Sunday, October 18, 2009

Is it a car or a boat? BOTH - Amphicars cause quite a wave

These vehicles are both cars as well as boats and to prove that they really can do double-duty, just look at them nose-to-nose powering around Lake Mirror during the weekend activities in Lakeland at the Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival. The Amphicar was manufactured in Berlin, Germany from 1962 to 1967. Roughly 4,500 were produced and most were imported into the US and found eager buyers. Although not a huge hit, they are loved by their current owners who maintain them and have fun showing them off to disbelieving crowds. They estimate that 500 might still be around and this weekend saw owners of several Amphicars gathering to show off their unique transportation capabilities to curious crowds.

Amphicar is the only non-military amphibious vehicles ever produced in regular production and they have held up quite well. They are able to reach speeds of of over 70mph on dry pavement and about 8 knots on water. The drivers (skippers) of these two examples and their passengers had a ball racing around kicking up waves to the delight and astonishment of the crowds lining Lake Mirror. An exquisite collection of finely crated wooden boats were the ultimate compliment to the Amphicar as you can see in the smaller photo. Click on it to see some of these wooden masterpieces on display in the water. What a diverse festival of transportation all gathered together on a postcard-perfect fall weekend in Florida.


  1. I don't know, but it seems you're getting to have all the fun these days. I remember these car/boats and then forgot about them. Amazing. I don't recall ever seeing one in action before. Merci!

    And those wooden boats are to die for...a Chris Craft...migod, they're heavenly!

    Great photos, Frank!

  2. Many years ago when I was still living in Illinois sometime in the late 60's, my father purchased one of these cars. We lived in a town on the Mississippi River and we would take it out in the river and always attract crowds. It was a red one just like these. You don't see these very often anymore and I'm so surprised to see these two together. Those were the days. Dad's car was the talk of the town.

  3. Those amphibicars look like fun, hope they don't leak. Really like the old Chris Crafts.

  4. Those amphicars are amazing! I've never heard of them before but I wish they were still in production — we sure could use them here!

  5. I have a friend that had an Amphicar, what fun we had and the double takes we got from people as we drove down the boat ramp and into the lake!
    Thanks for the memory.
    Sunny :)

  6. It is still early morning over here. My eyes suddenly got bigger!!!!
    I have never seen nor heard about this unique car/boat type....
    Wow, that IS a very special shot!

  7. Great to see them actually take to the water, but the idea was always a little 'flakey'.

  8. Those are really cool and I like it that they are red!