So, now that the weather is warmer and you’ve been allowed to venture outside of your house, you may be eager for some adventure. Maybe you’d like to go for a cruise, be it on pavement or on a local lake.
Well, with the Pick of the Day, you can do both with the same vehicle.
Imagine, no need to bother with a trailer, or even buy a boat, for that matter. Simply climb aboard and head for the lake. Once there, you can drive right into the water, where instead of turning the rear wheels, the powertrain drives a pair of propellers. Steering is done by the front wheels, whether on land or water.
The Amphicar was developed after World War II by Hans Trippel, a German engineer who had been creating water-going motorcars since 1932. The Volkswagen Schwimmwagen of World War II was one of his efforts.
Although Amphicar Corp. was based in New York, it was part of the Quandt Group, which also owned (and still does) BMW, and was built at Industrie-Werke Karlsruhe by a team that included many people who had worked at Borgward.
The Amphicar was unveiled at an auto show in Germany in 1959 and introduced to North America at the New York show two years later.
The model on offer here is done in Beach Sand White. “All steel panels on the hull are showing some bubbling rust at the rockers, chips and scratches in the paint and slight panel misalignment,” the dealer reports.
“Chrome is good, and a black convertible canvas top has a slight seam rip on the passenger rear of the top. The plastic rear window is mostly clear.”
The car has 2+2 seating in red vinyl tuck-and-roll with white bolsters wrapped in red piping.
“Seating shows slight wear in areas on the seat,” the dealer says. “Door panels are red vinyl and have white vinyl above which is slightly soiled. A white dash, and original steering wheel are in good condition with pitting and early signs of rust on the bezels. Clean ribbed rubber flooring ‘floods’ the floors and offers easy water cleanup.”
The car is powered by a 70cid Triumph herald 4-cylinder engine linked to a 4-speed manual transmission.
“A look at the hull from underneath, and it is all sealed up with no rust. Suspension is mostly covered with metal, and 4-wheel drum brakes have rubber seals within to protect them when in the water.
“Underside of lower doors show some rust drippings but nothing remarkable. That’s the scuttlebutt on the underpinnings.”
As for drivability, “After a warmup period the engine ran a little rough and wanted to stall (possibly old gas?) We got her up to speed, and it handled well, shifting into first was a little wonky in that it was difficult to find exactly where it was. Ran fine on dry land, passing with flying colors.”