Marlin History

The Black Marlin Show Car


By Joe Howard, Fish Tales Editor

Vol 10 No 1, March 2009


To promote the Marlin, American Motors took full advantage of the broader interest the car would gain because of its mid-year introduction, with less competition for attention.  An impressive advertising and merchandising program launched the new car in the spring of 1965.


In addition to ads appearing in 2400 newspapers on announcement day, March 1 - full color spreads were published in Life, Saturday Evening Post, Look, and other major magazines. Marlin television commercials were seen on the CBS Danny Kaye Show, and 72 radio commercials were heard on the NBC Monitor programs.


The Marlin appeared in color on the covers of several car-buff magazines, including Motor Trend.


During this period, AMC stylists also came up with two glitzy show cars bearing the Rambler name. The first was the “Black Marlin”. It toured the 1965 auto shows - along with some very attractive young women, who were decked out in sailors’ outfits. The car was, not surprisingly, painted shiny black, perhaps to remind onlookers of the real black marlin, one of the large, slender deep-sea fishes found in the Pacific.


The “Black Marlin” was the early show car, designed to attract attention to the new nameplate at the spring 1965 auto shows
Note the wheels and the nautical theme of the models’ outfits and the Rambler caps. The sign says “Marlin by Rambler”
because AMC wanted the Marlin to be thought of as a separate nameplate.



Black Marlin Interior


The following pictures were taken at the 1965 Chicago Auto Show where the Black Marlin was on prominent Display.

The Top part of the Black Marlin was painted Silver to accent the shiny Black that was on the bottom of the car.


Black Marlin display at the 1965 Chicago Auto Show


Black Marlin at the 1965 Chicago Auto Show


Black Marlin at the 1965 Chicago Auto Show


After the Chicago Auto Show the Black Marlin went back to the AMC styling studios where the interior was replaced and the exterior was repainted with a Metal Flake Blue to become the “Tahiti” Marlin.



Note: Some portions extracted from “Marketing the Marlin”, Collectible Automobile, June 1988