Live Auctions

Built V8: 1973 AMC Gremlin Levi’s Edition

This review of a 1973 AMC Gremlin with the Levis Custom Trim package will be interpretive. The seller states, “Actual mileage unknown. Car appears to be original. Tons of documents to justify” and that’s it, not another single word. OK, so maybe I’ll get it right and maybe not, and fill in the blank assistance from our knowledgeable readership is always appreciated. This Gremlin is located in Hamburg, Michigan and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $7,500 with nine bids tendered so far. Thanks to Larry D for this tip!

Years ago, someone thought it would be a good idea to incorporate the most recognizable name in apparel, probably on the entire planet, and incorporate their product with that of an American car manufacturer. So, not only could you buy Levis pants, but you could also sit, with your Levis, on more Levis as that’s how this Gremlin is upholstered. That was the deal, Levis Gremlins came with denim-covered seats and door panels, while Levis “rivets” affixed it all together. I guess I get it, though I’m not sure that feature would have enticed me to buy a Gremlin or a Jeep so equipped. Regardless, the interior in this Gremlin is oh so chic with all of its rips, let’s face it, that’s how designer jeans are sold today, right? Beyond the zorro seat treatment, the interior looks OK but I start to doubt the laconic “Car appears to be original” with a reddish-orange exterior and a blue interior – I’m betting the blue is the original part.

Speaking of lack of originality, and in a good way, is the engine. What is it exactly? I dunno but my guess would be a built 304 CI V8 based on its appearance and the fact that it was an optional engine in ’73. In standard form, it produced 150 net HP, I imagine this edition is capable of quite a bit more – but again, we really don’t know. The transmission is a manual unit and unless it has been swapped, it should be a three-speed as there was no four-speed manual available. BTW, that air cleaner looks like one from a ’66 Chevy Nova equipped with a 327 CI L79 engine.

We can debate all we want about the Gremlin’s truncated lines but it is what it is. What there is not is a decent image of the exterior here, they’re just snippets and not very helpful. The finish and sheet metal, what little can be seen, looks great but who knows with any certainty how it all pulls together – how unfortunate. For more info., an inquiry would have to be made. An no, it’s doubtful that the exterior is original either.

You have to wonder if the seller of this Gremlin really wants to sell this car because there certainly isn’t any effort being made from a promotional perspective but then again, there are nine bids from five different bidders so someone is certainly interested. The lack of detail would cause me to pass, but how about you, would you dig deeper if this ’73 Gremlin caught your fancy?

Comments

  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    I guess it was too hard to get an overall picture of it.
    Is that a factory striping kit?

    Like 3
    • Terrry

      The stripes are factory, and the not photographed area of the front fenders should have a Levis decal.

      Like 5
      • Moparman Member

        That’s NOT a factory stripe, no two tone stripes were offered from the factory. They were all one single color. As stated, this car more than likely has been repainted, and the stripe is a custom job. :-)

        Like 6
    • Ken Fulton

      No. The factory looks way better.

      Like 4
  2. Terrry

    That Levis look was not denim, in fact it was just died, stitched and riveted cheap cloth and didn’t hold up well. They were made strictly to capitalize on Levi’s popularity. What makes this car nice is the 304 option, built or stock. And if you wanted you could drop a 401 motor right in!

    Like 11
    • Tony Primo

      The story is that real denim was too flammable to be used for the car’s interior.

      Like 11
      • Ike Onick

        So AMC sold the denim to Ford for installation in the Pinto.

        Like 12
    • Gary

      I knew a guy who’s dad had a green one we called the Grasshopper. It had a built 401 4spd. He would put a coke bottle (remember the glass ones?) in front of the front tire and dump the clutch, pull the front wheels and break the bottle on the rocker panel, hence the Graddhopper.

      Like 2
  3. Arden Engel

    I pass on any vehicle that may catch my eye if the seller takes only a few strategic pictures and avoids certain areas. Especially if followed up by next to no detailed description. Typically trying to sneak by and sell it to an unassuming buyer.

    Like 4
    • Gary James Lehman

      How many have you NOT “passed on”? I’m guessing zero.

      Like 1
  4. Bick Banter

    Minor pet peeve of mine is when sellers don’t take full pictures of a car.

    Like 8
    • BFjunky

      “Minor pet peeve”…??? You’re a stronger man than I…lol…IT’S THE BANE OF MY EXISTANCE!!

      Like 5
      • Howard A Member

        Some peoples bane here is poor grammar. It’s existEnce, but what da’ hey,,and people are so spoiled today with their camera phones. I remember a time, when maybe a fuzzy Polaroid and a 5 word description, was the best you could get.

        Like 5
      • Bick Banter

        I think you would get kicked off craigslist if you did good photos so bad photography is kind of expected there. But at least take a picture of the full car. Just one.

        Like 1
  5. bobhess bobhess Member

    I just love pictures of car parts……

    Like 5
  6. Richard Wilber

    And whatever else, Levi interior, 8 cyl, stick shift, its still a Gremlin. Nothing more need be said.

    Like 4
    • Ike Onick

      And knock-off Levis at that. Humbug!

      Like 1
  7. CCFisher

    If it really is an original Nova L79 air cleaner, the next owner can probably recover some of his costs. There are currently no original L79 air cleaners on eBay, and reproductions are over $300.

    Like 3
  8. wuzjeepnowsaab

    The engine could be anything since all AMC blocks are the same (the 401 has a ‘tougher’ alloy but it is the same size)

    Need to see the casting underside of the block to know for sure but given the lack of any description from the seller along with the bad photos, doubtful you’re going to get them to crawl under the car to get that.

    Like 1
    • Rick

      There actually were differences in the AMC V8s, mainly a change in the deck height between the 290, 343 and early 390 compared to the later 390 and the 304, 360 and 401.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMC_V8_engine

      Like 4
      • wuzjeepnowsaab

        Well…um yeah, but in 73 there were no 290, 343, or 390’s

        Like 2
  9. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Oh wow. I see a pic of it on a lift. How could the seller not provide that engine block info? Or underside pics for that matter. smh

    Like 1
  10. Howard A Member

    This is pretty cool. Regular V8 Gremlins were a hot stick in the early 70’s. They were light, the motors put out decent hp, even stock, and many a Mustang or Camaro, disgracingly got their doors blown off by a Gremlin. I bet this car will pull the front wheels off the ground, and I don’t think you could find a nicer fast car for the buck here. Great find. Brian Ambrosini( currently doing time for tool theft) would be proud. Don’t know Brian, “The Wheelie King”?https://www.musclecarszone.com/amc-gremlin-by-brian-ambrosini-wheelie-competition-winner/

    Like 2
    • onree Member

      ’72 Gremlin V-8 was the original “Hot Hatch.” Ten years before the VW Rabbit GTI.

      • Terry Bowman

        Toyota was right behind them with the Hatch-Back. I had a 77′ Celica Hatch-Back, R22(a cool car with the ESP). Their first one was a 76′. It was a Great idea and not many cars have a trunk any longer.

  11. Chuck Foster Chuck Foster

    Poor Brian Ambrosini, he’s doing Tool Time. Gremlins are harder to find than Pacers, and a lot of fans out there.

    In other news, I picked up a 1979 Pacer Woody wagon, 304 V8, AT, PS, AC, 66k miles.

    Like 5
  12. Terry Bowman

    I always thought the Gremlins were COOL, maybe because they were different looking, without the basic trunks. Only problem I had with them was, you needed to wipe down the hatch back window almost daily. As for racing one, I’ll leave that for the “AMX’s”. A little weight in the rear would be best for me.

    Like 3
  13. kimberly j margosein

    Looking for some hatch struts there, Chuck? I had a 74 Hornet Levi’s hatchback. The upholstery started going in a couple years. Most Levi’s cars came with a light blue paint with a white side stripe. I would guess that’s not factory.

    Like 1
  14. Howie Mueler

    Way more interior photos than exterior photos, and yes all are pretty bad.

    Like 1
  15. Azzweepay

    Someone, had a bunch of extra, commas, lying around.

  16. JT Member

    I hope that someone checks the vin to see if it was an original V 8 car. Should have an H in the car number .
    As others have said, looks like a clone effort. There were only 43,000 over the entire model run ( 70 – 78) that were 304s

  17. Frank

    Low priced hot rod project for a newbie.

    Like 1
    • Frank Sumatra

      No such animal.

      Like 1
  18. Beel

    I was in high school and a friend-that-was-a-girl had one of these. Blue of course and a V8. She asked me to drive it one day in the snow. Yikes. Even as a farm boy with an engineer’s sense of machinery, that car was a handful in those conditions. It was all over the road. Wish I could drive it again, though.

  19. madlad

    I’d even question if that’s a ’73. My wife had a ’73 and I don’t think that’s the right interior dash. Also it was a three speed on the floor and didn’t have connsols then.
    The blue on the dash would have been the original exterior color.

  20. JT Member

    How about centering the “X” on the grill??
    Remember, not all X ‘s were V 8’s, it was a trim package. Google the specs.
    I’m Quora challenged, and I don’t know how to post the pictures from my dealer pamphlets that I have, sorry.

  21. JT Member

    One more comment: It’s is at least a 73, as the 74’s and later had the 5 mph bumpers .

  22. wuzjeepnowsaab

    “Where’s the rest of your car, toots?” What flashes into my head every time I see a Gremlin up for sale.

    Anyone remember that ad ? For sure it would need some heavy editing to run today lol

  23. Martinsane

    “Plenty of documents “ to justify what? That you don’t know anything about the car and your a lazy flipper?

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