Power Pack: 327-Equipped AMC Marlin

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While we have discussed the AMC Marlin in the past here at Barn Finds, I can’t recall the last time we featured a rare 327-equipped model. This 1965 Marlin here on craigslist may look a tad rough, but it was well-optioned from the factory and appears deserving of restoration. The seller is located in Seattle and is asking $6,500 for this project Marlin, which is an appealing alternative to a Charger or Mustang fastback. 

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Originally painted Antegua Red with a black center stripe, this Marlin had to have been stunning back in the day. It came from the factory with the 327, limited-slip rear end, reclining bucket seats and an automatic transmission. The seller has run through some formulas to determine just how rare a Marlin in this specification is, but I’m not going to try and validate his claims. No matter what, this Marlin packs an impressive feature list and is said to be an excellent driver when equipped with the 327.

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The seller does not spend much time talking about overall condition, other than a repaint in the past. It’s clear that the interior needs a thorough cleaning if not extensive restoration. The horn button is missing and the gauges appear cloudy, and the seats front and rear are filthy. Supposedly a barn find, the seller hasn’t had time to work on this project since bringing it home. Although the automatic may be a good accomplice to the bigger engine, I’d love to find one of these with the clever twin-stick transmission.

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The seller touts the car’s original “Bilix” front disc brakes, but I think he means the Bendix 4-piston system. Regardless of spelling, the option list is generous and the extra power of the 327 is appreciated here. The Marlin is already somewhat of a rarity on the road today, and the added features still with this project-grade example make this one a bit more special; that is, of course, if you find the AMC 327 anything to write home about in the first place. What do you think – is this Marlin a diamond in the rough?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Hmm, I wonder if it’s one of those “prototype” Marlins? ( price just went up) Technically, it’s not an “AMC” Rambler Marlin, just a Rambler Marlin. ’66 they became the AMC Rambler Marlin. AMC threw everything they had at this car, with high hopes, but it fell flat. I heard the major complaint was the trunk opening, and it was kind of odd, for the time. I was just a kid in Milwaukee when these came out. We all laughed at it, but who’s laughing now. This one looks a little rough, but for sheer rarity, it would be worth restoring. You’d have the only one at a show ( except at the AMC reunion in Kenosha, There were a bunch of these there) Being from Milwaukee, I like any Rambler/AMC vehicle, but this one is extra special. It showed Rambler could indeed make a car we would all talk about, too bad, we didn’t buy many.

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    • Mike H

      I always felt that the original Tarpon concept (built on the American platform) was much better looking.

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      • Joe Nose

        Agreed; or it should have been backburnered until it could be grafted onto the ’67 Rebel front end. But by then the Javelin was almost ready, and far better looking than any iteration the Marlin could have been.

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    • Mike H

      AMC had a number of really cool concept cars throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s. Moving beyond the REALLY cool ones (like the AMX II and AMX III) there was the first view of the Kammback Gremlin, but with AMX front sheet metal.

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      • Terry

        Ooh, I like that car.

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    • Mike H

      There were a few versions of a Jeep-branded Hornet Ute (The Cowboy), which was a neat idea but really no better than a Ranchero or El Camino. . .

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  2. AMCSTEVE

    I was just at the AMO National show in Rockford, IL. Last Friday. The Marlin Show was going on and there were about 20 of them there. Really nice examples from every ur made. They are special cars and look really pretty when restored but getting parts is not easy.
    There wer a couple rough projects there for under a grand way worse than this one.

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    • Howard A Member

      Hi AMCSTEVE, that group of 20 must have been the same group that was at the AMC reunion couple years back (Have you been? A must attend for any AMC fan, I believe the next one is 2017) They had a gold one with a black trunk that looked awesome. http://bdgold.com/gallery/var/resizes/Car/Cars-AMC/1966%20AMC%20Marlin.jpg?m=1267818803

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      • AMCSTEVE

        Yes Howie I was there and will be there next summer with my son and his 68 Rebel SST. The car in your link was at Rockford and I believe is the nicest of all of them. Homecoming is the Mecca for us AMC guys!

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  3. Tony S

    …that confounding Abernethy !!

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  4. JimmyinTEXAS

    “What do you think – is this Marlin a diamond in the rough?”
    I’m thinking it is a Marlin and it is ROUGH. Not so much it couldn’t be a fun project..

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  5. Chebby

    Gee, they only made the 1965 and a half model for six months. And the 1964 Barracuda design “coppied” the 1965 Marlin. I love a knowledgeable seller.

    And wagon wheels on a car are never a good sign, especially mismatched ones.

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  6. scottymac

    Thanks for the photo of the ’67s, they were my favorites.

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  7. Steve

    I just about gave my 66 away, when the doctor gave a short termination date, I won’t go into retail of how many cool rigs I unloaded so my wife wouldn’t have to deal with them.
    Two years later the doctor gave me a clean bill of health!
    Bastard!

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    • whippeteer

      Was he in cahoots with your wife over the cars? Just kidding. Very glad to hear that the doctor was wrong.

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  8. leiniedude

    A nice change of pace. Great job!

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  9. Prowler

    I guess every car guys fear is after he’s gone your wife will sell your cars for what you told her you paid for them.

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