One of Only Few Hundred Amphicars Left in World is Here in New York
It's a car. It's a boat. It's both and it's called the Amphicar. There are only a few hundred left in the world. One is right here in New York.
The Amphicar is the only vehicle that is legal to ride on the ride and in the water. Nearly 4,000 were built in Germany from 1961 to 1968 and a little over 3,000 were imported to the U.S. A couple of hundred vehicles are still running today. This is one of them.
Amphicar in Western New York
Jimmy Davis rescued the old Amphicar from a field near Lake George about fifteen years ago, according to John Kucko. He's worked on it off and on ever since with help from his friends.
He is an engineer, a tinkerer, a guy who takes beat-up vehicles and brings them back to life. By his own admission, many of them are not that pretty, but they sure are enjoyable to ride, which he and his wife Lynn do every weekend.
Kucko had the opportunity to join Jimmy for a ride to and on the Erie Canal in Fairport, New York. "This was a blast," Kucko said.
How it Works
The Amphicar runs on a special two-part land-and-water transmission that allows the wheels and propellers to be operated either independently or simultaneously. A 4-speed-plus-reverse unit similar to those found in the old Volkswagen Beetles allows the vehicle to run on land. A 2-speed unit featuring single forward and reverse gears is used for the water transmission. The front wheels act as rudders when the vehicle is on the water.
On land, the Amphicar has a top speed of 70 MPH. On the water, it can go as fast as 7 MPH.