- Original 70 cubic inch, 43 horsepower Triumph Herald engine
- Original Hermes 4-speed transmission
- Original Fijord Green paint
- 6,154 actual miles
- Both road worthy and water worthy
- Owned by one family since new
- Stored indoors throughout its life
- One of only 3,878 produced
- One of only 500 believed to be operable
There are better cars, and there are also better boats, but there is no better way to draw a crowd than with an Amphicar. Designed by Hans Trippel and unveiled to the public at both the 1961 New York Auto Show and 1961 Miami Boat Show, the Amphicar was aimed squarely at the burgeoning American leisure market. Its concept was devoid of utility, but it was undeniably fun and brought a swarm of onlookers each time it splashed into the water.
In 1961 the Quandt Group, under the name of the Amphicar Corporation, began production in Berlin, Germany, making the Amphicar the first mass produced amphibious vehicle for the civilian market. Powered by a 70 cubic inch, 43 horsepower Triumph Herald motor, and propelled by a Hermes 4-speed transmission, the car achieved a top speed of 70 MPH on land. On water, a two-speed transmission communicates both forward and reverse to twin nylon propellers to provide a top speed of 7 MPH. And these speeds combined to give the car, a steel-hulled hunk that was deemed unsinkable, its official model designation of 770.
Advertised as “The Sportscar that Swims,” Amphicars were primarily marketed in the United States. They were produced in only four colors: Sand White, Fijord Green, Regatta Red, and Lagoon Blue. And with a selling price of between $2,800 and $3,300, they never really caught on. Initially, the Amphicar Corporation planned to make 20,000 cars per year, however, operations ceased in 1968 after production of less than 4,000 units. Due to their cost, poor marketing strategy and America's new emissions regulations, the company eventually went out of business. The remaining assets were purchased by an American, Hugh Gordon, who still sells original parts. And it is estimated that only 500 of the 3,700 Amphicars imported to the U.S. are still operable. Notable Amphicar owners include former Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter, and entertainers Madonna and Alan Jackson. President Johnson apparently liked to scare new visitors to his ranch by driving them downhill in his Amphicar directly into his property's lake, all while shouting about the brakes being broken.
This Amphicar, which was owned by one family until 2012, is an authentic, unmolested, un-restored car with just 6,154 original miles. It was purchased new by the Hanks family on January 9, 1965, from Howell Auto Sales in Louisville, Kentucky, as one of the remaining 1964 models; serial number 100506, marine number GK207HE. The dealership had 12 cars to choose from, but this one was chosen because Mr. Hanks liked its Fijord Green, white and yellow color combination. The vehicle has been stored in a humidity controlled environment since new. There have been only two things changed on the car since it was purchased: tires and seals. The original tires developed flat spots and were replaced, though Mr. Hanks kept the original ones and they are included in the sale. The transmission, removed and inspected in 1999, enjoys new seals and new rubber mounts. All of the engine components are original, there are no leaks and the hull is rust-free. The car is both road worthy and water worthy, making its last marine trip on June 14, 2012. There have been some minor touchups to the paint over the past 48 years, but its appearance is still about 90% original.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to purchase a true piece of automotive history. As one of only 3,878 Amphicars built, this car is possibly the last one-owner, low mileage example in existence. And when you drive this car, it elicits the same excitement and attention as it did when purchased new. Recent auctions have seen record prices on Amphicars making this unique example a great investment. Cars are only original once, and if you are ready to become a “swimmer,” this time capsule Amphicar is a great way to dive right into the deep end!
What Customers Are Saying
I have the unique experience of buying and also selling a car from RK Motors.
It is very difficult and risky to evaluate a car on-line. I have heard many stories about people buying on-line and the cars did not turn out as advertised. This is where RK Motors works very hard to represent their cars as accurately as possible. They also do a great job of marketing their cars.
Their pictures give you the ability to look at details on any part of the cars you feel necessary. They are also willing to answer any questions you have as accurately as possible. They removed the all the doubt for me to purchase one of their cars.
I visited their showroom which is filled with high-level cars. Their sales staff were very professional and answered as many questions as they could for me.
When I decided to sell my car, I called RK and ask them how we could do this. They were very helpful and lead me step by step through this process. The thing that impressed me most was even though I purchased the car from them, they would not take my word on the quality of the car. Only after they did their evaluation were we able to finalize our deal. They took all new pictures and did a great job of marketing my car. They were able to sell my car quickly and kept me well informed through the entire process. We answered any questions the new owner had hopefully he will enjoy his car as much as I did.
I would highly recommend RK Motors to anyone buying or selling their cars.