1962 Amphicar 700 Amphibious news, pictures, specifications, and information
Manufactured by Industrie Werke Karlsruhe for Amphicar of America, the West German built boat-car utilized an English Triumph engine. Truly an international vehicle, these cars were produced from 1961 to 1969. The majority of the cars were imported to the Únited States.
The vehicle is a fine watercraft for use on small to moderate size lakes when wave swells are less than 2 feet. Note the red and green lights and the fog horn on the front deck, along wîth the pedestal mounted clear lens light on the rear deck. These items are necessary for watercraft certification. The vehicle has 2 bilge pumps and dual propellers, mounted and visible below the rear bumper. Because all 4 wheels are submerged below the waterline, when on the lake the boat-car can be steered via the §teering wheel; the front wheels acting as dual rudders.Source - Canton Classic Car Museum
The Amphicar was the ultimate vehicle for the best of both worlds. It was able to traverse both land and water. It was designed by Hans Trippel and built in Germany with around 800 examples being created. It was powered by a 1147cc Triumph Herald engine that produced just over 40 horsepower. On land and water the engine was enough to carry it at modest speeds. Its true charm was its versatility, uniqueness, and shock-value. Unknowing spectators were often treated to unexpected entertainment as the Amphicar's drove into the water and floated. Twin propellers located at the bottom of the vehicle carried the vehicle and its passengers over the water and safely back to land.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2006
The Amphicar is both a land and water traveling vehicle. It was produced from 1962 through 1967 during which around 4500 examples were produced with most going to the United States. The vehicles were produced in Germany and borrowed many components from European automobile manufacturers. The engine, located in the rear, is courtesy of the Triumph Hearld. The 1147 cc power-plant produces nearly 45 horsepower to the rear wheels and can propel the vehicle to a top speed of 70 mph on land and 6-8 knots in the water. The transmission and some of the fuel system components came from Porsche while the suspension and braking system came from Mercedes. The chassis is made of steel, just as most regular vehicles. However, the steel is much thicker and great care was given to the assembly and to the joins to keep them leak proof. Around the doors, rubber strips were fitted to create a water-tight seal, much like opening and closing of a refrigerator. The tires are very narrow and the vehicle has been raised, offering excellent ground clearance. Propellers are located in the rear, underneath the vehicle which drive the vehicle while in the water. Steering, both on the road and in water, is controlled by the front wheels.
The designing of the vehicle took an estimated five-million dollars. Even though it was only produced for five years, it did accomplish something that has not yet been duplicated: production of a commercial, non-military, amphibian car. Other non-military designs have been created for travel on land and water, but none have been able to mass-produce the vehicle in quantities that the Amphicar were able to achieve.
The Amphicar has travel many historic adventures such as England to France and Africa to Spain, although most of the time they have been used for recreational purposes on lakes. Two licenses are often required, one for land and one for water. Amphicar's have been featured in many TV shows and movies from the early 1960's through the later 1990's.
The demise of the Amphicar was its high sticker price and poor marketing.
By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2006
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