Published November/December 2013

Signs of the Times

8 signature edition vehicles from decades past

BYKara Philp
Just as each decade is remembered for fashion styles, hit songs, and headlines, automakers have consistently given us vehicles that will forever serve as mementos of the good ol’ days. Here are a few rare rides from years gone by that might get pulled over by the fashion police if they were on the road today:
 
1970s
Right in step with the jeans fad, AMC released the 1972 Levi’s Edition Gremlin. This fashionable hatchback featured Levi’s denim-covered front and back seats, complete with buttons, orange stitching, and the brand’s signature red tab. With ad campaigns like, “The economy car that wears the pants,” this fad faded faster than the Levi’s did.
 
In 1972, Gucci put its signature stripe on the American Motors Corporation Hornet Gucci Sportabout edition station wagon — one of the first American cars to offer a special luxury trim package.
 
1980s
In 1982, a year after releasing his album She Shot Me Down, Frank Sinatra became the inspiration for a limited edition Chrysler Imperial. These cars only came in one color, Glacier Blue, a true tribute to Old Blue Eyes. This model also came with a series of Frank Sinatra cassette tapes and his initials stamped in gold.
 
Following a high-profile endorsement deal with Swedish Tennis star Björn Borg, FILA teamed up with Ford to release the 1985 FILA Thunderbird. In addition to coming in FILA’s signature red, white, and blue color scheme, this T-bird came complete with a canvas bag, leather portfolio, beach towel, sun visor, headband, and wristbands — all boasting the European sportswear company’s logo.
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