8 Automotive Lemons


1975-1980 AMC Pacer

­­H­ad this disco-era compact come with the smooth, lightweight, GM-built rotary engine that was planned, perhaps the Pacer hatchback's styling would have seemed appropriately adventurous. But with a conventional powertrain, the Pacer was just plain odd. "America's first wide small car" ran a six-cylinder engine -- and briefly a V8 -- after GM canceled its rotary program when the engine wouldn't meet emissions and fuel-mileage targets.

­It was roomy inside, but with its rounded body, large windows, hatchback, and no discernible trunk, the Pacer resembled a "fishbowl on wheels," making it the butt of many jokes.