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
400 Line Station Wagon Chassis Num: C644155 Engine Num: 3160133
This Rambler Classic Cross Country Station Wagon is a low mileage vehicle that has been in the longtime care of a Southern California owner. There is an original sales agreement dated September 13th of 1961 that states it was purchased by Ralph Malcolm, a resident of Santa Barbara, California. After Mr. Malcolm's passing in 2009, this well-preserved Rambler Station Wagon was acquired by David Krosen of Calabasas, California, who set about freshening some of the cosmetic and mechanical aspects. The work totaled approximately $5,000 and included the installation of a new radiator core, fuel pump, water pump, ignition, thermostat, fan belt, radiator and heater hose, spark plugs and gaskets. The exhaust system was replaced, brakes were rebuilt with new components and new weather stripping was installed around the windshield. The wheels have been powder-coated with the appropriate shade of silver and new tires and shock absorbers were installed. The front seats were reupholstered and new model-correct carpet sections were installed in the worn foot-well areas.
Options on this car include a three-speed Flash-O-Matic push-button transmission, heavy-duty cooling system, Weather Eye heater, tinted glass, padded dashboard and reclining front seat. The car has just over 50,000 miles. The engine is a 195.6 cubic-inch, overhead valve six-cylinder engine breathing through a Holley carburetor.
In 2010, this car was offered for sale at the 2010 Pebble Beach auction presented by Gooding & Company. The car was estimated to sell for $20,000 - $25,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $50,000 inclusive of buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2010
Receiving quite an elite status, the Rambler nameplate is responsible for leading the North American auto industry into smaller, more economical vehicle, which eventually received the identity of ‘compacts'. Various companies attempted to build smaller vehicles following the war, with little success. The Nash Kelvinator Corp. of Kenosha, Wisconsin was the one to introduce the first ever compact, the stylish 1950 Rambler.
Introduced at first as a convertible only, the Rambler was an instantaneous hit and the line quickly expanded to include sedans and station wagons. Basically remaining the same, the Rambler only received mild restyling in 1953.
Nash and Hudson merged in 1954 to form American Motors Corporation. As vehicles were getting larger and larger, the compact 100 in. wheelbase Rambler was limited. In 1955 the Rambler was discontinued while the company focused on the larger 108 inch wheelbase Rambler.
President George Romney took a chance in 1958 and decided to resurrect the smaller Rambler, based on the success of the larger Rambler. He discontinued the large Hudsons and Nashes and chose to concentrate on the smaller models instead. Disgusted and appalled by the size of American cars; which he called ‘gas guzzling dinosaurs', Romney is responsible for coining the word ‘compact'.
In 1958 the all new Rambler was reborn, the Rambler American. Sporting a flashy new mesh grille, and the wheel arches opened up. As the North American economy was fighting a recession, the new Rambler couldn't arrived at a more ideal time as consumers were searching for something smaller and more economical. The Rambler was known as a fuel miser and had won the Mobile Economy Run various times. The Rambler American found a very willing market.
Even though the design of the compact vehicle was old fashioned, 30,640 units of the 1958 model were sold. At a top speed of 86.5 mph, Road & Track magazine reported that the 90-horsepower six-cylinder engine could achieve zero to 60 mph in merely 16 seconds. Faster by 5 seconds than the Studebaker Lark, the 1959 American was a carryover of the 1958. In 1959 AMC added a station wagon that only increased its popularity and the 91,491 units were sold.
Very similar to the 1958 and 1958 Rambler, the 1960 American featured minimal trim changes and the addition of a four-door sedan. 1960 was also the year in which the Big Three, Ford, GM and Chrysler finally responded to the import-car challenge. The Chevy Corvair, the Ford Falcon and the Chrysler Valiant were released, but despite this new competition, AMC managed to sell 120,600 of its Rambler American.
Continuing to be popular, unfortunately the Rambler American lost all of its visual connection with the original 1950 Rambler with the addition of all-new styling, this time square rather than round, though the 100 inch wheelbase was retained.
With unit construction bodies that were susceptible to rust, those early Ramblers are now almost all gone. Though remembered, as the Rambler proved to be reliable, economical and sturdy. The Rambler also performed the very rare feat of having two distinct and successful model runs. A feat that is mostly unheard of in the automobile industry.By Jessica Donaldson
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