Hooniverse Modern Art Monday: An AMC Pacer with only 12.2 Miles on the Odometer

So, why am I writing about an AMC Pacer under the banner of Modern Art Monday? Since I’m writing this posting, lets just say its my preference. After all, a Pacer was one displayed in an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, and there is a Pacer Wagon on display at a private museum in the Netherlands. So yes, this story belongs under this designation. And look, this is a time capsule with only 12.2 miles on it….

This Pacer was originally purchased by a woman in Queens, and never drove it. It has been sitting in a garage for years, and only came to light after she passed away. The new owner has never even bothered to clean it up, offering it for sale on eBay. According to the listing:

It had only 11.8 miles when I first saw it, so yes, it does run and drive and smell like a new car! Everything works as it should! The woman who owned the vehicle passed, leaving no will or estate planning, so the car was sold at auction by the Queens County Public Administrator, along with all of her other possesions. The car has every single original part on it that it was delivered with, back in 1977. I have not removed any parts from the car at all. To make it run, I used a jumper pack, and once it started, I was able to drive the car perfectly. It starts quickly using the jumper every time. The 34 year old original battery will not hold a charge. I have not even cleaned the 34 years of dust off of the car. I wanted everyone to see it as found. If you purchase the vehicle from me, for a fee I will clean it, or you can have the fun of unearthing the beauty of this vehicle yourself. I tested two small spots, and with no effort, it shines like new, using just a damp cloth, and some hand glaze!

I am sure that this Pacer, is in fact, the lowest mile one to exist in the world! This is no joke. This is a true time capsule, garage, kept little old lady, garage find, original survivor car. If you are an AMC nut, and like the survivor cars, this is a must have car! Never will you ever find a lower mile 1977 Pacer like the one I am selling here.

So far there has been 9 bids, with the highest bid currently at $5,600, which has not met the reserve. So how much do you think this car should fetch? I’m thinking in the neighborhood of $15,000, but I could be wrong. By 1977, the Pacer was losing steam after being on the market for 2 years, and this one looks like a base model, but it does have factory A/C. Anyway, view the listing here.

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  1. SSurfer321 Avatar

    As the car only has 12.2 miles on it, it could almost be considered new. As such, I would pay the MSRP on the window sticker. If the seller cleaned it, I might adjust for inflation. If it had never been titled, then you could start asking $10-20K.

  2. muthalovin Avatar

    Vintage dirt! Are there seriously 9 people who want a lowlowlow mileage Pacer? I guess it takes all types to make the world go 'round.

  3. tonyola Avatar

    $5,600 for a base Pacer with bench seats and dog dishes? Leave it for the ironic hipsters. Pacers were substandard cars verging on inept – I speak from extensive wheel time with one. Don't forget to budget for all the rubber and plastic bits you're going to have to replace and the work needed to make this one roadworthy.

  4. tonyola Avatar

    "A small car with a roomy interior and a strong motor but good economy." Where? 'Cause this ain't it.

    1. tonyola Avatar

      Just to clarify:
      Fuel mileage = 16 mpg.
      0-60 in 15.8 seconds.
      Top speed = 88 mph.
      Brakes from 80-0 in 300 feet.
      It's wider than a 1977 Cadillac Fleetwood.
      It weighs just a tad more than my '94 Buick LeSabre.

      1. Cretony38 Avatar

        So something modern like the Lincoln attached to your icon? My '64 gets 8MPG in the city. So if I got 16mpg I'd be stylin!!! Corollas aint cuttin it anymore unless its your grandmas ride to bingo.

  5. P161911 Avatar

    Two choices for this one. Shine it up and make it a trailer queen, never drive it, keep it low double digit mileage. Or as tonyola pointed out, spend as much as you paid for the thing to replace all the soft parts, drive it and watch your $15,000 Pacer become a $4,000 Pacer.

    1. OA5599 Avatar

      Does having only 12 miles on the clock add or subtract points in Concours d'Lemons judging?

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Bring it to the show precisely as-is, in a closed trailer to preserve the vintage dust. Do that and I don't see how it could leave without several trophies.
        Come to think of it, just show up with an empty closed trailer and claim you've got an ultra-low-mileage AMC Pacer inside that you're protecting from all exposure and you might just get a trophy anyway.

        1. OA5599 Avatar

          Aha. The old Emperor's New Car trick–and I fell for it!

  6. RichardKopf Avatar

    All of the plasti-chrome appears to be pitted, a sign that moisture was never too far away.

  7. OA5599 Avatar

    Is this the real life?
    Is this just fantasy?
    Caught in a landslide
    No escape from reality
    Open your eyes
    Look up to the skies and see
    I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
    Because I'm easy come, easy go
    A little high, little low
    Anyway the wind blows, doesn't really matter to me, to me
    [youtube VzUU7SRRsGo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzUU7SRRsGo youtube]

    1. RahRahRecords Avatar

      It's not a Pacer,but it's still an awesome video. http://youtu.be/irLsjBDPe5c

  8. lilwillie Avatar

    If he is willing to deliver this auto to my door I will let him give me $500 for it.
    As awesomely cool as it is it will be nothing more than a weekend warrior car and could need some work on soft parts if it wasn't keep in the proper environment over time. I have seen cars sit for long lengths of time and not become basket cases of work on all the rubber parts. So maybe, maybe it will get a touch under 10K for a sell price, IMO.

  9. topdeadcentre Avatar

    In the AMC market, $15k is a long way to a nice AMX or Javelin… a really nice rambler… or even one of the mid-1960's convertibles. Heck, go further up the family tree and start working on a Nash or Hudson.
    The Pacer, though funny, and even possibly worth preserving for goofiness value, was just not that great a car.
    Oh yeah, from the seller's description, he started it right up using a battery jumper pack. Umm, sure sounds believable to me. Did someone drain the gas from it back in '77 before it went into forever storage?

    1. CptSevere Avatar

      I was thinking the same thing. That poor carburetor must have been full of varnish. Not to mention the fact that the master cylinder and all the wheel cylinders must need replacing. And on and on. He claims to have driven it right away, sounds kinda fishy.

    2. facelvega Avatar

      I've seen an easily restorable, low mile, daily driving Rambler Classic 770 convertible with the 270hp 327 V8 sell for under four grand recently. It's so vastly much more car than a pacer that the price comparison is mind-blowing. I also notice that in 63 Motor Trend averaged a little over 16 miles per gallon in an Ambassador with the same drivetrain, i.e. slightly better than the Pacer's rated economy, while getting from 0-60 SIX POINT TWO seconds faster than the Pacer. Holy moly!

      1. tonyola Avatar

        That price seems a little low for a Classic V8 convertible unless it's in rough shape. You have to be careful here especially if the body is rusty – these Ramblers have unitized bodies and corrosion can be a major structural problem, especially for convertibles whose bodies were never very rigid to begin with.

        1. facelvega Avatar

          I think the frame was in good shape as it had mostly lived in a garage and as a convertible hadn't seen winters, but the black paint was down to drab slate gray, it needed a new top, and there were blemishes inside and out. Seemed like a fairly easy restore job to me, but yes I remembered it precisely because I was surprised how low the price was. I never actually got under it myself to confirm the condition, so maybe there were bad surprises underneath.
          It was late last summer when I saw it, I still regret letting it go. At the time I was more interested in trying to find a last-series Lark Daytona, or I might have gone for it. In the end went for something completely different and fifteen years newer.

  10. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    I dunno, 12.2 miles is kinda high for a Pacer.
    Pacers make good dune-buggies BTW… great jumpers.

  11. Stumack Avatar

    "…drive it and watch your $15,000 Pacer become a $4,000 Pacer…". This is the big problem with these super low-milers, plus the natural deterioration of all of the rubber parts and fluids. The only place for this is the WPC museum.

    1. PFG Avatar

      "The only place for this is the WTF museum."
      There, fixed it for you.

  12. dukeisduke Avatar

    I've seen a lot of Pacers, but that's the first one I've seen that had the dog-dish hubcaps. Reeeealllly basic, except for the automatic and A/C. Wayne might pay $5600 for it, but I wouldn't.
    It's up to $6,322 now, with 10 bids.

  13. Smells_Homeless Avatar

    The perfect subject for a nasty 4-rotor turbo Wankel with the full-on pro-street treatment.

    1. facelvega Avatar

      The only interesting Pacer to me is a rodded pacer. The styling has remained delightfully bizarre, the engineering never was. A modern engine, disc brakes, and whatever stiff aftermarket suspension you can make fit might make for a pacer worth owning. No wait, I just realized: a wankel would be good, but how about a complete last-gen WRX STI drivetrain? They both had 100.0 inch wheelbase, and the track of the pacer is only a little wider, so you might be able to use some of the chassis as well. Roughly the same weight too, so you could expect roughly the same performance.
      <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/55/Sub_im_WRX.jpg&quot; width="500">

      1. Smells_Homeless Avatar

        That would definitely be fun. I was just riffing on the fact that the Pacer was originally specced with a rotary. You could crank the boost on that STI's goodies, throw some silly wings at it, and have the funniest Group B car that never happened.

  14. aloynot Avatar

    Despite the many logical reasons to despise this car, I love it. Viewed through the lens of time, the Pacer's styling is delightfully quirky.