Saturday, June 25, 2011

1966 AMC Marlin

'Distinctive and Different' best described the AMC Marlin since there was nothing else like it on the road when it debuted in 1965. Dick Teague is responsible for this radical fastback design which evolved from a prototype known as the Tarpan. By 1966 the design had received subtle interior and exterior changes including the grille now has 13 very thin aluminum vertical strips behind the large horizontal color bar. The only option for 1966 was the vinyl roof. The Marlin was advertised as a '3+3' with its 2+2 body styling seating 6 people.
The engine is a 327 cubic-inch V8 that develops 250 horsepower, making it a competitor with the Mustang and the Barracuda. 4,547 Marlin's were produced.

The Marlin was a midsize sport fastback luxury sedan. Introduced in January of 1965, it featured a 4 bbl 327 cubic-inch V8 matted to a four-speed manual transmission and sat atop a 118-inch wheelbase. It was given a base price of $3100 and went on sale in March of 1965. During its introductory year, 10,327 examples were sold. There were many options available making the vehicle customizable to the users desires. The options ranged from engine and transmission choices, to air conditioning, AM/FM radio, power windows, and more.
It was a fastback, but the roofline was high to accommodate extra headroom for rear passengers. Fourteen inch steel wheels and Marlin wheel covers accented the two-color paint scheme and chrome trim. Excellent stopping power was provided by front 4-piston disc brakes and non-servo type rear drum brakes.

Not much changed for the 1966 version of the Marlin. A new grill was placed on the front, the Rambler logo was removed from the rear and front, and a few extra options became available. The big news was in the engine department, where a new 232 cubic-inch inline six and 327 cubic-inch V8 became available. The six-cylinder produced 155 horsepower while the eight-cylinder produced 250 horsepower. Performance could be increased further with the new optional four-speed manual gearbox. Unfortunately, the front drum brakes were now standard on the front but the disc brakes could still be had for an additional cost. AMC was unable to capture the sales that it had achieved in the prior year. Sales had dipped by more than half to 4,547.

In 1967, the Marlin was redesigned, giving it a wider stance and more interior room. It borrowed design cues from the Ambassador, including the vertical dual headlights, V-profile grille, and parking and turn signal lights. It was even placed on the Ambassador's chassis increasing its size in all directions. The interior received new bucket seats and an overall increase in hip and shoulder room. The interior was outfitted with power windows and cruise control as standard equipment, a rarity for cars at the time. Due to the increase in size, larger engines could be placed under the hood, including an all new 290 and 343 cubic-inch V8's. Even with all these changes, sales continued to fall. With a pitiful 2545, the Marlin was nearing the end. The end of 1967 was the end of production for the Marlin. AMC began focusing on their smaller fastback sedan named the Javelin. It was their attempt to add competition to the 'pony' market.

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