1965 Rambler Marlin

1965 Rambler Marlin, part of the 1960’s American Motors Rambler line
1965 Rambler Marlin hardtop coupe

The 1965 Rambler Marlin was American Motors' attempt to cash in on the sporty fastback craze of the mid-1960's. Essentially, it was a re-roofed version of the intermediate Rambler Classic, yielding "3+3" seating. Styling, created by Richard A. Teague, was first seen on a handsome 1964 show car, the Tarpon, based on the smaller Rambler American platform (which would have made it a 2+2).

While its sweeping fastback looked good, it did not suit the larger-scale Classic, and was aggravated by that car's nose, which looked too short and stubby in relation. It came out shortly after the Plymouth Barracuda, so comparisons were inevitable. Though the Marlin had a nice optional bucket-seat interior, it lacked the Plymouth's fold-down rear seat.

The Rambler nameplate was removed for the carryover 1966 version, and for 1967 the Marlin was switched to the longer Ambassador chassis, which yielded more pleasing overall proportions. But it was too late -- Marlin never really picked up enough buyer support to warrant continuing it. Besides, AMC had a more attractive sporty car ready in the 1968 Javelin.

Pluses of the 1965 Rambler Marlin:

  • Decent performance with optional drivetrains
  • Historical oddity
  • Plush, bucket-seat interior
  • Prices still low

Minuses of the 1965 Rambler Marlin:

  • "Distinctive" styling
  • Rust a constant worry
  • Slow to appreciate

Production of the 1965 Rambler Marlin:

Specifications of the 1965 Rambler Marlin:
Wheelbase, inches: 112.0
Length, inches: 195.0

Weight, pounds: 3,234
Price, new
: $3,100 (U.S.)

Engines for the 1965 Rambler Marlin:

ohv I-6
232 cid
ohv V-8
287 cid
ohv V-8
327 cid

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