The Amphicar Has No Place on Roads or Water but We Love It Anyway

Impractical, inefficient and impossible to resist

By Evan Bleier

 
The Amphicar Has No Place on Roads or Water but We Love It Anyway
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11 August 2017

Unveiled at the 1961 New York Auto Show, the amphibious Amphicar was not a very good car.

Also, despite having impressive aquatic ability for an automobile, it was not a very good boat.

So why did so many people — including LBJ — love the thing? Because it was fun, goddamnit.

Billed as “the sportscar that swims” following 15 years of development at a cost of $25 million, the 15.5-foot-long vehicle could do 0-60 in 43 seconds and topped out at 70 MPH, possibly because it weighed about 2,000 pounds. In the water it wasn’t much better (top speed 7 MPH).

Amphicar (4 images)

Despite those shortcomings, about 4,000 Amphicars ended up in the U.S. and the striking model you see above decked out in the factory color of Lagoon Blue is one of them. Chassis No. 106 523 027 spent most of its life in the care of a fun-loving Alaskan but wound up in Florida more than a decade ago and went through a full restoration in the Sunshine State.

Thanks to that work — which included the installation of new top, interior, fuel lines, and engine compartment — this beaut can ride both the waves and the roads like it did in its youth, slowly.

Expected to fetch $60,000 - $75,000, this models is hitting the Sotheby’s block on August 18th.

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