This WaterCar Gater is a VW-powered sea going convertible monstrosity. It’s not pretty and its not that practical but somewhere between its child toy looks and its shiny wheels, we started to like it. This custom vehicle is basically a kit car that uses the underpinnings from an old Volkswagen Beetle.
California-based customizers and manufacturers WaterCar created this contraption inspired by the Myers Manx beach buggies of the 1960s but with a bit of Jeep Wrangler ruggedness added to the mix. The kit, which is priced at $29,500 (€22,300), consists of a fiberglass body, gear box and transmission, water jet propulsion unit, high torque drive axles, front and rear suspension parts, head lights, steering assembly and various stainless steel parts.
The kit maker provides the body and other parts, but you still need to souse parts from a donor Beetle or buy them from an aftermarket specialist. The design of the Gator allows for many exterior components of a Jeep CJ8 to interchange with it. For example, roof, doors, windshield, headlights, seats, mirrors, and so on.
The rough and ready VW rear engine assembly bolts seamlessly to the patented WaterCar transmission gearbox. This allows for on-road drivability and on-water cruise-ability.
The Gator is available in 12 standard gel coat colors and can be ordered with either left or right hand steering. The Gator is not designed as a high-speed planing vehicle, but it can still achieve a speed of around 8 mph (12 km/h) on water.