The Amphicar is
a very interesting German built amphibious automobile, the first such vehicle mass-produced for sale to the public
started in 1961. The Amphicar 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". The Amphicar was designed to be marketed and sold in the USA. Compared to most boats or cars, its performance was modest, and only 4000 were produced by 1965. Nevertheless, it is still among the most successful amphibious civilian autos of all time, and still often prized and preserved as novelty collectible automobiles today.
The powerplant was the 1147 cc (69 in³) engine from the British Triumph Herald 1200. 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. Updated versions of this engine remained in production in the Triumph Spitfire until 1980. The Amphicar engine had a power output of 43 hp (32 kW) at 4750 rpm slightly more than the Triumph Herald due to a shorter exhaust. Called the "Model 770", the Amphicar could achieve speeds of 7 knots in the water and 70 mph (110 km/h) on land. Later versions of the engine displaced 1296 cc and 1493 cc and produced up to 75 bhp (56 kW). Some Amphicar owners have fitted these engines to improve performance.
In 1965, two Amphicars successfully navigated the Yukon River in Alaska.
Production started in 1961. From 1963 to 1965 cars were assembled from parts inventory built up in anticipation of sales of 20,000 per year. Production ended in 1965. Cars were titled in the year they actually sold rather than when they were produced, e.g. an Amphicar assembled in 1963 could be titled a 1968 if that was when it was first sold. Most Amphicars were sold in the United States. Cars were sold in the United Kingdom from 1964. Total production was 3,878 vehicles before the company folded. 99 right-hand drives were converted from left-hand drives. Some were used in the Berlin police department and others were fitted for rescue operations.
Although underpowered by modern standards, a well-maintained Amphicar can be an agile and pleasant vehicle to drive on both land and water. The fact that such a high proportion –more than 700 of the almost 4000 produced –have survived more than forty years is a testament to their high initial production quality, and to the lengths to which many owners will go in order to maintain and restore these vehicles.
During the fourth week in July, Amphicar owners convene at Grand Lake St. Marys in western Ohio. These events, and similar ones nationwide, are called "swim-ins".
A - Z DIRECTORY of CARS
Please click on the links above to find out about these famous automotive makers. If your company is not included and you would like to be listed, please let us know.
UK VEHICLE INSURANCE ONLINE A - Z
No matter what car, van or bike you drive, we're all looking for great value and quality in our UK motor insurance? But who is the best - who is the cheapest and who offers the great service in the event of a claim?
See the insurance companies below who claim to offer competitive cover at sensible prices, our guide to the jargon and tips for cutting your quote - Good Luck:-
A taste for adventure capitalists
Solar Cola - a healthier alternative
The content of this website is copyright © 1991 and 2012 Electrick Publications. All rights reserved. The bluebird logo and name Bluebird and Blue Max are trademarks. The BE2 and BE3 vehicle shape and configuration are registered designs ®. All other trademarks are hereby acknowledged. Max Energy Limited is an educational charity.