As anyone who lived through the decade remembers, the 1970s were known for unusual and never-since-repeated trends.
The Car Connection goes into one of those examples: what it calls the “unholy pairings of car and couture.”
This was actually assembled in Kenosha: The AMC Gremlin Levi’s Edition, “with upholstery that’s like blue denim Levi’s®.” Which, according to the Car Connection, “sold fairly well because it was a solid match-up of middle-class affordability and middle-class style.”
The Car Connection did not mention three other textile-edition AMCs, the Gucci Hornet Sportabout …
… Pierre Cardin Javelin …
… and the Oleg Cassini Matador:
The Designer Editions of the Lincoln Continental Mark V represented neither “middle-class affordability” nor “middle-class style,” given their $1,600 cost (plus $500 for velour seats) added to the $11,396 list price:
… the Lincoln Continental Mark V actually came in four special editions by Bill Blass, Cartier, Givenchy, and Pucci. Unlike the humdrum, showroom versions of the Mark V, these pimped out rides came with special touches like tinted vinyl roofs and designer logos on the opera windows.
(This of course, was when badass luxury cars had opera windows. Presumably because badass plutocrats really dig opera.)
Out of those four, only the “Dove Grey” Cartier edition would be likely to grace a driveway today. The “Chamois”-colored landau roof on the “Midnight Blue” Bill Blass Edition or the “forward half vinyl roof” on the “Dark Jade Metallic” Givenchy Edition would be what the farmer’s daughter in the house calls “calf scour” color. (For non-farmers: You don’t want to deal with calf scour. For parents: Think the color of baby poop.) The black-and-white Pucci Edition looks like a really high end squad car.
Proving once again that there is no accounting for taste, the new-design Mark V, including its Designer Editions, set a Mark ___ sales record, outselling its main competitor, the Cadillac Eldorado. The battleship-size Mark V survived a year longer than the battleship-size Eldorado, which was downsized to cruiser size in 1979.
The lead paragraph notes “never-since-repeated trends.” This perhaps should be a never-repeated trend, but the automakers have in fact gone ahead to the past with Harley–Davidson-themed Ford pickups (not equipped with a V-twin), Spice Girls-Special Edition Range Rover Evoque, Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Fendi, and the Fiat 500 by Gucci, and the even more strange Hermès Smart fortwo.