An associate shared a Speed Channel show with me today called "101 Cars you must drive". The segment aired Monday night at 9:00 et episode #6. You guessed it, the Amphicar is one of them. Their web site has a nice write up with a short history and a few specs including a zero to sixty number. Take a guess at what that might be before you view the story. Hint: It's two digits.
Did they even attempt to proof read their article?
"four wheels and a real-engined body"
"unlike rear-rudded boats"
"but probes quite seaworthy"
"And talk about a conversion starter"
When I'm probing the sea amongst the rudded boats, I'm glad I have a real engine but I haven't converted my starter yet!!
The 101 Cars you must drive TV show which aired this past Monday August 4th
is an interesting tale. I do not know why they elected to film the segment in
Florida and I had personally never heard of Alonzo Bodden before. I have
not researched Alonzo Bodden very much, but I understand he is a "Stand Up
Comic" originally from New York and now living in the Los Angeles or San Diego
area. Somewhere I gleaned the information that they may have had a contest in
California and the "last Comic standing" may have won the contest and
hosting this show "101 Cars you must drive" may have been his prize. This is
speculation on my part, based on bits and pieces I have picked up from Bodden
himself and the show's producer who lives in the Tampa area, etc.
I believe the producer or someone involved with the show went on line,
called one or two Amphicar owners who then directed them, as I recall, to Tommy in
Tampa who I think gave them my name either because they wished to do the
shooting in the Orlando area or because Tommy was not available himself.
Someone, of course, knows the whole story, but that is how I became involved. I
received a call and was told they wanted to shoot a TV segment with an Amphicar
for a show titled "101 cars you must drive" and was I available on 2 or 3 dates
they listed. As I am retired and it was in my area, that was no problem. My
first question to the woman who called was how many Amphicars do you need or
want because Peter Fredsall is close by and there are a few others not far
away. I was told they only needed one. Peter who is involved with AMCs and
Nashes learned about the shoot because they were also seeking an AMC Pacer and
he sent them an e-mail volunteering his Amphicar. He was told they would have
to check and then by e-mail was told that they could use both cars. When he
heard there was another Amphicar already involved, he contacted me and that is
how it came to be that he and I leaned about the other's involvement. The
woman who contacted me by phone in answer to my questions gave me NO
information about the show other than the name of the show and that the shoot would be
June 24th at 8 am. She had initially asked if there was a lake nearby where
they do do the shoot. I had given her the name of a State Park 20 miles from
where I live and they had to check this all out and "get permission." Peter,
on the other hand, never had any telephone contact, but received his
information via e-mail. It is interesting that the show debuted its initial segment
at 9 PM on Monday evening, June 23rd, the night before our shoot.
The way things were handled, I had my doubts that it was much of an
organization with which we were dealing. I am still not convinced on this score.
Consequently, Peter and I arrived together on June 24th and there we met the
Producer and the woman who had contacted both of us and learned that they had
"hired" a number of Central Florida people for a variety of jobs related to the
show such as lighting, Host's makeup, filming, etc. We also learned that
Alonzo Bodden, the "Host" was being flown in from California. With a significant
number of people involved and flying in the "Host," it was a surprise to me
in view of the obvious expenses involved that they did not contemplate
compensating either of us for our time or the use of our cars. After Bodden
arrived, he spent most of his time in an air conditioned rental RV going over the
"script," so someone did some kind of research on Amphicars prior to that
date, but was not overly concerned with accuracy. The story of the Shoot itself
was the Sit around and Wait variety. They were vague about when the Amphicar
segment might air and even when it did air this past Monday, the previews on
the Speed Channel in the days just before the segment aired did show the
Amphicar, but contradicted the information listed on the Cable TV program guide
which mentioned several other cars which had aired the prior week, I believe.
As a result, none of us knew if indeed the Amphicar segment would actually
be on that night or not. Dan Borgman, another Florida owner, saw the preview
and called Peter who alerted me. Otherwise, neither of us would likely have
known to watch it on that particular night. As it turned out, it aired at 9 PM
here in Florida, and surprise surprise, it was on again at 9 AM the next
morning on Tuesday. It is also scheduled again just after mid-night this coming
Monday in 3 days. You can check it out on your Cable Guide on the TV or
elsewhere. It should air again just after Midnight at 1 AM this coming Monday
August 11th. In the Program Guides, it is simply listed as "101 Cars"from what
I have seen.
One thing I can throw in here is if you are solicited for any kind of a
magazine or TV shoot, ask lots of questions. If possible, get things in writing.
These people gave us NO information in advance and just left us hanging while
"hiring" numerous other personnel. Even after we met them the day of the
shoot, they provided little detail as to what their intentions were and what
would take place and even, despite specific conversation on the subject
concerning who would actually drive my Amphicar, Bodden started my car up and
apparently with another photo vehicle along, took off leaving the park for 10 to
15 minutes BY HIMSELF to my complete disbelief. Once he drove away, I had
little recourse other than to await his return. When you see the segment on TV,
that is the initial part where he is driving along being filmed out on the
highway and I had no idea where he would be going or when he would be back.
Needless to say, I was not happy. I had previously discussed that I would be
the one driving to enter and exit the water, but that I would switch places
with Bodden out in the water. The final edited segment that appeared on TV was
nice enough that both Peter and I felt that the whole event was a worthwhile
Vic "Capt. Splash"
Nelson with the '67 Split Personality