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Calling all car enthusiasts and denim lovers! Have you ever heard of a car interior made entirely of Levi’s jeans? If not, let’s take a trip back in time to the 1970s when the iconic American car manufacturer, AMC, unveiled a special edition of their Gremlin model with an interior built off Levi’s jeans—yes, you read that correctly.

This unique collaboration between two American giants brought together automobile engineering and fashion design, creating a car that truly stood out on the road. Let’s take a closer look at this collaboration and the mark it made in the industry.

A yellow AMC Gremlin shown on a postcard.
An AMC Gremlin advertisement | Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images

The history of the AMC Gremlin

Let’s start with a brief history of the AMC Gremlin. The Gremlin was a subcompact car produced by AMC from 1970 to 1978. It was designed to compete with other popular small cars like the Ford Pinto and Chevrolet Vega.

The Gremlin was known for its unique and quirky design, featuring a distinctive sloping rear end and a compact and fuel-efficient engine. While it may not have been the most popular car of its time, the Gremlin left a lasting impression on the automotive industry.

The introduction of Levi’s AMC Gremlin

In 1973, AMC decided to create a special edition of their Gremlin model, and they turned to Levi’s for inspiration. According to MotorTrend, this model featured a faux-denim interior composed of spun nylon. The seat buttons were replaced with burnished copper rivets, as you would find on your favorite pair of jeans.

The exterior was painted denim blue with red Levi’s badging on the rear haunches. This unique collaboration between AMC and Levi’s was a hit with consumers, and it certainly set the Gremlin apart from other subcompact cars on the market.

More collaborations were in the works

The success of Levi’s AMC Gremlin led to an expansion of this collaboration. In 1975, AMC introduced Levi’s edition of the CJ-5 and CJ-7 Jeep models. While the interior was not made entirely of denim, AMC worked closely with Levi’s to create a denim-like material that replicated the look and feel of real denim. This material was used on the seats and trim, giving the models a distinctive and fashionable look.

Hagtery mentions the Levi interior made a one-year appearance in the ’77 Pacer and ’78 (Concord) AMX. Jeep models used a heavier material than cars and offered both blue and tan versions. In the last year of production, though, drivers could get their pants seats in blue, black, tan, or berry.

The AMC Gremlin and Levi collab was one to remember

So, what can we learn from the story of Levi’s AMC Gremlin? The collaboration was not only a creative and innovative idea, but also a smart marketing strategy. It differentiated AMC models from other small cars and drew attention to its unique characteristics. It pays off to think outside the box and collaborate with unconventional partners to create something unique and exciting.


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