Derik Gustafson's 1980 Pacer
Derik Gustafson sent in his story on 1 August 2000 about finding his "dream car" 1980 Pacer wagon.
I finally got some pictures for you! Boy, was this baby a cool find, or what?! I remember when I fell in love with Pacers. It was August of 1998. While on our way to visiting the big Oshkosh airshow in Wisconsin, we stopped at a gas station to fill up and get snacks. As I came out of the store I saw four screaming men wailing at the little glass bubble car as steam poured out of its engine. It was love at first sight. When I came home to lovely Owatonna, MN, I began my long search.
I searched junkyards, newspapers, everything... you name it, I looked. About a month and a half ago, I was at a junkyard and I found out that a guy had a Pacer for sale with a pulled engine. He then mentioned it was a 1980. Hearing that, I exploded with excitement, because during my research I had found that those were really rare.
I got the number of the guy and called him. He lived in Faribault, not too far away from Owatonna. I had a softball game there that night, so we met at his house at 9:30 that night. As he opened the garage door I began to laugh, as there stood my dream car. A Pacer... and a 1980 Pacer Wagon at that! The fenders and floorboards were bad, but the rest of the car was in great shape. He said he had the engine for sale for $200 as well. He also said he would throw in another engine with a cracked block! So I nervously asked him the price of the car.
"Well," he said, "I'll never get this thing out of my garage, so how's $100 sound?" I almost wet myself. Talk about a find. So we trailered it up, and now it sits in my garage, getting ready for the engine to be put in. New floorpans are on the way, and in the winter I will give it a full restoration! I can't wait!"
Updated 26 January 2003I sold the above Pacer three weeks later. After two years of searching, I came across this low-mileage Pacer a few weeks ago. Here are a few pictures of my new car. It's been in storage for about 13 years. So, I am gonna do a light restoration right now, then in a few years, do a full one!
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