One of the most unusual and fascinating cars ever built, the Amphicar was produced in Germany between 1961 and 1967. A total of 3,878 were built, a full 3,046 of which were imported to the North American market. Powered by a rear mounted four cylinder engine sourced from the Triumph Herald, the car uses a special dual-purpose land-and-water transmission built by Hermes (makers of Porsche gearboxes) that allows the wheels and propellers to operate either together or independently of each other. The “land” transmission is a 4-speed unit with reverse gear, while the “water” unit offers single forward and reverse gears; the front wheels served as rudders in the water.
The stock Amphicar was capable of a top land speed of 70 MPH and 6 knots in the water. When new EPA and DOT regulations closed the U.S. market to the Amphicar Corporation in 1968, the factory closed and the parts inventory was eventually purchased by renowned Amphicar expert Hugh Gordon of California, which brings us to this expertly restored and very rare 1967 model. One of only 4 ever produced in Black, the car’s three-year restoration began with acid-dipping the body and then dipping it in E-Coat to prevent corrosion. A 21 circuit wiring harness and custom fabricated disc brakes were installed in concert with Aldan Eagle coilover shock absorbers and the brake and fuel lines replaced with stainless steel components for maximum resistance to corrosion. The car now runs under the power of an upgraded 1,500 CC inline-4 engine cooled by a special aluminum radiator and the car is beautifully finished with fresh Black paint, a custom Tan interior and matching soft top. After inspecting this charming little jewel, Hugh Gordon pronounced it one of the finest Amphicar restorations ever.
Part of the Mecum Auctions event in Indianapolis in May, 2013
Source: Mecum Auctions