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May 30, 2019

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Was this the forerunner to the Javelin, and AMC, years later? Inspiration for Dodge Charger, and Challenger.. great cars.

The Marlin is considered the precursor of the Javelin, but it wasn't enough of a success to have inspired the Charger. In fact, since the Charger came out the year following the Marlin it had to be on the drawing boards before the Marlin hit the market. The Charger was also a show car as far back as '64, before it was in the showrooms.

The Marlin was unsuccessful enough that it was off the market in just two years.

javelin was a sweet car! with a 390 v-8

This is an ad for the 1965 Rambler Marlin, from American Motors. AMC produced the Marlin for three years, 1965-67. In 65 & 66 it was based on the mid-sized Rambler Classic platform; in 67 they moved it to the Ambassador platform where it was larger still (and had sleeker Ambassador styling cues with a fastback).

While under development, the car was code-named "Tarpon" and was based on the smaller Rambler American wheelbase. AMC's President made a huge error when he forced the company to 'up-size' the car to the Classic size so it would be "America's first man-size sports-fastback!" (He was a larger man and the tale is told he wanted more room in the car and a five-passenger car, instead of a sporty "pony" car.)

Had AMC left the car on the smaller—and lighter!—American wheelbase, coupled with their 232 six cylinder and later 290 V8 engines, it's possible it would have been very competitive with the Ford Mustang and later Plymouth Barracuda fastbacks. And the Dodges.

Production was roughly 10,000 in 65, 5,000 in 66 and 2,500 in 67. (See how that worked out? Yeah, not so great.)

A 65 Marlin was my first Rambler. Was my daily driver in the early '90s, then I sold it to a guy who lived in New Zealand and shipped it home. I've got a friend with around a dozen Marlins, all years. Funny car.

I know there will be at least one 66 Marlin at the big all-AMC car show this year in Oregon City, "Rambler Rendezvous", August 10th.

All told, still a nice looking car. I am not a big fan of anything past 1965 or so, I love old classic beauties. Plus, I canwork on those, no computerised crud.

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