Thursday, March 20, 2008

Remember the Pacer?

A colleague today mentioned that, years ago, she owned a Pacer. A Pacer! I had forgotten about one of the most unattractive and least successful automobiles ever to come out of Detroit.

In the mid-1970s, a college friend named Scott owned a Pacer. It was interesting the first ride or two, but after that it lost its appeal. It was, by no means, a Chick Magnet vehicle. (It had to have been the car's fault, right?) But it was reliable transportation. And besides, his parents loaned it to him. Beats walking. Almost.

I knew that the Pacer, with its extra-wide body, bubble design and glass all over, was a financial flop for the American Motors. But I didn't know it was that bad. Yet there it is, on the blog World Auto News & Reviews, heading the list of 10 Most Idiotic Cars of All Time.


While I never owned a Pacer, I did own another car on the list -- the AMC Matador. It is listed as the No. 8 worst. My car wouldn't have been that bad if it looked like the one in this picture. By the time I acquired a Matador, it was around 1984, and the vehicle exterior was a dull maroon. The only good thing about the paint color was that it hid all the rust. I knew I was in trouble when, after handing over the cash for the vehicle, it wouldn't start.
Just a loose battery cable. But it was an omen nonetheless.

What is the worst car you've ever owned (or regularly driven)?

2 comments:

Will & Kate said...

I don't remember your Matador at all, but I do remember an old small white car that had plenty of rust. (What kind was it?)

I remember when you were trying to sell it (I was in 1st or 2nd grade probably) and some big 7th or 8th grader on the bus saw the 'for sale' sign in the car window and said that it really should just go to the junkyard. It's a fairly vivid memory. (And if I remember right, you eventually sold it to someone for $100 ???)

Did that car have rust so bad that it had holes in the floor or am I remembering that part wrong?

-K

Brian Cooper said...

Excellent memory! It was a rusty, white Mercury Bobcat. (It replaced the Matador. When the floorboard on the driver's side rusted through, I used discarded printing press plates to cover the hole. I finally unloaded it to a Dad who was going to fix up the car (somewhat) for his kid. And the price was $100.