Regular readers of this Internet weblog may recall that Telstar Logistics has a thing for the Amphicar, a German-made amphibious automobile built during the 1960s. Specifically, we want one. Or, absent owning one ourselves, we've been eager to take an Amphicar out for a test drive. That fantasy also remains unfulfilled, alas, so in the meantime we were glad to receive a first-hand report from Mr. Ben Coifman, who was lucky enough to take an Amphicar for a spin in Ohio.
Over to you, Ben:
The car belongs to our neighbor across the street. The plate reads, "IMABOAT" and I had seen it around town several times before we bought our house. Indeed, the car is a labor of love. Jim, the car/boat's owner invited us out for a spin last summer and we never got around to it. The last good day of the year comes by, I'm climbing up to the roof of my garage to blow off the leaves, and Jim walks up the driveway to ask if we want to go for a ride. Heck yeah! But I had to round up the two little ones, so he had a head start getting out to the reservoir. We headed out in our own car and got to the boat landing... but there was no Amphicar in sight.
Did we come to the wrong landing? We drove on. Then we decide to call. Ah, Jim explained that an Amphicar doesn't like freeways or anything over 45 mph. A few minutes later they arrived, and got the attention of most of the boaters around.
We suited up in life jackets and waited our turn. First spin in, Jim drove. It mostly looks like a normal car, but has a few extra levers, e.g., to engage the propellers and seal the doors. Second time he asked if I wanted to drive (heh heh). Going in and out of the water he said, "floor it."
I looked like a rookie (brakes don't work in the water, but the brake lights do) and had fun. At least for this landlubber, on the way out of the water I was not quite sure which direction the wheels were pointing, Jim assured me that I would find out soon enough...