Design Notes: 1975 AMC Pacer
Below are several undated early concept sketches. This first set seems to adhere to Mr. Teague’s original vision for the car established in the doodle and criteria on the previous page.
The following early sketches appear more conventional in shape and look as though they anticipate a traditional front-engine configuration in place of the original mid-engine proposal.
Next step: tape
In these next images you will see a series of full-scale tape drawings that are dated September 1, 1971.
This first one, below, is the only one that still bears a strong resemblance to Mr. Teague’s first sketch, including the near hood-less front design. However, the rear seats are now facing forward (no doubt sparing countless passengers the discomfort of motion sickness).
The tape drawings on the following page all have more traditional hood lines and yet are from the same date as the one pictured above.
It makes me wonder how serious the actual proposal for a mid-engine layout really was. Was it even thoroughly thought out from a feasibility perspective? I’m not a mechanical engineer but imagine the servicing problems the midship design would seem to present; not to mention concerns with heat and noise penetrating into the cabin. Moreover, wouldn’t an engine fire present a particularly dangerous set of circumstances? I must say, however, that putting the engine near the center of the car would probably have done wonders for balancing the vehicle’s weight.
Regardless of the location of the engine, the Pacer, internally codenamed Amigo, was being considered for a rather unconventional engine design which actually involved General Motors.
Continue to page 3, below.