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Todd Nessel's Secret Pacer Ride


Todd Nessel must have been one of the first people in the general public to take a ride in a brand new 1975 Pacer. He shared this story on 13 August 2000.

About a week before the Pacer made it's debut (about the end of Feb. 1975) my father was working at an AMC dealer in Costa Mesa, California. He told me one evening that they had this new car in the garage in the back that was not coming out until the following week, and asked if I would like to see it.

I (age 12) tell him "of course" so he takes me to the dealership after hours, probably about 9 or 10 at night. He unlocks the gate and takes me to the garage. Inside was the first Pacer in the area, yellow if I remember correctly, under a tarp to keep out prying eyes, like ours. :-)

Well, off comes the tarp, and Dad goes into the office and comes back with the keys. And then we went for a drive around town before the car was officially released. You should have seen the people gawking and staring at this car! You would have thought an alien ship had landed... so now I tell people that I was the first kid in the US to ride around in a Pacer.

The next week he told me that there were people lined up to take it for a test drive...


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