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1966 Amphicar Convertible

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1966 Amphicar Convertible 770

Price $27,500 USD
Manufacturer:  Quandt Group ( Germany)
Total Production: 3,878 units
Sold by a dealer: Beverly Hills Car Club  (310) 975-0272

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These cars are such a novelty but have a very enthusiastic following.   There are clubs devoted to these little cars and its great.  They never cease to put a smile on my face when I see them at car events.   I have never driven one on land or water but it looks like a lot of fun.    Maybe its time to make room for another restoration project.   This particular car looks well used and ready for a restoration.   I think a top dollar car would bring close to 40-50k USD so for a restoration project its on the high side.   It definitely would make a fun restoration project if you had the space and the time.

For Comparison:  Amphicar 1964 currently on Ebay  Buy it Now $47,900

Click Here for Ebay Ad

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I always wanted to test the limits of its water capability.  How long can it stay in water ?  Apparently it has a bilge pump.   How do you do preventative rust maintenance?  How do they keep these cars water tight?

I dont think this particular one is ready for any water duty.  It will need to be restored and resealed properly before attempting any water activity.  These cars are made of mild steel.

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So this is called the Amphicar Model 770 ( Amphibious Automobile).   It debuted at the New York Auto Show in 1961.   They were designed by Hanns Trippel and manufactured by the Quandt Group.     There were 3,878 cars manufactured.

There were required to have navigation lights and flag which were mandated by the Coast Guard.  After being in the water, they require greasing of 13 points on the car, one of which requires the removal of the rear seat.  I wonder what those 13 points are?

These cars have twin propellers mounted under the rear bumper.

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The engine is mounted at the rear of the car.   It uses a 4 speed manual transmission.   In the water, the engine drives a pair of reversible propellers at the rear, with a 2nd gear lever engaging forward and reverse drive.    Once in the water, the main gear lever would normally be left in neutral.   By engaging first gear to the propellers when approaching a boat ramp, the Amphicar could drive itself out of the water.

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Above picture shows how an Amphicar would be in the water.

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Its interesting that in the water , the car steered with its front wheels which made it less maneuverable than a boat.   So it sounds like it was not the best car for the road or for the water.  Just capable of doing both adequately.

Dan Neil of Time Magazine called it ” a vehicle that promised to revolutionize drowning”

Its ability to float on water was entirely dependent on whether the bilge pump could keep up with the leakage.  That is funny.

Its been said that a well maintained car does not leak and could left docked in the water for many days.

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Fun Facts:

  • In 1965, 2 Amphicars successfully navigated the Yukon River in Alaska
  • 2 Amphicars crossed the English Channel in 1968 enduring 20 foot waves and gale force winds
  • President Lyndon B Johnson was an owner of the Amphicar.

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Engine:

Triumph 4 cylinder engine

1447 CC

8.0 compression ratio

Rated at 38.3 bhp

Chassis Stats

Transmisison:

4 speed all synchromesch manual

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From Seller:

1966 Amphicar Convertible

1966 Amphicar Convertible in light blue with blue interior. Comes equipped with a manual transmission, single carburetor, OEM radio and includes the jack and spare tire. Excellent original car. Lots of potential. Very collectible. Great candidate for restoration. For $27,500

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