IT’S not often the most talked-about car at a car show is also the worst-looking one, but that was definitely the case with David Rawnsley’s VG Pacer hardtop at this year’s Red CentreNATS. This thing had patina by the semi-trailer-load thanks to spending almost 30 years in the bush not far from a place called Aileron, a little town about two hours out of Alice.
“I moved to Alice Springs in 2002 and heard about a Mustard Pacer dumped north of town,” David says. “All my questions fell on no one knowing the car; then, in about 2009 a mate through Valiant circles mentioned his dad had seen one north-west of Alice in the 90s. In 2012 an article appeared in Australian Muscle Car magazine. I emailed the editor and asked them to send my details to the person who sent the image. A few weeks later a mate rang me and said it was his pic. He supplied a mud map and advised which cattle station the car was on.”
David then spent the next six months or so ringing the cattle station three times a week, until finally, on Christmas Eve, 2012, they gave him permission to enter the land and remove the car.
Having sat up on its side for a number of years after the rear end was torn out of it during an accident, it was then used for target practice. Judging by the size of some of the holes scattered around the body, whoever was shooting at it wasn’t mucking around. It was also missing a number of body panels and didn’t have an engine.
David spent the next few years collecting everything he needed to get the car back on the road before eventually piecing it together for this year’s Red CentreNATS where it stole the show.
It might not be pretty, but it sure was cool to see a genuine survivor VG Pacer back on the road after a hard life in the outback.