The Options List for the Amphicar Included Anchors and Paddles

When in the market for a new car, every customer knows to look extra carefully to the list of available extras. Generally, present-day options are extremely diverse, ranging from safety to connectivity features. But they never ever include anchors and paddles.
Amphicar 4 photos
Photo: Barrett-Jackson
Yet a few decades back, there was a car that could have been optioned with both. It was called Amphicar, and was the brainchild of German engineer Hans Trippel.

Introduced to the world at a time when dreamers saw cars going far beyond their usual domain, and head for both the sea and the sky, the Amphicar is still the world’s only successfully marketed amphibious vehicle.

Powered by a 1.1-liter 4-cylinder engine that barely developed 43 hp, the Amphicar was capable of driving on the road at speeds of 70 mph (113 kph) and on the water at 7 knots. We’re not sure how many of the nearly 4,000 people who bought it (one of them was U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson) used it both ways, though.

As other cars of its generation, the Amphicar came with double seals, four wheels, and an overall car-like appearance. What set it apart though were the lever fitted inside that allowed the engine’s power to be redirected to the dual propellers and turn the front wheels into rudders, and the list of options it came with.

First off, because it was seaworthy, the Coast Guard asked that it gets fitted with navigation lights and a flag, and people could also go for anchors and paddles if they felt the need.

One of the thousands Amphicars made back in the ‘60 will go under the hammer during the Barrett-Jackson auction in Palm Beach in April.  We’re not sure if it comes with the anchor and paddle that were offered at the time, but we know the 1965 example has been completely restored.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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