As denim was reaching mainstream popularity in 1973, the now defunct American Motor Corporation (AMC) collaborated with a variety of designers drum up excitement over their new line of cars.
The Javelin, their muscle car, got the Pierre Cardin treatment and the Gremlin compact seemed like a natural fit for Levi’s. The American denim company was just launching their downmarket Orange Tab collection, which meshed well with the economy car demographic, and the Levi’s automobile was born.
The official press release for the Levi’s edition Gremlin touts the car as the first choice for the fashion aware:
Now a Gremlin with upholstery that’s like blue denim Levi’s. Has orange stitching, the buttons, event the famous Levi’s tab on both front seats…Levi’s Gremlin. The economy car that wears the pants.
The styling may look a little dated and anyone from a hot climate can contest the merits of placing copper buttons in the direct center of the seats, but the Denim Gremlin marked a turning point in the fabric’s cultural identity as mainstream automakers saw it as cool and hip enough to sell cars.
Here’s to hoping for a raw denim minivan in 2015.
Images courtesy sub5zero.com, ginormous.com, cartype.com, and caranddriver.com.