AMC Pacer

This two-door compact car produced in the United States by the American Motors Corporation between 1975 and 1980 was appropriately named the AMC Pacer. Design for this model began in 1971 and took on a surprisingly unusual, bulbous "Fish Bowl" look with differently sized doors, which makes this model easy to spot even today. In an attempt to bring a futuristic look to cars, the shape was highly rounded with a huge glass area, which was anything but usual for the time period. The Pacer was also oddly wide for a small car – so wide it could be mistaken for an American full-size car. Sort of quirky, but the width of the car was determined by the manufacturing assembly lines, which were still the same size as those used in the days of full-sized cars. Rightly so, the designers assumed that Americans were accustomed to and would prefer larger cars, and the only way to get them into a compact car was if it felt roomy inside. To add to the oddities of this model, the passenger's side door was four inches longer than the driver's side. The designers rationalized this by stating that rear-seat passengers should enter the car from the safer passenger side of the vehicle. Now, whether anyone actually headed this advice is yet to be determined. Rather, it was more of a talking point for drivers and on-lookers. The Pacer was however among one of the first production cars in the United States to feature rack-and-pinion steering; however, the exterior appearance of the vehicle definitely stole the show from the mechanical highlights of the vehicle. The Pacer earned itself some fairly funny monikers such as "pregnant roller skate", "fishbowl on wheels" or a "jellybean in suspenders". These silly titles still seem to be following the car, for it is not exactly coveted as a collectable even in today's terms. Yet, as with everything, there seems to be a small cult following amongst those still obsessing and reveling in the heyday of the seventies.