The Swinging New Man-size Sports-fastback

There are two brochures available for the 1965 Marlin.  One is a two-sided sheet (am65-4275) in black & white that presumably was issued when the car was announced.  The later is an eight page color folder.  Both have the same dimensions and cover photo.

The 'Marlin by Rambler' hit showrooms in March of 1965 with the tagline "Man-size sports-fastback".  This was supposed to be a dig at the smaller Mustang and Barracuda, but the car missed by a mile.  This was also the first strong effort to distance Rambler from its economy car reputation by not explicitly calling it a Rambler.  This had been done in reverse when the Valiant was introduced in 1960 as a separate car line from Plymouth.

The original concept for the Marlin was called the Tarpon, and was built on a Rambler American chassis comparable in size to a Mustang or Barracuda.  In an effort to sidestep the competition, they brought out a car that was similar in nature, but 'man-sized' and built on a Rambler Classic chassis.  Personal sports-luxury cars had been done before, notably the Thunderbird and Grand Prix, but they were more subdued.  The Marlin had a swinging paint job where the roof contrasted with the body and fastback styling that was all the rage.  It was the company's first attempt to jump into the burgeoning performance car market, but it was more Grand Prix than GTO, lacking a fire-breathing engine.

The problem with the Tarpon was that engineers couldn't fit a V8 in the American's chassis, and the car needed one to lead the segment.  The problem with the Marlin was that the bodywork was stretched to fit the bigger platform and looked a bit off.  In particular, the roof had been raised above the rear seat and that created a less than graceful arc from windshield to rear bumper.  The following years Dodge Charger would be essentially everything that the Marlin was intended to be and would go on to great success while the Marlin lasted only three years.