Hooniverse Asks – What's Your Favorite Non-Automotive Tie in?

Everybody loves cars. And because of that, a whole lot of non-car companies have over the years tried to jump in the bandwagon. Levi’s AMCs, Warner Brothers Chevy Ventures and Nautica Mercurys, they all added their own indomitable brand identification to the mobile milieu.
Whether it’s a stereo system maker, or a company that makes clothes, there’s been the product tie-in in the car market for decades now. Brand equity is a valuable commodity, and being able to leverage it in the marketing of another, disparate, product only adds to its value.  Sure, there have been a number that really didn’t seem to make sense – like Harley Davidson Ford pickups? But, like yesterday’s JPS-homage cars, some tie ins just plain work.
So, what’s your favorite non-automotive tie-in? Which one gives you the warm fuzzies both on the car, and off?
Image source: [Cartype.com]

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80 responses to “Hooniverse Asks – What's Your Favorite Non-Automotive Tie in?”

  1. SSurfer321 Avatar

    I think the LL Bean and Subaru tie-in is quite fitting.

  2. BotchedKarma Avatar

    Volkswagen – Trek. How the heck do I put a picture in here?

    1. FЯeeMan Avatar

      < img src="your URL here", width="500" >
      remove the spaces by the brackets. Include the width so it doesn't over run the screen/show up with scroll bars

      1. BotchedKarma Avatar


    2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      Even better were the VWs that came with the custom FirstAct guitar.
      The GarageMaster had VW emblems on the knobs, backplate, and strap.
      <img src="http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2006/10/fourdoor_gutair_lr.jpg"&gt;

        1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

          Damn, I totally forgot about that. Sign me up for a Pink Floyd.

  3. west_coaster Avatar

    The "designer" LIncolns in the 1970s. I know they had a Bill Blass, and a couple of others. All those guys had to do TV spots as well…some came off better than others.

    1. tonyola Avatar

      There were Cartier, Bill Blass, Pucci, and Givenchy editions.
      <img src="http://automotivemileposts.com/files/mark51977designersad.jpg&quot; width=500>

      1. Smells_Homeless Avatar

        You know, if I think my way back to the mid-malaise years, I can pretty easily convince myself that the Cartier edition is pretty sweet. Male pattern baldness vinyl top and all.

  4. engineerd Avatar

    The Eddie Bauer Ford SUVs became more than just a special edition and evolved into a trim level. I always thought that was the right way to do it.
    As far as special editions, how can you deny the Nieman Marcus Christmas Catalog offerings. From T-Birds to Aston Martin DB7s, Airplanes to Seaplanes, Tanks to…
    Yes, tanks. In the 1970s they offered a Fortress of the Freeway Total Security Transportation Package, which was an $845,000 tank.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      There were also Neiman Marcus Editions of Ducati's 748 and Hypermotard 1100.

    2. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      I enjoyed the Eddie Bauer sportsboat line by Maxum immensely.

    3. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

      Eddie Bauer wasn't just limited to SUV's!!!!!
      <img src="http://www.productioncars.com/send_file.php/ford_aerostar_eddie_bauer_black_1990.jpg"&gt;
      (besides the Aerostar, F-150's also had Eddie Bauer trim.)

  5. Black Steelies Avatar

    Hollywood tested, nerd approved.
    <img src="http://blogs.consumerreports.org/.a/6a00d83451e0d569e2011572316e29970b-pi"&gt;
    via consumer reports blog

    1. OA5599 Avatar

      <img src="http://c0002954.cdn2.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/terminator-movie-toyota-tundra.jpg"&gt;
      Q: If a Transformers Camaro collided with a Terminator Tundra, who would win?
      A: Everybody.

      1. LTDScott Avatar

        I saw one of these on Craiglist last week. Someone had replaced the nice alloy wheels with steelies.

    2. JayP Avatar

      At least the Bullitts were more than a sticker package.

  6. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    Buick Century Olympia, both '84 and '88. Evidently they not only had the Olympic symbol on the fenders, but also embroidered into the seats.
    <img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4118/4933389183_b35c7774a0.jpg&quot; width="360">
    <img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3493/4019852462_4d8de5a04c_z.jpg&quot; width="360">

    1. Hermie_dds Avatar

      These were EVERYWHERE in California in the mid 80s. Besides the fundraising program, they were the courtesy cars that were resold after the games and all over the state.

    2. Maymar Avatar

      [youtube EJ5cRmPwcDE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJ5cRmPwcDE youtube]
      We got the same thing in Canada. I think every GM vehicle sold here in '88 had the Official Sponsor sticker in the window – they used to be everywhere.

    3. LTDScott Avatar

      I remember on my first visit to the US in 1986, my dad rented one of these from a low-price car rental agency.

    4. ptschett Avatar

      Hey, it has the T-type's wheels!
      <img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/2wec9jc.jpg&quot; width="500">
      (We had one almost exactly like this… though I think I would have remembered if it had any acceleration or handling.)

  7. scroggzilla Avatar

    High performance Italian automobiles and a maker of apéritifs…..perfect together
    <DIV style="OVERFLOW: auto"><img src="http://www.qv500.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/lanciaintegralep4a-300×198.jpg"&gt;

  8. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    Piaggio has always been very quick to whore out Vespa for corporate "Special Editions".
    …to Fred Perry
    <img src="http://www.finestandcool.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/vespa-fred-perry-100th-1.jpg&quot; width="400">
    …to The Gap
    <img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Cpc0NCe4uw0/SJhuf15L_II/AAAAAAAAAPM/U6ciS7cJTYc/s400/Vespa-LX-50-Edition-limitee.jpg&quot; width="400">
    …to Sony
    <img src="http://www.scooteringusa.com/vespapsp.jpg&quot; width="400">
    …and my favorite, Adidas, which actually got cross-branded in both directions!
    <img src="https://size.co.uk/wcsstore/SizeStorefrontAssetStore/images/lib/comps/adidas-vespa-banner.jpg&quot; width="400">
    <img src="http://www.schuh-you.com/bilder/blog/Adidas-Vespa-S-White-Red-Blue/Adidas-Vespa-S-05.jpg&quot; width="400">

    1. OA5599 Avatar

      I think you meant to say Lincoln Carter.
      <img src="http://www.corbisimages.com/images/67/3FBE9487-3399-4018-BC28-A47507E2E8B8/WL002905.jpg&quot; width=500>

      1. $kaycog Avatar

        Hahaha! Good one!

  9. OA5599 Avatar

    Three guesses what the "FS" in "Imperial FS" stands for:
    <img src="http://www.lov2xlr8.no/brochures/mopar/81imp/bilder/1.jpg&quot; width=500>
    Kind of ironic that the first feature listed in the advertisement is the electronics. It's a good thing that the warranty was twice as long as the competition.

    1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

      and the car is appropriately colored too!

    2. P161911 Avatar

      Those also included a set of Frank Sinatra cassette tapes.

  10. Maymar Avatar

    <img src="http://www.astonmartins.com/db7/images/db7_keswick.jpg&quot; width=500 /img>
    This is the Aston Martin DB7 Vantage Keswick. 10 of them were built for a dealer in the UK. It's a little tenuous as a tie-in, but I live in a Keswick that's much more Z24 than DB7, so it entertains me.

  11. Beer_Rover Avatar

    As you would correctly assume from my user name, I hold all things Land rover in special esteem. I am also known for my enjoyment of the fruits of the fermenter's art (and the distiller's as well). Guns are just a hobby.
    I therefore respectfully submit to you the Holland & Holland Limited Edition Range Rover, a true trifecta of awesome.
    <img src="http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2009/09/rr_hh_of_lo_06.jpg"&gt;
    <img src="http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2009/09/rr_hh_of_hi_11.jpg&quot; WIDTH="640" HEIGHT="425">

    1. Charles_Barrett Avatar

      Ooh…! Guns and liquor… Always a good combination…

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        Even better, it's guns, liquor…and a vehicle to drive.

        1. Beer_Rover Avatar

          Fortunately there's a Forum dedicated to the concept…

    2. engineerd Avatar

      I. Want. This.
      What Land Rover do you have? Year? I have LR on my radar for a replacement to the Mustang, which may be happening sooner than anticipated.

      1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

        sooner than anticipated…. why's that?

        1. Black Steelies Avatar

          Yeah the snow's almost gone!

        2. engineerd Avatar

          Several reasons. Mostly, the wife's car is over miles with 9 months left on the lease. It's the most practical vehicle when we have to take the dog with us anywhere. So, if I can get something bigger then we don't have to take her car everywhere. Plus she could drive it to.work and I can take her car. My commute is half of hers.
          Plus, if I can dump my payment I will have more cash to pay off her credit cards.

      2. Beer_Rover Avatar

        My favorite Rover is my 1997 Defender 90 ST. I also have a 1993 Range Rover with a 2" spring lift and Defender sized tires. We call him "Nigel."
        There have been a few others over the years, but all have been solid-axle trucks from before Ford and TATA. Most were built during BMW's ownership of Rover, I believe.

        1. engineerd Avatar

          Any electrical problems?

          1. Beer_Rover Avatar

            The three Range Rovers all had niggling problems, but the youngest was 13 years and 100k miles old when i bought it. The Defender has been flawless. Two "fresh off the showroom floor" Discoveries (Discoverys?) were likewise fine.

    3. ɹǝʌoɹ ǝБuɐɹʇs Avatar
      ɹǝʌoɹ ǝБuɐɹʇs

      Came here to post the same. Although I don't typically like Rangies newer than 1994, this one gets a special exception. I would have that interior covered in mud and bird dog footprints before the day was out.

    1. ZomBee Racer Avatar

      I saw a Charger with blue paint once.
      Man, it was pretty.

        1. Black Steelies Avatar

          No he meant the 'General Grant'. Ya know, in case you actually got over the fact the confederacy lost.
          <img src="http://www.cogulus.com/blog/images/g/general_grant_1.jpg"&gt;

          1. Smells_Homeless Avatar

            Dang, I was looking for that, but I thought it was the General Sherman so I came up empty-handed.

          2. OA5599 Avatar

            With that number painted on the door, General Washington would have been more appropriate.
            Of course, everyone knows he drove a Challenger.
            <img src="http://home.comcast.net/~rtsoliday/challenger/challenger.jpg&quot; width=500>

  12. Foolish Avatar

    Kona Bikes Ford Focus. The rub strips on the side were mountain bike tire printed and the color was called "Metallic Dirt," I think!
    < img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/2245/focus3.jpg&quot;, width="500" >
    Only picture I could find of the trim:
    < img src="http://www.sff.net/people/mckitterick/2000Focus/fender-damage.jpg&quot;, width="500" >

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      You can't have spaces beside the carets.
      <img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/2245/focus3.jpg&quot;, width="500">
      <img src="http://www.sff.net/people/mckitterick/2000Focus/fender-damage.jpg&quot;, width="500">

  13. K5ING Avatar

    I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the Plymouth Road Runner. BEEP, BEEP!!
    <img src="http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/1971-plymouth-road-runner-hardtop-coupe-10.jpg"&gt;

  14. tonyola Avatar

    The 1997 Jack Nicklaus Signature Series Lincoln Town Car (that's a mouthful to say).
    <img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3403/3577101009_e704d57d03.jpg?v=0&quot; width="400/">
    <img src="http://www.cartype.com/pics/1642/full/jack-nicklaus_sig-series_lincol_towncar_s-1.jpg&quot; width="400/">

  15. tonyola Avatar

    A perennial favorite of mine – the Mitsubishi Pajero Snoopy Edition. I dated a Japanese woman for quite some time and she just about melted into a puddle when she saw this.
    <img src="http://cache.jalopnik.com/assets/resources/2008/03/Snooy_Edition_Mitsubishi_Pajero_Mini.jpg&quot; width=400>

  16. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Ford Explorer "North Face"
    <img src="http://www.salvagesparefinder.co.uk/incoming/11169-1005.jpg&quot; width=450>
    I'm a big fan of North Face clothing, I tend to use a lot of it when I'm out hiking or flying our kites. North Face clothing is probably overpriced though, compared to other technical clothing brands.
    So North Face teaming up with Ford to brand an upscale model of the Unsuitable For British Roads / Tastes '99 Explorer seemeds like an odd choice.
    Incidentally, I hope you're impressed by the sheer appropriateness of the photo.

    1. Black Steelies Avatar

      Or if you prefer a bowtie to the blue oval, the Avalanche had a North Face ed. as well.
      <img src="http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/654/4241/1634620001_large.jpg"&gt;

      1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

        Really? I had no idea. Also; Has the Avalanche recieved anywhere near the stylistic derision the Aztec did yet? In daft plastic cladding terms it must be a close run thing.

        1. ptschett Avatar

          Chevy had a "Without Body Hardware" option which deleted the cladding and gave the truck the Silverado's nose rather than its own unique front end.
          <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b5/2003-06_Chevrolet_Avalanche_WBH.jpg/800px-2003-06_Chevrolet_Avalanche_WBH.jpg&quot; width="500">
          It sold so well that the current model has smooth sides and looks like the partly-roofless Tahoe that it is.

          1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

            I thought that might be the case. GM would never fence themselves into an unescapable design corner, would they?
            Or would they?

        2. Black Steelies Avatar

          No it really hasn't. I forgot, these things probably don't prowl the suburbs and strip malls over there like it does here. In its defense its styling isn't horrendous, just kinda ugly, but "badass" enough for any run of the mill d-bag that tends to drive them. And the nifty fold down wall feature is, well, nifty.
          Now in defense of those run of the mill d-bags, I thought this truck was badass when it first came out and swore I would pick one up someday… tastes have changed.

  17. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    I click on Hooniverse this morning, and am greeted with a #$%& Gremlin fender.
    It's going to be a good day.
    (Somewhere I still have the orange side-marker light from my first car (Gremlin). Keeps popping up at random for the last 25 years.)

  18. ruckus racing Avatar
    ruckus racing

    <img src=http://www.globalsupercars.co.uk/gallery/Castle%20Combe/Rally%20Day%202007/slides/Subaru%20Impreza%20555%200001.jpg,width="500">

    1. ruckus racing Avatar
      ruckus racing

      still cant figure it out… was going for 555 Subaru Impreza

  19. Kah Avatar

    I have always thought these tie-ins were silly but I’m picking the GTI Adidas just because I like the MK6 GTI a lot but I’m not keen on the and the "Detroit” wheels, the 10-spoke wheels on the Adidas trim look better.
    <img src="http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2010/05/2010vwgolfgtiadidaslimitededitionopt.jpg”&gt;

  20. Adam Avatar

    What about the 007 edition Citroen 2CV from "For Your Eyes Only"? It was a yellow 2CV just like in the movie, plus it had a 007 pistol logo and bullet hole decals. On a side note, this may be the earliest sighting for bullet hole decals on a car, 1982.

    1. dr zero Avatar
      dr zero

      The Pierre Cardin stripes are pretty nice. On the other hand the Oleg Cassini interior is just awful.

  21. Black Steelies Avatar

    Call of Duty Black Ops————–> Jeep Wrangler
    First factory video game inspired car? Perhaps, actually I'm not sure about that one.
    <img src="http://www.carsmagz.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/2011-Jeep-Wrangler-Call-of-Duty-Black-Ops-from-Side-View-Picture-570×427.gif"&gt;

    1. James Avatar

      There was also a Tomb Raider edition of the Land Rover Defender.
      I'm too lazy to find a pic though…

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        Lara Croft automatically wins over anybody in Black Ops.

  22. Hopman Avatar

    The K2 Edition VW Golf / Jetta. They offered versions with bikes and skis or a snow board back in the late 90's.

  23. rovingardener Avatar

    Yeah, the Oleg Cassini Matador always got me. A neighbor had one. The wonderful thing about the upholstery is you could never tell when the springs in the seats were worn out, so I'll assume they came pre-worn. It was like an on-road pillow top mattress that you could drive on. Killed his back from the day he got it. It was a pretty shade of purple, though.

  24. Joe Btfsplk Avatar
    Joe Btfsplk

    How about the Tiger Woods Escalade*?
    *some assembly required

  25. FЯeeMan Avatar


  26. smokyburnout Avatar

    It's been 24 years since the CJ became the Wrangler. How much longer must we wait for the Levi's CJ-5 to be reborn as the Wrangler Wrangler?
    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v416/Superfly8track/JeepLevis.jpg&quot; />

  27. smokyburnout Avatar

    Let's roll, Kato!
    <img src="http://www.amchornet.com/ProdYrs/1972/Gallery/1972AMCGreenHornet.jpg&quot; width="600" />