Would you sell your car in exchange for an amphibious vehicle? The thought of a car that can rock its way in the waterways is pretty mind-blowing! We can thank World War II for creating cars that could swim and the cars quickly gained popularity up until the 1960s. CarSwitch.com talks about 4 versatile vehicles from the past!
There were 5000 amphibian cars that were built and you might still see them. Majority of them came to America and some of them are still in use. The Amphicar was a petite convertible with a unibody of steel and seals on the doors. It has a 1.2-litre engine mounted in the rear and the rear wheels were driven by a Porsche transaxle. There was a transfer case that shifted the power to a pair of 12-inch propellors when you entered the water. With a horsepower of 43, the speed on the highway was 70 mph.
After 7 years of extensive aquatic research, Gibbs bought their first aqua model in 2003 as their very first production model. It uses a jet system to make a smooth transition from the road into the sea. The Aquada produces around a tonne of thrust when in water and is able to travel over 50 kph.
The creator of the Beetle, Ferdinand Porsche fashioned the four-wheel drive called the Kubelwagen for the German army during World War II. He then designed the amphibious version, the Shwimmwagen in the 1940’s; powered by a 1.4 litre- flat four that also serves as a propeller in the water. The car used the front wheels as “underwater tires” and only mustered a scarce 25 hp in water. Even though it was heavy and slow on the road, it had good traction on the road.
Rinspeed has been known for coming up with many cool aquatic concept cars, but one of their successful production models was the Rinspeed splash car that came out in 2003 that could run 120 mph on lands and manage 45 knots in the water! With a curb weight of 1800 pounds, the single propeller helps lowers the body into the water with the foils.
The power specs include a 750-cc two-cylinder engine with a horsepower of 140.
Cars that can run on road and swim is one of the craziest inventions of all time. But for all their wackiness and wonder, there are some of us who would prefer a standard “road car”.