Vintage Automobile Club of Ocean County Historical & Classic Cars
1975 AMC PACER
Based on a 1971 sketch by Dick Teague, the AMC Pacer was
initially designed to be front wheel drive with a Wankel rotary
engine under development by General Motors. When the fuel
crisis and technical problems killed off that engine, AMC had to
use an existing straight six and a rear drive layout. To cut redesign
costs, the car was widened 6 inches to make room for the
driveshaft. Thus the Pacer was introduced on March 1, 1975 as
the “first wide small car” and the first with a cab forward design.
Approximately 279,000 were built in its six model years including
60,500 Pacer wagons, introduced in 1977. Often criticized for its
“fish bowl” appearance (37% of its surface area was glass), the
Pacer was ahead of its time with a round shape in an era of basically slab sided cars.
The passenger door was 4
inches wider than the driver’s door to encourage passengers to enter on the curb side of the car. There were two
available in-line six engines: a standard 90 HP, 232 cubic inch unit and an optional 110 HP,
258 cubic inch
engine both with 8:1 compression. A 3-speed column mounted manual transmission was standard,
and floor mounted automatics and floor mounted manual were also available. The Pacer “X” was
option package (manual floor shift, vinyl buckets, sway bar etc.) and the “D/L” package that
luxury items such as special moldings and basketry fabric reclining seats. Notable Pacer owners
Conway Twitty and Bridget Bardot.
1975 Pacer Specifications: Wheelbase: 100 inches Overall Length: 171.5 inches Front/Rear Tread: 61.2 inches/60.2 inches Width: 77 inches Tire size: 6.95 x 14 Factory List Price: $3299 Weight: 2995 pounds