Package Deal: Three AMC Marlins

This trio of hurtin’ 1965 American Motors/Rambler Marlins are described as barn finds, but they’re really undergrowth finds. It’s fair to say that this is about the worst possible storage for classic cars, and these Ramblers have clearly suffered the consequences. They’re on Facebook Marketplace in Wurtsboro, New York, priced at $1,000 each or $3,000 for all of them. Geez, couldn’t there be some kind of discount for someone willing to haul them away? The owner is negotiable.

Let me say that the price seems high for the condition these cars are in. The Marlin has never gotten much love, though its fortunes are rising lately. One of the very few cars named after a fish (there’s also the Corvette Stingray, of course), the Marlin was clearly a response both to the Mustang and the Plymouth Barracuda (the other one named after a fish). It has the Barracuda’s dramatic rear styling and huge rear window, though (like the Barracuda) it’s plain-jane from the B-pillar forward. The Barracuda was basically a Plymouth Valiant; the Marlin a Rambler Classic.

Just over 2,000 Marlins were built with a 145-horsepower inline-six. More popular was the company’s own 270-horsepower, 327-cubic-inch four-barrel V-8, which was often specified with an automatic and console shifter, though the “twin” stick manual with overdrive was in six percent of orders.

The owner doesn’t say much, but he does inform us that the registrations (does he mean titles?) are missing and that the red and white cars have their 327 V-8s “in tacked.” But the one engine photo (of the red car) shows a pretty scary mess. Perhaps one engine could be built from the two. The black car is minus both its motor and its differential, though it may have a transmission–under that big expanse of glass, maybe? “The cars sat for at least 25 years so they’re not gonna be perfect,” the owner states. That’s an understatement. He thinks they’re restorable, but they look more like parts cars from this vantage point.

The all-important rear windows appear to be intact on these Marlins. Interior photos would have been helpful. The cars “have the usual floor pan rot but other than that they’re pretty solid,” we’re told. But even if the cars are better than they look, this is going to be a very large project for a dedicated Marlin lover. Both the red and white ones have rear end damage, and there’s lots of surface rust, moss and everything else. The usual thing is to say that one car can be built from the three, but my guess is that the rot is mostly in the same places. Bring your welder.

So are you going to make a move here? Marlins are thin on the ground, and at least from what we can see these have decent sheet metal.


  1. GP Member

    I could use a windshield, but it’s a long drive from Knapp WI. I think there is lots of parts there. Hard to tell with out knowing about the under side. It’s nice to know they can still be found!

    Like 2
    • Classic Steel

      I passed on a bucket seat 327 auto needing lil work to make streetable again two years ago. A trans shop rebuilt the automatic and owner couldn’t pay. It was a no rust body that was running too. It needed brakes fixed snd sagging headliner fixed with faded paint.

      These are 1200 for all three at best and a chainsaw. If one doesn’t like buying a running one cheaper. If not then spending 25 grand more then 40% odds one could possibly run one if all the blocks didn’t crack when no one tapped the freeze plugs out .

      Like 2
      • PatrickM


  2. Dave brennan

    If they’re still available after I win lotto tonight , they’ll be on their way to my new garage!!!

    Like 3
  3. EricG

    I have a 66 in Idaho. Better than these. 327/270 hp. Auto and air

    Like 1
  4. Dave D

    NY cars older than 1973 don’t have titles. Transferable registrations only

  5. Andy

    New York didn’t issue titles until 1973, and vehicles built before then have transferable registrations. These are easier to replace than titles, and the NYS DMVs I’ve dealt with just go through the motions on anything more than ten years old. That being said, I think Marlins are pretty cool, but I wouldn’t get involved with these ones.

    Like 3
  6. That AMC guy

    There are pretty sorry looking Marlins. Parts cars at best, maybe even scrap. It looks like even the rare trim pieces are gone which might otherwise give these dead fish some value.

    Like 3
  7. Bob C.

    When I was a kid, I had a Corgi toy in the same color scheme as the first two pictures.

    Like 2
  8. PatrickM

    Wow!! The highest I would bid is $500.00 for each. Plus, owner would have to help get these out of the woods. I see a lot of weeds growing there. I think…

  9. Jason

    Do you still have these?

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