Numerous detail changes were made to the Gremlin for 1973, but the basic appearance remained the same as the 1972 model. Perhaps the most noticeable change was the more massive front bumper mounted on “telescoping” struts, designed to comply with the federal government’s 5-MPH collision standards [webmaster note: these may have been phased in]. The side striping for the “X” package was modified as well. The stripe now “hopped up” over the rear wheel arch, accentuating the rear quarter flare. The base price for the Gremlin was no longer under $2000; inflation had taken its toll and pushed it up to $2098.

1973 was also the first year for the now-collectible Levi’s trim package, which consisted of special “blue jeans” spun nylon fabric covering the seats, door inserts and map storage pockets on the door panels. Adding to the effect were orange stitching and copper rivets. A “Levi’s” trademark emblem on the front fenders identified cars equipped with this package.

In an act of mercy, AMC redesigned the Gremlin’s rear seat to allow more legroom for those unlucky passengers who didn’t get “dibs” on the front seat (author’s note: Over two decades later, I still haven’t worked the kinks out of my legs from a trip I made in the back seat of a Gremlin, all the way from Iowa to Colorado!). New “soft-control” knobs with international symbols were added to the dash, and a floor shifter for the automatic transmission became available for the first time. Powertrain options were the same as in 1972, though the tall 2.37:1 economy final drive ratio was apparently no longer available (2.73:1 was standard for 6-cylinder cars; 2.87:1 for the V8s).

Drew Beck

 

1973 Production Totals

YEAR TOTAL 4 CYL 6 CYL 8 CYL 2 SEAT 4 SEAT
1970 28,560 0 28,560 10,949 0 94,808
New and Notable for 1972
  • Levi’s interior option
  • Energy-absorbing bumpers – standard
  • Automatic floor shift – standard with automatic