While the Amphicar is best associated with ’60s Americana, its roots are much more European. The Amphicar was the brainchild of German designer Hans Trippel, who had been attempting to create a mass market amphibious vehicle for years. With financial backing from Germany’s Quant Industries, Trippel furthered his late 1950s ‘Eurocar’ concept and put it into production in 1961 as the ‘Amphicar.’
Its powertrain was about as unique as its looks. Trippel sourced the 1147cc four-cylinder engine from Britain’s Triumph Herald and mounted it in the car’s rear. He then attached it to an amalgam of gearbox wizardry, ending in dual rear propellers. The land transmission was a four-speed unit developed by Hermes, while the water gearbox featured two speeds (front and reverse). Top speed on water and land was pegged at 7 mph and 70 mph, respectively, which was denoted in the car’s extended name, ‘Amphicar 770′.
Sadly, the amphibious leisure vehicle niche wasn’t to last as EPA and DOT restrictions closed the door on the Amphicar’s US viability in 1968 – eventually signaling the end of the company after only 3,878 cars rolled off the production lines.
This ’64 Amphicar, dressed in the gorgeous Fjord Green hue, is said to be a fully restored vehicle, and a quick look through the photos reinforces that. The body looks clean, the seats look fresh, and while it’s not a must-have – the California black plate really ties it together.