by member Robert Becker member of the Sunnyland chapter
Our 1964 Amphicar, made in Germany, and found about 20 years ago in Montana has been a real joy to us. It’s unusual and unique but most of all it has given us a lot of FUN. Sure, it gets a lot of attention but we also get a lot of scoffs from both car and boat aficionados. You see it never was a great car or a great boat. The Model 770 was so named, ostensibly, because it would go 70mph on land and 7 knots on the water.
It is a platypus invention. Its engine is a British Triumph Herald and it takes its brake and suspension components from Volkswagen and Mercedes. It’s finest innovation is a Porsche land /water transmission, invented by a WWII German soldier engineer who put the first amphibious DUKW(duck) boats in the water for the Germans.
We have had the car for over 20 years and it has been restored to the original except that we added a Life Ring(buoy) to the trunk as a mock Continental kit.
We have taken it to the Amphicar National Convention in Celina, Ohio and it has sailed in most Georgia lakes and some in Alabama and in a few in Florida. It has attended several Sunnyland ACBS shows where many attendees received rides.
With Florida as its home port, it has floated over a few water moccasins and it has had more than one juvenile alligator nibble on its molding and trim.
Sorry, but we don’t have a copy of the memorable photo of our car’s voyage down the Tennessee River at Chattanooga. The big amphibious tourist DUCKS ply this river giving entertaining rides. Our Amphi was a hit as it followed the big DUCK down the river. It appeared to the crowd as a mother duck and its baby.
Our giggles can be hardly contained when we are in the river near a bridge next to populated city. On several occasions, someone will call the local fire/rescue responders and report that a car has driven off the bridge and is now floating down stream!
As we said, it’s FUN to be 10 years old with a toy like the Amphicar.