Two Years Gone: 1978 AMC Pacer Wagon – Sold?

by | Oct 2023 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Wagon Wednesday

November 22, Update – While this “ClassiFIND” expired recently, given the seller’s history, we suspect it may not actually be sold yet.  For now, we’re labeling this ride “Sold?” However, we will keep an eye out for an updated listing. In the interim, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

October 16, 2023 Update – Twenty-five months after their last listing expired, the seller of this 1978 AMC Pace Wagon we first started tracking in June 2021 posted a fresh Craigslist ad. Despite no sale two years ago at $6,000, the seller comes out of the gate asking $7,500.

September 15, 2021 Update – While this “Classifind” expired recently, given the seller’s history, we suspect it may not be sold yet.  For now, we’re labeling this ride “Sold?” However, we will keep an eye out for an updated listing.

August 3, 2021 Update – After a nearly one-month hiatus, the private seller of this 1978 AMC Pacer just posted a fresh listing. In addition to using the same pictures and description, the seller appears to remain firm on their asking price of $6,000.

July 6, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” unless we come across a replacement listing.

I have a confession to make. As much as I don’t like the fishbowl shape of AMC’s Pacer hatchback, the more upright rear hatch of the wagon version has better proportions. Produced only from 1977 through 1979, Pacer wagons do not come up for sale that often, so we were excited to find this White 1978 AMC Pacer Wagon for sale, originally listed in June 2021 in Fairport, New York (Rochester), offered at $6,000 currently. Comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Pacer priced between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $4,800 and its #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $9,600.  Similarly, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool confirms the seller’s ask falls just below this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $6,125.

American Motors launched its revolutionary at the time Pacer in 1975 and produced its “first wide small car” through the model year 1979. AMC’s chief stylist, Richard A. Teague, began work on the Pacer concept in 1971 to produce a roomy small car powered by a Wankel Rotary engine. Teague developed what became the first mass-produced “cab-forward design in a mass-produced American-built car. The Pacer’s width equaled full-sized domestic vehicles at that time and its large expanses of glass quickly earned it the nickname “The Flying Fishbowl.”

In addition to its innovative styling, Pacers featured many unique features that included a four-inch longer passenger door, isolated front, and rear suspensions, and rare-at-the-time rack and pinion steering. Unfortunately, when GM pulled the plug on rotary engine development (AMC planned to buy rotary engines from GM for the Pacer), AMC was stuck using its venerable 232 cu in straight-six that initially was too long to fit in the Pacer’s design. This combined with a heavy-for-its-size chassis, provides a small car with only modest fuel economy. Consequently, sales quickly started declining after the novel design wore off consumers. In 1977, AMC responded by offering the Pacer Wagon, which offered less glass and more cargo space than the hatchback. Consumers remained unimpressed and by 1979, AMC was forced to cancel the entire brand due to poor sales.

Here’s a commercial currently posted on the Bionic Disco YouTube channel featuring the 1978 AMC Pacer Wagon:

Based on the limited pictures provided, this Pacer appears to be a survivor-quality example in a nice color combination. While we don’t mind faux wood paneling on bigger station wagons, it never looked right on Pacers, so we’re glad this example doesn’t feature it.

This is the seller’s current description:

“232 six, automatic, air conditioning,
shows 89000 miles, actual 69000
runs and drives great. off road since 2021
rack and pinion steering
nice factory amc wheels and uniroyal tiger paws
A couple areas of rust coming
winter storage available”

Here’s the seller’s 2021 description:

“Nice driving car. 232 six w/ automatic has AMC Rallye wheels showing 89,500 miles I have 2 AMC pacer wagons and thinning down. new interior headliner, currently on the road it was in a movie called “We the Animals

Do you have an AMC Pacer Wagon story to share?  If so, comment below and let us know!

3 Comments
  1. Ernest Valtri

    Loved the Converse sneaker commercial when Dr. J walked over a Pacer..

    Reply
  2. Randall Johnston

    where is the owner located?

    Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      Randall, the format of all of our “Classifind” posts indicates where each ride is located, whether the car has been sold, and how to contact the seller directly. In the other 1976 Pacer you also inquired about, that feature dates back to January 2019 and has long since sold.

      Reply

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