do it yourself. But it would be nice to know what you’re getting into, especially since the asking price is in #1 condition range.

OK, let’s be real: this is too much money for a lark. You’ll only be willing to park this much cash in your garage if you’re a serious Pacer lover, and even then, you’d want to keep your eye on the market. Maybe you’ve done that, though, and you know that this is a fair price for a well-preserved Pacer. If so, go for it. You don’t need my permission, but I love to think that I’ve had an important place in finding vehicles like this a home.


  1. Craig Baloga Craig Baloga Member

    I can almost see and hear Wayne and Garth cruising the downtown streets of Kensington, with Bohemian Rhapsody blaring……👍

    Like 10
  2. Philip

    The asking price is about 10K too much…
    Nice representation of AMC at its designing best. A cool car in a nerd kind of way :)

    Like 15
  3. Ken

    I thought it was Aurora ill?

    Like 2
    • Craig Baloga Craig Baloga Member

      Ken, I think you are correct!

      But Wayne is a solid Canadian, for sure! So some road trips north of the border were/are surely in order! 👍🍺🇨🇦

      Like 2
  4. Arch Stanton

    At least it’s not overloaded with all the electronic hoo haws like today’s cars.. a decent home mechanic could probably keep it going for a long time…but not at $23k.

    Like 7
  5. Boatman Member

    Orphan (n)
    a child who has lost both parents through death, or, less commonly, one parent.

    a young animal that has been deserted by or has lost its mother.

    a person or thing that is without protective affiliation, sponsorship, etc.:

    Find another term, Brian.

    Like 2
    • Jeff DeWitt

      It’s a common term for cars built by automakers that no longer exist, and “thing that is without protective affiliation, sponsorship, etc.:” fits.

      Like 21
      • John Vizzusi

        The Romney name is indeed alive! I owned a 69 AMX 390 Go Package and I beat Vettes. Nobody questioned if was AMC.

        Like 7
      • Brian K Staff

        Thank you Mr. DeWitt. That’s exactly the way I’m using the term.

        Like 7
  6. Yblocker

    And just when I was beginning to think there might still be a shimmering light of human intelligence left on this planet. All bets are off. Oh well, it’s still better than a Vega. But it is in pristine condition, just hard to imagine $23,000 worth of pristine. I remodeled my bathroom a while back, and my wife made me throw away a toilet that was still in pristine condition. I guess it’s time to start rethinking.

    Like 13
  7. That AMC guy

    Looks like the base interior, no AC, not even tinted glass – you’ll fry in there on a hot sunny day! Probably base model drum brakes as well. Automatic transmission? Power steering? Who knows – the ad isn’t saying or showing.

    Looks like great condition for what it is but definitely a crack-pipe price.

    Like 9
    • Joe

      I don’t believe any Pacer had drum brakes. I had one with no a/c or tinted glass (wagon nonetheless) and I lived to tell the tale.

      Like 4
    • Rumpledoorskin

      1975 had drums all around, but discs on the front were standard in ’76. My ’75 had no air, but it was tolerable with the windows open. I love Pacers, I’ve owned two, but this price is too high. Part of the allure of them is they’re unusual and you could get them cheap.

      Like 4
      • Joe

        Thx for the info. Did not know that.

        Like 0
      • Bert

        I have a 75 and it has disc on the front… so it must have been an option. also tinted windows and AC. and now… lots of holes. . . .

        Like 0
    • bone

      The ad actually does show it is an automatic, and has power steering, it may also have power brakes ,but its hard to see to be sure. Its not a D/L , so it is a base model

      Like 0
  8. angliagt angliagt

    A co-worker bought a new Pacer when they first
    came out.He said that people would ask him –
    “Where’s the sandwich?”

    Like 3
  9. Gary

    Back in the day we would buy these old Pacers for 75 to 150 and part them out for the front ends they un bolted and the steering column which would in turn would get used for street rods. The Pacer front end had rack and pinion steering and worked great in 50’s pickups, street rodded a 52 Dodge pickup with this set up.

    Like 1
  10. Steve

    This ‘goldfish bowl’ would be a good buy at half the asking price. I had one just like it, and even then, it garnered attention whenever I drove it. I loved it…until the rack&pinion steering broke and I ran into a tree. Then it was a ‘goodbye’.

    Like 0
  11. Howie

    $23k for this chick magnet? That is a easy pass.

    Like 3
  12. Ricky Member

    This car defines the term “BLAND”.

    Like 1
  13. Bob

    I didn’t think there were any of these left???? Wow…I’m stunned!! And that price there asking?? You would really have to love these. My father’s shop had an impound lot, and in the early 80s, we took at least one a week to the scrap yard…no thanks. Could get a nice big block muscle machine for that! Maybe two!!! Sorry…but that is ridiculous…

    Like 0
  14. Emel

    Hey that was the color of the other Pacer wagon we had.
    Interior too.
    Yea barf. Company cars were free though.
    Pays to know some former AMC brass ! lol

    Like 0
  15. Dr Ron

    If you haven’t seen the Jay Leno’s Garage episode with the Pro Touring V8 Pacer wagon, check this out…


    Like 1
  16. bill miller

    This is my car! My FIRST new car! Mine had the Navajo interior, and a roof rack. Mine was a 1975. Boring beige.

    Like 0
  17. Jack Thomas Everett Jr

    I bought the first 75 Pacer sold in NC. It sure was fun for 5 years!
    Traded 68 GTO for it. Later traded Pacer for 79 Accord.

    Like 0
  18. Bob

    Wow!! First one sold in N.C.? That’s impressive!!! I would of kept the GTO though…hind site is a $#*@!!!

    Like 1
  19. MOTRV8D

    Never forget the AMC Pacer was advertised as “the first WIDE small car!” That has to count for something.

    Like 1
    • Dr Ron

      See my link above to Leno’s Garage episode on the Pro Touring Pacer Wagon…
      Jay and the owner have some interesting dialogue concerning the “Wide Small Car”.

      Like 0
  20. chrlsful

    “…you’d want to keep your eye on the market…”
    nope 4 dis 1, yup fora wagon.
    ok for the condition, correct motor, no hood bump, earlier in model’s run tho (12 – 15 hundred $ for it, more from me for the waggy). Just not Bill K of IL’s price

    Like 0
  21. Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

    The Savoy Museum in Douglasville, GA has one on display. Here’s a shot of it.

    Like 1
    • Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

      And the rear angle

      Like 1
      • Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

        And the bucket seat interior. Kind of a cool car today, but back in the day it was just weird.

        Like 0
  22. Mitch Ross Member

    I’ve got a 76 Pacer X in red that I am working on slowly. Same white buckets as the one in the above photo. Hopefully when I’m done it will be worth $23,000.

    Like 1
  23. Chris Cornetto

    I’m never drunk enough to pay this for that. Not everything old was great and really these were crap. I ran a wrecking yard and poor souls back then would spend hours and days trying to keep these on the road. The best thing about them was the 258 but extracting it for a jeep was another adventure. If memory serves me there was a 4 cylinder version ugh! Let’s not forget Levi’s seats. Then the bigger passengers door to enter the dome that weighed more than a small block Chevy. The transmissions were junk, dumpster dived from Chrysler’s bin. The EZ press would flatten several on a daily to weekly basis, but to be fair it is good that a few unused or gently used ones survived the purge. Price wise…well if a painting of a soup can is worth tens of millions I guess some eccentric visionary can plop down 23 large for a rolling submersible with wheels. Not enough weed or rum to get me on that cruise.

    Like 1
  24. Bob

    I am with Chris Cornette on this one. My father had an impound lot and we would run cars to the scrap yard. And I lost count of these things. They are truly a piece of crap that was made to suckered people back in the day because of gas prices. Same as the escort and chevette in the 80’s!!! I can’t believe this person has the nerve to ask that for it!! But, the old saying is…there’s a suckered born every minute!!!

    Like 0
  25. Bob

    I am with Chris Cornetto on this one. My father had an impound lot and we would run cars to the scrap yard. And I lost count of these things. They are truly a piece of crap that was made to sucker people back in the day because of gas prices. Same as the escort and chevette in the 80’s!!! I can’t believe this person has the nerve to ask that for it!! But, the old saying is…there’s a sucker born every minute!!!

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.