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No Reserve Driver: 1976 AMC Pacer D/L

It’s easy to see in the photo above that the passenger door of this 1976 AMC Pacer D/L is about 4-inches longer than the driver’s side door is. The seller has this one relisted here on eBay in Longview, Texas due to a scam bidder. The bid price is a healthy $4,050 and there are still five full days left on the auction as I write this. It’ll be interesting to see what this Pacer sells for.

Let’s see a show of hands for those of you who compared the first two photos to see if you could notice the longer passenger side door? Most of you knew that already but for those who didn’t, it’ll be hard to not notice it on every other Pacer that you see from now on. It’s also hard to not notice how nice this Pacer is, at least body-condition-wise. Mechanically, it sounds like this car has thoroughly been debugged and everything from a full brake system overhaul to new belts and hoses and almost everything in-between has been taken care of.

Ok, so it’s not perfect, but it looks rust-free even though the seller doesn’t mention anything about the body condition at all. The Pacer was made from the beginning of 1975 until 1980 and you can really see the “fishbowl” shape of the two-door hatchback in the photo above. They also made a small station wagon, also a two-door, which toned down the curved rear side glass and isn’t quite of an (are you sitting down?) iconic shape. Hey, this is one instance where the word iconic fits!

The interior looks good, but I’m a bit confused at the front seats not having the classic, ah-hem, iconic, Navajo-pattern but it’s on the back seats? That would be tough to reproduce but I’d have to make an effort to have that pattern matched for the front seats if this were going to be my car. Another somewhat unusual feature is that this car has a three-speed manual with a column shifter. They made a lot of them but it seems like we see mostly automatics or floor shifter manuals when they come up on Barn Finds. That shifter is the very reason that they’re selling this car, according to the current owner. It’s just too hard for his wife to drive on a daily basis.

The engine – or I think there’s an engine under that mess of hoses – is AMC’s venerable 258 cubic-inch inline-six. The seller went through the entire car’s mechanical systems and changed whatever was needed to make it a reliable driver for their wife, so it sure sounds like it’s ready to go. Let’s hear those Pacer stories!


  1. RayT Member

    Looks like some rot growing below the rear window, a divot around the fuel filler, and paint that isn’t going to buff out….

    Would be fun to pretty up a bit and drive, but I think $4.5K is a bit steep.

    Not quite tired enough for my dream SBC conversion, though.

    Like 4
  2. Danny Thompson

    I had no idea about the passenger door on the Pacer being longer than the drivers!

    Like 4
    • That AMC Guy

      Funny thing is these were sold in the UK and were half-heartedly converted for driving on the wrong side of the road, but of course there it was the driver’s door that was larger than the passenger’s door. Needless to say very few were sold.

      Like 2
  3. Stangalang

    I always wondered why the Pacers had a longer passenger door..it was to make it easier for the rear seat passengers to get in and out. Just goes to show that AMC was on top of the game at one time.

    Like 5
  4. davew833

    Let’s get the obligatory Wayne’s World reference out of the way…. OK, glad that’s over.

    Also, I knew about the 4″ longer passenger door because I kept sideswiping stuff with the passenger door of my Pacer back in the day. The Pacer is also significantly wider than most cars of the era, making it easy to accidentally “find” stuff with the passenger door.

    Like 1
  5. Matt

    I had this exact car (year/color except auto) but the idiot previous owner hand roll painted in Wayne’s world blue! It was too rotted out. Gave up on it.

    Like 5
  6. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    OK, who punched the gas cap filler door?

    Like 1
  7. XMA0891

    Great find! Pacer coupes never really floated my boat, but they are growing on me. This is only the second three-on-the-tree Pacer I’ve ever come across, and as a ’76, must’ve been pretty late to be getting one configured that way. The color is unfortunate, but buy for $5K, and enjoy seems like a deal to this arse.

    Like 0
  8. Karl

    I was with my dad one day and we saw our first one of these my dad said it looked like a pregnant guppy!

    Like 1
  9. pwtiger

    I worked at the AMC dealer in Huntington Beach back in the late 70’s, yes that passenger door was heavy!

    Like 0
  10. Bill

    I too had this exact car but with an automatic. Bought it in 1977 in WI and went through a set of tires during drive to Oregon where I sold it because I could not get a date (with a girl) as long as I was driving the fish bowl.

    Like 2
  11. BrianT Brian Member

    I had a ’75, yellow with a 3 speed on the column. I liked the way it drove and rode. Vermont salt got to it but I ended up using the entire front suspension under my 1947 Chevy pickup streetrod. That truck is still going.

    Like 1
  12. PJH

    My mom had one the same color as this. It wasn’t new but prob. a year old. Must have been around 1977. It was also an automatic. Of all the Pacers I’ve seen on BF’s this is just like hers. I’ve forgotten what it looked like until this one came up.
    Thanks BF’s. Another trip down memory lane!
    Never knew about the pass. side door either.

    Like 0
  13. PJH

    Just looked at the listing.
    Ad says inside is clean.
    Better look again! Not my idea of clean.
    I can never see the logic for when those that are selling something, never put any effort into cleaning the item first??
    Wouldn’t it help to get the best bid possible?
    Windshield and engine area full of leaves, dust and dirt. Door panels filthy.
    Doesn’t take much to at least pressure wash engine compartment and wash the exterior does it??

    Like 0
  14. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: there are only 2 minutes left on the auction as I write this with a bid of $6,000. Let’s see if any snipers come in at the last minute. 50 seconds! OH, there it is, $6,100 at 20 seconds! HA! $6,200 at 5 seconds left and $6,300 at 1 second! SOLD for $6,300 at literally the last second.

    Like 0

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