The Amphicar was manufactured in West Germany and first made an appearance in America at the 1961 New York Auto Show. Originally designed by Hanns Trippel, these amphibious cars hit the US market from 1961 to 1967. Most notable for their ability to cruise on land and operate in the water, these cars were a fun new invention in the car world for that time.
The Amphicar 770 (770 represents 7 miles on water, 70 miles an hour on land) first surfaced at the 1959 German Auto Show and a couple years later entered America in 1961. The convertible is a four-seater and was powered by a rear-mounted, four cylinder Triumph Herald engine of 1,147 cc, which generated 43 hp. In order to work on land and in water, the engine drove the rear wheels on land and two propellers when the car was in the water. The front wheels steered both on land and in the water, and the car/boat had four speeds and reverse. The doors locked shut for water travel. On land the Amphicar’s listed top speed was 90 mph, but road testers could only get it to about 65 mph. It was deemed better in the water, reaching a speed of 10 mph. Although the car looks small, it weighed in around 2,300 pounds. The cars were so heavy because they had to be rigid and waterproof in order to take on land and water.
This car came from Upper New York a number of years ago and was purchased by the present owner as a project that had been started. This car had basic body repairs made, all stripped and painted. All the car’s mechanics were checked, repaired, or rebuilt as needed. The parts needed were purchased from Gordon’s Imports, Inc. in California. The car was water tested and driven in the water a couple times. The car presents itself very well and should perhaps have a basic survey to be water ready.
When the Amphicar hit the market between 1962 through 1967 they sold between US $2800-$3300. In 2011, an Amphicar sold for a whooping $123,400. Over the past couple years; particularly from 2007 to 2014 Amphicar’s have ranged in price. Depending on the model and the location of where the cars were sold, the price for one has ranged from US $27,500 to $123,200. The Amphicar that sold for $123,200 was the only one to sell for more than $100,000. Despite this fact, a large majority of Amphicars has sold for prices close to $100,000. According to data, in recent years the Amphicar has gone up in price and continues to do so in the car market.
The Amphicar 770 will forever be a memorable car as it can take on both the open road and the open water. These models were the only mass-produced consumer amphibious cars in history, which makes them especially unique. The US Coast Guard even recognized them as legitimate boats. These dual-purpose cars made it easy to enjoy a nice car ride or a boat road.