A revival in amphicars
AS four of the legendary sixties Amphicars head to auction during this month, the big question is how much these German cars will fetch.
They sold new for between $2 800 and $3 300 between 1962 and 1967. In 2011, one sold for $123 400 (R1,4 million).
Time magazine, once a champion of innovation, listed the Amphicar as one of its 50 worst cars of all-time. That so many Amphicars are still on American roads and deeply loved by their owners, however, bears testimony to the contrary.
The claim often touted on the Internet is that the Amphicar is the only mass-production amphibious vehicle ever made for the huge number of buyers living on the water’s edge. That was true in the sixties, but today there are many road registerable amphibious solutions, from boats with wheels, to guadbikes with jets, to Russia’s giant Tonka car, the Viking.
Gibbs Technologies and Sealegs have already developed international dealer networks and are manufacturing in quantity, both emanating from the water-challenged environment in New Zealand.
I got my first good look at the Gibbs waterski at the recent Kings Cup, the world’s richest race event for Personal Water Craft, and it impressed me considerably.
Costing $42 800, the Quadski can do 45 mph on water and on over rough terrain.
The Sealegs is more boat than car, but both it and the more upmarket boat-with-wheels from Iguana is sold through the fast growing global networks, in the Iquana’s case, starting at $250 000.
On the other side of the world, Russia’s Aton-Impulse built the Viking, a giant seven-seater bakkie that happily handles river and lake crossings. Hailing from the automotive production megaplex of Naberezhnye Chelny in SouthWest Russia, this gigantic amphibious vehicle looks every bit like a Tonka monster truck.
Surprisingly, though, despite the fact that the Viking 2992 weighs over three tons, it’s fitted with a remarkably small 1,7-litre engine. — Gizmag.com.
Four of these suddenly very collectable sixties German Amphicars go on auction this month.
Sealegs solves the hassle of launching a boat by adding folding wheels to a rubber duck.
The jetski-quadbike combo by Gibbs Technologies is aimed at New Zealanders who have to traverse a lot of water.
The huge Russian Viking amphibious bakkie has the looks, but its 1,7-litre engine begs for a V8 Lexus upgrade.