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Memories of "Finchly"


Drew Measel has fond memories of the Pacer he called "Finchly".

I loved all the Pacer stories I read and wanted to share mine.

My father bought me a 1975 Pacer in the fall of 1985 to use as a college car. It was a surprise. All I was told is that he got me a car and I had to come home to get it. My mother thought I would be horrified but I was thrilled! I was 10 when the Pacer was introduced and used to be envious of the people I saw driving them.

My Pacer was the basest of base models. 4 wheel drum brakes, no radio and no power steering. There were lots of old dead Pacers at the local salvage yard so my father and I spent a couple of weeks adding a power steering rack, front disc brakes and a 8 track stereo from several different Pacers. That car got me through 2 rough Michigan winters and never failed to start.

My Pacer at first was the butt of jokes by all my college friends, but soon it had a nickname (Finchly) and was the car that hauled me and my friends out to all the weekend parties. We went to a college in rural northern Michigan and so there was quite a bit of distance between school and anything interesting. During one of our weekend road trips a Chevy truck on the road in front of us hit a deer. We couldn't avoid the carcass in the road and ended up driving over it. Finchly didn't even seem to notice. We felt a slight thump as it hit the rear axle and we kept right on going.

After school I traded Finchly for a 1982 VW Rabbit diesel (yeah, I like off-the-wall cars). I got $400 in trade. That was $100 more than my dad paid for it to start with! My old college friends still talk about Finchly and I have several pictures to remind me.

I still keep my eye out for Pacers, and someday soon I am gonna have another Finchly!


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