Home » Wow, A Car With Pants!: Cold Start

Wow, A Car With Pants!: Cold Start

Cs Pants Gremlin
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I’m not sure how many of you are aware of this, but cars with denim upholstery made to look like jeans were once a big deal. Volkswagen, for example, had Jeans Beetles in 1974, then Jeans Beetle kits in mid 1974, then a 1975 Jeans Beetle, and the 1976 South African Jeans Beetle, and later the 1982, 1995 and 2000 Mexican-market Jeans Beetles. But before that came the true jeans-as-seats pioneer, the AMC Levi’s Gremlin. And there’s a commercial for this car I want to show you because I think it somehow misses the point of it all, in the best possible way.

Okay, here’s the commercial:

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Everything about this commercial is incredible: the visual acuity of that first guy to be able to spot the type of seat fabric in a parked car on a sunny day from like five feet away, but what really makes this glorious is the reaction of his friends:

“PANTS!” yells his easily delighted friend, probably named Keithford or something.

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“Wow, a car with pants!,” exclaims Sheila, very clearly seeing the most unexpected sight of her young, sheltered life.

The point of the Levi’s Gremlin wasn’t really “pants,” was it? The hook wasn’t that the car somehow had pants, pants in the most broad, generic sense, it was that it used jeans as upholstery. That’s an important distinction. Denim jeans were countercultural symbols, markers of effortless cool, casual, enjoyable living, and the fact that they were pants was secondary.

Everyone has pants. Pastors and presidents and pirates and parents and punks all have pants.

Who came up with this ad, thinking that what made this cool was that there were pants in the car? Also, they weren’t even pants! There’s no pants in there! And AMC didn’t call it the Pants Gremlin, because that means something very, very different.

Pants. Jeezis. The hell is wrong with you people?

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TJ Heiser
TJ Heiser
8 months ago

I dreamt that I was out in public without pants… a Gremlin would have come in handy.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
8 months ago

I prefer the VW GTI with a kilt.

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
8 months ago

Driving with a kilt on is uncomfortable, all those pleats bunch up under you.

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
8 months ago

And in a later automotive dystopia (according to Jason at least) people literally wear their cars…

Jason Roth
Jason Roth
8 months ago

Real missed opportunity for a car with actual pants: instead of a seatbelt to secure you in your seat, you just slide your legs into the car-pants and zip up. Maybe a vest for sporty vehicles.

Cool Dave
Cool Dave
8 months ago
Reply to  Jason Roth

Imagine the red carpet events! “Mr Celebrity is wearing an AMC economy car this evening.”

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

You probably shouldn’t end your commercial with “The car isn’t bad either.”

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
8 months ago

Yeah. Truth in advertising is important.

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
8 months ago

“Everyone has pants”? I believe the Scots would like a word with you…

Chachi549
Chachi549
8 months ago

If a car wears pants where is it’s waist? Does it wear pants horizontally, on the belt line just below the windows? Or does it wear the pants on the back half over the back tires and but side of it’s car?

Can someone please draw pants on a car and make a good case for them. I can’t stop imagining and I won’t stop until I see an illustration of function-able car pants!

ES
ES
8 months ago
Reply to  Chachi549

you’re trying to start the Great Car Eyes War again, aren’t you? just want to see the world burn, eh?

Chachi549
Chachi549
8 months ago
Reply to  ES

I imagine that somewhere there’s a parallel world where every car wears pants and everyone’s rite of passage is debuting to the world what style of pants they’ll choose for their car to wear.

In that world there is someone sitting at their desk, procrastinating work by imaging a world where cars go around pants-less, with their truck nuts hanging free.

Forbestheweirdo
Forbestheweirdo
8 months ago

Not gonna lie, one of the biggest selling points to the upcoming Volvo EX30 is the recycled denim interior for me haha. I love weird things like that, and if they let me get it in the obnoxious yellow with a blue denim interior, that is going to have to happen in a couple years.

DysLexus
DysLexus
8 months ago

It would be cool if these had a button fly for those “stuck in traffic and cannot make it to a restroom” moments we all have.

Cyko9
Cyko9
8 months ago

Nobody but an Autopian or a wasted ’70s teen gushes about seat fabric with such enthusiasm. But, hey, Nancy Allen!

Hotdoughnutsnow
Hotdoughnutsnow
8 months ago

When I was a kid, one of my friends had a 66 Malibu that his mom had made demin seat covers, complete with pockets on the back of the front seats. I thought that was the coolest thing. I also coveted the Jeep CJ that was co-branded by Levi’s…

Voeltzwagen
Voeltzwagen
8 months ago

My ‘71 Squareback had a denim interior. I was almost convinced to clean it up and try to restore it, but it was beyond saving at that point. Converted it back to boring black vinyl.

CSRoad
CSRoad
8 months ago
Reply to  Voeltzwagen

Square Pants in Vinyl?

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
8 months ago

“Officer, I’m technically wearing pants if you really think about it. Sure I’ve got my junk out but these seats are made of denim. I don’t see why everyone waiting to pick up their kids had to make such a big deal about… what’s with the handcuffs?! I thought this was America!”

Parsko
Parsko
8 months ago

Oh the memories….

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago

Now the popularity of jacked up pickups and SUVs FINALLY makes sense: If you’re high enough nobody can see you’re not wearing pants!

(Also explains all the vaping…they just misread the memo).

Lokki
Lokki
8 months ago

User name checks out…

Flyingstitch
Flyingstitch
8 months ago

Never pants a Gremlin, they have a bad temper and NO sense of humor.

Chronometric
Chronometric
8 months ago
Reply to  Flyingstitch

What happens if they need fuel after dark?

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
8 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

I think they turn into Pacers.

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
8 months ago

I’m just glad someone put pants on a car. Cars have been driving around pants-less for years.

Finally, someone is thinking about the children.

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
8 months ago

My console mounted gear shift has just been hanging out all of these years!
(We won’t even mention the parking brake. Scandalous!)

Last edited 8 months ago by SlowCarFast
Man With A Reliable Jeep
Man With A Reliable Jeep
8 months ago

“Innovation, it’s in our jeans.”

-AMC, probably

Geoff Buchholz
Geoff Buchholz
8 months ago

Man, if they had only come up with this slogan in 1972. They’d probably still be around, churning out Pacer EVs.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
8 months ago

I’m not sure Romney believed in evolution.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
8 months ago

This car wears pants so you don’t have to!

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

Who says I have to?

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
8 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Not me! Be free, my friend!

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

Already done!

WaxhawFive
WaxhawFive
8 months ago

My 1st car was a Smurf blue Jeep J10 with the Levi’s seats. LOVED it!

rctothefuture
rctothefuture
8 months ago

I love that whenever someone talks about these, they are always quick to point out it wasn’t real denim. The idea behind it was genius though, what better way to sell an interior than with the “ruggedness” of Levi Jeans.

I’ve always wanted a Gremlin X, with the V8 and 4 speed, with a Levi interior. Pure peak 70’s gauche.

Sid Bridge
Sid Bridge
8 months ago

Levi’s and AMC vehicles have a lot in common – you end up with holes all over the place after washing them more than ten times.

Man With A Reliable Jeep
Man With A Reliable Jeep
8 months ago
Reply to  Sid Bridge

Thank goodness I don’t have my Levi’s briefs anymore…

JumboG
JumboG
8 months ago
Reply to  Sid Bridge

Old Levi’s had much better durability than the thin denim they’re pawning off. I have some Levis that are like 30 years old, got washed at least once a week back in the day (I don’t fit into them any more) and they lasted years before any holes started to appear.

Cool Dave
Cool Dave
8 months ago

I hope someone, somewhere at one point had some sort of bugs in one of these.. “There’s ants in my pants!”

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
8 months ago

The first stick shift vehicle I successfully drove was a Levi’s edition Jeep CJ. The seats were cool and all, and I can confidently state that they greatly assisted in learning proper heel-toe technique.

Elhigh
Elhigh
8 months ago

“Pants Gremlin.” Awesome concept or nightmare fuel? Discuss.

The refresh in 77 sharply improved the Gremlin’s appearance, bringing it more in line with the AMX-GT concept that inspired it. But never mind that, the VAM Gremlin (Mexico’s Vehiculos Automotores Mexicanos) looked WAY better with a backseat window that extended to cover most of the big triangular C-pillar sail. Really improved the overall proportions, frankly.

Imagine that car with a 190hp 4.0. That’d be pretty sweet.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
8 months ago

Why Jeep hasn’t made a Wrangler Edition Wrangler yet is beyond me.

Hotdoughnutsnow
Hotdoughnutsnow
8 months ago

This might be why they never revived the Levi’s editions… Levi’s™ Wrangler™ doesn’t really work.

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
8 months ago

Had a friend back in the 90s with a 70s Beetle with jeans seats (I don’t think they were original, though, as his car had no other branding), and boy did those get nasty after a few decades of use. Gunk sort of filled in the weave and they got stiff and stinky. It was a happy day when he found some cheap replacement vinyl seats, even though we lived in south Texas where the heat and humidity made vinyl horrible.

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
8 months ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

Oh, but the pockets on the back of the jeans seats were pretty cool and actually quite useful!

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