Of all the unique cars that American Motors made, the Pacer is the most iconic. Introduced in 1975, the AMC Pacer is a compact car with a width equal to a full-sized model, giving it unusual proportions. The Pacer’s rounded styling and large area of glass led to comparisons to a fishbowl. While the car’s unusual looks created a buzz, the vehicle’s power and performance were lacking. With increased competition of compact cars from Germany and Japan, sales of the Pacer fell after the first two years and 1980 was its final year of production.
The Hot Wheels Packin’ Pacer came out in 1978, with a chrome rear-engine and yellow paint with red, purple and blue decoration. It was based on the Pacer station wagon, which was slightly less odd-looking than the coupe. The original tool lasted as many years as production of the real car, seeing variations in orange, white and light blue up until 1983.
My family has a little bit of history with American Motors cars. I’ve posted before about my brother’s ’68 AMXs. Here’s a photo of the one with the clean body taken in 1987 in his yard in rural North Dakota.
Also, My dad had two different AMC Hornets. The first one was a green car that he really liked. When my oldest sister went off to college, the car went with her and she drove it for a few more years. Dad went out and bought a red Hornet wagon, but that one, pictured here in our driveway, gave him nothing but trouble.