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AmphiAMPHICAR BACKGROUNDER

Amphicar with dreamgirl!

Some Frequently Asked Questions

Did you make it yourself ?

No, Amphicars were produced by the Amphicar Corporation in Germany between 1962 and 1967.

So is it a Triumph / Renault / Austin ?

None of these, the Amphicar Corporation was a separate company that was initially funded by the German Government, there are connections with some other German manufacturers such as Borgward, Mercedes and BMW and the engine used came from Triumph in the UK. The plans were that Amphicar would be a new manufacturer and would produce about 20,000 cars a year for the North American market.

Is it Fibreglass ?

No, good old mild steel, although much thicker than on a car and much better assembled with continuous welds and lead filling around the joins to make it watertight.

How do the doors seal ?

Two rubber strips that work like the seal on a refrigerator.

How high does the water come ?

About where the black/white rubber side strip is on the side of the car, there is about 14 inches of freeboard but if the windows are wound up the freeboard more than doubles !

How does it steer in the water ?

The front wheels.

How fast is it ?

6 knots in the water, 70mph on land, although an Amphicar with a high performance engine can reach 90mph on land.

Does it leak ?

No, some Amphicars do but most of the good one can stay in water for many hours without any leakage at all.

Why weren't more sold ?

Who had heard of a sports/recreational vehicle in the early 1960's ? The marketing was all wrong, in fact Amphicar didn't employ marketing staff, only engineers.

What do all those buttons do on the dash ?

As well as normal automotive functions the Amphicar has marine lights and a bilge pump.

What about the second gear lever ?

That controls the propellers, forwards or backwards.

Does it have to be licenced ?

Yes it has two licences, one for land and one for water.

What's it worth ?

Who knows ! Not enough come up for sale for there to be any real market or any accurate figures in the price guides.

What about maintenance ?

More than a car but not much more than a 4WD that's used off road, but, you have to do it yourself as very few professionals have the experience and knowledge to maintain an Amphicar properly.

 

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