by Don Kincl
It is as though the two cars were designed simultaneously in a studio that contained a single ruler and a single French curve. A coin was flipped and the two stylists got to work and churned out their drawings.
I like the Pacer design-wise. I think it’s a very intelligent construction only it had the wrong engine. I would buy an EV Pacer nowadays. Hope they make one.
I wince at some cars chosen for EV conversions but I truly think that would make for the ultimate Pacer.
Totally agree, if somehow the door sizes could be swapped over for RHD! Viewed as a piece of design, as a stationary sculpture, it’s very attractive, but as a car it’s let down by the packaging constraints of those mechanicals. As each new car seems to come with ever-smaller glass areas, the Pacer looks better every day.
If AMC could have done the transverse engine FWD thing in a car with that outline….
If those bodies were removed, you’d believe they were made at the same time by the same company, just in different sizes.
Some years International would run out of 392 V-8’s. They would substitute AMC 401 V-8’s in Travelalls and light trucks. Not terribly difficult as IH was using Chrysler TorqFlite transmissions at the time as was AMC (Chrysler built AMC 727’s and 904’s with AMC bolt patterns). IH also used AMC 232 and 258 6’s in Scouts and light trucks. Those 2 vehicles could actually be ‘related’!
The 401 was added at the end of 72, which I’ve only seen in the IFS 1010 trucks. It was in the brochure for 73 only available in 1/2 tons. The new chassis designed to accept the MV404/446 came in 74 and the 401 wasn’t figured in. The MV was late and the oil embargo meant there wasn’t a lot of demand for big engines or their trucks in general.
My 1968 Travelall had a Borg-Warner with a 3.5 stall torque ratio. The power was the IH 304 V8 which was designed to haul up to 24,500 pounds GVW.
I think IH started with the TorqFlites around 1970. Yes, BW’s before that. Just like AMC.
I had a ’72 IH pickup, which had the AMC 232 Six mated to a 2-speed automatic, I think the same as the older Chevys had. It was not exactly a powerhouse setup, but with a leaf-sprung axle up front I’m not sure I’d want much more oomph. First time I loaded in a half-rick of firewood and drove it home, the steering had lost all sense of direction! My cure for that was to take it to a tire shop that specialized in dealer “takeoffs” – mostly really cheap radials – at 4 for $90. It transformed the steering completely for the better.
The engine was a pretty good one, but needed its head overhauled, and the shop I took it to refused to do the removal. I got a couple of car-club friends to help me, and our one short chunky guy not only fit under the raised hood, he was also the only one of us strong enough to lift out that head! It took three of us (giving Lee a deserved rest) to put it into somebody’s station wagon, and carry it into the head-repair shop. I drove that thing off and one for I think four more years before the rest of the engine died, and it got hauled to the Rusty Gates.
The only automatic IH used in 1972 was the Chrysler 727 which is a 3sp. They used a Borg Warner 3sp before that. I don’t know if they ever offered a 2sp transmission.
I smiled when I saw this. We actually had both of these vehicles in our family simultaneously. We had a 1971 IH Travelall and I believe it was a 1975 AMC Pacer. I actually learned to drive on the Pacer! It probably explains why I always tend towards the obscure makes even now. (We own a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV)
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