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The AMC Pacer: Flaws and all

In this video blog dedicated to the most famous "clunkers" ever made, we have this Top Gear clip that shows off the Pacer's many flaws and even a handful of redeeming qualities as well.


Ask any car historian or enthusiast about the biggest clunkers in American automotive history, and the AMC Pacer will more than likely be on that list. Made by the now defunct American Motors Corporation (AMC) from 1975-80, the Pacer was more or less a gimmick car that had all sorts of unusual features (sitting low to the ground but being wide in girth, the passenger side door being bigger than the driver's door, etc) and its body style has often been said to resemble an upside down bathtub on wheels. And while other so-called clunkers from the 70s like the Chevy Vega and Ford Pinto have seen new life as being rebuilt into muscle cars, there ain't much you can do to make the Pacer look like a serious threat on the drag strip--no matter how many horses you put under that hood, you're still driving a goofy-looking hatchback (or worse, the wood-paneled wagon version...a real chick magnet, I assure you).

This British Top Gear clip takes the AMC Pacer on a test run where the driver confirms the strange handling of the vehicle due to its shape and basically runs down all of the car's bad points (its front as an economical car but in actuality sucked down a lot of gas, etc). But the narrator here can find a few things to smile about when it comes to the Pacer--this car has found new fans who love the novelty and personality of the upside-down bathtub mobile (it was featured in the "Wayne's World" movie, I believe) and the reality is you just don't see 'em every day anymore. The AMC Pacer may be ugly to many of us, but it still has a life in the modern world.