1964 Amphicar: Which To Buy?

Amphicars

Amphibious cars are like flying cars, they don’t do either tasks well. Amphicars aren’t very good cars nor are they good boats. The blue Amphicar listed here on eBay has been in storage since the 1980s. $17,9oo seems like a lot of money for this little car, but then again the red one is done and they want $49,500 for it here on eBay. The blue one would take a lot of serious metal work and there’s no word on the state of the engine, hopefully it’s rebuildable. There was a TV show recently where they rebuilt one of these rusty little cars. It was a lot of work, but it was doable. The pictures show areas where you would expect corrosion that look dry, like the trunk and around the battery. Anticorrosive coatings have come a long way since this was built, so the next rebuild should last alot longer. So which would you like, the project or the $49,500 example that is already water tight? Could one restore the blue one for under $30k? Thanks to Peter R for spotting both these Amphicar cars!

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Well, of course it’s rebuildable, there’s only so many of these, and for good reason. David’s 1st two sentences summed it up pretty well. They did neither task very good, and 14,000 miles is pretty typical. Quite a following for these, as a novelty item. President Johnson had one on his Texas ranch, and used to freak people out when taking them for a ride, and driving into a local lake. This particular one will sink like a stone, as they were serious rusters (if only they were fiberglass) I think these used Triumph motors, so parts should be available, the propeller drive could be another story. Anybody know what that unit below the gas tank is? Gas heater?

  2. MustangII

    Look at this ! :) The Wheeler Dealer TV show you mentioned…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axgTv_7gFig

  3. JW

    Well as someone who has rode in one back when they were new I wouldn’t want either. The blue one is too far gone and the red one is over priced for the novelty market. I was at a car show where a fleet of about 6 of these showed up ( A Club No Doubt ) and yes there is a following but very few. If he was to take a reasonable offer of say 20K I would take the red one but otherwise I’ll stick with a Mustang and a row boat.

  4. Evan Allen

    I don’t want either, because that’s not my thing (’50s GM lost causes are where I’m at) but the answer is always buy the heap. You may put too much money in it, but when it’s done there’s another one saved because no one else is going to.

  5. Brad

    I was in Disneyworld recently and a new restaurant called “The Boathouse” has opened in the Disney Springs area. They have 6 or 7 fully restored Amphicars available for rides in the lake. I was surprised to see such a big collection of these cars in such good shape. A pretty big investment for a restaurant.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      History repeats itself—1964/65 NY World’s Fair had a similar setup. Of course, they were new, then! And yes, it’s a Triumph Herald engine.

      • jim s

        i went to that World’s Fair. i remember the mustangs but not these!

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        Jim, I’ve read a lot about the history of that WF. There’s a url here to the article on NYWF64.com about the amphicars (not much detail):

        http://www.nywf64.com/amprid01.shtml

        And here’s a link to a video clip of one at the fair:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK00LSkZdok

        Being a Triumph fan and a NYWF fan, it’s a natural interest for me…

  6. Tom Stewart

    Yeah, Wheeler Dealers restored one of these, but they have their own shop and all the ‘free’ labor you could want. Fun little cars, but I can’t see it worth the inc=vestment myself.

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