Fully Optioned Fish: 1966 AMC Marlin

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This fully-optioned 1966 AMC Marlin is a little rough around the edges, but with your trusty welder and your 27 years of experience in restoring vehicles, no prob! It’s well worth it, this one is a keeper. This Marlin is listed on eBay with a current bid price of just over $1,000 and there are five days left on the auction. It’s in Fennville, Michigan.

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There’s a little more work to do on these quarter panels than you thought there would be from the first photo! But, these cars are worth saving. The Marlin was made for three short years, 1965, 1966, and 1967. The 1965 and 1966 models were only slightly different but the 1967s were totally different, being based on the Ambassador instead of the Classic. The ’65s were the only Marlins to carry the Rambler name and thus, this 1966 is badged as an AMC. Personally, I would lose the chrome mags and find a set of original-spec wheels, but that’s just me. This one could really be a show-stopper with the rare, factory options that it has.

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Ok, here’s a little more work to do, but every square inch of this car will have to be restored in order to bring it back to where it deserves to be, 100% original spec. This is just my opinion, but a limited run car like this with such rare options really deserves to be back to stock condition. To do anything else would be like hot-rodding a Willys Coupe or a Lincoln Zephyr. Hey, wait a minute, you mean that people actually do that?! This car looks solid in the areas that I expected to see it rusty, but the floor pans will need work and the body will need a lot of help.

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What a great looking, unique interior! And, you can see the options that I clamored on and on about: a 4-speed manual transmission and power windows! That may not see like such a big deal today but for a mid-60s AMC to have those options, not to mention that this car has factory AC, that’s a big deal. Or, it is for me, anyway. This really was meant to be a luxury cruiser more than a sports car so the 4-speed manual is really rare to see here. I can’t remember the last time that I’ve seen power windows in an AMC product of this vintage. The seats all look great but the door panels will need some work and the dash has a few cracks in it. But, overall; very nice. The machine-turned aluminum trim is a nice touch.

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Here’s where the AMC 327 V8 with 270 hp should be! It was removed, along with the 4-speed transmission, by the previous owner in preparation for a restoration. And, like how a lot of those stories end, it was never completed. Thankfully, the original engine and transmission come with the car. I’m telling you, you can do this one! I don’t know if the Marlin body style is everyone’s favorite, but a two-door car with a 327 V8, a factory 4-speed, power windows, AC, tilt wheel, power steering, and power brakes sounds great to me!

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    I agree, this is a very rare find. I can’t find how many 4 speed’s were made, I’m sure Eddie Stakes would know, but of the 4500 made in ’66, it can’t be many. I read, AMC didn’t mark their engines with the car’s vin #’s, so it’s hard to tell if it’s an original motor, but a very worthy project. I see it has dual brakes, and electric wipers ( a huge plus). I didn’t think they had either in ’66. I love Ramblers and AMC’s, and say what you want, I think this was one of the nicest cars to come out of Wisconsin,,,too bad not many others shared that same response.( and look where the fastback eventually went)

    • Jacob

      That dual master cylinder was actually a standard feature! Front disc brakes were also “standard” in 1965 but not in 66 because of how expensive it was IIRC.

  2. John

    So, 27 years experience, trusty welder, AMC tattoo.. it’s like you are speaking directly to me :) I would buy it in a heartbeat if my finances were in a normal state. Timing is always the bane of my existence.

  3. M/K

    one of the most beautiful cars ever built. again just rebuild her engine and transmission then drive while you fix her, how could you not? could this be the definition of car porn? yes for me and i aint an A.M.C. guy.

  4. Joe Muzy

    I wasn’t a big Marlin fan when they came out but they have grown on me. AMC was ahead on this design. It’s not a common car so should show real well when restored

  5. 68 custom

    I admit to being skeptical when I saw the headline, but this Marlin really is loaded! and with a four speed to make it even cooler! plus I have never seen a Marlin with either PW or tilt wheel. worthy of a top notch restoration just do as much yourself as possible. I think AMC utilized dual circuit brakes before it became mandotory in 67? not sure though?

  6. Jim Mc

    I gotta agree, Scotty. Normally a Marlin like this not going to be worth the effort, and parted out. But the cumulative combo of factory options makes this one worth restoring, even step-by-step. You might even break even in value (or not 😬) But if not, you’d still have a rare, beautiful, and semi-fast ride to be proudly driven and shown. This could be super cool if someone can do it right.

  7. Eric Gerren

    I have one in a bit better condition than this in Idaho. I bought it in Texas. Mine has AC, PS,PB, 270 hp 327, auto, it is not running, but is complete. Oh and it has an 8 track player!

  8. Chuck

    What does the fifth button on the master power window switch operate ?

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Good eye, Chuck! This car apparently has power locks, too.

  9. M/K

    power door locks maybe?

    • Gary

      That 5th button on the power window ‘master’ switch is the lock out control to the other 3 power window switches, an arrangement that’s still used to date. By the way, did anyone notice the AF-FM radio dial? Or the remote control side mirror? The one cool option missing with the radio is the reverberator. I still have 2 of the reverb units I pulled out of the junk yard some 30 years ago, and at that time they still worked – hooked them up in my 65 Chevelle Conv. (still have it) temporarily. Back to the 5th switch, as you can see in the 8th photo, showing the passenger door, there is no push down door lock knob. Rambler/AMC was still using the (very) outdated door handle by either pushing it down or forward. i think these guys here would verify this: http://theamcforum.com/forum/rambler-door-locks_topic57076.html
      So, now we have a very highly optioned Marlin, and the bone-head selling it was going to hack it up! Please, somebody here reading this save this one. It deserves to be saved!

      • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

        Gary, you nailed it, it’s not door locks! Thanks for the clarification.

  10. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Eric – did yours come out of Dallas….there used to be one down the street – the same color.

    This is a nice rare find….

  11. Rustytech Member

    Wow what a great find! There are 2 stalks on the steering column is it also tilt? If so that also had to be a very rare option. This punches all the buttons.

  12. '63 Lark Daytona ragtop

    I think you’d be better off finding a body donor in the desert Southwest and making one good car out of two. Looks like a Money Pit to do the body work on this one, versus what it’s worth

  13. Jacob

    It doesn’t have the highest trim level. I wonder how much extra the options it does have and the 4 speed would really bring in value? You can get bumpers fenders and pretty much everything under the belt line from rambler classics of the same year.

    I picked up a marlin in much better shape, single owner, 60k miles, 287 v8, auto with PS and PB no rust and a flawless interior for $2900. I don’t think this particular car would be worth saving. There was a twin stick over drive option that would be pretty cool to have but this is a lot of work and I can’t imagine getting more than ~$25k for a marlin in perfect condition.

  14. David meichelbock77

    I love it looks simaler to the fast back chargers ID love to restore that one and Cruz route 66 car show in San berdoo it would be so awesome ID go 1200.00 on it

  15. DENIS

    I built and raced a number of 327s back in the day…many 3 spd/od, a few AT, and they were quick…never owned a Marlin…built a 4 spd Rebel for a young lad and it was quick. I like this car but the body looks like a throwaway to me…

  16. leiniedude leinieduede Member

    Looks like someone got beat out by a buck. Sold for $2,151.00. 19 bids.

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