Part boat, part car - Amphicars from the 1960s are highly sought after
say Amphicars are all at sea on land; and at sea they’re out of their depth.
Nevertheless values of these quirky German amphibians are riding the crest of a
The Amphicar was the creation of German
engineer Hans Trippel whose experiments with amphibious vehicles bore fruit
with military Volkswagen Schwimmwagen, more than 14,000 of which served in
World War Two.
He hoped his amphicar, launched in 1962, would become the
amphibian equivalent of the Volkswagen Beetle, bringing car-boats to the
masses. Ultimately fewer than 3,000 had been built when production ended in
Powered by an 1100cc Triumph Herald
engine with power take-off to twin props, the Amphicar could lumber to 70mph;
at sea the maximum was 7½ knots. Steering in both environments was by the front
wheels and in the water the Amphicar cornered with all the precision of a soggy
Today these quaint amphibious novelties
are highly prized and recently two made a rare appearance on the open market.
In the US, at a Bonhams Connecticut classic car auction a lovely 1964 baby blue
example, thought to have covered just 3600 miles from new and restored in the
mid-2000s to a high standard, made £38,400.
Not long after, another came to auction
in Athens, Greece. The white 1962 Amphicar which had been museum stored for
some years for £36,450. Seems the Amphicar market is pretty buoyant.
Pictures credited to Dave Selby