vehicle that promised to revolutionize drowning, the Amphicar was the
peacetime descendant of the Nazi Schwimmwagen (say it out loud — it's fun!).
The standard line is that the Amphicar was both a lousy car and a lousy
boat, but it certainly had its merits. It was reasonably agile on land,
considering, and fairly maneuverable on water, if painfully slow, with a
top speed of 7 mph. Its single greatest demerit — and this is a big one
— was that it wasn't particularly watertight. Its flotation was
entirely dependent on whether the bilge pump could keep up with the
leakage. If not, the Amphicar became the world's most aerodynamic
anchor. Even so, a large number of the nearly 4,000 cars built between
1961 and 1968 are still on the road/water. In fact, during the recent
floods in Britain, an Amphicar enthusiast served as a water taxi,
bringing water and groceries to a group of stranded schoolkids. Bully!