It handles like a barge
January 10, 2011 8:32 AM   Subscribe

Taking the Amphicar for a test drive. Telstar Logistics leaps at the opportunity to test drive an Amphicar. Previously.
posted by exogenous (17 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
The links on the amphicar.com site that point to the story are broken, but I remember the one that was stranded in the middle of the Delaware River near New Hope, PA. It sat there for a week or maybe longer until they could winch it loose. I can also recall as a teenager watching one drive right into the Delaware River at a different location, the Linden Ave. boat ramp and being pretty blown away. There are always a few at the AACA Fall Meet at Hershey, PA.
posted by fixedgear at 8:42 AM on January 10, 2011


When I was growing up in Indy, there was always an Amphicar parked in the front yard of a home on east 38th Street, near Crown Hill. It looked to be in cherry condition but, as far as I could tell, never moved from that spot for years and years.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:49 AM on January 10, 2011


Amazing!

One thought... Rust.
posted by -t at 9:09 AM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I suppose an Amphicar would be all right, if you're not man enough to build your own ;^)
posted by richyoung at 9:31 AM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


as far as I could tell, never moved from that spot for years and years.

So it really does work just like a boat.
posted by DU at 9:51 AM on January 10, 2011 [12 favorites]


So jealous.

And timely for me, because I had a dream last night that I was riding in an old VW Beetle and the guy who was driving went off a cliff and we landed in a river, and I said "I wonder if those ads are true..."

And then I think Dick Cheney hit us with a hammer or something. I forget. There was a big Renaissance Faire in the dream, also.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:06 AM on January 10, 2011


My favorite LBJ anecdote:

"The President, with Vicky McCammon in the seat alongside him and me in the back,was now driving around in a small blue car with the top down. We reached a steep incline at the edge of the lake and the car started rolling rapidly toward the water. The President shouted, "The brakes don’t work! The brakes won’t hold! We’re going in! We’re going under!" The car splashed into the water. I started to get out. Just then the car leveled and I realized we were in a Amphicar. The President laughed. As we putted along the lake then (and throughout the evening), he teased me. "Vicky, did you see what Joe did? He didn’t give a damn about his President. He just wanted to save his own skin and get out of the car." Then he’d roar."
posted by entropicamericana at 11:43 AM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ah amphibious vehicles, they never go out of style -- previously on Mefi: the Aquada and Humdinga, from Gibbs Technologies
posted by exhilaration at 12:12 PM on January 10, 2011


i owned an amphicar for a year or so back in the 60's. they were built from a triumph herald chassis and running gear. the triumph herald is a truly shitty car and noone in his right mind would attempt to convert it into a boat. except the british. the only reason to own one of these vehicles was the freakout potential outlined above in the lbj anectdote. after i had done that a few times and the fun wore off, i was left with a very disappointing car and a very shitty boat all rolled into one butt ugly pile. driving away from it in a newly acquired mercedes 190sl was a memorable event. by the way, the amphicar didn't actually float, it was only kept from sinking by 2 massive bilge pumps.
posted by kitchenrat at 12:58 PM on January 10, 2011


I love the woman's huge grin in the rear-view mirror as she's driving.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:37 PM on January 10, 2011


Danny Hillis of the Connection Machine had an amphicar
Danny also bought an Amphicar, one of a couple thousand built in the early '60s. On sunny days he and Brewster Kahle and Richard Feynman and Marvin Minsky would climb onto the vinyl bench seats and motor down Memorial Drive in Cambridge, discussing Zen Buddhism. Rather than cross the bridge they'd turn off onto the grass and steer down the embankment and plop onto the Charles River. Like the device that morphed Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the Amphicar's propeller behind the rear axle would engage, and the conversation would shift just as seamlessly to neural pathway computers, and the Amphicar would putter them up the Charles.
posted by morganw at 1:48 PM on January 10, 2011


Thorzdad: When I was growing up in Indy (up by Geist), my neighbor had a red Amphicar. He occasionally took it out on the water. This was in the early nineties.

I wonder if it was the same one?
posted by leotrotsky at 2:24 PM on January 10, 2011


i owned an amphicar for a year or so back in the 60's.

O RLY?

the triumph herald is a truly shitty car and noone in his right mind would attempt to convert it into a boat. except the british.

... or the Germans, given that Amphicar was a German company.
posted by kcds at 3:43 PM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Amazing car
posted by veljko83pfc at 6:24 PM on January 10, 2011


Man, I thought these were the shit when I was a kid. I've never seen one -- my car-obsessed dad, who told me about them, lives in Reno, NV, not a hotbed of nautical activity -- but I had many, many daydreams. These pics are awesome.
posted by librarina at 8:27 PM on January 10, 2011


The Cubans are good at making these things.
posted by eye of newt at 8:35 PM on January 10, 2011


-t writes "Amazing!

"One thought... Rust."


Several ways of getting around this now. It would seem that the really hard part is developing a wheel bearing and seal that is both road worthy and doesn't leak. Everything else could be mounted in board but the wheel bearing needs to be exposed to water.
posted by Mitheral at 12:44 PM on January 16, 2011


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