The Sports Car That Swims
That's right, just as the name implies, the Amphicar could be used
either on the road, or as a boat.
Try to imagine the what must have been an almost magical
thrill of driving your brand new car down the boat launching ramp and
continuing right out onto the lake!
Between 1961 and 1968 it seems that somewhere around four-thousand*
fortunate Amphicar buyers had the chance to enjoy that experience.
The fun loving little Amphicar was built in Germany, and over three-thousand
were imported to the USA through 1967. Apparently, in 1967 importing
the Amphicar to the USA ended, and in 1968 production also ended.
Only a convertible body style was offered. Power came from an 1147cc,
4 cylinder rear mounted engine that produced 43hp. That was enough power
to cruise around the lake at up to 7 miles per hour (6 knots?), or down
the highway at speeds as fast as 70mph. The exhaust port is located
high up on the rear of the car, just to the right of the left side taillight.
Twin propellers moved the Amphicar through the water, while the front
wheels became the rudders for steering.
A special transmission offered four forward and one reverse gear on
land, but only one forward gear and reverse were used in the water.
The Amphicar is a fairly small vehicle with a wheelbase of about 82
inches and an overall length of around 170 inches.
The price ranged around $3,000.00, give or take a few hundred depending
on the year. Not really inexpensive for a car this size at the time,
but remember, it was a boat too!
* Production numbers vary depending on the source.
I saw and snapped the photos of this car at the annual Stockyard Days
car show in New Brighton, MN in August 2000.
Visit www.amphicar.net or www.amphicar.com
for more about the wonderful Amphicar.
Collector Car Pictures
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