Put Your Jeans On: Jeep J10 Levi’s Edition

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In the history of automotive trends and co-branding attempts, I’m not sure I’ve ever been more confused than by the marketing of vehicles as Levi’s Editions. Were jeans once so popular that outfitting a vehicle with denim-like material on the seats actually helped move inventory? Since both the original air-cooled Beetle and Jeep J10 pickup like this one here on eBay included Levi’s editions, the folks at the dungarees factory must have presented a compelling argument for hatching a partnership. This Honcho-package Jeep is currently bid to just over $4K and is located in Wyoming.

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Maybe I’m letting my biases shine through. I am not a fan of jeans. I wear them because, unfortunately, it gets cold here for around seven months each year. Given the choice, I would wear board shorts and a tank top 12 months out of 12. So while the Jeep J10 Levi’s Edition is not for me, perhaps you’re a buyer. If so, you’ll be happy to know the imitation jean upholstery is still intact, albeit a little tattered. The dash and steering wheel look phenomenal, and the door cards are hanging in there. One downside? According to some Jeep fans, there are metal tabs in the material to further mimic actual jeans, and they get hot as blazes in the summer.

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Pretty straight forward under the hood: a 5.9L 360 V8 paired to an automatic transmission with four-wheel drive. The seller says it runs smooth and they’ve already tackled a carb rebuild and performed a tune up. I’m curious about the true mileage of this J10. The listing says 15,919, but I doubt that’s original; however, the condition of the floors and the dash are what you would expect in a low mileage truck. While I’m sure the odo has rolled over, I think you could safely say the truck was used lightly and garaged for a time, considering the Honcho graphics still look good along with the aforementioned interior condition.

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I dig that rear tailgate; wonder if it’s custom. The knobby tires fit this Jeep perfectly, even if the Levi’s edition accommodations seem more appropriate for a buyer who didn’t intend to get his work truck too dirty. That’s the strangest part to me: old Jeeps were meant to be used in a rough and tumble manner, performing all manners of tasks lesser trucks didn’t dare dream of. A “Teflon” edition, or a “Kevlar” package seems more fitting for your typical Jeep owner. Leave the fancy-pants fabric variants to the Beetle crowd. What do you think – did the Levi’s package make sense for the time? Did you ever consider outfitting your J10 with this package?

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  1. George

    Mileage could be correct looking at the brake peddle.

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    • wuzjeepnowsaab

      The truck may or may not have 15K miles but it has been driven in rough country for however many miles it has. The grill has some bend in it, the paint around the grille has been blasted, the Honcho decals are checked and cracked, there’s rust starting in the taillight corners, the hood insulation is gone, there’s rust starting in the battery tray area and that bench seat has seen more than a few bumps along the trail. There’s also what looks like the beginnings of bed seam rust behind the rear wheels. Address that now before it becomes terminal to the bed.

      Maybe I’m nit-picking, and from the pics this is a solid looking start for a good ol’ Jeep truck but by no means is it a 15K mile plum. Keep it clean, budget for repairs (I’m sure gaskets are pretty well dried out if it’s been sitting and aforementioned rust) and enjoy pick’em’up truck driving from days when men were men and trucks were trucks ;)

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  2. gord

    once upon a time, jeans were coming INTO being “normal” around the 70s (dating myself here) so… they were hopping the band wagon…
    a durable material though for interiors… they had them in amc hornets too!
    the cloth does NOT look like levi materials, the door panels maybe
    tailgate IS custom for sure

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  3. Woodie Man

    You know Levis were once the province of the uneducated working immigrant folks..sold to miners etc during the Gold Rush and afterwards…a pair of original Levi Strauss’ with the original kind of rivets brings Porsche money! So as long as its not the Gloria Vanderbilt edition….the manliness quotient is over the top! ..except for the slushbox of course

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  4. redwagon

    consider the context. 1978 was the epitome of the fashion jean years – gloria vanderbilt, bill blass, sasson, etc all had their fashion jeans. levis were for the younger crowd. no one in a pair of sasson’s would be caught dead where this truck would go. it truly was a statement.

    levis interior in an amc hornet? meh, not so much.

    still love the color and the graphics. the tailgate is not stock but it is not necessarily custom as i have seen others just like it in the past.

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  5. JW

    I love his truck as is, tailgate is for a fifth wheel ( Gooseneck ) trailer as I’ve seen many farm trucks pulling stock trailers with these tailgates.

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  6. Telly Black

    Jeep owners from the 50’s through the 70’s are a completely different animal. Todays Jeep owners are, basically, whimps. Not all, but you have to admit that very few “soccer-moms” take their Jeeps offroad. No offence intended to current Jeep owners that use their Jeeps as they should be used…tough, like Levi’s jeans!!

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  7. Blindmarc

    AMC made many Levi additions. I had both a gremlin, and a hornet with the blue denim seats.

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    • Telly Black

      AMC was a very innovated auto manufacturer for being the “underdog”. They actually had a very forward thinking design team, and were one of the first auto builders to share one platform for all of their models. Subaru is now doing this…50 years after AMC first did it!

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    • Mike H. Mike H.

      The CJ-5 was also popular with a Levis edition. I’ve nearly bought a few of them.

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  8. Bob S

    That’d burn some gas.

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  9. wuzjeepnowsaab

    10 -11 mpg all day long, city or freeway, rain or shine. Tough trucks though…owned a few along the way. Shame the tailgate isn’t there but a long bed Honcho with Levis interior is a pretty rare find

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  10. RoughDiamond

    I believe Coke even joined up with Levi Strauss and commissioned custom vans as contest prizes.

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    • Mike H. Mike H.

      Yeah, the epitome of the 1970’s van craze for certain!

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  11. sam

    Yep. Was the denimmachine

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  12. Rick

    I graduated from high school in 1965 and Levis were the only Jean that fit my 30 inch waist and 36 inch inseam. No longer applies these days.

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  13. Al

    I can see the match between Levi and Jeep but then there was the Pierre Cardin Javelin which still seems strange.

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    • Mike H. Mike H.

      Strange and gorgeous at the same time, you mean? The old man worked for AMC from the late fifties through the seventies and he regularly brought home a variety of interesting AMC conflagrations. . . I graphically recall my first ride in one of these, thinking that the interior striping was the coolest thing EVER.

      So, it certainly has appeal to a 5-year-old.

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    • Mike H. Mike H.

      And let’s not forget the Gucci Hornet Sportabout. THAT thing was hideous.

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  14. dj

    I believe it’s more miles. The seat cover is wrong because it had a different pattern with the buttons in it like the door panels.

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  15. Jeffrey Duddles

    Here’s a similar one I spotted a few years ago:


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  16. Vigorous Vegas Vic

    These AMC Levi vehicles all wonderfully odd
    Levis built there own chain of stores selling only Levi’s and plaid shirts, tube socks
    All gone now!

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  17. Jesse

    My buddy had a Levi’s Edition Gremlin that was hideous but fun.

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