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Amphicar - marque/manufacturer information

List of all Amphicar cars

The Amphicar was the only amphibious automobile ever mass-produced for sale to the public. The German vehicle was designed by Hanns Trippel and manufactured by the Quandt Group at Lübeck and at Berlin-Borsigwalde, its name is a portmanteau of "amphibious" and "car".

Performance

The powerplant was the 1147 cc (69 in³) engine from the British Triumph Herald 1200 introduced by the new owners Leyland Motors Ltd. Many engines were tried in prototypes but the Triumph engine was "state of the art" in 1961 and had the necessary combination of performance, weight, cool running and reliability. This engine remained in production in the Triumph Spitfire until 1979. The Amphicar engine had a power output of 43 hp (32 kW) at 4750 rpm. Called the "Model 770", the Amphicar could achieve speeds of 7 knots in the water and 70 mph (113 km/h) on land. Later versions of the engine displaced 1300cc and 1500cc and produced up to 75bhp. Some Amphicar owners have fitted these engines to improve performance.

It was said that the Amphicar wasn't a very good car and wasn't a very good boat because of modest performance in and out of water, but in many parts of the world it is capable of breaking the speed limits on both.

In water as well as on land, the Amphicar steered with the front wheels, which made it very easy to "drive" in the water, although it was not as maneuverable as a conventional boat.

History

Production started in 1961. After 1963 cars were assembled from parts inventory built up in anticipation of sales of 20,000 per year. Production ended in 1968. Most Amphicars were sold in the United States. Cars were sold in the UK from 1964. Total production was 3,878 vehicles before the company folded.

Driveability

Although underpowered by modern standards, a well maintained Amphicar can be a remarkably agile and pleasant vehicle to drive on both land and water. The fact that such a high proportion - roughly a quarter of the almost 4000 produced - have survived more than forty years is a testament to their very high initial production quality, and to the lengths that many owners will go to maintain and restore their beloved vehicles.

Amphicar shows

During the fourth week in July, Amphicar owners convene at Grand Lake St. Marys in western Ohio. These events are called Swim-ins , and are designed to give owners a chance to interact with one another.

Auction

Tom Maruska, of Duluth, MN, sold a mint example by fetching $115K plus 8% buyers premium at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale in 2006.

In popular culture

An Amphicar is featured in the James Coburn movie The President's Analyst, where Coburn and the character named "Kropotkin" use the car to make an escape. USA President Lyndon B. Johnson had an Amphicar at his ranch, a period picture shows him taking Walter Cronkite for a ride across a lake. There are also pictures of USA President Jimmy Carter driving an Amphicar. In music culture there are reports that John Lennon had a white Amphicar on his English country estate around 1968. Madonna is seen driving a blue Amphicar in the 1985 video of "Start me up"

  • The movie "Pontiac Moon" also features one of them, of course in a lake run.

List of all Amphicar cars

Source: Wikipedia

Infobox

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