No Fooling: AMC Gremlin Is Officially 40. Something.

March 31st, 2011 by Microvanmom

It’s April 1st, folks. Time to celebrate the birth of the AMC Gremlin on this day in 1970.

These fun facts about the Gremlin are no joke. Seriously …

British airmen during World War II used the term “gremlin” to describe pesky little creatures that like to mess up engines for grins. Doesn’t sound like the best choice for a car … with a motor … huh? The brain trust at AMC decided a gremlin was really “a pal to its friends and an ogre to its enemies.”

The Gremlin was an early response from an American carmaker to rising gas prices and the influx of imports. Yes, it blazed the trail that the Chevy Vega and the Ford Pinto were destined to follow.

The Gremlin is a rare, bipartisan creature. Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush drove Gremlins in their younger days.

The ‘Levi’s Trim’ upgrade introduced in 1973 was not, in fact, real denim. That would have been a fire hazard, apparently. But a denim-ish-looking interior with the hammered copper rivets and little red Levi tags? Imagine cruising around in that and listening to Foghat?

Motortopia has come cool Gremlins here and here. The former owner of one of these Gremlins seems to have made a James Bond-style short featuring his Gremlin and also featuring (!) Members Only jackets, zipper-head haircuts, and topsiders. View that gem here.

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2 Responses to “No Fooling: AMC Gremlin Is Officially 40. Something.”

  1. CorvairJim says:

    One of my all-time favorite TV commercials was for the Gremlin: A pretty young lady pulls into a gas station out in the sticks. The grizzled old pump jockey strolls up to the car and asks her “Where’s the rest of your car, toots”?

  2. FreedomRims says:

    You would think that the Gremlin WOULD be an April Fool’s joke!

    Liz
    Freedom Rims
    http://www.shopfreedomrims.com

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