"Amphicab" Urgent Help Needed


New Member
Hi everyone,

My name is Fei from the UK and I am a (wanna be) automobile designer.

I am trying to apply for a master degree vehicle design course at RCA and I have been given a project to do, to design a "new London taxi".

I came up with an concept idea of "Amphicab", which will be driven around London city but also on the Thames!

I have done some researches on the Amphicar which is my main inspriation of the idea. I love the Amphicar even more now, I hope I can afford one in the future. I am always into unsual classic cars and motorbikes, and my last daily car was a reliant.

Anyway I have a few questions about the Amphicar and hopefully with you guys expertise can show me some light? Any advises will be appreciated.

1) What special Marine/ boat features are put on the Amphicars? I noted the "Navigation lights front and rear", and the "Marine horn on hood". Are there another features that specially designed for sea use, or for legal reason?

2) Is there any reason for the "loop" looking rear bumper designed in this particular way?

3) What is keeping the Amphicar floats? I can't see any float in the techical drawing? Will it ever sink when things go wrong?

4) What is keeping the engine away from water? I was thinking petrol engine cannot run under or near water?

5) Can you see the concept of "Amphicab" is anyway possible in real life London? Any advises will be very much appreciated!

6) I guess running boats on the Thames is next to impossible because of the law/ regulation? I have very little knowlege about Marine/boat. Any throughts?

Thanks in advance!


The bumpers may be on there to meet car design requirements on the road. They also put goofey-lookin' (and ineffective) bumpers on Messerschmitts in the U.S. simply to meet that requirement. Otherwise, they don't do anything that I can see in the water but look nice(r) anyway. It floats simply because the area of the hull displaces more water than the weight of the craft. Gas engines are found on many boats, subject to control of vapors including mandatory bilge blowing (vapor evacuation) prior to starting. The exhaust is above the waterline. By U.S. law, most Amphis (in the water) must have a fire extinguisher, horn, life jackets per passenger, a paddle, and for some states, a throw seat floatation device. As a "for hire" venture, I would think insurance would be costly unless using something on the scale of old WW-II Amphi vehicles. That has already been done in one or more major ports in the U.S. Thinking about it, I heard one sank (got run over) with loss of life somewhere, recently. - azpaul


New Member
Hi azpaul thanks so much for the detailed reply and advise. These details will be real helpful for my project!