HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1977 AMC Pacer

Pick of the Day: 1977 AMC Pacer

A flying fishbowl


It’s not every day you see a “flying fishbowl” out on the road.

American Motors Corporation, established as a standalone automaker beginning in 1954, became part of a Chrysler subsidiary in the late 1980s. One of the company’s subcompact models from the late-1970s will forever be ingrained in pop-culture: the Pacer.

The Pick of the Day is a 1977 AMC Pacer listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Livonia, Michigan. (Click the link to view the listing)

This Pacer represents one of nearly 300,000 units sold between model years 1975 and 1980, and it appears to be well preserved for its age. “Beautiful condition inside and out. Winner in local, national shows,” the seller states.

AMC Pacer, Pick of the Day: 1977 AMC Pacer, ClassicCars.com Journal

The Pacer first debuted in 1975 AMC’s two-door subcompact. Its styling, positioning, and engineering attributes were unique for its time – especially considering the fact that other manufacturers were marketing large barges under a “bigger is better” mindset.

Finished in a Dark Ginger Metallic repaint, this Pacer’s body appears straight and rust-free in the gallery of over 60 photos accompanying the listing. Featured predominantly along with the car’s rounded shape was a large rear window area — the Pacer’s body surface was calculated to be 37% glass. Additionally, in the interest of passenger ingress and egress, the passenger door was four inches longer than the driver’s door.

AMC Pacer, Pick of the Day: 1977 AMC Pacer, ClassicCars.com Journal

AMC reportedly designed this car from the inside-out, making the cabin as compact as possible while still offering ample room for four adult occupants. The seller calls this a “sweet interior” and says that it’s free of dash cracks. The seat fabric is a basketry print with brown accents over a white base that evokes a sort of Southwestern vibe.

Controversial styling aside, the Pacer was well thought out. Servicing of the dashboard and instrument panel for bulb replacement required removal of just a few screws, and powering this space-age economy car was a tested-and-proven American Motors inline-six paired with a column-shifted three-speed automatic transmission. The seller states that the car runs great and has cold air conditioning.

The Pacer has enjoyed its share of time in the pop-culture spotlight over the years. One of its most noteworthy appearances was in the 1992 movie “Wayne’s World” featuring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey. The 1976 Pacer featured in the film was outfitted with chrome wheels, flame decals, and a licorice dispenser. Decades later, the movie feature car was restored and sold in 2016 at Barrett-Jackson in Las Vegas for $37,000.

The seller is asking just $16,900 or best offer for this Pacer, although it doesn’t include a licorice dispenser.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie grew up in a family of gearheads and enjoys anything to do with automotive and motorsports. He is a contributing editor to Redline Reviews, a YouTube channel with coverage from major auto shows. He also writes for Arizona Driver Magazine and holds leadership positions with a number of car clubs. Tyson has lived in Arizona for 10 years and his current obsession is Japanese cars from the early 1990s which, though hard to believe, are now becoming classics. Tyson can usually be found exploring offbeat and obscure road trip destinations on his blog "Drive to Five," which started as a way to share travel stories and experiences with his now-550,000-mile Acura.


  1. I put an LS1 in my 75 Pacer. You’d be surprised how well these carve thru the canyons with a little more power than the stock 105 HP straight six.

    • And the 258ci six was used (and hot rodded) in hundreds of thousands of Jeeps- there’s almost as good aftermarket support for these as the original SBC; the limiting factor I suspect would be the rear axle.

  2. I always wondered if the AMC execs purposely hired the worst stylists that they could find. And this in an era of awful styling in general. Battle for the Bottom! And this one’s bottom is an award-winning display of bad taste…

  3. Certainly a different way of approaching automotive design. It seems that they must have spent an inordinate amount of time designing the interior…which didn’t leave much to spend on the exterior. Interesting moment in time though.

  4. Styling ahead of its time. Just look at the Subaru and some of the other SUVs that have been or are on the market now.

  5. “American Motors Corporation, established as a standalone automaker beginning in 1954, became part of a Chrysler subsidiary in the late 1980s.”
    HUH? AMC became a part of a Chrysler subsidiary? That’s certainly news to me. JEEP was a part of AMC – and JEEP became part of Chrysler. Could that be what you’re thinking?


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