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Update: Original Wide Ride – 1977 AMC Pacer

UPDATE – This 1977 AMC Pacer wagon is for sale again almost a year-and-a-half after it was featured here on Barn Finds. The same seller has lowered the price quite a bit ($1,500) and it may be worth checking out for any of you Pacer fans. It can be found here on eBay in Staunton, Illinois, and this familiar seller has lowered the asking price to $8,450. They have a ton of great photos posted showing this car inside and out, top to bottom, and even underneath. Thanks to Rocco B. for the tip, and any thoughts on this Pacer wagon at its lower price?

FROM 11/23/2022 – Looking crisp in Brillant Blue against the white snow, this 1977 AMC Pacer wagon looks like it’s in great shape. It would take a lot of craziness, vehicle-wise, to pull up to your favorite restaurant or gas station and draw more attention than you’d get while driving this car. The seller has it listed here on eBay in Staunton, Illinois and they’re asking $9,950 or you can make an offer.

I shouldn’t like this car as much as I do, but it would be really fun to own. AMC offered the wagon version of the Pacer in 1977, two years after the sedan – only available with two doors – came out in 1975. They only came in a two-door sedan and two-door wagon body style, and the passenger door is four inches wider than the driver’s door for ease of entry into the back seat.

This example doesn’t appear to have the optional rear wiper and I don’t see D/L badges so I’m guessing that it’s a base model Pacer Wagon. The following year, the D/L would be the base model Pacer as the cars were moving upscale from economy cars to more luxurious cars. The seller doesn’t give much information about this car as far as the body condition goes, but I cringe every time I see a vintage car in the snow. They do say that it’s an original car, so I’m assuming that it hasn’t had bodywork or paintwork.

One thing the seller does say in their description is that the interior (or, “int”) is nice and has been freshened up. We don’t know what that included, was that new seat fabric? New carpets? Not a clue. I don’t even see a high-back split-bench seat in a 1977 AMC brochure as having been available but here it is. The back seat looks good as does the rear cargo area. Kudos to the seller for showing a photo with the back seat folded down.

The engine is AMC’s 258-cu.in. OHV inline-six with just over 100 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. They say that it runs and drives, which is never a glowing report of functionality, but if it works as well as it looks, it could be a nice one. Hagerty is at $8,100 for a #3 good condition car and $13,300 for a #2 excellent car. Are there any AMC Pacer fans out there?

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    “Party on, Wayne,,I mean Scotty”,,I wonder if the Pacer would have been so popular without the movie? I know, the Pacer, unlike the movie, wasn’t too popular. Again, pretty much a regional brand, most folks from Wisconsin, me included, are a bit odd, and almost embraced the Pacer as the epitome of our culture. Not many outside of Wisconsin shared that view, maybe Minnesota( dig) The Pacer was a good car, many folks I knew that had them would have bought another, if they could have found one, that is. With a recent ER bill of over $1200 bucks( that they did nothing for), I suppose $10 grand is chump change to some. They got that much snow in central Ill. already? This place has a bunch of cars,and a few years ago, a giant wind or tornado, took out half their inventory. I think they are a reputable dealer, from what I’ve heard. Great find, and someone will get a really nice car AND all the fanfare that goes with one. “Party on, Howard,,I mean, Garth”.

    Like 20
    • Avatar photo Cam W.

      Howard, you are absolutely right. I was a partner in a large picture vehicle company for 20 years, from 1988 to 2008. We had a blue Pacer in our fleet. When bought (cheap), it was just considered a ND (nondescript) car intended for background. The rental price was low, and it went out somewhat regularly. After Waynes World, demand (and our price), went way up. Over the years it made a significant profit. Demand peaked , and then began drifting back down. If you paid $8K+ for one now with the intent of picture car rental, it would take years (maybe) to break even. Keep in mind, studios will often just buy the cars they need if it is cheaper than rental. They actually employ people to locate/buy/maintain/sell picture cars. Most of the people I dealt with were very capable, and rarely overpaid for cars.

      Like 5
      • Avatar photo Car Nut Tacoma

        ROFFL! I remember the movie “Wayne’s World”, starring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as Wayne and Garth. The car they were driving was an AMC Pacer sedan nicknamed “The Mirthmobile”. I didn’t think much of the movie itself, but I loved the music in the movie.

        Like 2
    • Avatar photo Gene

      How about John Denver in Oh God.. That movie made an impression on me.

      Like 6
  2. Avatar photo Rumpledoorskin

    My first car was a coupe in the same color. It was just after Wayne’s World came out, so everyone noticed it. Got lots of comments from people and leaned a lot of repair techniques with that car.

    Like 7
  3. Avatar photo nlpnt

    I didn’t know you could get a bench seat on a Pacer either. I’m sure one was originally planned for it, back when it was developed around the canceled GM Rotary, but the huge transmission tunnel resulting from the shoehorning in of AMC’s long straight-6 has an effect that can be seen in the interior shot.

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo BrianT Member

      Mine had a bench seat

      Like 3
      • Avatar photo Dale L

        My ’75 in the same blue color also had a bench seat. It was really comfortable too. Bucket seats were extra in the lower models.

        Like 2
  4. Avatar photo Emel

    Blast from my past. We had the use of 2 of these Pacer wagons for a couple years as they were Company cars. They were kinda heaps, but brand new heaps and FREE. FREE is always good. Brand New is usually good.

    They were 2 different level models, and the Powder Blue one was kinda of peppy compared to the Yellow one. Also had a much nicer interior. So I’m guessing the Powder Blue one was a DL or whatever the top trip level was.

    AMC cars were a trip. One stranger than the last.

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo Johnny

      I liked the Pacer. Never actually drove one though. Quirky thing to look at, in the same arena as the Aztek. You either loved their look, or hated it.

      Like 6
  5. Avatar photo geezerglide85

    My father had a ’77 wagon (bought new in the fall of ’78 as a leftover) had a bench seat . It was not a D/L but had 258 six, auto, air, and woodgrain paneling on the outside. Mine was a ’78 D/L no air, 4spd stick, and a 232. Front seats were called individual seats (like a wide bucket). I wanted a bench but was told they were discontinued for ’78. Also all ’78’s were D/L’s. I sure wish I had mine back again. Same blue as this one with a set of Keystone Classics on it. Got about 30mpg even when loaded up with camping gear.

    Like 10
  6. Avatar photo Domenic DAlessandro

    Right up there with the Pontiac Aztec for the ugliest car ever made.

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo jwaltb

      Disagree.

      Like 2
      • Avatar photo Car Nut Tacoma

        I find this and the Pontiac Aztek the best looking cars. Also, most importantly, with its more cargo room, they’d both be practical.

        Like 1
  7. Avatar photo Joe Haska

    I almost hate to admit it, but when these were new I liked them. I was tempted to buy one, however I was afraid of all the flack, I would receive from my Hot Rod Buddies.

    Like 11
    • Avatar photo TRACCI QUARTERMAINE

      i do not care what friends associates think, they do not help pay bills, just feed the rumor mill.

      Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Chuck Foster

    I had one for a bit, fully loaded with V8, AC, power windows, bucket seats and console. It’s for sale locally even, a fellow car hoarder bought it LOL

    Like 16
    • Avatar photo jwaltb

      Solid body color is much better looking.

      Like 0
  9. Avatar photo Gary

    Has anyone looked at the sellers other vehicles for sale? There’s enough of a selection available just with this seller to deliver a “Today’s Finds” article in its’ own right.

    Like 8
    • Avatar photo Howie

      Gary, yes looks like 429 vehicles for sale, but only on Ebay since early this month, and only has a (6) for feedback.

      Like 6
    • Avatar photo Bob_in_TN Member

      I’ve been to this seller a couple times (most recently two or three years ago), and I suspect some of you have been too. It’s quite the experience. Hundreds of cars crammed into a series of basic pole barn-like structures. Most of the cars are what we Barn Finders would term “basic” or “normal” cars– what average folks would have driven. No Hemi Cudas or Boss 429’s here. And most of the cars are in “average” condition– no high dollar restorations, but generally not super-junky either.

      If you enjoy seeing cars which were once common but have mostly disappeared from the automotive landscape, it’s worth a stop. Right beside I-55, 40 miles from St. Louis.

      Like 19
      • Avatar photo Don Leewis

        I bought a new 72 gremlin with a V8 and 3 speed Overdrive brand new and loved it. It was a Wild Plum purple shade color and got lots of comments. Love the Pacer wagon more than the coop doesn’t look as cut off to me. This would be a nice one. If it had a V8. I would drive it and love it.

        Like 5
  10. Avatar photo Comet

    Had one. Loved it.

    Like 11
  11. Avatar photo BrianT Member

    I had one, a ’75 and not a wagon. I liked it. Me ne had a three on the tree. It rode well, handled decently and was comfortable. I liked that it was as wide as a full size car. I ended up repining the door hinges as those doors were heavy and started to sag. New pins and bushings took care of that issue. I bought another to use the front suspension under a ’46 Chevy pickup.

    Like 5
  12. Avatar photo Pete.k

    I had a 1976 wagon. Red with tan interior. I was always amazed how spacious it was inside. Six cylinder automatic, had ice Cold Air conditioning. Very nice cruising car !

    Like 9
    • Avatar photo Dale L

      The first Pacer wagon didn’t come out until 1977.

      Like 1
    • Avatar photo Don Leewis

      I bought a new 72 gremlin with a V8 and 3 speed Overdrive brand new and loved it. It was a Wild Plum purple shade color and got lots of comments. Love the Pacer wagon more than the coop doesn’t look as cut off to me. This would be a nice one. If it had a V8. I would drive it and love it.

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo frank Orzechowski

        then buy mine for a fraction of the price and put in a V8

        Like 2
  13. Avatar photo Steve

    i miss amc!

    Like 11
  14. Avatar photo chrlsful

    I wondered how they done on the long runs, thanks Pete.

    Nother one of the “wagons only” mantra I use here so often. I believe it’sa
    totally different animal than the sedan. Sedan? here’s it’s use:
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/custom-choptop-1976-pacer-in-2022–12244230226893376/
    a chop top (I think the wing has been added recently, plez remove) done when it was 1 yr old by 2nd owner. A smooth euro-sports in it’s customized beauty (but not 4 me).

    Like 2
  15. Avatar photo trdave

    Chrisful re long rides: Took my ’77 wagon to Kenosha Homecoming this year from Idaho with stops to visit in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and on to Vermont – – nearly 6k miles most on Interstates. >20mpg with a/c on. Very comfortable. Only problem is stopping for gas, food and lodging. Gas takes 20 minutes minimum. So many folks coming over to look and chat.

    Like 5
  16. Avatar photo Carlton1959@gmail.com

    I admit it.
    I would love to have this in my garage.
    No room and no disposable cash stops me.
    Always had a soft spot for AMC.

    Like 4
  17. Avatar photo Aussie Dave Member

    I wish these came to Aus, small car, Straight six, and a manual, so much fun.
    But what I find interesting is that 18 people have commented on this page, but zero have commented on the cuda and firebird right below this list (as at the time I post this)
    Out of those 3, the pacer wins, a fun car.

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo Big C

      Uh, Dave? Check the dates on the comments.

      Like 3
    • Avatar photo That AMC guy

      There was a half-hearted stab at adapting these cars for wrong-hand-drive countries but it was pretty awful. The body wasn’t changed so you wound up with the long door for the driver instead of the passenger, steering was moved with a chain drive, brake master cylinder stayed on the left, and the dashboard was an abomination, etc. AMC tried selling Pacers in the UK, I don’t know if they were ever exported to Australia.

      https://www.theautopian.com/the-amc-pacer-was-one-of-the-most-half-assed-rhd-conversions-ever-phoning-it-in/

      Like 1
  18. Avatar photo frank Orzechowski

    I have a 1978 wagon that I am selling and you can buy it for alot less money. It runs and drives has a good title am located in the Phoenix Az area.. It manily needs interior work has some minor surface rust.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo frank Orzechowski

      If anyone is interested let me know.

      Like 1
  19. Avatar photo pwtiger

    I never thought that a Pacer would be associated with classic. I worked at the Huntington Beach AMC dealer’s body shop back when these cars were new and yes that passenger door was a heavy SOB…

    Like 4
  20. Avatar photo Car Nut Tacoma

    Although I was way too young at the time to drive a car, I remember cars like the AMC Pacer. I’ve always found the 1976-77 Pacer Wagon the best looking cars AMC offered, way better looking (I think) than the 1978-79 Pacer. My oldest cousin often joked that I’d be getting an AMC Pacer for Christmas. At the time, I was less than impressed or amused by the statement. Today, he’d tell me the same joke, and I’d say “Bring it on! I’d drive it!”

    Like 4
  21. Avatar photo Joe

    I had one in Autumn Red with red interior and vinyl bench seat. Used to spray silicone on the vinyl seats. Nobody used seatbelts back then and I enjoyed turning fast and hard and sliding my passengers across the seat. I had the 232 with automatic transmission and no air. Just about as base as it could be. All things considered, it was one of my most favorite cars. It never left me sit and put well over 100k on it. I too miss AMC!!

    Like 3
  22. Avatar photo Paul J Monat

    I’m the only registered Pacer owner (DL, 3 speed on the column, bench seat} that installed the now illegal wishbone distribution hitch on it and towed a 19-foot Trophy travel trailer from Stockbridge Mass. to Yellowstone and back! Loved the car but the glass area allowed for little amounts of overheating with the heater on full blast, the windows open and the front mounted hood floating off its hinges. I was with a priest friend at the time and we both couldn’t drink enough water to staunch the sweat! Also got right arm bursitis shifting from 3rd to second on the hills in South Dakota.

    Like 0
  23. Avatar photo John Piper

    Wally Booth was an acquaintance and an AMC champion Pro Stock driver.I think he beat Grumpy Jenkins oce..I have to admit I miss them too.Loved the AMX.A friend had a something stock automatc.That thing would do wicked wheelstands.My brother had a 73 Levi edition.It had a 327 in it and a 4speed.I don’t recall if the 327 was a factory option or if he shoehorned it in.Also had a great employee.Dozer operator.He had a brown and some other color one.We all liked it.There,that’s all I know about AMC’s.Love em.

    Like 2
  24. Avatar photo UncleAL

    ….gotta ask….why has this car been at the dealer about 2 years now ?

    Like 0
  25. Avatar photo DMICKE

    AMC Pacer, the car that would not go away!

    Like 0
  26. Avatar photo frank Orzechowski

    you can buy my running, driving good title for 2500 cash

    Like 0

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