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In the Garage: 1977 AMC Pacer
THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1977 AMC Pacer wagon owned by Dominick Speziale
Some think it's lovable. Others call it laughable, a "fish bowl on wheels." Yet few would deny the originality of the Pacer, a squarish, bubble-shaped coupe created by renowned auto designer Richard Teague and built between 1975 and 1980. According to amcpacer.com, the car was only as long as a Volkswagen, yet as wide as a Cadillac. AMC added the wagon starting in 1977. "The Pacer was a car far ahead of its time, with its aerodynamic styling, wide stance and humongous cargo capacity," Speziale said. "The stability and handling of this car far exceeds some of today's 'copycat' new wagons because of the extremely wide stance." HOW LONG HE'S OWNED IT
Since last October WHERE HE FOUND IT
Speziale bought it from the original owner's family in Greenlawn. CONDITION
"This car has been garaged all its life and has been meticulously maintained," he said. "I have all the service records since new. It has 31,500 original miles. It even has the original window sticker and manuals." Speziale plans to update the AM radio. TIPS FOR OWNERS
"Park in the back of the parking lot," he advised, "because these cars are extremely rare and getting body parts is a task. Luckily ,this car has no issues, rust or otherwise, and runs and drives like a new vehicle." VALUE
Speziale said it is "very hard to guess, since there are very few still on the road -- maybe under 100 - and rarely come up for sale." An Illinois dealer is currently advertising a 1977 Pacer wagon with just over 16,000 miles for $4,900. PERSONAL COMMENTS "I originally sat in a Pacer when I had just graduated college in 1977," Speziale said. "I loved the car and knew someday I would own one. Everywhere this car goes, people stop, stare and ask where they can get one. The styling is now perfect for today's cars . . . aerodynamic, with a fold-flat cargo area and real seating for five adults. My family loves the car and we call her 'Mellow Yellow' and take her out often for drives. I'm a big believer that cars are made to be driven and a car needs to be 25 to 30 years old to develop its character, its soul. And, like a fine wine when cared for, they only get better with age." If you want to show off your car, e-mail your information and a jpg photo (at least 200 dpi) for consideration to David Fluhrer, Newsday Wheels; firstname.lastname@example.org or fax: 631-843-3146.