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Nicest One Left? 1978 AMC Pacer D/L Wagon

The seller of this 1978 AMC Pacer D/L wagon says that it’s been meticulously maintained and is in spectacular condition. It is one of the nicest examples that I’ve seen in a long time and the unmet opening bid price of $22,770 doesn’t even meet the seller’s reserve price. They have a buy-it-now price of $24,900 listed on the auction here on eBay. It’s located in Saint Ann, Missouri and it sure looks like you could fly in and drive it home.

1978 was the first year for the revised grille and the first Pacer wagons came out in 1977. I prefer the older Pacer details, but it’s hard to argue with the condition of this later model. The Pacer was made until the 1979 model year with some of them still being sold into 1980. It’s hard to believe that 1980 was forty years ago already. The bumpers do no justice to this car at all, unfortunately, but the rest of the body looks fantastic.

With only 45,392 miles, this Pacer sure looks great, but it’s not perfect. Something is going on around the edge of the driver’s door and I hope that it’s just some adhesive or something other than rust. The underside looks good other than what looks like a possible attempt to make things a bit shinier than they may have been otherwise – i.e., a rattle-can-restoration. I’m not a fan of that at all, but maybe the original owner did that.

The D/L trim level was a step above the base models and a step below the Limited models. This interior looks great from what I can see, but you can check out the photos on the seller’s website. They’re a pretty famous and well-established online car seller. I remember checking out their vehicles a decade ago or more, back when the internet was still kerosene-powered and we didn’t look at things on a tiny screen on our phones. The cargo area looks equally nice and being a wagon, it has even more room than a regular fishbowl Pacer has.

Here’s where the asking price seems to be a bit of a stretch to me, but I’m not a dealer so they know the values better than anyone would. This isn’t a V8, it’s a 258 cubic-inch inline-six, a fantastic engine without question, but it ain’t no V8. Most people would want a 304 V8, or at least I think they would. Either one would work for me and this one looks clean, wherever it is under that mess of hoses and wires. Wow is that a busy engine compartment, but that’s the way things were in 1978. Have any of you owned a Pacer wagon?


  1. HoA Howard A Member

    Fishbowl, indeed. They are really “fishin” for the right person here. Pacer is rare, wagon, more so, but $25G’s? Maybe when we are all flying around in space cars, but you’d be hard pressed to find someone that would pay this for that. Looks like they already dropped it and still no bids, tells the story. Be a neat car for 1/3 what they want. It’s not what everyone ( with money) dreams of having,,,not yet, anyway. Great find, tho.

    Like 6
  2. ccrvtt

    You could always shorten the 5 mph bumper supports to draw the bumpers into the bodywork to improve the looks. It’s not likely that it will get driven enough to actually run into anything anyway.

    It’s a neat novelty car, but as Howard says probably not for the money.

    Like 4
  3. Spud

    Insane. But I guess you can’t fault them for asking.

    (and I actually love ’70s wagons…and think Pacers are fun, quirky, cars that you don’t see often enough)

    I’ll note that there are 2 or 3 more ’79 Pacer wagons currently listed on eBay, each for under $2K. If you really wanted one of these, you could do much better buying one of those other ones, and then investing maybe another $10K in “restoration”…and you’d come out way ahead of giving $25K to the wackadoo listing this one. Math! :-)

    Like 5
  4. SDJames

    I don’t get it. Like my dad says though, “there’s an a$$ for every seat.”

    Like 1
  5. JMG

    “opening bid price of $22,770 doesn’t even meet the seller’s reserve price. They have a buy-it-now price of $24,900” Why the frack even list it as an “auction”?? Just list as a classified add and post your price. Not to mention that is a LOT of cash for a Pacer. And I like Pacers! ;-P

    Like 3
    • Racingpro56

      25 large for a Pacer? It appears to be excellent condition, and I love all things AMC and Rambler, but 25 large? I suppose someone may pay up, but why?

      Like 1
  6. CCFisher

    Hagerty lists a #1 concours 1978 Pacer D/L wagon at $14,900. A #2 example is valued at $9000. This is hugely overpriced.

    Like 3
  7. Chevy Guy

    People call these the ugliest car ever built? I think they look quite nice!!

    Like 4
    • Tom Bell

      It lost that title when the Pontiac Aztec came out.

      Like 3
  8. Steve Bush Member

    Agree with you guys; even though it looks really nice, it’s still a Pacer and $25k is ridiculous for any AMC other than an AMX. Also, $2800 for an transmission rebuild on a stock 3 speed auto?

    Like 0
  9. That AMC guy

    Agree with you guys, nice car but that’s a crack pipe price for any Pacer. (Also I don’t care for the hood redesign on the later ones.)

    Like 1
  10. sir mike

    Really nice example but not $24,900.nice……..sorry seller

    Like 1
  11. Louis Chen

    A good friend of mine had one-78 DL sedan, and was from St. Paul, Minn. He still has it in his garage. He kept it in really great shape. He said he’ll give it me in another three years! Hopefully, I’ll be around then.

    Like 1
  12. Jay

    Unremarkable interior. Navajo is best.

    Like 0
  13. Burger

    I HATE the nose rework on the later ones ! At least the original design has a cohesive and slippery homogeneity to it. Bloat out the shapeless “wagon” ass end, pointlessly change the nose to this ugly mess, add the awkward faux wood sides …. damn, … AMC designs could make a Farrari look like trash heap !

    This is the inspiration for the Queen Family Truckster !

    And WTH was the 70’s deal with the body-colored wheelcovers ? Why not paint the windows and tires to match too ? This is a shining example of why I hate post-1970 cars.

    Like 0
  14. DRV

    I celebrate tastelessness with such cars.
    It’s a terrible period but what a beautiful example of the period.

    Like 0
    • Burger

      Now DRV, …. that’s an awesome example of making a picnic out of a rainstorm !

      Like 0
  15. AnalogMan

    A Pacer for $25,000 might seem crazy, but it also might be the new normal, regardless of what Hagerty or any price guide might say. A 1975 Pacer just sold for a whopping $30,975:


    Granted it was a Pacer “X”, but $31,000 for a Pacer???

    This same dealer also just sold a Datsun 240Z for $310,000!!!!!:


    I’ve owned two Pacers in my life, back in the early 80’s when they were just cheap old crappy cars no one wanted. One was a Pacer X with a 3 speed stick like the one that just sold for $31k. It was fun in a quirky kind of way.

    But this just makes me depressed. The day has come when I can’t afford the cars I used to have when I was a poverty stricken student. It’s bad enough that a 240Z sells for more than a house costs in most of the country, but I never thought the day would come when a Pacer would be out of my price range. Really makes me think about my life choices.

    It just shows that the stock market is WAY overvalued (which is making a lot of people feel ‘rich’), and that there are a lot of people out there with far more money than they know what to do with.

    I wish I was one of them.

    Like 1
  16. Mitchell Ross Member

    I don’t think this is the nicest one left. If you want to see some of the nicest AMCs in the world, come to the Kenosha Homecoming this year or the American Motors Owners assoc. meet in Colorado this year. The Rambler Ranch, which the attendees of the AMO even will be visiting has nicer Pacers than this one, though they are not for sale at any price.

    Like 0

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