This is a 1970s icon we'd be proud to drive.
These days, we are used to seeing old cars getting modern makeovers courtesy of Photoshop experts. This time, however, we’re in for a very special treat. Not only are we privy to an update of the love-to-hate AMC Pacer from the 1970s, but we’re also treated to a properly old-school design session by none other than Chip Foose.
The new video from Hagerty features the noted car designer in a quiet setting with photos of the bulbous, glass-heavy AMC and a bunch of paper. There are no computer screens here, no renderings, no trial-and-error steps to sample radically different ideas. When we say old school we’re talking pencils, colored markers, drafting templates, lots of paper, and even more raw talent.
Foose starts off with a rough pencil sketch which is fine-tuned through tracing paper until he arrives at the final design. His take on the Pacer turns it into something of a panel delivery van by scaling down the gigantic section of rear glass to a simple piece on the rear hatch. From there he makes relatively minor tweaks on the rear – the taillights are stretched into a single unit spanning the width of the car, and the roll pan gets a pair of exhaust tips. Bumpers and door handles are inspired by old Chevrolet Camaros, and naturally, there’s a big set of wheels.
Gallery: Chip Foose AMC Pacer Panel Van Design
From there he moves into color, choosing a very 1970s shade of orange that is certainly befitting of the Pacer. Bodylines are filled in and accentuated, reflections are added, and aside from using the drafting template for the round wheels, it’s all done by hand. The result is what you see above, and even if you still don’t like the new-and-improved Pacer, It’s impossible to not appreciate the skill that went into this redesign.
Foose points out that, in the context of the 1970s, the oddball Pacer was actually very well received by the public and the media. Perhaps time has been too harsh on this curious ride, because we’d happily cruise Woodward Avenue in this Foose’d up AMC.