Friday, April 10, 2009

The Pacer

What do you get when you cross:

Gremlin Car


With

Pinto Car

A place on the list of the Top Ugliest Cars Ever Made?

[Yeah, OK, that too]

But no, what you get is:

AMC Pacer

Yep, AMC's questionable brainchild of the 70's: The Pacer. And why, you ask, is this my Flashback Friday post topic for this week? Simple really...because I learned to drive in an AMC Pacer. And I'll admit it: I thought the Pacer was kinda cool...at first. When we got our used one (I was never clear on why we got THAT particular vehicle), I thought it was neat, even if it was kind of funny looking. It was different, that's for sure. But over time, it started looking rather like a turtle, or at least like a really fat Pinto. And the doors were so big and heavy, and had a tendency to pull closed against their own weight. You had to be sure to get your extremities inside quickly, for fear you'd lose a digit on the way in. It was also really, incredibly S-L-O-W. Honestly, the car had no balls at all. And when you're a teenager, speed is important in a vehicle...especially when you can in no way count on the looks of it to fetch your friends' approval.

My mom wasn't the least bit thrilled by the Pacer purchase. I think her first words to the spousal unit were, "Take it back." Daddio had a habit of bringing home vehicles; he was a car salesman for many years, so he often drove trade-ins home for the night. But sometimes, much to mom's shock and horror, he would bring home some absolute nightmare of automotive conception that we were keeping. The Pacer, clearly, ranked right up there on her list of cars to never drive, let alone own. So she was none too thrilled to have it parked in our driveway. Needless to say, we didn't have it for long...just long enough for me to learn to drive in it. And really, you just have to imagine how cool I looked sitting in the driver's seat of that bubble on wheels. Do the words "teen angst" mean anything to ya?!

On the plus side, since my mom absolutely hated The Pacer, the next rig we got was a glorious improvement. And I was thrilled every day I got to drive it into the school parking lot after I got my driver's license.

Ford Mustang

That, my friends, is what I call a car! And come to think of it, I met the Hubs when I was driving that car. But pre-Mustang, I couldn't even get a date. Hmm. I'm beginning to wonder if it was me that caught his eye...or that car?? LOL. We got rid of the Mustang eventually, but the Hubs is still around, so it couldn't have just been the car. But hey, it probably didn't hurt either.