There is strange, and the Amphicar was strange indeed. It was an amphibious vehicle built in the Germany – a country that is not exactly celebrated the world over for its pronounced eccentricity or its history of building quirky or frankly bizarre cars. VW and BMW could be said to epitomize the German car industry, and so it was something of a surprise to find that the eccentric Amphicar came form where it did. The Amphicar was first built at karlsruhe, and then later at the Berlin company Deutsch Waggon and Maschinenfabrik, where it was produced right through until 1968. On land it looked like a rather ugly little convertible, with tail fins and too much ground clearance. It was as ungainly to drive as it looked, too, with abysmal, ponderous steering and a complete lack of notable performance form the rear mounted 1147cc Triumph Herald engine. The engine was woefully underpowered, and struggled with the car’s considerable weight. The top speed, if you were brave enough to try and attempt to obtain it, was a rather unimpressive 65 mph (104 km/h) completely ruling it out of any high speed autobahn cursing. Sadly, the Amphicar didn’t make a very good boat either. In fact, it was even worse when it came to proving its amphibious nature.
With a top speed in the water of just 7.5 knots form its single propeller, it suffered from a pair of extremely unfortunate tendencies in a water vehicle – it rusted badly, and leaked due to sealing problems. Apparently, amateur attempts to fit the car with a more potent Triumph Vitesse six cylinder engine were not successful, the modified car sank. Today, the Amphicar is a much sought after rarity. It is rarely seen for sale, as just 2500 examples were built in its seven years production life.