AutoHunter Spotlight: 1980 AMC Pacer DL Wagon

Credit: Original article published by Classic Cars Journal.

Featured on AutoHunter, the online auction platform driven by, is this 1980 AMC Pacer DL Wagon. An AMC Pacer as a Autohunter Spotlight? Why would I want that? Well read along and I will explain.

According to the seller 1980 AMC Pacer DL Wagon has covered only 27,868 original miles and is powered by an unmodified 4.2-liter inline-six coupled with a four-speed automatic transmission.

This Pacer is nicely optioned as well and includes air conditioning, power front disc brakes, fancy woodgrain paneling, and a luggage rack. The car is finished in its original metallic Dark Brown over the original beige cloth interior and includes its original owner’s manual, promotional literature, and a clear title.

You might think that this car is a bit silly but the Pacer has become a real collector car. Not only is there a thriving fan community around the Pacer, but an example this nice and original is a shoe-in for a class win at the Concours d’ Lemons in Monterey, if not a serious contender for their top award: Worst of Show. Who said showing a car in Monterey has to be expensive?

Now lets talk about the styling. The Pacer was AMC’s idea of what the future looked like. Somehow AMC designers thought that would be a compact car that was nearly half as wide as the car was long. They went even further by using huge wrap-around windows, giving the car the look of a fish bowl, something many people called it when it was new. Thankfully this pacer has A/C, as with all that glass you will need it.

Just when you thought the design couldn’t get any weirder, they made the passenger door four inches longer than the driver’s door to make it easier for passengers to get into the back seat. You can see this in the photos below.

Now back to this specific car. The seller notes that the car is all original but that the windshield is cracked and there is some surface rust around the windows. They also go on to state that the original interior is absolutely mint with perfect seats, nice carpets, and an uncracked dash. How this car survived in this condition is beyond me, as most Pacers were literally thrown away, another reason they are collectible now.

The underside of the car shows a bit of light surface rust but I saw nothing serious in the many pictures in the listing. The only thing I think I would fix is the windshield.

With all this being said, the Pacer is an honest to goodness collector car today and this all original example is a super fun way to have a collector car. This would let you do many things in the hobby that costs much less than a all-original 1963 Corvette. I would also guess that if you were to bring this Pacer to a show, you would be amazed at how many people attending the show would ignore expensive cars and come over to get a closer look at this Pager instead.

If you want an interesting collector car, don’t miss out on this preservation class Pacer.

The auction for this 1980 AMC Pacer DL Wagon ends on Monday, May 22, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. (EDT)

Visit the AutoHunter listing for more information and photo gallery