A very special (and very rare) “off-road” vehicle.
Only some 4,000 of these puppies were ever built during the ‘60s, so when one of them comes up for sale, it’s a pretty big deal.
The brainchild of German manufacturers Quandt-Borgwald, the Amphicar was a rear-engined, rear-wheel drive in nominal operation that ran a 1.1L Triumph 43hp four-cylinder, Mercedes suspension and brake components, and a unique land/sea gearbox combo with internals sourced from the Porsche 356. In nominal operation, the transmission served as a standard four-speed with syncromesh on all gears but First. A dedicated “water transmission” was engaged via a floor-mounted two-position transfer lever to drive twin screw-type propellers (either forward or reverse). The car was steered in the water, as on land, using the front wheels (no rudder). Top speed was 70 mph on road and approximately 6 knots in the water.
The 83-inch-wheelbase Amphi’ was expensive for a small car when first produced (approximately $3,000), which probably explains why it was never a big seller, and the manufacturer ceased production in 1965. This nice-looking example, which has supposedly been garaged since 1984---and it’s even still got the OE Motorola AM radio!---is located in Michigan, and if you want your own amphibious piece of automotive history, you can click here to put in your bid. Happy flotation.