Live Auctions

Custom Boatwagon: 1960 Hydrodyne Car

Is it a car? Is it a boat? Is it something in between? Well, you’re right on all counts, basically, if you decide that you can’t live without this unusual creation that involves taking a perfectly happy Hydrodyne boat that’s been mounted atop a 1961 Volkswagen Beetle chassis, then you’ll want to keep an eye on the listing here on eBay. At the moment, bidding is up to just under $10,900 with no reserve. The Hydrodyne is located in Miami Beach, Florida.

The 1960s were high-times for custom car culture, from the hot rods being created out of hulks in backyards to the Jetsons-era design language on display at every major auto show. The envelop was being pushed in every way possible, and so it should come as no surprise that the boating sector saw the same kind of experimentation. This type of boat, with its manageable proportions, racy looks, and cheerful paint scheme, is among my favorite kind of pleasure craft from this era; however, you can’t actually go boating in this one as it’s only capable of land-based movement.

It’s really unfortunate, too, because the conversion to a boat riding on a car chassis is so stealthily done that I was convinced this was a poor man’s Amphicar. The Amphicar is so awkward-looking that you wouldn’t be faulted for questioning whether it could propel itself on land; this Volkswagen-based creation looks so well done that I was certain it represented a limited-production run of half-car, half-boat curiosities. The listing notes it was fully-restored three years ago, so it seems likely this was a 60s-era creation that got new life breathed into it.

The boat-wannabe is powered by a “…VW 1600cc dual port and dual carb air-cooled engine,” which the seller claims runs well with no odd sounds or significant leaks. So, what do you get if you end up winning the auction for this boat car? It seems like the biggest appeal is the thrill of driving an oddball on the road that will surely make more than a few people stop in their tracks and stare. It seems like a home run for a business that sells or rents equipment to boaters or weekend water warriors (like jet skiers) or as a way to drive awareness for a local air-cooled shop. How would you use it?


  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    Pick your teenager up at the high school in this thing.

    Like 9
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      Just make sure you have a Captain’s hat on.

      For when you can’t afford an Amphicar.

      Like 7
      • Autoworker

        The money invested in this, you’d be “underwater” in no time. Wouldn’t want to rev the engine too high, you’ll “float” the valves. Would “hydroplane” on wet roads. Yuk yuk.

        Like 10
  2. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Looks well done, too bad she is a landlubber.

    Like 9
  3. Knot me

    It looks like it has ‘fiberglass’ bucket seats shot with white paint. That’s not going to work well.

  4. tony t

    For Lake Mead Use, Only

    Like 12
  5. tony t

    Might flood the power plant … or need a bail-out.

    Like 3
  6. Steve

    The answer to the question nobody asked.

  7. T. Mann Member

    Liked it until I saw the engine.
    Any other engine…

  8. Ralphie

    Swap the 1600 for a Toronado 455 and transaxle, fill the bilge with water and a pump for making rooster tails on your drive!

    Like 7
  9. Howie

    $12,105 now, ends today.

    Like 1
  10. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    For the amount of effort made to bring this vehicle to it’s current condition, one would have expected the front “fender” openings to be finished better. They look like someone took a jigsaw to the fiberglass sides, but never finished the opening arc.

    Like 3
    • Randolph L Dull

      I think they were “aiming” for the flat top look :)

  11. Randolph L Dull

    Nicely done (except the exhaust). Looks like a fun ride (on terra firma).

    Like 1
  12. Rw

    Wonder how many skiers it can pull???

    Like 2
    • Howie

      Or roller skaters??

      Like 1
  13. Howie

    Sold, at $12,500.

    Like 3
  14. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $12,500.

    Like 1
  15. chrlsful

    close in the back for floatability?

    I saw a guy use his 4 WD cheb to go ‘boating’. The
    tires propelled it (as well as flotation, 8 of them). “Flordia
    man proves concept with 2 mi ‘drive’ in cannal with his
    8 wheel p/u truck.” Sez “I do it every day after work now”.

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