The ’65 Marlin: Rambler’s swinging man-size sports fastback car

Rambler Marlin car for 1965

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AMC’s ’65 Marlin a leader, not a follower

By Arnold Wechter, Auto Editor – Santa Cruz Sentinel (Santa Cruz, California) August 1, 1965

Nobody will ever accuse American Motors of playing “follow the leader” with its new Marlin model.

The Rambler sports-type car is a completely different approach to the personal car market than those taken by the big three, GM, Ford and Chrysler. Instead of basing its appeal in high-power performance, AMC makes its pitch with an exotic body end a host of luxury and safety features.

After driving the Marlin for two weeks we found that passengers and onlookers showed either instant enthusiasm or distaste. We didn’t keep an accurate check, but the ayes seemed to have it.

Personally, we grew to appreciate the Marlin’s appearance more each day.

The designers might have made the ’65 Marlin somewhat sleeker by lowering the roofline and shortening the wheelbase — but not without cutting down on passenger comfort — we’ll take comfort to appearance anytime.

Finish-wise, the body was up to the high standards of other AMC autos. The paint job and trim was excellent, and the unitized body is rattle-free.

Classic cars - Marlin Rambler - AMC - 1965

Marlin is not a high-performance auto in comparison with some of Detroit’s new “muscle cars.” But when equipped with the optional 327-cubic-inch V-8 with 270 horses, it is no slouch.

Standard engine for the Marlin is a 282-cubic-inch six with a 287-cubic-inch V-8 also offered as an option.

Our test vehicle was equipped with the big engine and the Flash-O-Matie three-speed automatic transmission. It is an excellent combination for freeway driving or just motoring around town. The automatic is smooth and adds to the effortless driving which characterizes the Marlin.

Rambler also offers a three-speed manual and a three-speed manual with overdrive for those who prefer to do their own shifting.

The test car was equipped with regulation shocks and springs. It produced a typical American car ride — soft and comfortable with plenty of lean in the corners. It also had moderate to heavy understeer.

AMC also offers heavy-duty shocks and springs. We believe this would make a big plus in the handling of the Marlin.

Rambler cars from the mid-'60s: The Ambassadors, Classics & Americans

The Marlin’s brakes are one of its biggest and best features. AMC offers as standard equipment disc brakes on the front wheels and its double-safety brake system. The disc brakes are excellent. We’ll even go so far as to say great. They bring the Marlin to a quick, fast halt with no sign of fade after repeated hard use.

The double-safety brake system is one of those items that the driver doesn’t know is there until it is needed. It is mighty comforting to know if one hydraulic system fails there is a second unit to prevent a tragedy.

Several months ago when we tested a Rambler Ambassador sedan, we had high praise for the optional bucket seat. They are also available on the Marlin, and we highly recommend them. They are worth the extra cost. They are soft, but firm enough at the right spots. They provide excellent support and comfort during those long, tiring drives.

The dash was a little flashy for our taste. But the AMC designers deserve credit as all the knobs are within easy reach of the driver, and after a short period of familiarization, can be used without taking your eyes off the road. The gauges include a speedometer, water temperature and fuel gauge. Lights are used to indicate oil pressure and ammeter.

Rambler apparently believes there is a market for personal-type autos not aimed at the sports car or high-performance addict.

The Marlin is a perfect choice for a driver who seeks something personal in his auto — but who isn’t willing to sacrifice creature comforts to get it. It is a distinctive, good-looking auto built for comfortable riding on today’s freeways.

American Motors, in our book, has succeeded in its plan to cash in on the so-called personal car sales boom without compromising its longtime stand opposing the horsepower race.

Introducing excitement! The ’65 Marlin

The swinging new man-size sports fastback — Marlin!

This is the big, bold, brand-new ear for swingers who love fast lines, deep luxury, and man-size room for man-size comfort.

This is Marlin, most exciting Rambler ever built. It’s too much automobile to be just another fastback. It’s got too much luxury to be just another sporty car. It’s got too much solid value to be anything but a Rambler.

The swinging new man-size sports fastback Marlin (1965)

Performance? All you can use, including the might of a 327 cu.-in. V-8 option. With Power Disc Brakes and with individually adjustable reclining front seats, standard.

With almost any sports option you can name. And with all the extra-value features that Rambler delivers at no extra cost: Advanced Unit Construction, Deep-Dip rustproofing, Ceramic-Armored exhaust system, Double-Safety Brakes (separate systems, front and rear) — and more. Take in the excitement.

Take in the Marlin. Take in this newest of the Sensible Spectaculars — at your Rambler dealer now. In limited production, but stepping up fast.

Marlin by Rambler — Newest of the Sensible Spectaculars

American Motors — Dedicated to Excellence

Rambler Marlin car for 1965

'65 Chevy coupes and sedans (1965)

’65 Marlin: Swinging sports-fastback! 

Here’s performance! Here’s luxury! Here’s the roomiest! Where? At Rambler dealers.

Marlin Rambler car from 1965


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