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Leslie Lupi, Pacer Salesman

In early 2000, I won an eBay auction for a Pacer model from Leslie Lupi. As it turned out, Leslie was an AMC salesman in the days of the Pacer introduction. He was kind enough to share his story with us on 11 August 2000.

Here's an insignificant piece of history which may be of interest to you Pacer fans. Back in 1975, I was in between career changes and needed to find a job, until I found the direction I wanted to be heading. Here it is, 25 years later, and I still haven't found it! Anyhow, I responded to an ad for a new and used car salesman at an AMC Dealer in Vails Gate, NY. I interviewed with Mrs. Kelly, of Kelly Motors. The Pacer had just been introduced and she was very excited in this new concept of automotive revelation.

During her interview, she stated she wanted someone young with vigor, to exhibit this work of art to the masses, and generate an interest in this new concept of transportation. In the back of my mind I kept looking at the car on the showroom floor, a red X model and wondered, "How could something that looked like an upside down goldfish bowl create any interest at all?" In any event I started the following week.

I recall the first day on the job, Mrs. Kelly surrendered the keys to her baby blue Pacer D/L demo, and said, "Take it for a ride and tell me what you think." Well it started and sounded like the Nash that it was, of course being brand new, it was like all new cars, great. As I pulled out of the lot, I was immediately impressed, how it hugged the turn with out any body roll whatsoever. I have to admit after 10 minutes of driving it, all my skepticism disappeared. When I returned Mrs. Kelly was anxiously waiting for me. As I approached her, she saw the smile on my face, and in turn she radiated with glee. The Pacer passed the test.

My first mission was to go to a large shopping center and present the car to the general public, so loaded with sales brochures off I went. One thing for certain, my Pacer really stood out in the crowd. I had thought that I would have a difficult time in getting people's attention -- not so. Before I was even able to get set up, I already had people asking me questions. The reactions varied, however, the Pacer was either accepted or rejected.

My career as an AMC salesman ended prior to the introduction of the station wagon model. Looking back at the other models offered by AMC at the time, I will admit, even though the Pacer was the most unusual and drastic design by AMC standards, it was the most exciting and popular model for its rather short existence.

So there you have it: a salesman's view of the Pacer, in its day of glory!

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