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Nick
Hagerty Employee

Chip Foose rethinks the AMC Pacer

 

Often ridiculed following its debut in the turbulent 1970s, the AMC Pacer’s radical interpretation of a compact car has since accomplished an impressive feat—it’s become a legitimate cult classic. One part of its shocking design included a large amount of glass to make the car both look and feel bigger, which is something Chip Foose reimagines as a custom delivery van.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com: https://www.hagerty.com/media/videos/chip-foose-rethinks-the-amc-pacer/

38 REPLIES 38
bblhed
Advanced Driver

Stop it, just stop it this is getting out of hand, every time this guy redoes a car people just get angry. A pacer? Really did everyone run out of ideas? Whats next, A Reliant Robbin?

drenam
New Driver

Chip can do anything he wants with any car he wants.  He is Chipp Foose!!

partsguy383
Passenger

Hey Chip, the AMC Pacer rendering actually turned out kinda cool.  How about giving a C4 Vette a try?

TKDMaster
Pit Crew

AMC Pacer by Chip;  I guess pigs actually can fly!  I would never have thought it would be possible! 

1949Jeepster
New Driver

Love to watch his process for making these sketches.  My wife had this design nailed 30 years ago when I bought a 1982 Porsche 928.  She described my 928S as a hunkered down chopped AMC Pacer.  While I was a little offended at her critique of my pride and joy, I was appreciative of her knowledge of automobiles enough to come up with the AMC Pacer.

tcchuck2005
Pit Crew

Is his watch broken? It never changes from about 1:40.

Bostwick9
Intermediate Driver

Nice drawing. Not an improvement. He's very talented but he made the Pacer look like a Pinto.

Adding a ridiculous blind spot to a design that gave superior visibility is just ignorant.

GaryW
New Driver

I hate to disagree with Chip (and I don't very often), but removing the rear window is a mistake in my opinion.  I've always thought a Pacer (reimagined) would be a great little street rod, but the VISIBILITY (lotsa glass) is the predominant aspect of the car and probably why I've always liked those cars.   If one wants to reduce the view from outside the car to the occupants, then darken the glass!   Choose a paint color which is of a similar tone to the glass tint used, and I agree with Chip re lowering, wider tires/wheels, more performance (although a Hellcat engine would be way too much).   A small V8 or even a performance V6 would be more than enough to provide serious performance for this car, and with adding some *features* to the interior - nice seats, nice steering wheel, etc... would bring it all 'up to snuff'...  I've always envisioned building such a car but the days of finding a solid Pacer to work with are disappearing!

 

OMPguy
Pit Crew

Many know that the right hand door is longer than the left door. Few know that the wheelbase and track matched the Stingray.

Mohrmerc
Passenger

Love watching Chip draw. Redesigned Pacer looks like he went back to the Gremlin board.

 

JohnGalt
Pit Crew

Or you can just start with a Pinto Runabout.

Joecolli
New Driver

It's even the same color as my old Gremlin X! Geez Chip, I think Kenosha beat you to it. I wouldn't normally even have looked, especially in an edition with articles on Aston Martins & Triumph bikes, but had see if what he did was any improvement over his attempts on an E-type. At least he picked a car there is no harm in chopping up. I would love to have my Gremlin back though.

Punk
Detailer

I too saw the Gremlin resemblance, but if the car actually was built and you managed to put it next to a Gremlin, they would actually be very different, given how tiny the Gremlin is and how massive the Pacer is. I actually sort of like Chip's Pacer.

Oldracer
Passenger

Chip Foose must be getting stir-crazy in lock-down.  This seems like the answer to a question nobody has asked:  how do we transform one of the biggest car jokes ever to come out of Detroit, the Pacer.  How about a Pontiac Aztec next?

Punk
Detailer

Well I was pretty hard on Chip after what he did to my E Type, although not nearly as hard as many others were. As for his Pacer, if I had a small business and needed a deliver car/truck and saw his Pacer, I would be interested. My college girlfriend had a Pacer and they are absolutely massive inside. The worst feature was the wraparound glass that made it look like a huge fish bowl. Getting rid of that and the huge improvements to the front and back (which to be fair, were not possible in 1975 due to regulations) make it pretty appealing. As with all Chip's designs, its too low for my taste but that's a quibble.

Frankt
Passenger

Actually, not a joke. I worked at American Motors Styling during those times. Car was well received at it's inception. It was a decent car, too. Note that Pacer value is increasing. I have a'77 , same color as Chip's rendering. I like what he did with the exception of closing up the rear quarter glass. makes the car look very rear end heavy. because of all that glass, the car is pretty heavy for it's size. The glass minimizes the heavy look. 37% of the body surface is glass. Also, there are no blind spots when looking out from inside, part of the appeal. As a member of the styling team back then, I can say that proposals such as his were looked at. When the Pacer was in it's Wankel engine phase of the design process it was a **bleep** good looking car.

Carphleb01
Passenger

Love it,Bring it back..I had a 76 bicentennial red ,white and blue one..I called it my aquarium..lol

auto-mark
Pit Crew

Another great episode by Mr. Foose!  The pizza joint (Garcia's) I worked and delivered for at University of Illinois (Urbana/Champaign) did this back in the late '70s.  They bought red Pacers, put matching red closeouts in the rear quarter windows, and bolted a backlit green (fiberglas) stem on top, and called them "Flying Tomatoes"; to go along with the name the owners gave themselves (The Flying Tomato Brothers).  They also had a similarly decorated hot air balloon.  

amx pacer flying tomato[2].jpg

Bryan
Hagerty Employee

love this! those stems are freakin' hilarious
RoadDog
Intermediate Driver

Chip Foose is enormously talented and I could never do what he does.  However, with regard to the AMC Pacer all I can say is that by removing the rear side glass all he has done is transform the pacer into a.................slightly rounded Gremlin!  AMC's been there and done that!

mgbfastback
Pit Crew

Oh dear.  Chip really?  This is not up to your standards between this and the Jag XKE that you did.  Please get back to your normal good taste.

Nascarpainter
Passenger

How Many of you know/ knew that the Pacers right door was longer than the left door? Makes it easier for over weight folks to get in & out.

mwmyers91
Detailer

Big time improvement..... Maybe AMC would still be around if they

would have stepped out like that. Oh BTW a Hellcat drive train.. give

me some of that !!!!

JSievers
Advanced Driver

What does Mr. Foose do with the drawings he creates in this series? Are they available to purchase?

Sajeev
Community Manager

Hello @JSievers as of right now we do not have any available but that's a great idea so stay tuned!
oldkidchris
New Driver

I love the sketch and would love to see it come to life. I know it'd cost a bunch in fabricating etc, and it probably would be one of the worst investments. None the less, if it came out as cool as the sketch it'd be a head turner. Nice job Chip!

Scottch
Pit Crew

I know this is sacrilege, but why do I keep seeing a Mangusta.  Pudgy, but still......  Always great to watch the process.  Thanks Chip!

Ajakeski
Intermediate Driver

Why?

jimbob106
Passenger

Build it!

jimbob106
Passenger

Build it! It looks great!

Jfslater98
Pit Crew

That panel van needs a mural!

BWeston
Pit Crew

I watched with an open mind, but even the magic of Chip Foose can't make this pig of a car good looking!  When AMC launched the Pacer, we all said it looked like a goldfish bowl on wheels, and that anyone driving one should wear a set of artificial fish gills to look the part.  The most interesting comment I ever heard about a Pacer was from an editor at Automobile Magazine when I worked there - we were at a restaurant in Ann Arbor, having lunch, and there was a black Pacer parked across the street outside.  He looked at the car and said; "you know the disturbing thing about a Pacer?  If you chop the top, from a rear 3/4 view it would look like a Porsche 928!! 🙂 

DLK
Passenger

The YouTuber called "Sketchmonkey" also reimagined the Pacer and the result, IMHO, is more successful than this rendering.

Domfco
Passenger

Looks Great always seen a potential in that car and you hit it out of the park. Really enjoy all of you work. 

Michael-42-1962
New Driver

He took it right out of my mind's eye too.  I love those wheels...!!!  If he produced them, I would buy some for my modified Fiero quasi super car...!

Ol_Bill
Passenger

Watched this video this evening...  What a talent!  It never ceases to amaze me how Chip can bring a line drawing to life!  My hat's off to you Chip!  Show us more!

Classichondaman
New Driver

As a fan of glass area, I first thought Chip was going screw this up.  But no, very nice job, I want one too!

Now, how about doing the opposite on a car with TOO LITTLE GLASS - the current and last generation Camaros.  They are fairly nice looking cars, but would be great with 2 inches more glass area - IMHO.  Go for it Chip!

sharkguy48
Intermediate Driver

Love Foose's work but...taking the rear side glass away leaves an enormous blind spot.  Not a great idea.  Also, there is no mirror on the passenger side.  That makes the blind spot issue even worse.  Agree with another writer; tint the glass if you do not want to have anyone see you pick your nose (or just don't pick it.)