The Amphicar is the only amphibious civilian vehicle ever put into commercial production. The machines trace their ancestry to the Wehrmacht’s Schwimmwagens, Ferdinand Porsche’s VW-based creation for Hitler’s Third Reich.
After the war, a company backed by the Quandt family (which also owned a controlling share of a then-tiny German car company BMW) produced a civilian amphibious vehicle that took up where the stark military iteration left off.
Unlike wooden or fibreglass boats, Amphicars have no natural buoyancy. If the convertible top and windows are down, an errant wake or sudden waves can turn a swimmer into a drowner.
And heaven help the passengers who forget where they are and open a door. No wonder Amphicars have a secondary door-snugging handle to guard against this distinctly unnautical behavior.
During seven years of operation, Amphicar built 3878 Model 770’s.
Years of Manufacture: 1961 - 1968
Number Built: 3878+
Price at Introduction: n/a
Steel, Unitary construction (Monocoque)
Total Length: 433 cm
Total Width: n/a
Total Height at kerb weight: 152 cm
Wheelbase: 210 cm
Front Track: 121.2 cm
Rear Track: 126 cm
2315 lbs (1050.1 kg)
Fuel Tank: 47 litres
Turning Circle: 36 feet
Speedometer (with integral tripmeter and odometer)
Temp warning lamp
Ammeter warning lamp
Oil warning lamp
On land: Manual - 4 Speed
At sea: 2 Speed transfer case, driving twin screws in either forward or reverse