What if AMC had continued with the Nash Airflyte look through the 1960s and applied it to the The Marlin?
The is work is based on the excellent work of our friend ,Richard Spiegelman, who kindly granted me permission.
Most of these photoshops don’t work. This one does, and it shows the continuity of design DNA. It’s basically a ’51 scaled down vertically.
As a mechanic working on Airflyte brakes I hated the design. Might have some styling appeal for some, but I doubt that the aero dynamics contributed much to fuel economy.
Strangely appealing. Looks better than the real Marlin.
If AMC actually built this version, would it sell? Probably not. The Marlin sold poorly, and by 1965 the “Airflytes” of 1949-51 were considered to be out-of-style, old fogey used cars that almost no one wanted anymore. Trying to be retro before retro was cool.
Just reminds me how absolutely odd-looking the Marlin was. Hideous even. Hard to believe they sold at all. What a lost opportunity for AMC to not use the smaller American chassis and forget about Abernathy being able to sit in the back seat.
Great photoshop project on the 4 door by the way.
One of the biggest problems with the Marlin was Roy Abernethy’s height. From Wikipedia:
“…the roof was raised over the rear passenger area when Abernethy, who was six-foot-four (193 cm tall), insisted on being able to sit in the back seat of the design studies.”
Ironically, the above photoshop solves this problem by lengthening the body to create a sedan. Nonetheless, it still has something of a dated Rambler look and might have been a success if an entire Marlin carline had been released at least a couple of years earlier.
But by 1965, the Marlin coupe with a too-tall fastback roof was a born loser, a virtual AMC Pacer 10 years before the real thing hit AMC showrooms. An AMC Ford Mustang the Marlin was not.
If AMC had skipped trying to make a sporty coupe out of the Rambler Classic (or even the stillborn Tarpon from the Rambler American) and had, instead, devoted that development money into bringing out the all-new Javelin a year or two sooner, things would went much better for the company. By the time the Javelin made production in 1968, it was an also-ran since the Big 3 had already completely covered the ponycar market.
The wider Dodge Charger with a similar (but lower) fastback roof came off much better overall.
Althought I read in a old Collectible Collectible article about the 1967-69 Barracuda once then the Javelin once outsold the Barracuda.
No thanks. I know that sounds a bit harsh but as the son of a dealer that was there when they unveiled the original Marlin at a special premier show I can tell you we didn’t like it then and we don’t like it now. Much too hunky to compete with the other sport compacts of the era.
However it is an interesting artistic rendition and in some ways better as a large sedan reminiscent of the old ‘air flights’ than a sporty touring coupe.
My father’s Ambassador Airflyte couldn’t do a U-turn on the street where we lived where the Packard that preceded it could. I like Richard’s study better than than the 2-door Marlin except for the enclosed front fenders. Marlin would have worked better as a 4-door with rounded Airflyte style.
The fact that this works so well really just speaks to how out of fashion Rambler’s were in 1965. You couldn’t take a 65 Mustang, or to be more on point a 65 Fairlane, and make a few tweaks to make it almost perfectly resemble a 1949 Ford. The Marlin was still adhered to the early post-war form of a fastback, something that’ll sit 4-5 men wearing fedoras comfortably
Indeed, this really would have been something as a new, 1955 Hudson Hornet.
But up against a 1965 Galaxie or Impala? Not so much.
First glance it looks like a Tatra 607.
First glance it looks like a Tatra 603
I was going to say it reminded me of a “’65 Tucker Torpedo”, but then I looked again at the Tucker. Aside from them both being large-ish fastback, that’s about where the similarities end.
Beautiful artwork / rendering, BTW.
He/they did a Marlin wagon, too 🙂
My eyes may never recover from that one. 🙁
It’s also a continuation of the Chevrolet Fleetline profile from the early 50’s – maybe from an alternate universe in which Ford’s 1949 three box sedan was a sales failure, and manufacturers worked on evolving the ‘fastback’ profile instead.
Holy wah…! Yup, this works. 10/10, would happily drive one.
I’d love to see a 6- or 8-door airport limousine version.
That just looks nice. My critique of the photoshpped image, is the front door should be a couple of inches shorter.
On the interior, we would find the legendary Nash Ambassador Brougham “club seats”.
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