Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: The Unfortunate History of the AMC Pacer

For this week's Tuesday's Overlooked, I'm going in an unusual direction.

I recently spent a full month between my old car, a 2000 Hyundai Elantra wagon (which died an undignified death, but that's a story for another time) and my new (used) car, a 2006 Saturn ION. During that time, I went looking at cars and mini SUVs of various years and models, and it got me thinking much more about cars than I ever have. I've never been a "car guy" before. I've never worked on them, I don't know an alternator from a catalytic converter, and I didn't own one until I was 35 years old. Yet, now all of a sudden, I'm intrigued by them. This intrigue got me looking up popular, and in some cases notorious, cars of history. During this search, one item in particular caught my attention--the following documentary.

The Unfortunate History of the AMC Pacer is a short look at the most infamous model of car from the defunct American Motor Company, AMC. The documentary gives a brief background on the company in general as well as the social and economic context in which the Pacer was conceived and designed. The factors that led to the quick rise and fall of the Pacer are covered well, and the film demonstrates that there were a number of things, both in and out of AMC's hands, that led to the car's ultimate failure. For someone whose relationship with cars has been slight, I found The Unfortunate History of the AMC Pacer to be quite an engaging piece. And at a fast-paced 25 minutes, it won't impact your busy schedule. I recommend giving the film a look.

In fact, you can see it in its entirety below. Also, I'm interested in hearing any car stories you'd be willing to share, good or bad, so please leave them in the comments if you're so inclined. Thanks!


Todd Mason said...

It is pretty fascinating, though it compresses the history understandably...not much about the Gremlin, not too much about how bad the just-pre-American Motors models such as the Rambler American were...and the collapse of American Motors into the rather flailing Chrysler (and, of course, Checker and a few other manufacturers did continue offering to their fringe markets throughout the 1960s and '70s...).

Todd Mason said...

(International Harvester even added a pseudo-jeep or two along with their pickups, as I recall...)

Phillyradiogeek said...

The whole industry is really fascinating, for a variety of reasons, even though I know so little of it. Might be a good topic for research, if I find the time--which I won't.


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