Marlin History

Dick Teagueís Explanation of Pre-Marlin Sketches

Richard A. Teague, Vice President of Automotive Styling, American Motors Corporation, CAR LIFE, March 1965

Published in Fish Tales Vol 9 No 2, June 2008




SKETCH A shows a bubble-type back light. The reason this particular design approach was discarded was that you lose a lot of fastback feel when you cut out the entire rear of the car and replace sheet metal with glass. We didnít get the effect we were after on the Marlin.



SKETCH B shows a slightly shorter version of the roof we ultimately used on the Marlin. It is more of a semi or half-fastback, along the line of one of our competitors. I think all designers wind up with many similar sketches as an automatic evolution of what they think is coming in car design. This is an interesting example because we had no knowledge of what the competitor was doing when this sketch was done.



In SKETCH C, we took the side glass and made a fence molding that kicked up, as we refer to it, just aft of the door opening. The rear of the car is pretty much the way Marlin emerged, except for some air exhaust outlets beneath the back light. We were able to get flow-through ventilation by cracking the window a little, rather than taking on the rather complex problem of ducting the louvers and weather seal problems. So the louvered air exhaust outlets were eliminated.



SKETCH D is a radical approach to a fastback with the outer fender elements detached from the main body. This gives a rather unusual look, incorporating very large V tail lights. We discarded this sketch because we felt there would be some major bumper problems, and it was a little too radical for our particular marketing approach.



Again, SKETCH E is a shorter version of a fastback. We did quite a number of sketches along this line. We modeled one side of full-sized clay in this form against a full fastback and decided against the modified version. We wound up with some of the feeling of this car - the ornament on the rear deck lid and the back light.



SKETCH F is a very rough version of still another semi-fastback. It was a simple flow pen sketch and had no influence in the finished Marlin fastback.



SKETCH G is really a form of Sketch D with a more conventional rear bumper. The delta-shaped plan was incorporated into it in an attempt to modify the somewhat controversial shape of Sketch D. The tail lights did influence the Marlin tail lights - that is the wrap-in and wrap-out tail light.



A rather unusual rear styling motif in that it utilizes a rear panel running the full width of the car is employed in SKETCH H. This was discarded for many reasons. One was that it has round tail lights which have been used practically since the beginning of the automobile.



SKETCH I was made during initial development of the Tarpon. It utilized the K-type pillar, or a swept back and up line on the side glass opening. This had just a touch of wrap-over glass, although it didnít come down to the belt line as does the bubble--type back light of one of our competitors.



SKETCH J is one of the first sketches that touched off the Marlin approach on the 122-in, wheelbase. It was done by Vince Geraci, manager of the Classic-Ambassador studio, and showed what we could do by utilizing the all-new 1965 Classic hardtop from the belt line down.