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 ManufacturersArrow PictureAMCArrow PictureMarlin (1965 - 1967)Arrow Picture1966 AMC Marlin 
 

1966 AMC Marlin news, pictures, specifications, and information

Hardtop Fastback
 
'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.
Hardtop Fastback
 
In 1954, with the merger of Nash-Kelvinator Corporation and Hudson Motor Car Company, the American Motors Corporation (AMC) was formed. It was the largest corporate merger in the United States history to that time. The idea was to use the strengths of the two firms to battle the Big Three automakers, GM, Ford and Chrysler. Within three years the company focused on a new small car line; the Rambler and the original Nash and Hudson brands gone. Sales of the Rambler took off and were frequent winners in Mobile Economy Runs. It became America's third most popular car during the early 1960s.

The Marlin was created to compete with Ford's Mustang and Plymouth's Barracuda, but was built on the 112 inch wheelbase Rambler Classic chassis placing it in the midsize class. It was the first fastback in the segment and was offered with a variety of engines from a 232 cubic-inch 6-cylinder producing 155 horsepower to a 327 cubic-inch V8 producing 270 horsepower. Prices for the car started at $3,100 and although over 10,000 cars were sold in 1965, sales dropped to 4,457 in 1966.
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.

By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2011
The AMC Marlin was a vehicle aimed at competing with a new breed of vehicles. Ford had their Mustang, Chrysler had the Barracuda, and General Motors had their pony cars such as the Camero and Firebird. AMC decided to enter this segment of the market with the Marlin, a vehicle that could best be classified as an intermediate sports sedan. Under the leadership and direction of Roy Abernethy, the AMC Marlin was introduced in early February of 1965 and offered at a base price of $3100. It was in dealer show rooms in March of 1965.

The vehicle was equipped with four-piston front disc brakes and non-servo type rear drums. A three-speed gearbox came standard. Power windows, AM/FM radio, tilt steering, and air conditioning were offered as optional equipment. A wide range of interior and exterior colors allowed even further customization.

The Marlin was an immediate success for the company, helping to create a profit of over 5 million dollars. In its first year, 10,327 Marlins were sold.

The 1966 Marlin did not sell as well as the prior year. Sales plummeted by nearly half; only 4547 examples were sold.

In 1966, the Rambler logo was removed from the hood and rear of the vehicle. Minor styling and mechanical changes occurred in 1966, but for the most part, the vehicle remained the same. The base price was lowered to around $2600. A four-speed manual gearbox was not offered. The ability to customize the vehicle continued with the addition of two new engines, a 232 cubic-inch six, and a 327 cubic-inch V8. The 232 cubic-inch, inline-six cylinder engine was capable of producing 155 horsepower, while the V8 produced 250 horsepower.

Drastic changes occurred for the Marlin in 1967. It began using the chassis used on the AMC Ambassador, which increased the size of the vehicle. The length grew by six and one-half inches, the wheelbase by six inches, and the width by four inches. This greatly increased the weight of the vehicle. That being the case, it also created more room for larger engines. A new 290 cubic-inch and 343 cubic-inch V8s were offered.

Sadly, even with all these changes, sales still were slow. In 1967, only 2545 units were sold.

By Daniel Vaughan | May 2008
Introduced in 1950, the Nash Rambler was designed to be much smaller than other contemporary vehicles, while still able to accommodate five passengers easily and comfortably. Produced by the Nash Motors division of Nash-Kelvinator Corporation for six years only, the Rambler was responsible for establishing a new segment in the automotive market. Widely considered to be the original modern American compact vehicle, the Nash Rambler was orginally going to be called the Nash Diplomat. Dodge had already reserved the Diplomat name for a two-door hardtop body style, so the Rambler name was resurrected instead.

Introduced during the 1950 model year, the Nash Rambler was the entry model for the low-price segment that had been dominated by models from Ford, Chevrolet, and Plymouth. Riding on a 100' wheelbase, the new model was designed to be smaller in dimension, and lighter in weight than the other popular cars of the time. Nash was able to save on materials in its productions and owners would have better fuel economy by keeping the vehicle smaller. Producing 82 hp, the Rambler's power came from a 173 in³ L-head 6-cylinder engine.

The 'landau' was the designation for the up-maret two-door convertible new Rambler. The Rambler was attempting to gain a positive public image, rather than being seen as an inexpensive little vehicle. The Nash Rambler was equipped with various features that included wheel covers, electric clock, pushbutton radio and whitewall tires.

The Rambler was compact, and the design had a rounded form with an envelop body that enclosed the front wheels. Fortunately thedesign did not impair the vehicles cornering abilities. The Nash Rambler kept the fixed roof structure above the vehicles doors and rear side window frames unlike the traditional convertible of that time period that used frame-free windows. The retractable canvas top used this metal structure as the side rails or guides. The body of the vehicle was considered to be rigid for an open top vehicle, though this design did allow Nash to use its monocque unibody construction on its new compact.

The Rambler line was enhanced to include the Country Club in 1951, a two-door station wagon and a two door hardtop. It wasn't until 1953 that the Nash Rambler received it's first significant restyling which included an all-new ‘Airflyte' styling that the ‘senior' Nash models had received the previous year. Also in this year, a new two-door sedan was added to the lineup.

In 1954 the Cross Country was added to the line-up, which included a four-door station wagon and four-door sedan. The Cross Country rode on a 108' wheelbase, and during the following year, the traditional front wheel wells were open and exposed.

The Hudson Motor Car Company merged with Nash in 1954, with the successor being the American Motors Corpoation.Soon after the merge, Ramblers were badged as Hudson brand cars. Nash Ramblers and Hudson Ramblers were virtually identical, except fo the brand name and some minor brand badging.

A all-new Rambler was introduced in 1956 by American Motors which featured an increase in the overall length of the vehicle, though still riding on the same 108' (2743mm) wheelbase. Ramblers now only were sold as four-door models, alongside four-door sedans, station wagon, and a new four-door hardtop sedan. A new four-door hardtop station wagon was featured in 1956, an industry first.

The Rambler was no longer branded as either a Nash or Hudson in 1957, but simply as a Rambler in it's own right. A 250-cid V8 engine was finally made available in Ramblers for the first time in 1957. Also, new for this year only was a unique high-performance four-door hardtop sedan model that was named the Rambler Rebel. The Rebel was fitted with AMC's new 327-cid V8 engine which was also used the larger Nash Ambassador and the Hudson Hornet earlier that year.

By Jessica Donaldson
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1966 AMC Concepts
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Collectible: A Gathering of the Exceptional and Captivating
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Similarly Priced Vehicles from 1966
Ford Mustang ($2,415-$2,650)
Ford Fairlane ($2,238-$3,066)
MG MGB MKI ($2,605-$3,095)
Oldsmobile Cutlass ($2,610-$2,940)
Plymouth Belvedere I ($2,275-$3,010)
Oldsmobile 442 ($2,604-$3,115)
Volvo 122S ($2,550-$2,850)
Chevrolet Chevelle Series ($2,185-$2,965)
Chevrolet Bel Air Series ($2,499-$3,050)

Average Auction Sale: $19,006

 
AMC: 1961-1970
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