What could have been: AMC’s stillborn projects…
As we know, AMC was basically bought by Renault back in 1983. Then by Chrysler in 1987. To be renamed Eagle in 1988 and merged into Chrysler in 1990.
Which is really too bad, since they really were ahead on many fronts. They were selling 4WD wagons and sedans in starting in 1979! Long before the Outback.
And some of their designs were much more original, bordering on weird, than Ford and GM.
Here are some of the stuff they were working on before Renault took over:
– Of course, a second-generation Pacer. Smaller and more angular. (Called Concept I)
– The Concept Electron. An EV!
– The Concept II. Which could have been a new Gremlin?
– The “Grand Touring”. An odd-looking coupe based on the production Spirit sedan.
– The “AM Van”. Which was shown at auto shows in 1979. And could have been the very first minivan if ever produced…
Conversation 6 comments
Agree. The AMC Eagle was the true Jeep rival. When Renaukt brought in their two offerings, it killed AMC who never recovered from the disaster off cars that werent as ineoenauve as the Japanese, but also were terribly unreliable and inefficient.
I have memories of being a very young child, maybe 5 or 6 years old in 1973-74 and noticing my old lady neighbor across the lane from my home had got herself a new car. I was so fascinated with it because it was so small compared to my dad's big family sedan ( a 1967 ? Ford Custom ) . It had the fake wood grain side panels and a big bubble shaped glass hatch type. I thought it was cool (this neighbor's new car) as i was a child and back then would watch the Jetson's cartoon tv series with their flying cars….so i figured this must be a new Jetson flying car!
– years later , after many years of having moved away, i see the same type of car as that neighbor had and figured out it was a 1971 or so AMC Pacer.
– Yuck! lol….i always had a vivid imagination…
Thanks for the story! The Pacer was so different and fun!
tony, the Pacer came out in 1975 and the wagon version with woodgrain didn't arrive until 1977, so you might have been older than you thought.
''tony, the Pacer came out in 1975 and the wagon version with woodgrain didn't arrive until 1977, so you might have been older than you thought.''
– you are correct on the year! It had to be 1975 ( hence the new car) as my family moved houses in 1976….so in 1975 i was age 7 and i do recall that Pacer was a new car as that old lady had a big american sedan in her driveway previously. I just googled a 1975 Pacer and saw a photo of one with tan/cream color top and the bottom door sills were painted darker brown…i think that is where my wood grain confusion came from.
by the way, that pacer on the bottom right corner photo looks kinda interesting. Guessing was just a concept car and maybe too costly to build for the price point, but it looks way better then the production versions.