Original Paint! 1977 AMC Pacer-X Survivor

Cars often appear in movies and tv series in speaking roles, stunt work, and other supporting roles. Remember KITT in the series “Knight Rider,” the orange 1969 Dodge Charger performing death-defying stunts in “The Dukes of Hazzard,” and a 1939 Buick Series 70 Roadmaster that was front and center in “Rain Man?”  Our subject car, a 1977 AMC Pacer-X conjures some goofballs driving around in a 1976 Pacer singing Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” at top volume. The “Wayne’s World” (1992) car sold at Barrett-Jackson for $37,400 in 2016.  But that car doesn’t come close to the rarified features of the AMC Pacer-X for sale here on Facebook Marketplace in Punta Gorda, Florida, and pictured here (sorry, it’s not the “Wayne’s World” Pacer) in its original Mocha Brown metallic paint.  This is a true survivor car.

A promotional tag line used in selling the Pacer was: “You only ride like a Pacer if you’re wide like a Pacer.” Pacer’s designer, Dick Teague, was striving for all-out novel styling features (achieved that) and had originally designed Pacer to be powered by a Wankel engine (deal fell through on Wankel).  The unique body design was fitted to a 100-inch wheelbase chassis with an amazing 77-inch width—close to the width of a full-sized Cadillac.  The massive 37% of Pacer’s body surface area consisting of glass created nicknames in the press like “Moonbuggy,” “Terrarium,” “Bubble Car” and “Fishbowl-on-Wheels” as a few family-rated examples.  AMC made 117,244 Pacer coupes in the banner-year of 1976 but sold only 20,265 in 1977 after the introduction of its Pacer wagon model (58,264 total Pacers built-in 1977). This Florida Pacer-X is equipped with the X-model sporty wheels, the AMC racing steering wheel, ribbed bucket seats, and the floor-shifted automatic option.

Pacer’s unique interior design provided more than ample leg and hip room front and back due to the extra-wide body. Teague even engineered the passenger door to be 4 inches longer than the driver’s door for easy loading and unloading of passengers and stuff.  The interior of this car has survived well and has no stains, rips, or cracks in the dash. The neon lime green floor mats are a tip-off to the one nagging big issue with the car: the seller admits the front floor pans need to be replaced.

The seller is quite passionate about his Pacer-X for sale, and his Facebook Marketplace write-up is a good read. Parts that come with the car include a headlight bezel to replace the cracked left one in this photo along with a pretty long list of collected parts. There is very little rust on the car’s body panels, some surface spots mainly. The seller has had the engine “professionally re-machined”. Pacers featured rack and pinion steering like the Mustang II.

Look closely and see that there are a few wrinkles on the passenger’s side door. Yet and still, this 1977 Pacer-X car shows well as an unmolested survivor. The seller is asking a reasonable $4,000 for the car and all the parts that go with it. If Seller’s claim about the AMC-X slot wheels is true, then the $2,000 value of the rare factory wheels is an incentive to buy the rest of the car for just $2,000. If you’re an AMC Pacer-X kind of reader or are looking for a car that could be a Concours candidate, this one is worth a look. You’ll surely get a lot of looks at the gas station and car cruises so maybe “Party time. . .Excellent!” will be your good response to those adoring fans.

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Comments

  1. flmikey

    I was grabbing the cash out of my sock drawer and heading to Punta Gorda (an hour away) until I saw it needed floor pans…

    Like 7
    • DON

      I guess it would depend on how bad the pans are ? I know here in New England , things needing floor pans are really needing a lot, but maybe in Florida it means some small area of rust out ? Its too bad he didn’t include pictures so people could judge for themselves.

      Like 8
    • Mike Tarutis Staff

      And for those of you NOT from Florida, it’s pronounced “Punt-ah” Gorda, not “Poontah” Gorda. C’mon Mikey, pick me up!

      Like 6
  2. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Are the bright green floor mats included in the sale?

    Like 5
    • 370zpp

      I’m sorry but what you are referring to as bright green floormats, to me actually look more like puke green floormats. And aren’t they spiffy?

      Like 3
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      Those are “Limited Edition” mats by Bed Bath & Beyond.

      Like 17
      • Mr.BZ

        1000 upvotes!

        Like 1
  3. CCFisher

    Looks a little unsettling without the black headlamp bezels, kind of like a meth addict.

    Like 3
  4. Mitchell Ross

    This car has been for sale a while and it’s priced fairly. i think the problem is the color. I have this same color on my Concord sedan and it look great. Pacers however look best with colors that pop. My X is red with white interior and roof. lots of more vibrantly colored ones have sold for way more money

    Like 5
    • Steve Clinton

      The rotted floor pans are the problem, NOT the color.

      Like 5
      • karl

        I could deal with the rusty pans, depending on the amount of rust. Its too bad there are no pictures to show the extant of rot.
        The color I like too , its the damaged door and quarter panel that gets me. At one time a Pacer door could be had for next to nothing, now it will cost you a good amount , if you can find one. After that, you’d have to paint the whole car again ,which ruins the survivor part

  5. PaulG

    Yeah Charlie Babbit, the Rain Man Buick was a ’49….
    My Dad used to let me drive it down the driveway.

    Like 5
    • Mike Tarutis Staff

      Wapner, ten minutes. . .

  6. banjo

    I’m only buying it if it has a licorice dispenser in the headliner!

  7. Vance

    A close friend of mine had a “Racer Pacer” that was given to him by his grandparents who had of course wrecked it. He was quite handy and put some elbow grease into it, and it was a decent car. I refused to be caught dead in it, and he never had money for gas, so it was a moot point. My car was a Pinto, so it shows you where the Pacer rated. It was a nice Pinto however.

    Like 4
  8. Bink

    I had a 1975 Pacer X, which was the Car and Driver road test car. It was yellow and the color indeed did pop. For 25,000 miles it was one of my best ever cars. After that it nickel and dimed me to death. That old AMC lack of quality control. Mine was a 3-speed over drive standard shift. Extra parts were an absolute must with this car. Design wise I must say it was one of my best ever cars, just not durability. If I remember right I paid a little over$4,000 for it new.

    • Len

      I too had a 1975 Pacer X with the manual 3 speed. Mine was in green. The design actually worked as intended, but quality control was not great. Due to the heat in Virginia, the dashboard adhesive melted and it started curling away. Even the “X” version was underpowered, but I got 8 years out of it.

  9. Rich

    Had an early Pacer, light brown, good visibility, pretty good drive. Then all the rubber gaskets started popping on the power steering shafts. Could not get them to stop. Traded my Fiat 124 for that pacer. Not sure if that was a good idea.

    Like 2
    • Mike Tarutis Staff

      Got anything you want to trade today, Rich?

      Like 3
  10. bob carroll

    my wife and i tried to buy one when they first came out. there was a line waiting for sales people. after an hour we sat down with a salesman [order taker] and he informed us that not only would we pay sticker, we would pay a premium over that. didn’t happen.

    Like 3
  11. Brian

    I owned and drove a Pacer for a while and really liked it. It drove and rode great. The body gave up, I’m in Vermont. It lived on, or part of it did. I took the front suspension and used it under a 1947 Chevy pickup streetrod. It worked great and is still on the road. That steering rack that someone mentioned was a real easy and inexpensive rebuild.

    Like 3
    • Mike Tarutis Staff

      Great repurposing Brian! Where’s the rest of her?

      • Brian

        The Pacer carcass is long ago crushed.

  12. Arthell64 Member

    Mike your a brave man to use the word Survivor. A few folks on BF get bent out of shape when they see the word Survivor. I guess you got a pass because of the original paint. I think any car that survived the 60’s and 70’s in tacked is a Survivor.

    Like 2
  13. KKW

    I always thought these would be neat little cars with a small V8, something with some snort. Plus, you wouldn’t have to go through the glove box to get the last two spark plugs. Lol

    Like 1
    • Brrian

      Didn’t they make a V8 Pacer?

      • Mike Tarutis Staff

        Indeed, they did. In 1978, AMC introduced a 304 c.i. (5.0 L) engine for Pacer. Short lived; Pacer was discontinued in 1980 after 671,475 were ultimately made.

        Hard to imagine selling more than a jaw-dropping 110,000 in 1976 dropping off dramatically in 1977

  14. davew833

    Just once I’d like to see a Pacer ad without a “Wayne’s World” reference.

    Like 2
    • Mike Tarutis Staff

      Thanks for the heads up, A, I’ll try and refrain from using “Survivor” unless it’s an accurate and defining characteristic (like here?)–thanks for the pass.

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