Welcome to Fraser Fast Facts • Vol. 1, Issue 9
Wayne's World Mirthmobile
Party On! in Garth's famous 1976 AMC Pacer, the Mirthmobile
In 1992 Wayne's World took theaters by storm. This is the story of the unsung hero.
You’re probably familiar with the box-office hit Wayne’s World, whipped up from a single Saturday Night Live skit, if not by watching the movie, then by the iconic scene that has circulated the internet for decades.
The impressive scene instantly-associated with Wayne’s World is when Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar pile into their AMC Pacer and lip-sync to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. (See video link and animated GIF.) What makes that scene most memorable is the unsung fifth cast member, the Mirthmobile.
Produced from 1975 to 1980, the schwinging powder-blue with red flames AMC Pacer, sporting the only-known interior red rope licorice dispenser, was genuinely a supporting-actor in both Wayne’s World (1992) and Wayne’s World 2 (1993). Purchased second-hand, and fitted with non-matching wheels, the Mirthmobile, dubbed so by Wayne and Garth, eventually popped up on the television show Pawn Stars. After a reconditioning, and the addition of a working stereo, it sold for $37,400 in 2016.
The Mirthmobile had a 4.2 liter, I-6 engine, paired with a three-speed automatic transmission, so it was really hard to drive… NOT! The original color was yellow, spawning comments like “yellow Submarine” to “it could be a big yellow fish tank”. It’s unique shape was a feature AMC hoped would catch on, as the width of the Pacer equaled that of most mid-sized cars at the time.
Mounting of the ever-convenient ceiling licorice dispenser required drilling a hole through the roof. The addition of the dash-mounted cup holder, and door mechanism, required the removal of several dash components, and sealing off the glove box.
Amazingly, while almost all movies have multiple versions of key vehicles, it is believed there was only one Mirthmobile.
BUT, (dramatic pause), where did the name Mirthmobile come from? Reportedly, it was so dubbed for the hilarious things that happened in the vehicle. It was full of ‘mirth’, a noun referring to gladness and gaiety, especially when expressed by laughter.
COOL Fraser Fast Facts include:
The red rope licorice dispenser in the Mirthmobile appears in the first scene, so it wasn’t purchased with the ‘advance’ Benjamin paid Wayne and Garth. (They must have just loved Red Vines.)
- If you watch the Bohemian Rhapsody scene closely, Garth doesn’t know the words. (Click on image for video.)
- The famous Mirthmobile license plate ‘F3B 259’ pays homage to “The Day The Music Died”, or February 3, 1959, when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. Richardson tragically died in a plane crash.
- There are multiple references to a hidden ‘brownie recipe’ in the movie’s end credits. Have fun looking for it!
If you want to trick out a vintage AMC Pacer of your own, bolt in a world-class FRASER remanufactured engine and Party on dude!
Thinking about building a replica with an american-made engine? Fraser has the right engine ready for you!