There’s many, many things I like concerning AMC, America’s lovable loser of carmakers, however I think its really specifying quality relates to its large inspiration and brains despite its very own continuous broke-ness. AMC was the master of re-use and repurposing automobiles, like making the Gremlin by slicing the butt off the Hornet or making concept cars and trucks everything about making use of the fewest components or the cheapskate method they upgraded the Wagoneer face. Yet this largely-unknown half-assed tried re-purposing of the AMC Pacer into a kind of child Cherokee possibly one of the most AMC thing that AMC ever before AMC ‘d.
These images of what seems to be a rather secret AMC Styling Department job were first published in 2017 by Hemmings Classic Automobile, and also it’s from this magazine that we obtain what little info there gets on the task, which even old AMC staff members don’t seem to truly bear in mind.
Below’s what Hemmings had to claim regarding these pictures:
There’s a little secret surrounding the “Lil” Principal. Although we have lots of get in touches with in AMC Styling and called more than a loads previous workers to figure out what we could about the “Lil” Chief, we showed up vacant, since no one in AMC Styling remembers the automobile; that’s never ever occurred prior to. The only recognition on the back of the images is a solitary word and day: “Personnel 9/20/79.” We know the images are authentic. When we revealed these photos to our designer buddies, they identified the eye-catching young lady seen in one image; she was a secretary in AMC Styling. Obviously “Lil” Principal was an extremely secret job.
This is all definitely interesting, as are the suspected factors AMC Designing VP Cock Teague appears to have appointed the job to begin with, which were threefold: meet needs for recreational vehicles, take some stress off the Jeep plant by constructing even more cars at the Kenosha plant, as well as to attempt and obtain more out of the financial investment in the Pacer generally.
What I find particularly interesting about this workout is exactly how shoestring it seemed, which is most significant by the use of routine jackstands set under the automobile so it could utilize those big Goodyear Tracker A-T tires, the very same one made use of on the Cherokee. Making the effort to figure out exactly how to give the Pacer some lift was clearly not a concern right here, a minimum of not at this beginning.
The wheelarches have been enlarged and also had those black flares added, and the entire front fascia and also hood is really various from a normal Pacer, but that appears to be the degree of actual sheet steel adjustments.
A few variations containing quickly added or removed parts were made, including back quarter home window cover panels as well as 2 kinds of roofing system freight boxes, one that might be body-colored fiberglass and also integrating a single rectangular driving lamp, and also one that seems black canvas.
Sure, it’s all sort of silly as well as ridiculous, but it does show what AMC was truly wonderful at: optimizing what they had right into new and also unanticipated things.
I think the LIL Chief is in fact type of fantastic-looking, if ridiculous, but outrageous is fun, as well as excellent for this sort of auto. They took care of to provide the Pacer a quite significantly different look, particularly keeping that even more truck-like face, as well as the Pacer’s strange, broad, ovoid body really sort of works below, providing practical indoor space while remaining reasonably small.
Really, this kind of anticipates the resulting little 4×4 SUVs and crossovers like the Geo Tracker or Toyota RAV4 or Honda CRV that appeared a strong decade to a decade and a fifty percent later on.
In common AMC style, they had a hazy however oddly precise glance of what the future might hold, however lacked the sources or ability to truly follow up, and all we have left are documents of macabre desires similar to this crazy yellow thing, propped up on jackstands.