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*Please note that this vehicle is titled 1964 and by its engine number.
Designed by Hans Trippel, who sold Mercedes-Benz his patent for the gullwing door, the Amphicar was built in Germany and aimed at the American market. With clever features such as watertight door seals, it was the only car on the road offering bilge pumps, twin propellers, and a hood-mounted horn. Former President Lyndon B. Johnson, known for his practical jokes, was said to enjoy frightening visitors at his Texas ranch by driving them downhill in his Amphicar directly into his lake while shouting that he had malfunctioning brakes. In 1965, two Amphicars crossed the English Channel, enduring 20-foot waves and gale-force winds.
This example was the original owner’s first car; it was a gift from her father and served as her primary transportation for a few years. One day on his way home from work, her father noticed her “surfing” the wake behind a container ship on Lake Michigan. He announced he was getting rid of the car, took the keys, and not until 1986, after his passing, did she find the car in their warehouse, under a tarp and behind a stack of boxes, keys still in the ignition, unchanged. The consignor, an Amphicar expert who has personally inspected over 450 examples, purchased the car from her in 2005. He reports that it is one of the most outstanding survivors that he has seen and that he believes it retains its original paint, interior, and tires. This is a very special example of the iconic Amphicar and a rare opportunity indeed.