3 Replies to “1967 Dodge Charger: Chrysler’s Marlin!”

  1. AvatarGeorge Denzinger

    Looking at this article Lee wrote, I think both the Charger and the Marlin were compromised somewhat.

    Think back to the mid 1960’s and there were plenty of fastback cars, but mostly large ones. The Impala SS, the Mercury Marauder and so on. Just my own speculation, but I think Dodge may have been trying to move the idiom down a size or so.

    The Marlin, well, was just a huge compromise. The Tarpon show car on which the idea was based, wasn’t a bad looker. I think it would have competed well with the early Barracudas and the original Mustang. Did AMC’s management move the Tarpon to the Ambassador chassis to protect the upcoming Javelin/AMX? Was this AMC’s entry into the large fastback club? Either way, the concept wasn’t bad, but recycling 75% of the Ambassador’s sheetmetal and making the trunk virtually useless with the lack of access really didn’t help.

    Looking at the pics of the Barracuda and the original Charger, I’m struck at how practical these cars are. With their rear seats down, you could haul an impressive amount of “stuff” back there. I knew a guy with a ’66 Barracuda that used his car for all kinds of activities, but it really made a decent parts hauler. The succeeding generations lost some of that utility, which is kind of sad.

    I think the Charger was launched into an odd time when it was released, between the ascent of the pony and muscle cars and the decline of the big fastback cruisers. The 1968 refresh came online right about the time the mid-sized muscle cars were really hitting their stride and was perfectly positioned to capitalize on their popularity.

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    • AvatarJustPassinThru

      The Marlin was moved off the American platform and onto the Rebel, because someone higher-up in AMC…maybe it was Roy Abernathy…proclaimed that Ramblers had to have a roof high enough for a man to sit in, wearing a fedora. And that six-person seating was NON-negotiable. So that immediately moved the hot-concept Tarpon onto the Rebel body, and stipulated a flat roof all the way to the second-row seatrest.

      It looked like hell and it didn’t sell. But of course, never expect someone in authority to admit their mistakes…so, someone higher-up had the brighter idea, move it onto the Ambasador body! That’s it…a hot car sized up for men with fedoras, six-place, on a Grandma car-chassis.

      By the time the product-planners got the front office to okay a clean-sheet restart, the era of the first-gen ponycars was over, and bumper standards loomed large. Just one more of AMC’s comedy of errors that took them from a promising start, to destitution.

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  2. Avatar-Nate

    Fastbacks have always had boom & bust sales cycles in America .

    I’m very fond of the early Barracuda .

    I had a memorable ride in a freshly stolen ’67Charger in East Boston in 1968, we were hitch hiking and I didn’t notice the popped ignition cylinder hanging below the dash until I was already in the back seat…..

    Luckily that was a shot ride, it could have ended very badly .

    Fun cars to be sure .

    -Nate

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