The Destiny Fulfilled -- Finding Pacer #2
The date: July 31, 1999
The place: Ocean Shores, Washington
The occasion: Whitecaps and Hubcaps, 1999 Ocean Shores AMC Meet
Just two years and six days after losing Pacer #1, I drove from my then-home in Hillsboro, Oregon, to Ocean Shores, Washington for the 1999 Whitecaps and Hubcaps AMC Meet, along with fellow AMC enthusiast Jared O'Neal. Despite my five year involvement in the AMC community, this was my first AMC car meet. I was delighted to see some of the most fabulous cars I'd ever laid eyes upon, and pleased to chat with some of the nicest folks I've ever met.
From the start of the show until about 2:00pm, out of over 80 cars in attendance, there were five Pacers at the show: Charles and Patricia Patterson's 1975 sedan, Scott and Shirra Veillard's 1978 D/L sedan, Evelyn Dyck's 1976 sedan, Jack and Jeanne Newman's 1977 Levi's wagon, and Chase Cook's 1975 Pacer X.
After we'd had a chance to look at all the cars, Jared and I were about to begin the three hour drive back to Portland. That's when fate decided I needed a little kick in the backside, and as I was saying my goodbyes, Pacer #2 drove into the lot. It was a beautiful 1977 brown woody wagon, in spectacular condition inside and out. Jokingly, I walked up to the driver's side window and asked "hey, are you selling?" I could hardly contain my joy when Steve Varga said "actually, we are."
Steve parked the car, and he, his wife, their son, and their dog all climbed out... and I proceeded to drool. As I scrutinized the car and discussed the matter with the other Pacer owners, I came to realize more and more that I couldn't let this one pass me by. I took a test drive with Steve, and my exit from and entry back into the parking lot was filmed by Jared on his camcorder (coming soon!). I was overjoyed to be sitting in the first Pacer I'd driven in over two years. I quickly resolved to give Steve a deposit for the car, giving myself a couple days to think it over.
On September 11, 1999 my friend and fellow car enthusiast Shashi Jain accompanied me to Poulsbo, Washington as my "Pacer acquisition companion." Three hours up and three hours down, and I was back home in Hillsboro with Pacer #2. The destiny was finally been fulfilled.
Whitecaps and Hubcaps show photos courtesy of Charles Patterson. "Pacer Jet" picture taken by Shashi Jain.
Continue to Part 4, "Growing the Nostalgia -- Pacer #3"...
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