Q: Greg, I look forward to reading your column on collector cars.
Back in the 1960's, there was a car that I thought was real cool called the Amphicar. Do you remember them? It didn't last very long and was gone by the time I could afford a car.
But, I have one now, and what a fun car (or should I say boat) it is. I have taken it to shows, where it always draws a crowd.
Most of the older people remember seeing the car on TV and in movies (Pontiac Moon), but haven't seen one up close. The kids are amazed that it can 'swim' and laugh when they see the twin propellers in the back.
The International Amphicar Club has a web page at amphicar.com where you can find the history of the Amphicar, the specs, and where there will be a “swim-in.”
Also, the March-April issue of the club’s newsletter "Wheels-N-Waves” has an article about the Amphicars used in the movie “Pontiac Moon.” Also, there is a part about the testing of the Amphicar for the March issue of Classic Motorsports magazine.
Finally, I want to mention that my "car" has passed the U.S. Coast Guard 'Vessel Safety Check' in 2008 and 2009 and I proudly display the 2009 sticker. This is the only 'car' they have inspected in the Washington, DC area. Fred Monger, Lusby, Maryland.
A: Fred, thanks for the kind words and great memories of one very different car/boat!
For the record, Amphicar was built in Berlin, Germany, from 1961 to 1968, and was powered by a 4-cylinder, 43-horsepower Triumph engine.
The total production came in at 3,878 vehicles, of which 3,046 were imported into the United States. To this day, Amphicar is still the one and only amphibious passenger automobile ever mass produced.
You’ve got a true rarity on your hands, and I wish you good driving and fishing.