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 | Jun 2005
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