I remember the pacer when it first came out. I was ten years old and my parents were excited about the car. We went to the AMC dealer when they got their first truck load. My mother wanted to test drive one. My parents liked everything about the car except the underpowered engine. That was the sole thing that kept them from buying the car. After driving V8's for years they could not get over how underpowered the car was. I remember how smooth the car rode and how funny it was to be able to see all around you because of all the glass. I of course didn't understand anything about power and was disappointed that we didn't leave that huge Chrysler at the dealers and bring the cool Pacer home. If they were in production today I would buy one in a heart beat.
Here is the bottom line. When I pull into a parking lot with my reliable 96 Vette, nobody even notices. When I am driving my Pacer, people want to talk about it, take pictures and ask question after question. It is as much fun as you can have driving. It can be a headache but it is always lots of fun. In todays world of cookie cutter cars, in which you can't tell a Toyota from a Mazda from a Ford, no one ever ever mistakes a AMC for another brand. Remember an AMC will never leave you stranded, but it will always leave you broke.
I truly enjoy my 1979 Pacer wagon, however, when the original power rack and pinion failed, it's been nothing but a big pain. I've replaced two AC Delco rebuilds so far with a total of less than 500 miles on them. Yes...500 miles. Now I have to replace a third. Not a fun job!
Has anyone else had this problem?? I need some advice.
Thanks in advance! Joe.
Can anyone tell me were I can buy Motor Mounts for my 1977 AMC Pacer?
I have a 1976 AMC Pacer D/L. I have owned it since 2007. It has 60,000 miles on it and is a BLAST to drive. It handles like a sports car and rides like a lux car. I did a little work to the 258 with a Weber and new intake, then put split headers with dual exhaust. Then I did a little suspension work to it. It really enhanced the performance and HP. With the bad products of the 70's, one can now take these cars and rebuild them and make them BETTER THAN NEW, and it really does not cost that much to do.
My Pacer is very reliable and looks and runs great. I am shopping for another one. I love these AMC cars.
I've always liked the eccentric Pacer, too. I remember seeing them on the lot when my father bought his AMC Concord when I was a kid. However, I find it hard to believe a Pacer handles like a sports car. All the reviews I read claim it was incredibly slow due to its excessive weight. That also led to poor fuel economy for what was supposed to be an economy car. You had to get AC, or you would bake from all the heat allowed in due to all the glass. This car is always on the 'worst cars of all time' lists for a reason.
GM had intended to sell rotary engines to AMC, but they didn't make them for themselves, so the 258 was hurriedly made to fit. Later the 304 was made available. There evidently were manifold problems where the exhaust would split and then have to be replaced/welded-up, but that could have been fixed by split headers and using a catalytic converter (smaller than stock) for each three cylinders, with a true dual exhaust. The headers could have been coated/wrapped to cut down on "header-heat" and would have added a few more horses desperately needed.
Somehow, the Pacer was 600lbs heavier than what was first intended, but aluminum and carbon-fibre would fix that nowadays (maybe the 10mph bumpers were a bunch of that weight -- maybe all the glass was part of the problem?).
There are thousands of 4.2L (258) 6 cylinders still in Jeeps running all over the Southwest, where they are hardly "babied". Many say the "best" of those were the '88 188hp fuel-injected 242cu inch (4.0L). I think AMC SHOULD have made available all alloy twin-cam heads with alloy blocks that some had worked on -- an "American BMW" kind of. It also could have obtained the Argentinian IKA-Renault ex-Willys OHC head that had been designed by the ex-Ferrari-engineer at Willys in the early 60s. AMC sold '64-69 American bodies, in which IKA put the OHC engines in, and they raced the combination in Europe and elsewhere, as the "Torino" (IKA Torino). Being uni-body, the Torino was stiffened by gussets bolted/welded to reduce flex, much like the Scrambler and convertible models.
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